An event more amazing than the solar eclipse

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An event more amazing than the solar eclipse

May 22, 2012 -

Sunday’s “ring of fire” solar eclipse made global headlines, but an even more impressive event is coming.  On June 5 (June 6 in much of the Eastern Hemisphere), Venus will cross the sun’s face, appearing to us as a tiny, slow-moving black dot.  Why is this event, called the “Venus transit,” so significant?  Because it won’t occur again for 105 years.

What excites people about such phenomena?  The editor of Sky & Telescope explained: “This can get people to look up from their little anthill lives, and maybe get a sense of the bigger cosmic cycles that are going on all the time over our heads.”  “Little anthill lives” is unkind, but the editor makes a better theological point than he may know.

Does a spectacular sunset move you on a deeper level than you can express in words?  Is there something about creation that points your soul to a Creator in the same way a painting reveals its painter?  King David claimed that “the heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Psalm 19:1).  What do they tell us?

The design of the universe is stunning.  To picture an atom, enlarge an orange to the size of the Earth; its atoms would then be the size of cherries.  To see the nucleus of that cherry-size atom, enlarge it to the size of the Astrodome; its nucleus would then be the size of a grain of salt.  The size of the universe defies comprehension as well: you must travel at the speed of light for 14 billion years to reach the edge of the universe visible to telescopes on earth, yet God measures all of that with the palm of his hand (Isaiah 40:12).  If a watch requires a watchmaker, does a universe as complex and grand as ours require a Creator?

In a debate with atheist Kai Nielsen, Christian philosopher J. P. Moreland stated: “The chance possibilities of life arising spontaneously through mere chance has been calculated by Cambridge astronomer Fred Hoyle as being 1 x 10.40, which Hoyle likened to the probabilities of a tornado blowing through a junkyard and forming a Boeing 747.  Had these values, these cosmic constants which are independent of each other, been infinitesimally greater or smaller than what they are, no life remotely similar to ours–indeed, no life at all–would have been possible.”

Critics may respond by claiming that the process of natural selection “chose” these parts, so that life did not evolve by random chance.  How, then, did the process of natural selection itself come to be?

Here’s the best news of all: the Creator who “determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name” (Psalm 147:4) knows your name as well.  You can trust him with your great need, for he is “mighty in power; his understanding has no limit” (v. 5) and he “sustains the humble” (v. 6).  Are you “humble” before your King today?

Ralph Waldo Emerson testified: “All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.”  Do you agree?

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