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Many Christians seem to think that God’s ultimate plan is to obliterate Earth like a Death Star and transport bodiless souls into an immaterial, heavenly realm.
They think that Bible passages like 2 Peter 3:10 means that God will nuke our universe and start from scratch.
But that’s not what the Bible says.
God’s mission is for the Kingdom of Heaven to fully embrace and renew Earth. As theologian N. T Wright points out:
“Rather than rescuing people from the earth in order to reach heaven, the creator God would finally bring heaven and earth together in a great act of new creation, completing the original creative purpose by healing the entire cosmos of its ancient ills.”
The core ideas of Christianity are 1) the incarnation, which means that spirit and matter should unite, not be apart; and 2) the resurrection, which means that the afterlife will be bodily and physical.
2 Peter 3:10 isn’t about God deleting creation but restoring it to its original, sinless state. As Paul says:
“For the creation was subjected to futility, not by its own will, but because of the One who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.” (Rom 8:20-21)
Then we will enjoy eternal, joyful life with him in the New Universe, with endless worship, adventure, and love.
Last summer me and the coolest Christian in Sweden, David Larsson, were sitting in God’s nature pondering about what His creativity tells us about our creativity:
As we are created in the image of God, we are naturally creative. But unlike God we are sinful, and so oftentimes human creations are destructive and dirty. Aesthetically they are also often very different from what God creates: He likes uniqueness, irregularity and complexity whereas human creations like cars or lamps or cities are copied, predictable and simple.
We can learn a lot from how God creates stuff, it’s sustainable and life-promoting and per definition very natural. Instead of building new towers of Babel we could use more gardens of Eden where we cooperate with God in creating constructive, natural and healthy things that benefit ourselves as well as the rest of creation. Let us be liberated from industrialism and be free creative agents in God’s beautiful world.
Scientifically speaking, why the universe exists and why it looks like what it looks like is still a mystery. We don’t know why anything exists rather than nothing, or why energy-matter works as it does. Furthermore, there is still no explanation to why the universe’s force constants are as they are.
Christian apologist William Lane Craig, among others, talk about the universe being fine tuned for life, planets, stars and even atoms to exist, as you can see in the video above. The cosmological constant, Λ, has a value of approximately 10−122, and if this would change by less than a trillion’s trillionth of a percent, the universe would either be sucked back into a black hole right after big bang or disparse so quickly that stars would never form.
Leonard Susskind, professor of theoretical physics at Stanford, explain the fine tuning of the universe in more detail above. Now, if the universe was caused either by nothingness or from something unintelligent and non-designing, as atheists would argue, the fine tuning becomes really hard to explain. Our universe where the cosmological constant and other constants like the gravitational constant are suitible for stars, planets and life to exist, is ridiculously unlikely. Susskind is not a theist due to his lack of faith in miracles, but he isn’t an atheist either because of his inability to refute the idea that a divine entity caused this complex universe, and so he remains agnostic. (more…)