Guest / Limited Access /
Bigger Than We Think
Image: Illustration by Keith Negley
Bigger Than We Think

It was a moment of crisis in my faith. As a young doctoral student in astrophysics, I had just read some work by Stephen Hawking that would eventually go into his classic A Brief History of Time. Up to this point in my Christian life, I had relied on a solid argument to use with my atheist friends. In response to, "The universe began with a Big Bang," I countered with, "But who started it all off—who lit the explosion?" And at the time, science seemed to support my answer: There was no way to combine quantum theory and relativity and therefore no way of describing the first moment of the universe.

Hawking, however, was speculating on how the universe might have lit its own Big Bang. If that was true, did I need a Creator anymore? I asked Sir Robert Boyd, a leading physicist and Christian, about whether Hawking might be wrong. Sir Robert simply replied, "The biblical Creator doesn't need to hide in little gaps in science."

The Christian doctrine of Creation has often been hijacked by controversies over how old the universe is. It has been hollowed out by the theory that God simply ignites the universe and then goes off for a cup of coffee, never touching his masterwork again. It is interesting that attacks on belief in a Creator, whether from Hawking, Richard Dawkins's The God Delusion, or Lawrence M. Krauss's recent A Universe from Nothing, tend to target this diminished deity. But the Bible has a much bigger understanding of God as Creator. Not only does the doctrine of Creation feature in Scripture beyond just Genesis 1, God's creative activity permeates every moment of the history of the universe.

My Hawking-induced crisis of faith spurred me to move beyond ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedDo Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God?
Subscriber Access Only Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God?
Our ability to live together in peace, argues theologian Miroslav Volf, depends on how we answer the question.
TrendingWhy Are There Only 53 Christians Among America’s 2,184 Syrian Refugees?
Why Are There Only 53 Christians Among America’s 2,184 Syrian Refugees?
Amid claims of discrimination, World Relief points to other explanations.
Editor's PickThe Colonists’ New Religious Mystery
The Colonists’ New Religious Mystery
Sorry, Pilgrims: Jamestown’s spiritual life is suddenly much more fascinating.
Christianity Today
Bigger Than We Think
hide thisMarch March

In the Magazine

March 2013

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.