Atomic Significance

  • Question from CF, USA

    God created the universe of atoms and time 13.7 billion years ago. Each atom was embedded with gravity with a nucleus & electrons spinning a relatively vast distance from it. Some designated to provide light and heat, while others combined with like atoms, still others joined with dissimilar atoms. God, in time, then created life by diverging these atoms in millions of forms including you and I today. We are a bundle of atoms that can think and act independent, oblivious of the spinning earth, and the television, radio, cosmic waves passing through us unchecked. God hasn’t created any new atoms in 13.7 billion years and it should be religiously significant. Are you and I 13.7 billion years old?

    Any religious significance from the scenario laid out above would point to a God who knew what he was doing when he first created matter. There would of course be some Christians who would disagree with the scientific summary in this question, but in theological terms there are a couple of points to make.

    Firstly, in the book of Genesis, which is not meant to be read as a scientific treatise, it states that God rested when his creative work was done (chapter 1 verse 31 – chapter 2 verse 2). At this point in the story everything was ‘good’. It would therefore be odd for any new matter to be created and inserted into the completed ‘world’ (the Hebrew word for ‘world’ is perhaps better understood as ‘cosmos/universe’, rather than ‘planet’).

    Secondly, although creation stopped on ‘day six’, God’s interaction with the world did not. Through various covenants, the Incarnation and the ongoing presence of the Holy Spirit, creation, although now marred by human sin, is still affected by the activities of God. As age-old atoms form into new human beings the process of fall and redemption begins again, God’s compassion being renewed every morning, to paraphrase the Hebrew poet (Lamentations chapter 3 verses 22-23)

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