Skip to main content

Big Space, Little Planet, and God

It is indeed unfortunate that Christians can have their faith negatively affected by atheists spouting things that sound sciency, but are essentially hooey-laden personal opinions. Although other people make fact-free assertions, most of those are not directed at our faith. One of these speculations involves our place in the universe.

When misotheists say things like, "We know the universe is unfathomably huge. Religious people believed it was small, but Earth is actually insignificant. If God exists, he would not care about it, or us." There are several problems with such remarks.

ISS above Earth, NASA (usage does not imply endorsement of site contents)
First of all, it is prejudicial conjecture; the scoffer already suppresses the truth of God (Rom. 1:18-23) and uses this presupposition to spread unbelief. He or she has no logical basis for thinking that the Creator of the universe would not care about us. Next, the claim that people thought the universe was small is erroneous. Atheists like this seldom do their homework before generating verbal heat with no light, which is irritating to some atheists that know about history!

In a way, there is a small grain of truth to the idea of doubting that God would care. Someone once expressed to me that God wouldn't care about our physical ailments. From naturalistic presumptions, that may seem correct. But we have the testimony of God himself in the written Word, and God the Son died on a cross for our sins, was raised from the dead, and sent God the Holy Spirit to indwell us. We are adopted as his children, and even most human parents care about what their children experience. Study on that.

However, such claims can be made only with an ignorance of history (and the Bible). Not just four, but even fourteen centuries ago, the leading theologians were well aware that compared to the vastness of the heavens, the earth was but a point in space. They were familiar with the standard astronomy textbook of the Middle Ages (AD 5th–15th century), the Almagest by Claudius Ptolemy (c. AD 90–c. AD 168):

“The earth, in relation to the distance of the fixed stars, has no appreciable size and must be treated as a mathematical point.”

This secular knowledge was well known in the church.

To read the rest, click on "Why would God bother with a tiny planet like Earth?"