Friday, December 10, 2010

Cosmology in Genesis

    As we look into the first book of the Bible at the very beginning we read of God creating the heaven and the earth. I was recently reading a booklet by a good man who (I was surprised to find) believes in the gap theory. Part of his argument was that the first two verses cannot be a summery of the creation week but that they fall before the rest of the creation chronologically. I have never seen a gap in these first verses and there is not one there. But, I do agree that this describes God creating the heaven and earth and then the chapter goes on to describe what God did in the rest of that first week.
    At this point in the creation the earth is the central object in the heaven for we read of no other object. The Spirit of God is there though, and He is moving on the face of the dark, unformed, and void earth. God said, "let there be light." and there was light. I think that the source of this light is God Himself for several reasons. First, God divided the light from the darkness just as later the sun divided the light from the darkness. Second, God will be the source of light in the new Jerusalem when they no longer need the sun. Third, the sun is a type of Christ in passages like Malachi 4. Forth, this source of light was all the earth's light throughout all the creation until just before things were created that could see, when it was replaced with the sun. John says, "No man hath seen God at any time." I think God replaced Himself with the sun right then so as not to be seen by any creature on earth. Also, fitting with this, something must have been moving for the morning and evening and God was moving so as He divided the light from the darkness there would be morning and evening. In accordance with this, the Bible speaks of the sun (our current light) rising, going down, and running a circuit.
    On day two we read of God creating the firmament to divide the waters from the waters. Anyone I've talked to just assumes that the earth is near the center of this firmament. I think that one should show that it is otherwise if he is to make a good case against this assumption. But, what's the point if the firmament is our atmosphere? The next place we read of the firmament is on day four when God made the sun, moon, and stars and put them in firmament! If the firmament is where the stars are, then the birds are still inside the firmament just as it says on day five. Am I saying that there is water outside outer space and earth is at the center? Yes! If this is true, then the universe is finite rather than infinite as some have suggested; and there is a center, it is not acentric as many now postulate.
     At this point we shall move over day three since it seems insignificant to the topic of cosmology. On day four God made the sun, moon, and stars around the earth which already existed. It does not tell us they were even around earth in the center; nor does it tell us otherwise. It would appear (if we knew nothing of cosmology and had just started looking for it in the Bible) that the earth was in the center of the universe and the lights were created for earth and moved around it. I'd like to look at some other topics in Genesis 1, but for now, I'll conclude these thoughts. 
      Genesis starts off telling us of the creation of the universe and it would seem the earth was stable in the center. The rest of scripture fits with this perfectly and reinforces it. I could take time and make history and science fit with this too but is the Bible really that clear? You could certainly take the current teachings about the universe and find the Bible to fit with them too, so can you make a solid case from scripture? Everyone must start somewhere and I'd contend that the Bible should be our starting point on all matters. So often we conform to just what our culture is saying about science, the family, the government, and so much else and then we read the Bible without taking thought that our minds need to be renewed.

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