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Universe

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Hubble Ultra Deep Field

The universe is the whole cosmic system of matter and energy of which Earth is a part. It is all existing matter and space considered as a whole.

The word comes from the Latin universus, which has historically been used to mean the 'whole world'. Some have argued that the word means "one body of words" and assert that it is a reference to the cosmos as being derived from the Word of God.[1] However, traditional etymology shows the term to be derived from the Latin roots unus "one" and versus meaning "turned". Hence it has come to be used as "turned into one" as in whole or indivisible.[2] Lucretius is said to have first used the contraction in the sense "everything rolled into one".[3]

Contents

Universal Creationism

Universal creationism is the doctrine or belief that the universe was created by God out of no pre-existent entity. The view is thus philosophically opposed to all forms of evolutionism or pantheism. Universal creationism is a fundamental tenet of the major monotheistic religions.

Origin of the universe

The only cosmogony that mentions the absolute origin of the universe is found in the Bible and writings based on it. All other cosmogonies begin with the space-time-matter universe existing in primeval form, then try to speculate how it "evolved" to its present state. The Bible tells us God created the universe (the heavens and the earth) "in the beginning" (Genesis 1:1 ). It also tells us the pre-existent Jesus Christ, "the image of the invisible God," was the one who created and now sustains everything (Colossians 1:15-17 ).

The first verse of the book of Genesis — "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" — is unique in all religion, science, and philosophy. It alone records the special creation of the space–time universe. Space (part of "the heavens"), time ("in the beginning"), and matter ("the earth") make up the space-time-matter continuum that forms the universe. Journalism teachers worldwide have taught this verse to their students as a superb example of a first sentence of a news report. This is because it answers the questions who (God), what (God created), when (in the beginning), and where (heaven and earth) in only 10 words.

Pre-existing material or spoke into existence

The word "created" (Hebrew bara) does not in itself preclude the use of pre-existing material when God created the universe, although this passage does not mention or imply any. Yet Hebrews 11:3 seems to rule out pre-existing material when it says "the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear". Scientist and Bible scholar Dr. Henry Morris said this verse makes belief in theistic evolution (the idea that evolution is God’s method of creation) "an oxymoron." Only special creation of the worlds, carried out by God’s "Let it be" command, can account for the things that are seen.

Universe structure

The main items of the universe are galaxies, stars and stellar groupings, and nebulae (clouds of interstellar gas and dust). Smaller inhabitants include the solar system and various assemblages of planets, comets, satellites, asteroids, and meteoroids. The universe also contains gravitational fields and various forms of radiation.

Age of the Universe

Main Article: Cosmic chronology

The Bible explicitly dates the universe as being the same age as the Earth and just over 6000 years old. In fact, according to the Bible, all other celestial bodies are slightly younger than the Earth. At the moment the Earth was created there were no other planets, stars, comets, or other such bodies in the universe. None of these came into existence until the fourth day of the Creation Week (See: Genesis Chapter 1). There is indeed much evidence to support the contention that our solar system, galaxies and even that the entirety of the universe is very young.

In contrast, secular scientists date the universe as being approximately 13.7 billion years using standard cosmologies [4]. The universe is believed to have begun with a cosmic inflation known as the Big Bang, which is then followed by the formation of stars, planets, and galaxies. Based on this chronology the Earth is believed to have formed after our Sun and is dated to be near 4.6 billion years old.

Evolution

Evolutionary ages for the universe have varied wildly over the years. Evolutionist astronomers recently added two billion years to evolution’s speculative age, bumping the age up from 13.7 billion years to 15.8 billion years. [5]

Creation

Despite the small variations among Bible scholars, when proper Bible exegesis is done, it is obvious from the account of earth’s history recorded in the Bible that the age of the universe is in the thousands, not billions, of years.

Biblical Implications However, an approximate age for the earth and the universe can be estimated from dates and time-frames within the Bible. The main indicators are these:

  1. Genesis 1 gives the time from the universe’s creation to man’s creation.
  2. Genesis 5 supplies chronological details from the first man’s creation to the worldwide Flood of Noah’s day.
  3. Genesis 11 gives the chronology from the Flood to the time of Abraham.
  4. The historical books of the Old Testament supply chronological information from the time of Abraham to the captivity.
  5. The chronology of the captivity and restoration can be worked out from some of the prophetic books (principally Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Daniel) and the post-captivity historical books of Ezra and Nehemiah.
  6. The intertestament period chronology comes from secular records and the chronology implicit in the "seventy weeks" prophecy of Daniel 9 .

The most famous chronology based on these data is that of Irish Archbishop James Ussher. Ussher calculated the date of creation as 4004 BC, which puts the age of the universe and the earth at slightly more than 6000 years. As noted above, there are problems in arriving at an exact date for the universe’s creation. But Ussher did at least use the biblical data to arrive at his date, and many other calculations come close to his date.[6]

Other Biblical Dates Apart from the Bible, early written records of great civilizations extend back no further than around 3000 BC. Before that there are no written records.

Other dates calculated for the Creation are

Purpose

God claims to have created the heavenly bodies for several purposes.

To Tell Time

God created the heavenly bodies as a means to discern seasons, days and years (Genesis 1:14 ). The stellar heavens represent (compared to the Earth) over 90 percent of human perception of reality. Secularists claim that the stars are so far away that their light has taken millions of years to arrive, meaning of course that the light we see does not represent here-and-now reality. If the light from the Sun requires some eight minutes to arrive, then even the Sun is not being represented by light in a here-and-now reality. In short, the entire cosmos is not representing reality, but a false reality. As God's affinity for leveraging Time for his glory is replete through Scripture, for secularists to reduce the cosmos to an "ongoing falsehood" is an insult to God's nature, his purposes through time and his intention for the heavens to bless mankind with a peaceful means to track time. Considering that all mankind, in all timeframes and all locations has been obsessed with measuring time for the duration of history, the concept of time is intrinsically important to all humans. As man is made in God's image, we may quickly presume that Time is very significant to God as well.

To Give Light

During the Creation Week, God describes his actions with the Sun and Moon, the two most proximate heavenly bodies for mankind to consider. These would provide light (Genesis 1:14-18 ) during the day and during the night. God wanted mankind to understand God's own nature through light, as God is the Father of lights (James 1:17 ). We are also warned of the counterfeit nature of Satan's deceptions (an "angel of light")(2 Corinthians 11:14 ), that he will mimic the Father in every way in order to distract or deflect a human mind from fellowship with God.

To Glorify God

In every case where stars are mentioned in Scripture, they are used to elicit an appreciation for God's holiness and his provision. Humans glorify God upon the fulfillment of a promise, just as God promised Abraham that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in heaven (Genesis 15:5 ). Humans glorify God when they understand his might and his ability to provide. "The heavens declare the glory of God" (Psalm 19:1-6 ). God uses the heavenly bodies to glorify his son Jesus Christ, who is likened to the Sun, a bridegroom (Psalm 19:1-6 ).

To Precede the Second Coming of Jesus Christ

Jesus asserted that in the times immediately preceding his physical return to Earth, the "heavens will be shaken" (Luke 21:26 ) and men's "hearts would fail them for fear."

In both Matthew(Chap 24) and Luke(Chap 21) Christ provides a rich description of the events surrounding his Return. The primary heavenly disruptions visible to man are supernovae, the destruction of a star. The few of these on record have been depicted as bright enough to see during daylight hours. As secularists claim that supernovae are rare, theologians have sometimes described these words to mean supernovae that cover the sky from end-to-end. Primarily because this would be enough to cause "men's hearts to fail them for fear."

References

  1. Word Study: Universe by Tentmaker Ministries
  2. Online Etymology Dictionary
  3. Universe: Etymology, synonyms and definitions by Wikipedia
  4. Wright, Edward L. "Age of the Universe." July 2, 2005. Accessed July 4, 2008.
  5. "2 billion years added to age of universe." WorldNetDaily, August 5, 2006. Accessed March 8, 2008.
  6. The forgotten archbishop by Larry Pierce, Creation 20(2):42–43, March 1998.
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