The "God" of the Big Bang is NOT the God of the Bible!

by Tim Chaffey

     It is becoming increasingly popular for apologetics ministries to cite the Big Bang theory as evidence or proof for the existence of the God of the Bible.  This is not necessarily a new phenomenon since Dr. Hugh Ross has been doing this for years in his lectures, books, and website.  Unfortunately, it seems to be gaining momentum and many well-known apologists are falling for it, including John Ankerberg, Lee Strobel, and Norman Geisler.[1]  There are several problems with this approach. 

     First, there is a real danger in claiming that the Bible is consistent with the Big Bang (or worse - to say, as some do, that the Bible TEACHES the Big Bang).  The Bible is the Word of God and does not change.  The Big Bang theory changes regularly.  Hugh Ross used to claim that the universe was 17 billion years old (give or take 3 billion years).[2]  Last Summer (2004), Ross claimed that scientists now know the universe is 13.7 billion years old - this is 300 million years outside of his previous "known" range.  In addition, many astronomers have posited different ages for the earth ranging from 7 - 20 billion years.  So which one does the Bible "teach?"  Ross is forced to reinterpret the Bible every time the theory changes.

     Second, the Big Bang theory does not provide evidence for the God of the Bible.  At best, the Big Bang posits a beginning to the universe and therefore, a Beginner (although Carl Sagan and Isaac Asimov popularized the oscillating universe idea[3]) but this in no way proves the biblical account.  The Muslim could make the exact same claim.  So does the Big Bang theory support the belief that Allah created everything? 

     Third, the Bible does not need us to invent or use fallacious evidence to support its claims.  Claiming that the Big Bang supports the Bible would be similar to saying that we have proof of Jesus' resurrection because He appeared to Caesar after He rose from the dead.  Of course, nothing in history and nothing in the Bible supports this and we certainly do not believe He did.  We already have an enormous amount of evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ, why should we try to embellish it by adding a fallacious claim?  This is exactly what these men are doing.  There is enough scientific evidence to support the Bible without adding the Big Bang theory to the mix.  What happens if and/or when scientists stop believing in the Big Bang and come up with a new theory?  Many evolutionists are already doing just that!  (Click here for an open letter to the scientific community signed by scores of Ph.D. scientists).

     Finally, and most importantly, the Bible just does NOT support the Big Bang theory nor does the Big Bang theory support the Bible.  Those who make this claim are either ignorant of the facts or worse, deceitful.  It is hard to give these men a pass since they are usually extremely biblically literate.  They should know better.  A few examples should suffice to support our contention:

    1) In his Systematic Theology: Volume One, Norman Geisler makes the following claims:

        a) The Bible teaches that everything came into existence in the "exact order that modern science" has discovered.  He goes on to list this order: "the universe came first, then the earth, then the land and sea.  After this came life in the sea, then land animals, and finally, last of all, human beings."[4]  While the Bible certainly does teach this order, Geisler's comments are misleading.  First, when the Bible teaches that "God created the heavens and the earth" (Gen 1: 1), this does not include the sun, moon, and stars since these were made on the fourth day (Gen 1: 14 - 19).  The Big Bang theory states that the sun evolved before the earth while the Bible teaches that the earth came first.  Second, Geisler conveniently leaves out the creation of birds on the fifth day.  This messes with the evolutionary belief of many scientists since they believe birds evolved from land animals (reptiles).  There is no way to reconcile this with the biblical account without ignoring or twisting Scripture.

        b) On pages 300 - 301 of the same book, Geisler implies that belief in a six day creation is tantamount to believing that the sun orbits the earth.  He cites Martin Luther's strong belief in the scientific accuracy as an example.  Luther wrongly believed in a geocentric solar system and used Joshua's account of the long day (10: 12) as evidence.  However, neither Joshua nor any other biblical author makes a statement that undoubtedly teaches geocentricity.  Geisler proceeds to add one of Luther's comments about a six day creation as if this is as ludicrous as believing in geocentricity.  Not only is this a case of comparing apples to oranges, it is misleading because it assumes that science has proven a six day creation to be wrong - which it has not. 

    2) Dr. Hugh Ross repeatedly makes the claim that life COULD NOT exist unless the universe was about 14 billion years old.[5]  Yet Dr. Ross is well aware of the Bible's teaching of a new heavens and new earth.  He does not believe this will take billions of years to create.  If God can and will create this new place instantaneously (or at least in a short time) then why could He not do this with the original creation?  Dr. Ross routinely places limits on God which God has not placed on Himself.  Dr. Ross claims that the "transcendent Creator is at least a trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion times more intelligent than the people at Cal Tech."[6]  While this sounds impressive it is demeaning to the God who is INFINITELY more intelligent than any person.  Those who believe in a young earth are often ridiculed for limiting God; however, the shoe is actually on the other foot.  We limit ourselves to taking God at His Word.  According to Dr. Ross, it is impossible for God to have created everything in six days of approximately 24 hours each - even though His Word clearly teaches that He did.  Who is really placing limits on God? 

     The Bible does not imply or teach the Big Bang theory.  It states very plainly that God created everything in the span of six literal days of approximately 24 hours each (Gen 1, Ex 20: 11; 31: 17 - 18).  Any attempt to compromise this teaching produces serious theological errors.  Christians need to learn to trust in God's Word because "it is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man" (Psalm 118: 8).  God says what He means and means what He says - let's not add man's fallible and changing opinions to His perfect Word.

[1] We are not in any way questioning the faith, dedication, and godliness of these men.  In fact, we believe that much of their work is extremely helpful.  Nor are we saying that these men believe in a different God, we are simply pointing out their use of a poor argument in their efforts to defend the faith.  We pray that anyone who reads our writings would do the same for us if/when we use poor arguments (Proverbs 27: 17).

[2] Cited by Mark Van Bebber and Paul S. Taylor in Creation and Time, Eden Communications, 1994, p. 109.

[3] This view states that a series of Big Bangs occurs every 20 - 100 billion years and that the universe is eternal.  Scientifically, this untenable since the amount of usable energy in the universe is decreasing.  Philosophically, this view fails because if matter were eternal then an infinite number of days would have to be traversed before today.  It is impossible to traverse an infinite number of days; therefore, there must be a beginning and a Beginner to “begin” the universe. 

[4] Norman L. Geisler, Systematic Theology: Volume One (Bethany House: Minneapolis, MN 2002) p. 545.  Midwest Apologetics greatly appreciates this book and Dr. Geisler's efforts but must take issue with these statements.

[5] I have heard Dr. Ross say this on several occasions.  He made this claim in a debate with Dr. Kent Hovind on the John Ankerberg Show and also at the ID 2004 Conference in Highlands, NC in June 2004, which I attended and have a DVD copy of the talk.  

[6] See previous footnote on ID 2004 Conference.


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