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Series: Recent Discoveries in Astronomy (4 entries)

In this excerpt from the book Delight in Creation: Scientists Share Their Work with the Church, astronomer Deborah Haarsma shares her excitement about recent findings about our universe from a Christian perspective.

 

What is the Higgs Boson?

At a press conference on July 4, 2012, and with 99.99994% confidence (5 sigma), CERN announced the discovery of a particle consistent with that of a Higgs boson (a.k.a. “the God particle”). This is very exciting for elementary particle physicists. But what is the Higgs particle, and what is its meaning?

 

Naming 'the God Particle'

The discovery of the Higgs boson would certainly be a breakthrough for particle physics and cosmology, but would such a finding also radically redefine theology’s understanding of God or challenge the existence of such a deity? Is there actually any theological or religious significance in Higgs physics at all?

 

Series: Universe and Multiverse (6 entries)

Baylor University Physicist Gerald Cleaver describes the changing state of our understanding of the cosmos and suggests ways that Christians can make theological sense of a theoretical Multiverse.

 

Series: Scripture and the Authority of God (7 entries)

N.T. Wright explores the context and manner in which Scripture is authoritative. He does so by questioning the meaning of an authoritative book as well as the application of such authority. Wright encourages us to flee from the controlling “list” mentalities that belittle the richness of God’s Word, and rather to understand it as a narrative inspired by God and recorded by ancient persons. Ultimately, God “organizes” his people through his Son Jesus and by the Holy Spirit, and not through extracted rules from the Bible.

 

Series: Science as an Instrument of Worship (6 entries)

In this brief series (taken from a 2009 paper), Jennifer Wiseman uses an excerpt from the famous hymn “How Great Thou Art,” to explain why the study of God’s creation can lead Christ’s followers into meaningful worship and overcome the obstacles which impede true praise. Creation as encountered through our senses is pondered by our minds, which flows into wonder-filled songs from the soul. She further explains how knowledge of creation will help Christians to address the moral dilemmas of science, and she encourages all to see the process of scientific inquiry as a means to discover God’s truth.

 

A Lively God

In today's video, Rev. Lincoln Harvey discusses our desire to "domesticate" the liveliness and abundance of God. Harvey notes that the Trinity highlights both the manyness and oneness of God, which can be hard to Christians to fully understand.

 

Science or sola Scriptura?

So, for Driscoll, the choice is a simple dichotomy: Scripture or science. Scripture is the highest court of authority in all matters, and the role of believing scientists is to affirm Scripture. To fail to do so is to “exchange the truths of Scripture for the truths of science”.

 

Series: The Truthfulness of Scripture: Inerrancy (3 entries)

This series by Michael Horton first appeared in the March/April 2010 issue of Modern Reformation. Horton begins by pointing out that the concept of inerrancy goes back to the ancient Church, but was most clearly developed by Princeton theologians A.A. Hodge and B.B. Warfield in their 1881 book, Inspiration. These men emphasized that the Holy Spirit worked through limited human authors in a centuries-long process to produce the Bible. Hodge and Warfield defined inerrancy not as the absence of technical errors but as the truthfulness in what the biblical writers were affirming.

 

B.B. Warfield, Biblical Inerrancy, and Evolution

During the late 19th century when critical views of Scripture came to prevail in American universities, Warfield was responsible for refurbishing the conviction that the Bible communicates revelation from God entirely without error. Yet while he defended biblical inerrancy, Warfield was also a cautious, discriminating, but entirely candid proponent of the possibility of evolution.

 

God's Use of Time

I find that when many Christians think about the way God created our universe, they often bring a static expectation similar to what we bring to an ordinary statue. It’s as if we assume the physical realm were merely a rigid three-dimensional sculpture, immovable with time.

 

Understanding the Human Dimension of Scripture

Old Princeton and the Dutch Calvinists understood that the human dimension of Scripture—which pervades Scripture thoroughly—is not merely tolerable of a divine book, but a necessary component of what inspiration means.

 

B. B. Warfield and the “Human Side” of the Bible

With Christ, his humanity is essential to who he is. Likewise, the Bible’s “human side” is an essential part of what Scripture is, and recognizing this has practical implications.

 

Series: John Polkinghorne on Natural Theology (5 entries)

Polkinghorne discusses the origins and aims of natural theology in this series. It does not offer truth, but rather a “best explanation” for the world, answering primarily meta-questions. Two such questions asked by Polkinghorne are, “Why is science possible at all?” and “What makes the universe so special?” To explore the answers, he looks at the ability of human minds to penetrate mysteries of the natural world as well as the fine-tuning of the universe necessary to produce the fruitfulness of life.

 

No Slippery Slopes

In this video Conversation, Joel Hunter addresses the “slippery slope” argument supported by many evangelicals and suggests that not only is this perspective flawed, but it also may prevent believers from appreciating the fullness of God’s creation.

 

Inerrancy vs. Liberalism

In this video Conversation, Hunter explains that a view of scripture as the “inerrant Word of God” means that God is inerrant, not that the person interpreting the Bible is inerrant.

 

An Incarnational Model of Scripture

The Bible is no more a book dropped out of the sky than Jesus is some superman who flew down from heaven. Instead, just as Jesus is “God incarnate,” both divine and human, the Bible is a book that speaks God’s word and reflects the thoughts, ideas, and worldviews of the human authors.

 

Crabby Christians or Nebulous Data?

Scientists who confront Bible-believing Christians with the physical evidence of theologically-challenging views like old-earth geology or common ancestry are usually incredulous when their well-crafted and well-supported arguments fall on deaf ears. How can something so obvious to one person be so easily dismissed by another?

 

How are the ages of the Earth and universe calculated?

Many independent measurements have established that the Earth and the universe are billions of years old. Geologists have found annual layers in glaciers that can be counted back 740,000 years. Using the known rate of change in radio-active elements (radiometric dating), some Earth rocks have been shown to be billions of years old, while the oldest solar system rocks are dated at 4.6 billion years. Astronomers use the distance to galaxies and the speed of light to calculate that the light has been traveling for billions of years. The expansion of the universe gives an age for the universe as a whole: 13.7 billion years old.
(Updated April 16, 2012)

 

Multiple Lines of Evidence for an Old Universe

Astronomers have many different methods for measuring the age of various objects in the universe, and they all support ages of billions of years, not thousands. Even if the assumptions of one or two methods were faulty, it is highly unlikely that all of the methods would be affected.

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