Saturday, February 7, 2009

If I Met God (or Jesus) at Starbucks, Questions I Would Ask, Part II; Why is the Universe So Big?

I will comment that the book image that I used to introduce this topic is not about the same issue (asking God questions) and this is not a review of that book. However, from the reviews I've read of that book, it seems like a decent read. It seems to be more about how we as Christians can answer the questions of non-Christians.

Again I must clarify my attitude in asking questions. There is a difference between “questioning” (with judgments attached) and asking honest questions, with a desire to know the answer. For example, I may question my son by asking (in a loud voice). “What were you doing driving 80 MPH in a 55 MPH zone?” Do I really want to know the answer or am I expressing a judgment or frustration about the situation? I think the later. However, I may ask my wife, in a calm voice, “Why did you go into town today?” I’m asking because I don’t know the answer and I am curios . . . did she go to get more milk, or did she have a doctor’s appointment? I’m making no judgments about her intent.

I have no shame in being curious. We are all chips off the old block, and God Himself being the block. God is creative, curious and wants truth.

Now to my next group of questions under the main question:

Question Two: Why did you make the universe the way it is?

1) Why is the known universe at least 13-14 billion light years across? I mean, that is so huge that we can not get our minds around it. I’ve spent 16 hours flying at 500 mph to reach Asia. I can not comprehend traveling 185,000 miles per second and still taking me 14 billion years to cross the universe. It seems it would be much simpler if the universe was only our solar system. So what is the meaning behind such a huge place? What is the meaning behind there being not just thousands of suns, or ten thousands of suns . . . but billions of galaxies, each with billions of suns.

My limited mind would think that the universe is so big to either, a) show us how big God is, or b) God has many other people spread around the universe whom He loves and is redeeming, c) the universe is really not that big, but in another dimensional (outside our three dimensions) view, would fit in the palm of your hand. There may be other possibilities that I haven’t even thought about.

2) Are they other people out there on other planets? If so, what’s their story? I mean did they too fall under Adam’s sin? Are they too being redeemed by Christ’s work here on our planet, or did God visit them differently?


the 'Jerk' said...

'Why did you make crows and mosquitos?'

Hope T. said...

It scares me to even think about your question #1. Sometimes when I am in a very large crowd of people (like a sports arena) and I realize that this vast crowd is only a teeny tiny percentage of all the people now living and an even smaller percentage of all people who have ever lived, I wonder how God can love each of us and care about our troubles. Then if I throw in the possiblity of life in other galaxies, it gets really mind boggling.
I would ask God " why did you create us with such a limited capacity to understand our own lives and life on this earth?"

MJ said...

I know, it's like finding out that your spouse, whom you feel very close to, is married to about a billion other people. But somehow, I must trust that God can know each one in a personal way. It does just blow your finite mind.

Anonymous said...

Alone of the three Abrahamic monotheisms, Christians have a simple and elegant solution to your Question #1, JMJ: The Incarnation.

The Incarnation means that no matter how big the Cosmos is, no matter how deep time becomes, no matter how big God has to be, God remains on a one-to-one human scale through the Incarnation as Jesus Christ.

Once that is taken into account, the vastness of the Cosmos "passes the Awesome/Cool test" and becomes something to be enjoyed and wondered about, "boldly going where no man has gone before".

And a lot of Christians (like the ones you had in the Navs) would rather wall themselves up in a 6013-year-old, Earth-and-some-lights-in-the-sky Punyverse.

-- Headless Unicorn Guy

MJ said...

You're right. While a huge Universe doesn't create a problem for God's omnipresent or personal attention. However, I still wonder why is it so big, and so old.

Anonymous said...

Maybe God's a Grand Storyteller, and the Story of the Cosmos requires epic scale?

-- Headless Unicorn Guy

Justin said...

This discussion reminds me of the quote from Contact; when asked whether or not he believed extra-terrestrial life existed, Matthew McConaughey's character responds, "Well, if not, it seems like an awful waste of space." (I could have the character wrong...)

What a cool movie.