Astronomy is one of those scientific fields that is often used to challenge the Bible. For example, you may have heard people say that Genesis cannot be trusted because of the big bang or distant star light. Nevertheless, when we really understand the cosmos, there are, as we would expect, a number of ways it affirms biblical creation and declares the glory of God (Psalm 19:1).
The Bible is right about the basics of the cosmos. People often say that believing in biblical creation is like believing in a flat earth, yet the Bible talks about the spherical nature of the earth: “He drew a circular horizon on the face of the waters” (Job 26:10; cf. Isaiah 40:22). The book of Job, probably the oldest book in the Bible (2000 BC), addressed this topic long before the secular experts of the day believed in a spherical earth (Pythagoras 570–500 BC).
Job also states that God “stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing” (Job 26:7). This is a beautiful poetical description about the nature of gravity that earth is suspended in space. Yet again, the Greek experts of the day (900–800 BC) taught that the earth was a flat disk floating on top of water.
The Bible is also right when it comes to the uniqueness of the earth. Secular scientists expect to find life in outer space because they believe that if life evolved on earth, it should have evolved on other planets. Evolutionists once believed that there would be life on planets like Venus, until they discovered that the surface temperature was 462 degrees Celsius and is surrounded by clouds of sulfuric acid.
Observational science, however, confirms that the earth is unique among the worlds of the cosmos. God has designed the earth different from other planets as He formed it to be inhabited (Isaiah 45:18). This is something that He did not do for the other planets in the universe. Only earth is uniquely designed for life, since it is where God created creatures in His own image and also where He came and died on the Cross. The other worlds of the solar system are amazing and certainly declare God’s glory, but they are not designed for life.
The Bible is also right concerning the age of the cosmos. There are many lines of observational scientific evidence that confirm the universe is only thousands of years old. One of these is the excess internal heat of three of the four giant planets. Jupiter emits twice as much energy as it receives from the sun, but such a process could not last billions of years. For example, when you take a baked potato out of the microwave, that heat is radiated out into the atmosphere. However, the heat will not radiate out forever since it only has so much heat to give out. Eventually it will cool off. Jupiter (the size of about ten earths across) is not going to cool off very much in a few thousand years, but if it were billions of years old, then why is it not an icicle by now? This is a problem for the secular view of the cosmos. Other things like the decay of the earth’s magnetic field, the recession of the moon from the earth, and the existence of comets also point to a young universe.
In contrast to the Bible, many scientists believe that the universe came into existence 13.8 billion years ago in an event called the big bang. It is important to point out to people that the big bang is a belief about the origin of the universe based upon philosophical naturalism (the belief that nature is all there is and that everything, including origins, can be explained by time, chance, and the laws of nature) used to interpret the observational data.
The big bang contradicts the biblical account of creation in several ways. First, accepting the big bang model is to ignore what the Creator has revealed concerning how He created the universe. The Bible clearly teaches that God created everything in heaven and earth supernaturally by His word within six days (Psalm 33:6–9; Exodus 20:11; 31:17). Second, in the big bang theory, many stars existed for billions of years before the earth, but the Bible teaches that the stars were made (rather than “appeared,” as the dry land did in Genesis 1:9) three days after the earth. Finally, the Bible also teaches that the earth was completely covered with water (Genesis 1:2–9; 2 Peter 3:5); whereas the evolutionary model teaches that the earth started out as molten rock and has never been completely covered with water.
Because of the belief in a big bang, many critics of biblical creation sometimes use distant starlight as an argument against a young universe. Interestingly, the big bang has a major starlight problem of its own (called the Horizon Problem). However, distant starlight is not a problem for a young universe, and creationists have suggested a number of different ways to explain this: 1) Light in transit, 2) Speed of light decay, 3) Relativistic models, 4) Alternate Synchrony Conventions and 5) Dasha solution.
The cosmos is not just amazing because of all these things but because of the One who created it. The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ, the Word, is the One who brought all things into being (John 1:1–3; cf. Colossians 1:16). But it doesn’t stop there. The Bible goes on to tell us that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and went to the Cross to pay the penalty for our sin (John 1:14, 29). It is a tragic thing to have the wrong view of creation. However, what is more tragic is to reject the salvation that comes through our Creator and Saviour, Jesus Christ.