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Faith and Science in the 21st Century

Week 2

God and Cosmos

The Rev. Dr. Ted Peters

 

BEFORE CLASS

 

LISTEN TO RECORDED SERMON

BEFORE CLASS REFLECTIONS

God and Cosmos

  1. Where have you witnessed the glory of creation this week?
  2. How have you incorporated praise for the glory and beauty of creation and all creatures in your prayer and worship life?

 

 

CLASS

 

WELCOME

 

 

PRAY

 

 

READ

 

Psalm 8

 

Lord, our Lord, how majestic
is your name throughout the earth!
You made your glory higher than heaven![
b]
2 From the mouths of nursing babies
you have laid a strong foundation
because of your foes,
in order to stop vengeful enemies.
3 When I look up at your skies,
at what your fingers made—
the moon and the stars
that you set firmly in place—
4 what are human beings
that you think about them;
what are human beings
that you pay attention to them?
5 You’ve made them only slightly less than divine,
crowning them with glory and grandeur.
6 You’ve let them rule over your handiwork,
putting everything under their feet—
7 all sheep and all cattle,
the wild animals too,
8 the birds in the sky,
the fish of the ocean,
everything that travels the pathways of the sea.
9 Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name throughout the earth!

 

REFLECT/ DISCUSS (5 minutes)

 

  • What images of God do you find in this Psalm?
  • Share some of the images of God that you see in the Psalm.

WATCH VIDEO (5 minutes)

 

 

REFLECT/ DISCUSS (10 minutes)

  1. What is the cosmos?
  2. How big is the cosmos?
  3. How do you experience God’s revelation in the cosmos?
  4. Does God reveal secrets or mysteries of the cosmos to scientists?
  5. Does God reveal those secrets or mysteries only to people of faith?
  6. How do Christians read the book of nature, and what can they learn from it?

Peters mentions in his sermon that:

 

. . . most astrophysicists agree that our universe began with a Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago and that it may expand for another 50 to 100 billion years before it burns out like a candle.

 

  1. What are the similarities and differences between this view of the universe—and its beginning and end—and the ways that people of faith view the universe’s creation and end?
  2. Discuss the differences between thinking of God as the God of history and thinking of God as the God of nature.

NOTE

 

Peters mentions the Anthropic Principle in his sermon: According to the Anthropic Principle, the initial conditions were such that intelligent life would eventually evolve. It appears that our early universe was fine-tuned so as to prepare physics for evolving biology and prepare biology for evolving intelligence.

 

Astronomy professor and scientist Owen Gingerich offers a response to this idea: I accept that the physical constants have been fine-tuned to make intelligent life in the universe possible and that this is evidence for the planning and intentions of a Creator God.

 

 

PRAYER

 

O God of our creation and our redemption, you’ve created a cosmos of such beauty, magnificence, and mystery. We thank you for our very existence, for the privilege of living as your beloved creatures. We thank you also for the message of the gospel, for the promise of the forgiveness of sins and the resurrection into your new creation. Inspire within our souls a divine love for all that you are making. Amen.

 

 

NEXT TIME

 

Reflect on the principles of evolution, as well as on the biblical stories of creation.

• How does each of these ways of thinking of the world satisfy you?

• Think about how these two explanations might be compatible.

  • Does evolution have room for God?
  • Can God’s act of creation be a part of evolution?

 

Peter M Wallace. Faith and Science in the 21st Century (Kindle Location 445). Church Publishing Inc.. Kindle Edition.


Faith and Science Week 3