#798 – Cosmos



Earlier this week I watched the premiere of Cosmos, the relaunch of Carl Sagan’s vision of exploring the universe on television. The new iteration is hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson and makes great use of modern technology and CGI to help us explore the universe.

Last week faithful reader and prolific commenter, Mike, shared this Slate story on his Facebook page. The story addresses the potential tension between Cosmos and the Christian faith. Cosmos looks at the universe through scientific eyes but doesn’t completely disregard people of faith. Even in the first episode’s discussion of Giordono Bruno, a Catholic monk who believed that the earth was not the center of the universe, it seems that Christians are encouraged to have a larger view of God.

Bruno was excommunicated for his radical (but true) beliefs and ultimately burned at the stake because he renounced the foundational truths of the Christian faith like Jesus’s deity and the Trinity. However, I think we all can benefit from trying to expand our view of God. No matter how big we think God is, our infinite God will always be bigger.

I understand that there are people who believe that the entire universe was created in six 24-hour periods and is only 5,000 years old. I don’t know how God created the universe or if he made it look a lot older than it is. What I do know, though, is that God did create the universe and he is large enough to have done it any way he desired.

God could have created the universe in six days and made it look a lot older than it actually is.

God could have created the universe over the course of billions of years and then snapped human life into existence thousands of years ago.

God could have created the universe by running through the cosmos and singing a song, like Aslan in The Magician’s Nephew.

I don’t know how God created the universe but I know that he’s so big that I shouldn’t limit him. I don’t want to limit God by saying he could have only created the universe in this one way. I also don’t want to limit God by saying that he only can work in my life in this one way.

So often we miss what God is doing in our lives because our view of him is too small. We limit how he can work in our lives because we want him to meet our meager expectations or we only want to see him work in a specific way. If we can blow the lid off of how big our God is, though, then we’ll see that he is big enough to do anything in our lives, including creating the universe in the way that he thought best.

I enjoyed the first episode of Cosmos and plan to keep watching. Not only did it not challenge my faith, but it actually encouraged it. If the cosmos is this ever-expanding collection of billions of galaxies so large that we can’t even see the end of it, then how much bigger is our God? How much greater is our God? And how great is it that a God that great wants to be a part of our lives?

What did you think of the Cosmos premiere?


9 comments on “#798 – Cosmos”

    1. Thanks for sharing that article. It was very informative.

      In the long run, though, I’m not as concerned with Cosmos falsely setting up Bruno as a martyr for science. Scientists may continue to set faith against science for years to come. I want to help people see that science can actually strengthen our faith.

      Thanks so much for the comment. I appreciate it.

  1. I had similar concerns. But overall I was just blown away by how small we really are. And how ginormous the universe really is. And now you are absolutely right. If that’s the universe, then God must be – wow. Really I can’t even wrap my mind around it. It hurts my brain trying.

  2. @ ravaspirit and @scotthiga:
    THAT is what I really enjoy about good science (cosmology especially), good science fiction, and good religion: I LOVE that feeling of my mind (and previous conceptions) being blown into tiny pieces with an interesting idea.

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