Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. The tough thing for astronomers is the question of ultimate cause. What was there before the Big Bang? Only by revelation can we touch the infinite and learn the answer. Today, the Bible sheds some brilliant light on how all we see around us came to be.
Stay with us. From the Moody Church in Chicago, this is Running to Win with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Pastor Lutzer, the new James Webb Space Telescope is rattling many astronomers' preconceptions. It's finding that the Big Bang may never have occurred. You know, Dave, when I think of the telescopes and when I think of all that scientists have done to explore the universe, it is simply mind-boggling.
I'm told that there are as many stars in the universe as there are grains of sand on the seashores of the world, trillions upon trillions upon trillions. And yet God created all of these instantly. You know, the idea that the world began and the universe began out of nothing. And in my book entitled Seven Reasons Why You Can Trust the Bible, I quote a scientist who actually said that, absolute nonsense. We have good reasons to believe in creation, to believe in the creative God, and we have good reason to believe that he spoke to us.
For a gift of any amount, this book can be yours, Seven Reasons Why You Can Trust the Bible, go to rtwoffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. As you've heard me say before, we have a sure word from outside the universe, the creator of the universe, who also dwells among us, God of very God. How do you think it all got started anyway? How did it all begin?
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Ever since the 1920s, when Edwin Hubble, who graduated incidentally from the University of Chicago here, discovered and confirmed that the universe is constantly expanding. And when you think of that expansion, just imagine a balloon and on the balloon take a marker and draw some galaxies and then blow the balloon up.
You'll notice that the galaxies are not only going farther away from the center, but farther apart from each other. That's the way the universe is. The conclusion that scientists came to is that indeed, there was a moment in which the universe was, quote, created, was created.
But how do you think you handle that if you're not a believer? Let me read from the Young Oxford Book of Astronomy that is used in schools, secular schools, as an astronomy textbook. At the very beginning of the universe, all matter and all radiation were concentrated into a tiny region of space much smaller than the nucleus of a single atom. The theory that the universe has expanded from next to nothing into its current immensity relies on the assumption that the redshifts of galaxies are caused by motion away from us.
Now catch this. By the time the universe was about a millionth of a second old, much of the energy had been converted into protons. In the next milliseconds, electrons formed and these collided with protons to make neutrons. Neutrons survived only a thousand seconds as independent particles, so the next few minutes were critical, exclamation point.
During the first quarter of an hour, the protons reacted with the neutrons, which were fast decaying to make the nuclear helium atoms. In a race against time, as the universe continued to cool and expand, the universe managed to convert. Well, I won't go on reading.
It all expanded a moment of time from next to nothing. Wow. What does the tribune say?
Yesterday's tribune. You know that the evolutionists had a conference here in Chicago last week. Joel Primack, a professor of physics at the University of California at Santa Cruz, pointed out one unresolved mystery right at the birth of the universe. Physicists, Primack said, have recently realized that the basic forces of nature split off from one unified force for a few moments after the Big Bang more than 15 billion years ago.
That splitting could have happened in many different ways, only a few of which would have resulted in inhabitable planets such as the Earth. Humans seemed to have hit the jackpot in a cosmic Las Vegas, Primack said, leaving room for the possibility that some divine providence was responsible for our luck. I have to be impressed by all the coincidences, he said. So we hit the jackpot.
That's how it all happened. Edward Tryon, professor of physics at the University of New York, said years ago that he proposed that the universe created itself by a spontaneous action, ex nihilo, that is out of nothing. And he says this proposal variously struck people as preposterous, enchanting or both.
I would say not enchanting but preposterous, yes, very preposterous. You know, I used to believe that if you could convince scientists that evolution was impossible, not just improbable, but impossible, that they would change their views. Wouldn't that be a natural assumption? If science, if all the laws of science are against it, the fact that all matter, for example, disintegrates into randomness rather than complexity when left alone, unless it's directed by a mind, it never comes together in complexity but always disintegrates. If you could point out, for example, that out of nothing, nothing can come. If you can show that intelligence is something that could not have arisen on its own, why then they would all decide to say yes, indeed evolution is false, it's contrary to science. I used to think that until I read a book and actually part of an article by Philip Johnson who has written an excellent book about this and what he has shown is the reason we've had. Have you ever wondered why it is that we see it so clearly that there had to be a God and the evolutionists just don't buy it no matter what scientific evidence is against evolution?
Have you ever wondered why? Listen to this evolutionist. He lets the cat out of the bag and Johnson has written an entire book to prove this thesis, namely that the commitment of atheistic evolution is not first of all to science, it is first of all to their presupposition that only matter exists and there is no God.
Listen to this. An evolutionist, Lew Oten, is writing, we take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of the constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance in the scientific community for unsubstantiated just so stories. We do this because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but on the contrary, we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute for we cannot allow a divine foot in the door. The eminent Kant scholar Louis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured and miracles may happen. So we can't allow a divine foot in the door. It doesn't matter whether it's scientific or not. Finally, we have an explanation.
You know, we live in a great, marvelous time. If you're here today and you're a university student, you have advantages that many of us never had because many books are being written to show that evolution is unscientific. You know, I used to say that to believe in evolution, to believe that it all came together in one big bang without a God to create or to observe or to direct was about equivalent to believing that there was an explosion in a print factory and the result was a Webster's dictionary. Well, you know, that at least is theoretically possible, though not actually possible. But many evolutionists used to say that the chances—I read one mathematician who said it's 1 over 10 with 43 zeros—that was the chance, but it did happen. Nowadays people are saying that it doesn't even have that chance. You know, that would be another message, but people say, well, couldn't chance do it? No, chance can't do it. Not a chance.
Not a chance. Chance never has done anything. It's never created anything.
It's never produced anything. People totally misunderstand chance. Chance has gotten all kinds of publicity that it has never, never deserved.
Not a chance. And you have books written today by, for example, Be He has written a book, Darwin's Black Box, in which he takes the presuppositions of Darwinism and doesn't only show that it's improbable, but it is impossible. And so you live in an age when evolution is being discredited right and left.
Well, I have much better things to do today than to simply discredit evolution. As you know, this is another message in the series of seven reasons why I believe the Bible is God's word. And we come to the reason today, a scientific reason.
What I want you to do is to look at Genesis chapter 1, and I'm going to show you that Genesis chapter 1 is really the basis for science and the basis for observation and the study of science, which Christians not only should be involved in, but many people think it is Christianity itself which opened the door to the whole scientific enterprise. You need to understand that when God created, and he must have had, he must have had, if I could just use the word, he must have had some fun in doing it. By the word of the Lord were the heavens made and the host of them by the breath of his mouth. When God decided to create, he decided to go public. That's why the heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows his handiwork.
It's because God said, I just want to show what I'm able to do. And so what I decided to do today is to snoop through some scientific journals and spend some time in encyclopedias during the last couple of weeks, and I ended up with much more material than I could ever share with you. If this sermon was the length of time I'd want it to be, it would be a lot longer than you hoped it would be, I can assure you. But what I've done is I've taken all of this information and I've concentrated it into one small molecule, and possibly what will happen is a big bang, and suddenly it'll all be there. All right, with that introduction, notice, in the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. I want to speak very briefly about this planet called the earth.
You know, of course, that if you're driving a car and you're going 60 miles an hour, you know that you're speeding, or you know that you're moving along because you look out the window and you see the trees and the objects whiz by you. My dear friend today, sitting in this church in calmness, we are actually rotating around the sun 66,000 miles an hour. Only problem is that the atmosphere, well, it's not a problem. We can thank God that the atmosphere and everything else is coming with us, because if it weren't, we wouldn't be here discussing this particular interesting physical phenomenon. So we are rotating around the sun and the earth makes its journey around the sun 595 million miles every single year, and scientists know exactly, 365 days, 6 hours, 9 minutes, 9.4 seconds.
Wow. Then, in addition to that, you know that the world is spinning. It's like a baseball that's being thrown. The ball is maybe going 90 miles an hour, but the ball is spinning while it's going.
And we are doing that, of course, at about 1,000 miles an hour, revolving on its axis the earth is, and that's every 23 hours and so many minutes and so many seconds. Now the earth tilts in relationship to the sun at an angle of 23.5 degrees, and it's because of that that we get all of our seasons. Notice what the scripture says in verse 14 of Genesis chapter 1. Then God said, let there be lights in the expanse of the heaven to separate the day and the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and for years, and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth.
And it was so. And God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, the lesser light to govern the night. He made the stars also. He created the earth. He created the earth. And he created it, the Bible says, to be inhabited. And you look at these journals, and I've tried to get up to speed on a few of these things, but you know, of course, that those of us who usually study other matters, I was amazed at how the authors would write in these journals all of the things that were needed for life, all of the chemicals, all of the water, the carbon, all the things that needed to come together, and then they say that really this is not found with any certainty can we find it in any other place in the universe or know that it exists.
Parenthesis. Why all this excitement about that Martian rock that was found some time ago up in Antarctica, and the newspaper says this, quote, proves, proves that there were life on other planets. Now, if there's life on other planets, if God wanted to do that, you know, that'd be no big thing. It wouldn't destroy my faith. But why this rush to judgment when other scientists now are saying that that Martian rock actually counts against the possibility of life on other planets, now that they've had time to study it.
Why this anxiety to believe it? Paul Davies, who wrote a book entitled Are We Alone?, said it very clearly. He said many people cling to the belief that the origin of life required a divine act. But if life on Earth is not unique, the case for the miraculous origin of life would be undermined. And that's why they are so insistent that surely if it just happened by chance on our planet, it should happen by chance somewhere else in the universe.
Problem is, not just any old planet will do, and not any old sun and moon will do either. Let me say a few words about the moon. It's Earth's companion. The moon enjoys its journey, I'm sure it does, around the sun, because it follows us all the time, as you know. Next to the Earth, the moon would be a tennis ball in comparison to a basketball.
It's much smaller. Two forces continually balance it. You have gravity, and the gravity wants to pull the moon toward us, so it would crash against the Earth. But it is kept from doing that by its centrifugal force as it continues to travel around the Earth.
Think of it this way, we've all taken a ball, haven't we? And on it we've put a string, and then we've twirled that ball. If you can think of the string as representing the gravity to hold it close to us, the centrifugal force wants that ball to go in a straight line, to go off in the woods somewhere, but it is held there, it is held there by gravity. And yet, as a result of that centrifugal force and gravity working together, the moon always does its dance along with the Earth and stays as it orbits the sun in very, very predictable patterns. Now, I read two articles entitled The Earth Without the Moon. What would happen if, you know, when all the big bang happened, there was just no moon, the Earth just spun off? Well, what the scientists tell us is that the degrees, 23.3, which is responsible for our seasons, simply would not happen. The degrees would be changed and that would alter, tremendously alter life here on the Earth. And not only that, the speed of the rotation of the Earth would increase because the moon slows it down to bring it to the point where we have those 24 hour days. In short, if I were to take some of the paragraphs and read them to you, you would see that most of the scientists seem to be saying that if there were no moon, there could be no life.
Not just because we wouldn't have tides, but because the whole kilter of the Earth would be out of sync with what is needed for what we know life to be. By the way, when was the last time you thanked God for Jupiter? Any of you have thanked God for Jupiter recently? No, I haven't thanked God for Jupiter recently, at least.
I don't remember doing that. It is the largest planet in our solar system and you know what Jupiter does for us? Because of its huge gravity, it is much larger than the Earth and actually it spins with a great deal of power and force. Because of its gravity, all the comets, many of the comets that would hit the Earth are pulled off by Jupiter's gravity. One of the articles said that the Earth would constantly be pounded with comets were it not for Jupiter. So I thought, well, Lord, I've never done this before, but thank you for Jupiter. Thank you for Jupiter. What about the sun?
The Earth's volume would fit into the sun about a million times. It's 400 times further away than the moon, of course, 93 million miles, and light hustles here. And by the way, let's give light credit for hustling. You know, we may say, well, you know, light doesn't go too fast. That's why it takes so long, 186,000 miles a second. That's about around the Earth, seven times or so every second.
I think that that's hustling. I really do. And notice eight minutes it takes it to come from the sun, and the light comes from its layer 300 miles thick, 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. If it were closer, we would burn. If it were further away, we would freeze. Aren't you glad that the sun isn't like some of the other stars that are constantly fading in and out?
They glow for a while and then over a period of maybe 200 days, they begin to disappear and then they begin to come back. How would you like it if you woke up in the morning and the sun was fading away day by day for 200 days, it kept fading away. Even if it came to full strength later, it'd be too late for us.
We'd all be frozen. But that sun is there every single day, even when we can't see it. It is there with such consistency. Thank the Lord for the sun. One of the articles said that.02,.02% of the stars have some of the properties that the sun have that may be able to sustain life. And then there are others who say that there's no possibility that the other stars have actually the kinds of properties that the sun has to sustain life. Very, very special.
Very, very unique. So the sun, the moon, and the earth, they do this dance and they have it all in relationship to themselves with such accuracy that scientists can predict with accuracy the exact day, the exact moment of an eclipse because it all runs. What does the Bible say in the book of Isaiah? Who has created all these things who brings out their hosts by number because he is great in power, not one faileth. And what he's saying is, God, you put this all together and the scripture says he made the sun to rule the day, the moon to rule the night, and there it is. I need to speak about the stars. This is almost amusing to me when it says in the last part of verse 16, he made the stars also. It's just tossed in, just as if, well, you know, no big deal, but I just happened to make the stars also.
That was just, you know, took a word and it was done. Stars. The sun is a star, but the next closest star is 250,000 times farther away than the sun. Takes light four years to get here, hustling at 186,000 miles a second. And then you begin to think of this fact, four years for light to get here.
I can't even think about that. You know, my friend, if you have children or grandchildren, you know that they can ask some very difficult questions. One of our grandchildren said to me, Papa, is the universe as big as God or is God bigger than the universe or does he just make himself fit in?
How would you like to answer that question? Well, I tried to help her to understand that God is so great, so much beyond anything that we can comprehend. And as far as we know, the universe just is as expansive as God. But who knows? All that we know is we serve an awesome creator. But the good news is we also believe that he has revealed himself. And that's why I've written a book entitled Seven Reasons Why You Can Trust the Bible.
One of those reasons is the scientific reason, which of course we discussed on running to win today. Now, for a gift of any amount, this book can be yours. Simply go to RTWOffer.com. That's RTWOffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Now, I'm going to be giving you that contact info again because I know what it's like to receive information and you don't have a pencil or a pen in your hand. But let me thank you in advance for helping us because together as a result of your support, Running to Win is in 20 different countries, in four different languages, and of course we are heard around the world thanks to the internet and thanks to you. Here's what you do. Go to RTWOffer.com.
Of course RTWOffers, all one word, or call us at 1-888-218-9337. You can write to us at Running to Win, 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60614. Running to Win comes to you from the Moody Church in Chicago. Next time, why the consistency of natural law points to a divine designer making sure the universe runs as it should. Thanks for listening. For Pastor Erwin Lutzer, this is Dave McAllister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
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