But God has chosen the foolish things of the world 

to put to shame the wise.

(1 Corinthians 1:27)

 

In this post I am doing two things: linking you to a new article about cosmic geocentricity, and reminding you of an important biblical truth that you’ll need to keep in mind as you read it: God is a God who tests all people, including his own.

A few words on both points.

Concerning the article, it is, as you will soon see, a LONG excerpt from my book, In Search of the Beginning: A Seeker’s Journey to the Origin of the Universe, Life, and Man. It gave me great pleasure  to write this exposition and defense of biblical cosmology. But it also gave me a huge jolt: Somewhere along the way I realized that the Bible really does teach “radical cosmic geocentricity,” the idea that the Earth is not only the center of the universe, but also that it sits unmoving at the center, with the (quite logical) result that the moon, the sun, the planets, the stars, the galaxies—the universe itself—are all, in one way or another, revolving around the Earth!

Have I lost you yet? If not, then you are a bold spirit who might as well take next step: Read the article linked to this blog. But—and this is important—read it in a very special way. Read it as if you were reading the Bible for the very first time. Read it having checked all your high school or college training in physics and astronomy at the door. Read it as if the Creator himself might have something to say, not only about how to go to heaven, but also about how the heavens go. Read it this way, and I think you’re in for quite a surprise.

Which brings me to my second point:  God tests all people, including his own.

The Bible says so. It says that the world is a pretty strange place, where truth always coexists with lies and error; a place where God, in a mysterious display of his sovereignty, allows “the wise” to fall into gross foolishness (and to get paid handsomely for it!), even as he causes the “foolish,” through a God-given love of the truth, to discover the wisdom that leads to eternal life. A strange world indeed, and one that clearly puts all men—and their love of “true truth”–to the test!

Discerning saints understand this. They understand that even now they are being tested with respect to many articles of the faith. Will they stay faithful to biblical teaching on creation, the historicity of Adam, original sin, divine wrath and judgment, redemption through (faith in) Christ alone, the sanctity of human life, the sanctity of marriage, gender roles and relations, sexual purity, and the proper (and limited) role of human government. It is isn’t easy, for like Shimei of old, who railed at poor persecuted king David, “the wise” of this world continually gnash their teeth upon biblically faithful saints, decrying their narrowness, bigotry, arrogance, ignorance, and hate. In short, their foolishness.

So again, God does indeed put men to the test, men of the Kingdom included. Among other things, this means that he is pleased to attach a real cost to the knowledge and enjoyment of his revealed truth; to see if we are willing to purchase his precious wisdom with the cherished (but much inflated) currency of our social acceptability. Speaking personally, I delight in this way of God. So long as my motives are not infected with secret pride, I find that I love being “out there” for the Lord, being a fool for Jesus. Maybe that’s because he loved being a fool for his God . . . and for me.

But back to geocentricity. After I studied it for a couple of years; after I tried honestly and objectively to understand biblical teaching on this subject; after I was shocked to find living Christian brothers—way brainier than I—who had enthusiastically embraced it; after I had wracked my brain trying to grasp Einstein, Relativity Theory, and Big Bang cosmology; after I discerned that only God knows the truth about the structure of the universe; and after I realized that dogmatic modern Copernicanism is indeed yet another instance of fallen man raising up “high things” against the truth of God and Christ; after all that, I became a geocentrist.

But alas, so far it hasn’t flown very well with my creationist brothers. Out of love, I will not name names or mention ministries. Let’s just say that I have yet to find a single major creationist leader (and I know a few) who is willing seriously to probe this subject with me, let alone publish an article or carry my book.

I believe I understand why: They think it would destroy their ministry. After toiling for years, they have, at long last, won a certain measure of credibility for recent creation. Why wreck things now by exploring the possibility that the Earth lies at the center of the universe? Why expose themselves—and Christ’s Church—to charges of abject ignorance? Why get lumped in with the nut-cases who believe that the Earth is flat, or that it sits on the back of a cosmic turtle? In short, why be a fool in the eyes of the world?

Well, here is my answer: We should open up this discussion—and be willing to look like fools—because (so far as I can tell) cosmic geocentricity is indeed the teaching of Scripture. And if it is the teaching of Scripture, then it is profitable: profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; profitable for laying bare the corrupt foundation of modern secular cosmology; profitable for a final, devastating challenge to cosmic evolutionism; profitable for advancing the cause of true science; profitable for making men wise unto salvation; profitable for strengthening the saint’s confidence in the divine inspiration of the Bible; and profitable for so mightily unveiling the power, wisdom, inscrutability, and beauty of God that the saints are left flat on the floor, weeping and shouting for joy at all the glory they have seen.

So, believing all this, I here give you my article on geocentricity. To be honest, it contains very little that is original with me, but much that I have lovingly and gratefully pilfered from my fellow-geocentrists. I do hope, however, that it is well-written, so much so that it will win you to an honest, open-hearted investigation of this truly fascinating and important theme.

And now, having invited you to read the article, let me conclude by asking one more favor: Never forget that for some wise and wonderful reason it pleases our heavenly Father to test his people concerning their love of the truth, and to reserve the sweetest morsels of that truth, not for the wise and prudent, but for babes: for dear, courageous children who are unashamed to be fools for Jesus.

 ” . . . that all should honor the Son, just as they honor the Father.”

(John 5:23)

Cosmology is the study of the origin, structure, purpose, and destiny of our universe. Now that’s a topic to wrap your head around!

I am guessing that most folks today doubt we can ever be sure about such lofty and complex matters. But here’s a thought to consider: Doesn’t the very fact that we’re able to ponder these questions imply that our minds were actually created to find the answers? Cosmological skeptics may moan and groan, but surely it is not without significance that nearly all of us remain incurably curious about cosmology!

Could it be, then, that we we were meant to behold and enjoy the one true cosmology—and that any religion or philosophy that hopes to win the allegiance of thoughtful people must offer us one?

No doubt. But if that cosmology is to prevail in the war of the worldviews, it will have to be a good one: clear, comprehensive, logical, well-supported by good evidence, and full of hope for a suffering humanity that knows there’s a god, but is having difficulty discovering his truth about the world he created.

Having studied naturalistic, pantheistic, and theistic cosmologies for many years, I have concluded that Biblical Cosmology meets all these criteria, and that it does so far better than any other contestant in the ring. Indeed, I am  convinced that here we reach the spiritual and philosophical home our hearts were made for.

Yes, its teachings run hard against the grain of  the cosmological “wisdom” of modern man. And yes, because of this, many Christians are reluctant to study, formulate, embrace, and defend a deeply biblical cosmology.

However, such cosmological conflict should not surprise or demoralize intellectually hungry believers. Has not God said that the wisdom of this world is foolishness to him, and that the foolishness of God is wiser than the wisdom of men? In such a universe, does it make sense for the lovers of truth to let the majority rule?!

If, then, Christians would only dig a little deeper into these matters, and let the Spirit of Truth perform His wonderful work of illumination, I believe they would find, to their amazement and joy, that in his Word God  really has graciously granted us the full spectrum of cosmological truth for which we, by our very nature as creatures in his image an likeness, are ever hungering!

A blog is not the place to explore Biblical Cosmology in detail, or to defend it from Scripture, history, philosophy, and science. It is, however, an excellent place to pique your curiosity about this fascinating and most important of subject.

Lord willing, I will do so from time to time in the months ahead. Today, I offer installment number one: the HEART of Biblical Cosmology. Your comments and questions are most welcome!

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ALIEN GOSPEL

For false Christs and false prophets will arise,

and will show great signs and wonders,

so as to deceive, if it were possible, even the elect.

See, I have told you beforehand.

(Mt. 24:24)

 

Most Christians are familiar with these words, and most of them are on the alert: for human false prophets arising out of the earth (Rev. 13:11f).

But in these turbulent last days, here’s a question well worth asking: Could some of those false prophets be evil spirits masquerading as highly evolved aliens coming down out of the heavens—not to blast us, but to “bless” us with redemptive “wisdom” from the starry deeps?

Well, if  you know anything about the great dragon—that serpent of old called the devil and Satan and the prince of the power of the air—you wouldn’t put it past him (Rev. 12:4, 9).

And yet many Christians are double-minded on this subject. “Who’s to say,” they ask, “that extra-terrestrials don’t exist? Surely in a universe as big as ours, there must be other intelligent life forms somewhere out there! Isn’t it a bit arrogant to think that we, and we alone, are “the ones”?

Good questions, and questions that I myself have asked. But in devoting a couple of years to the study of biblical cosmology, I was stunned to learn something of great interest and, in credulous times like ours, something of great practical importance. I learned that, Yes, we really ARE the ones!

Very briefly, let me make the case.

 

What Shape is Your Cosmos?

Did you know that prior to the sixteenth century, no one in the Western world believed in aliens? In part, that’s because no one believed in cosmic evolution. But in even larger part, it’s because no one believed that space was infinite, or centerless, or curved, or shaped like a saddle, a hyper-cube, or a multi-dimensional toroid! (Not to worry if you can’t even imagine some of these hypotheses about cosmic structure; neither can the modern cosmologists who propose them).

Instead, the prevailing view was that God, in six literal days, created the cosmos as a finite sphere, rotating around a stationary earth, that was home to the apple of his eye: us! And where did folks get an outlandish idea like that? You guessed right: the Bible (with a little help from Aristotle, as well).

Ponder this carefully (for it’s well worth pondering): Aliens came in when biblical geocentrism went out; when Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, and their followers demoted the earth from the central place given to it in the Scriptures. As far as I can tell, it was Kepler who first let the alien genie out of the bottle, speculating in his book Dream about the inhabitants of the moon. Four hundred years later, his followers at NASA and the SETI program are still at it!

If we want to understand the Bible on the question of extra-terrestrials, its teaching on the purpose and structure of the cosmos is the place to begin. And as unpalatable as that teaching may be to modern man, it is surprisingly clear and comforting: The earth really is at the center—at least of God’s affections, plans, and purposes, and likely of his whole creation as well.

I won’t try to argue that thesis here, but would simply point you to Genesis 1. As you read, please keep these few questions in mind: What did God create first: the Earth or the heavenly bodies? What, according to a cosmologically unbiased reading of the text, revolves around what: the earth around the sun, or the sun (and the rest of the luminaries) around the earth? And why exactly did God create the luminaries in the first place? Was it to supply a home for aliens, or was it simply to supply lights, times, seasons, and signs to the dear children made in his own image and likeness: the human inhabitants of the earth?

Now whatever your answers may be, this much should be agreeable to all: biblically, the Earth really is at the absolute center of God’s cosmic attention, so that when he hung the stars, he did it for us, and not for ET (Gen. 1:14-19). And because ET can do nothing to help us see at night, tell time, or glorify God for his heavenly handiwork, it is reasonable to conclude that ET does not exist.

 

Extra-terrestrials and the Justice of God

The biblical case against extra-terrestrials runs deeper still. That’s because the Scriptures also declare that in the beginning “the whole creation” was cursed; that it was “subjected to futility” (i.e., to decay and death) due to the sin of Adam (Rom. 8:18-23). Moreover, this terrible judgment portends a still worse judgment, for the cosmos itself will one day be destroyed—earth, stars, planets, and all—just prior to its eternal renewal at the hand of the returning and glorified Christ (Phil. 3:20-21, 2 Peter 3:10-13).

All this creates a serious problem for Christians entertaining the idea of alien life forms. For if extra-terrestrials exist, they and their world(s) must suffer the consequences of Adam’s sin, even though they themselves are not his offspring and stand in no spiritual relationship to him whatsoever (Rom. 5:12f).

This conclusion seems all the more inescapable when we remember that such extra-terrestrials would have no savior. For the Bible consistently represents the cosmic Redeemer as having taken to himself—for all eternity—“the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:5f, 1 Tim. 2:5, Heb. 2:14f, Rev. 1:9f). It is as a man—and not as an extra-terrestrial—that the Son of God became the High Priest of his people: dying for them, rising for them, and interceding for them in Heaven to this very day (Rom. 8:34, Heb. 7:25, 9:24).

So again, if extra-terrestri­als exist, they have no connection with Adam and no connection with the Redeemer made in Adam’s likeness. Nevertheless, according to the Bible, they all must perish in the end time conflagration. But is God unrighteous to perform such a manifestly unjust act? May it never be (Deut. 32:4, Isaiah 30:18, 61:8, 2 Tim. 4:8, Rev. 15:3)! The conclusion, then, on biblical premises, is that extra-terrestrials do not exist.

 

Heads Up!

What then of all the alleged sightings of UFO’s and contacts with aliens? Biblically, the options are few, simple, and sobering: Either they are scams, purely natural phenomena, or demonic de­ceptions, designed to rob the High King of Heaven of the worship rightly due to him (Luke 4:5-7, 2 Cor. 11:14, 2 Thess. 2:9-12, 1 Tim. 4:1).

For those who reckon the Bible to be a trustworthy revelation from God, this is useful information indeed. And it may be especially useful in the year ahead, when (as I am told) Hollywood jumps on the UFO band-wagon big time, giving us six thrillers about alien invasions from on high.

They may well materialize: the movies, the invasions, or both. In any case, wise Christians, understanding that they really are the (beloved) ones, will lift up their eyes and fix them steadfastly on the Bright Morning Star.

It is scheduled to rise soon, and will most assuredly appear in a theatre near  to you (Luke 21:28, Heb. 12:2, Rev. 22:16).

For more, see The New Answers Book (Master Books, 2007), chapter 18. Also, visit the excellent blog of astronomer and mathematician, John Byl. Finally, you may wish to read Alien Intrusion, by Gary Bates (but definitely not before bed).