I really enjoyed this video. What Neil deGrasse Tyson calls the most astounding fact about the universe, however, is just one of the many, many, many, reasons to give glory, honor, and praise to God most High.
It was God who set this universe into motion with a plan of such precision and care, that it unfolded into the gloriously diverse mosaic that is the astounding amount of galaxies (not to mention the number of stars and planets within each of those galaxies) in the universe, so that one day, billions of years after the creation event we call the Big Bang, life would be possible on a tiny blue planet in a Podunk part of a smaller galaxy in this vastly, unimaginably ginormous universe, that is nothing compared to the magnitude of the One True God who created it. (here’s a neat chart you should click if you want to compare the sizes of some known galaxies).
God knew from the start what He was doing, and before He set a single atom into motion, He had already planned out how He would fine-tune this universe in such a way that life would be possible, and after billions of years, when the time was right, and the planet ready, God set that life into motion, to watch it grow and evolve and flourish for billions more years. Eventually, when the time was just right, God created a man (Adam) in His own image, forming him from the dust of the ground. God then took Adam (whose name means “dust” in Hebrew), and introduced him to all of the vast array of flora and fauna that inhabit this planet, letting Adam name them. After this, God creates Eve from the rib of Adam, and woman was formed. God then calls them to be fruitful and multiply, so that Man, made specially in the Imago Dei, could have dominion over the earth, and this is exactly what they do. That is, until they screw it up, disobey God, and are condemned to death. They are now no longer given access to the Tree of Life, and thus no longer enjoy the gift of immortality, and must inevitably return to the dust from which they came. Fear not my reader, for this is not the end of the story!
God in His infinite wisdom, and in the fullness of time, sent Jesus to take on human flesh, being both fully God and fully man, to show us the Way, the truth, and to give us Life. Christ is to be our atoning sacrifice, and willingly gives His infinite, perfect life, to be an atonement for all our finite, imperfect ones, thus granting us the opportunity to follow Jesus as Lord and Savior, and share in his eternal life. In this way, Christ conquered sin and death, becoming the second Adam who fulfilled the penalty demanded by the actions of the first.
God was in control then, and He is in control now. There is no reason to think a God such as described in the Bible needs to “tinker” with everything, for such a God is too small. No, God, in His infinite wisdom, set this universe into motion with a plan and a purpose, and He infused it with beauty, morality, meaning, and significance, all to His glory. Part of that beauty is well expressed not only in the inter-connectivity of everything in the universe, as Tyson points out in the beginning of the video, but also in the beauty, the precision, the fine-tuning, and the sensibility (that is, the universe is rational and makes sense) found in the universe. He is to be praised for creating such a wonderful world for us, and for leaving these signposts all over the place that point to Him. The evidence that points to a Creator and Designer of the universe are astoundingly apparent to those who have eyes to see, and ears to hear. Psalm 14:1-4 says:
1 The fool says in his heart,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
there is no one who does good.
2 The Lord looks down from heaven
on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
any who seek God.
3 All have turned away, all have become corrupt;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.
4 Do all these evildoers know nothing?
All our efforts, great and small, will ultimately be for naught if we ignore the Creator and instead worship the created, whatever form that may take. Whether it is science, or sports, or power, or significance, or spouses, or our studies, even religion and our ideas about God, absolutely everything is utterly meaningless without a relationship with the One who imbues meaning, purpose, beauty and significance upon creation. God cries out to us through all these wonderful things in creation. All of Creation calls us to the One who made them all, and who knew us before we were formed in our mother’s womb.
So give praise and Glory to God most High, who gave the breath of life to a mound of dust, and in so doing created us, that we may have the chance to know Him in this life, and the chance to not only receive the gift of eternal life, but to offer it to others, if only we will follow Him.
So look upon this video and gander at the galaxies on the chart, and be awed by the Might, Power, and Majesty of a God who cared enough about you and I that He sent His son in Human flesh, to show us to the Way, the Truth, and to give us Life. May we follow in the footsteps of Christ, and die to self so that others may have life eternal with the One True King of all Creation. Bow down in fear of such a wonderful and Mighty God, and lift hands of praise and Glory and Honor to Him who Conquered Sin and death. Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come. Amen, and Amen!
Recently, I’ve been studying the topic of Hell, and specifically an alternative understanding of the doctrine of Hell know as Conditionalism or sometimes Annihilationism (though both names allude to particular aspects of the same understanding of Hell, they seem to be used interchangeably to represent the same perspective). The Conditionalist view of Hell seems to me to make much better sense of what the Scriptures say are the “wages of sin” and the destiny of the unredeemed than traditional view of Hell does.
While I am heavily leaning in the direction of the Conditionalist view at the moment, I am still open to the possibility that it is wrong and that Tradition is correct. After all, some of the biggest names in the history of Christian Theology have held to the traditional view, and I know these men are much more authoritative on God, the Scriptures, and what they have to say on this topic than I. That said, I also believe that these men are not inerrant, and believe that it is possible they are all wrong, and therefore feel it necessary to investigate the topic for myself.