God and Cosmos

A Christian View of Time, Space, and the Universe

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Weight 0.7 lbs
Dimensions 8.5 × 5.4 × 0.8 in
topic

Worldview, Apologetics

Format

Book

isbn

9780851518008

Original Pub Date

2001

Banner Pub Date

Apr 20, 2001

binding

Paperback

page-count

256

Book Description

In his book A Brief History of Time, the famous Cambridge cosmologist Stephen Hawking held out the prospect of a complete theory of the universe by means of which we would know ‘why it is that we and the universe exist…then we would know the mind of God.’ Christian mathematician John Byl disagrees: ‘Hawking overestimates the value of a Theory-of-Everything, while underestimating the content of God’s mind.’ We already have in Scripture a source of knowledge superior to all other sources and already know ‘the mind of God’. so far as He has been pleased to reveal it to us. On this basis, Byl questions much of modern cosmology, including the Big-Bang theory of origins. He deals with the limitations of human knowledge, biblical teaching relevant to cosmology, the quest for extra-terrestrial intelligence, the existence of the spiritual realm, heaven, angels, life after death, and much else. Byl’s approach is a refreshing counter to the dreary and ultimately meaningless outlook of modern cosmology.

Table of Contents Expand ↓

Preface xi
1 THE BASIC QUESTIONS
Reconciling Cosmology and the Bible 2
Evaluating Cosmological Models 2
The Role of Religious Commitments 5
Epistemology and Revelation 6
Interpreting the Bible 9
The Scope of Biblical Authority 11
Preview 13
2 A BRIEF HISTORICAL SKETCH
Ancient Cosmology 15
Origins of Greek Cosmology 16
Classic Cosmology 17
Saving the Phenomena 19
Medieval Cosmology 22
The Perfect Harmony 22
The Demise of Medieval Cosmology 26
Galileo versus the Church 27
Theological Consequences 32
Pre-Modern Cosmology 35
Newtonian Cosmology 35
The Dynamic Universe 38
Heat Death 39
3 MODERN COSMOLOGY
A Brief History of the Big Bang 42
Explaining the Observations 48
1. Red Shifts 49
2. Abundances of Elements 53
3. The Cosmic Microwave Background 55
Further Big Bang Problems 59
1. Inflation 61
2. Galaxy Formation 62
3. Missing Mass 63
4. Acceleration 64
5. More Puzzles 65
Basic Cosmological Assumptions 66
The Problem of Verification 71
4 COSMOLOGY AND GOD’S EXISTENCE
The Cosmological Argument 77
Philosophical Arguments 78
The Big-Bang Singularity 82
The Second Law of Thermodynamics 92
The Argument from Design 96
Alternatives to Design 99
Design and Evolution 108
Conclusions 108
5 COSMOLOGY, LIFE AND THE FUTURE
Life in the Universe 113
A Brief History of ETI 114
The Scientific Case for ETI 115
Motivation for Belief in ETI 119
Theological Considerations 120
The Future of Life in the Universe 125
Future Life in a Closed Universe 127
Future Life in an Open Universe 128
Future Life in a Plasma Cosmology 130
6 THE STRANGE GODS OF MODERN COSMOLOGY
The Evolving God of Natural Theology 133
Natural Evolving Gods 134
Self-Caused Gods 139
An Evolving God and Christianity 144
1. The God of Teilhard de Chardin 144
2. The God of Process Theology 146
Life After Death 149
7 THE BIBLE ON COSMOLOGY
The Being and Nature of God 153
The Doctrine of Creation 156
The History of the Universe
Creation Events 159
The Fall and Its Consequences 163
Eschatology 164
The Date of Creation 165
The Spiritual Realm 167
Further Cosmological Questions
The Stars as Signs 172
The Size of the Universe 178
An Expanded Universe? 179
The Biblical Frame of Reference 180
The Big Bang and the Bible 181
8 BIBLICAL COSMOLOGIES
Young Universes
1. A Variable Speed of Light 189
2. Time Dilation 192
3. Curved-Space Models 193
4. Mature Creation 194
Geometric Models 202
Limits of Biblical Cosmology 209
9 CONCLUSIONS
Summary 215
Final Concluding Remarks 221
Bibliography 226
Index of Names and Subjects 238
FIGURES
2.1 The Geocentric Universe according to Peter Apian 18
2.2 Epicyclic Theory 21
2.3 The Medieval View of the Universe 23
2.4 Dante’s Conception of the Universe 25
2.5 The Heliocentric Universe according to Copernicus 28
2.6 The System of Tycho Brahe 30
2.7 The Heliocentric Universe of Thomas Digges 36
3.1 Distribution of Matter in the Universe 43
3.2 Comparison of Space Geometries 45
3.3 Distribution of Nearby Galaxies 57
3.4 Size of the Universe versus Time 60
7.1 Constellations of the Northern Sky 176
7.2 Constellations of the Southern Sky 177
8.1 The Effect of Curved Space on Apparent Distances 195
8.2 The Inverted Universe 205

 

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