Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Man's Ideas or God's Word?

     Today we have an increasing number of satellites and people going to space. I assume we have more money being spent than ever and more men working astronomy related jobs. When modern astronomers make calculations they sometimes use a geocentric model and other times a heliocentric one, out of convenience.  From what I can tell, most PhD. astronomers and astrophysicists believe in some relativistic model of the universe.  Though there are some, even that work for NASA, who believe in a geocentric universe.  The general populace though, is taught of a heliocentric solar system.  In spite of this fact, polls show that about 1 out of 5 people in America and Britain believe that the earth does not move.
     We are often given the idea that the battle between belief in a geocentric or heliocentric universe, was fought and settled four centuries ago.  As I've studied though, I have found that even though the general attitude switched from a geocentric to a heliocentric model of the universe after Copernicus and Galileo, ever since the topic has still been debated, and for a couple millenia before that as well. 
     Introductory materials on this topic often contrast Kepler's Renaissance model with the Greek philosopher Ptolemy's geocentric model.  This is somewhat erroneous, because some of the best astronomers at the time of Copernicus were developing current geocentric models and and when Aristotle and Ptolemy were refining geocentrism another Greek astronomer, Aristarchus, developed the first recorded heliocentric model.  Yet, Jason Lisle says Ptolmey's model can predict planetary motion as well as Kepler's. I do not want to bore you with long tales about cosmology through the ages, I do not think it necessary to examine to many details since what people believed does not change reality and also since many of these astronomers were pagan Greeks, Babylonians, Indians, and Muslims.
     Before any of these models of the universe came out, people must have either believed that the earth was stationary while the sun moved or that the earth had motion which caused the sun to appear to rise instead.  I suppose it's possible that they just didn't think anything about it, but I think most of them just assumed that the sun was moving while the earth was still, because unless you are taught otherwise, that is the way things seem to be. 
     When we consider the heavens, we should think, "What is man?"  People form great models and philosophical systems, and then pass away as the grass.  All the while the earth remaineth and the sun and moon continue.  Man thinks he is smart, and studies things out (which he should do), yet we are minuscule beings compared to the universe.  On the other hand, the universe cannot contain God.  Godknows all and God was before there were any heavens or earth, and He only had to speak to create them. 
     As we look at scientific theories throughout history, they are constantly being modified and changed.  The only reason the science of our day appears absolute, is that we may not live long enough to see it change!  The Bible on the other hand, does not change, for God has preserved it and will do so forever.  If we really want to know for certain if the universe is geocentric, heliocentric, or accentric, we need to find what the Bible teaches, if it teaches something on this issue. 
     I've looked at Genesis 1 and I believe it tells of a geocentric universe.  But what does the rest of Scripture say?  Ecclesiastes 1:5 says, "The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose."  If God wanted to tell us that the sun moves around earth, would this not be plain enough?  Did God speak this way because of the people's beliefs while the Bible also tells of so many scientific truths that the people of the time were ignorant of?   If one looks at the verses before and after this verse they are speaking very literally, so what gives us the right to say that this one is not? 
     Psalm 19 says that the sun "is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race."  Is this a good description of a stationary object that you are moving around?  Any races I have seen, the ones racing are the ones moving, while the observers are sitting still.  II Peter 3:5 refers to the earth as standing like as Joshua says the sun stood when it stopped.  The end of Psalm 93:1 says, "The world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved." 
     If you do a simple search in your concordance you can find numerous mentions of the suns motion, while you will find none indicating that earth turns on an axis or moves around the sun. You will also find a few verses which indicate that earth is not moving.  Is it sound hermeneutics to not allow these verses to indicate anything cosmological?
     The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. -Psalm 19:7-9

No comments:

Post a Comment