Tough Topic #1: The Big Bang Theory
A couple of years ago, as I drove past a very large and well-attended suburban church, the sermon title announced on the marquee caught my attention:
Big Bang? Or Big Bust?
The negative tone of that title seemed out of place. After all, I knew that the congregation who would be hearing that sermon included many educated people. It is a group well-sprinkled with students and faculty members from local colleges and universities. Wouldn't such a sermon title seem a bit anti-intellectual to such a congregation? Doesn't that title imply that the Big Bang theory is wrong and that it conflicts somehow with those things a good Christian should believe?
I later learned that the main source of the sermon was a Creationist document published online by Acts III Global Ministries. In a section entitled "Big Bang or Big Bust" there is a full scale attack on the Big Bang Theory that makes it crystal clear that the spokesperson for this ministry considers the theory as thoroughly anti-Christian and even as an a sneaky attempt to replace Christianity with a false religion: "An entire book could be written on the flaws, controversies and cover-ups associated with this religious belief system [i.e., the Big Bang Theory] masquerading as science." (The bracketed material is mine.)
Dear me! I must have missed something when I learned about the Big Bang. Until I saw that aggressive sermon title on the mega-church marquee, I never even suspected that the Big Bang was a Tough Topic. As the sermon title suggests, however, it's a Tough Topic for some Christian people; so let's begin our study of Tough Topics with the Big Bang.
What the Theory Actually Says
As better and better telescopes became available in the 20th Century, astronomers became aware that the observable universe is expanding.
Questions for Class Discussion:
1. Does anything you know or have learned about the Big Bang Theory conflict with or agree with your most important religious beliefs? Try to boil your answer down to two sentences: one that states what you believe; and one which states how the Big Bang Theory is different.
2. "And God said, 'Let there be light!'" (Gen 1:3) It has been said that the Genesis passage is consistent with the Big Bang Theory. Can you think of other scriptures that agree with or conflict with the theory?
Acts III Global Ministries. "Big Bang or Big Bust," Apologetics, a website at
http://www.acts3.org/books/apologetics/chapter_4.htm. Accessed on
May 16, 2007.