Today’s guest post comes from Andy Cass, one of an excellent class of students from Bethel Seminary who recently studied the intersection between theology and science.
I have a friend who is colorblind, and for the last four years we’ve been working hand and hand with a youth ministry. The Wednesday night youth program has a part within its schedule to award a random student the privilege to sit on a plush couch for the entirety of the service. It’s a treasured award for those who attend! Just recently, I had a conversation with my friend about the color of that couch (you know when you’re good friends you talk about the origin of the universe all the way down to the details of the couches you sit on). With a subtle comment from my friend, I came to the realization that he didn’t know the actual color of the couch. Wow, I couldn’t believe it!
Let’s talk about origins of the universe. I have been aware that there are some contrasting opinions on this subject in general. On one side, there are those who believe that God created the universe in six literal twenty-four hour days and on the seventh day God took some type of a one-day siesta. Most biblical literalists believe that the universe is six to ten thousand years old. In contrast, there are those who believe the universe was created by the big bang and has slowly developed and changed over the last 14.6 billions years to what we would consider reality today. Sounds like a few shades off from each other.
Up until recently it seemed to me that there were only a few contrasting interpretations of the origin of the universe, until I was recently illuminated by my seminary’s “Science and Theology” class. After reading a number of books, sitting in class, and presenting a possible biblical hermeneutic of integrating the big bang, random selection and evolution as possible processes and means in which God created the universe, I now realize that there are a lot more shade to choose from. So I guess what I’m saying is that I’ve been colorblind.
Back to the couch and my colorblind friend, he thinks the couch is brown, and I think that the couch is purple. Does it really matter? It could, but for the youth ministry sake, it doesn’t. In the youth ministry context, all that matters is that someone gets chosen to sit on it. Isn’t it the same way here on this earth? Does it matter if God created the earth in six literal twenty-four hour days, or 14.6 billions years? I don’t think so, all that matters is that God chose me to sit, move and breathe within it. Louie Giglio sums it up best in his book Indescribable, “Life is brief, and there’s nothing more exhausting than living out our days as if we are the center of the universe…I think that’s why God decided to shroud our nights in an expansive canopy of wonder, a curtain of shimmering lights reminding us that life isn’t about you and me but about Someone greater. Someone far brighter than us all.”
So, take a load off, relax, and sit back on the couch that God has created, and find him sitting right next to you. Find wonder (amazement) where you wonder (curiosity).