Stephen Hawking is indisputably one of the greatest scientists of this generation. His latest book, “The Grand Design,” aims at shooting down the Intelligent Design and theism. The media and news outlets all love spreading quotes like this (from Hawking):
“Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.” (taken from “God did not create the universe, Hawking says.”)
“Spontaneous Design?” It seems Hawking’s scientific answer to creation is “it just happened on it’s own.” This thinking reminds me of some lyrics of the song “Roll the Bones” by Rush, “Why are we here? Because we’re here…” There’s no answer to these big questions (“Where did we come from?” “Why are we here?” “Where are we going?”) without belief in God. The Guardian (from the UK) has a great article entitled, “Stephen Hawking can’t use physics to answer why we’re here.” It doesn’t seem that the author is a Christian, which demonstrates that any honest thinker can read Hawking’s writings and have serious problems with his philosophical conclusions.
My goal in writing today isn’t to give some well-written treatise with the goal of convincing atheists to believe in God: I think that’s a far bigger project than this blog post aims at. Rather, my hope is that Christians might be encouraged to really THINK. When we’re honest, Christians really are lazy thinkers much of the time. Most of the greatest scientists throughout history have been Christians who were doing research which was sponsored by the Church in order that we might understand more of God’s wonderful creation. We do not honor our Creator and Savior by being lazy thinkers and being disengaged from difficult and heavy matters.
My other goal is for those who do not believe in God: I want to humbly encourage you to really ask whether or not Hawking’s theory of “Spontaneous Creation” really makes sense. I’ve found that much of the time when I need to do mental gymnastics to rationalize something all I’m really doing is justifying whatever I want to believe (rather than admitting what’s true). Please don’t take that as me saying “It’s easier to believe in God, so there!” because that’s clearly not what I mean (re-read the previous paragraph calling Christians to really think hard about these issues).
Finally, I’d like to apologize on behalf of Christians who are mean-hearted and hate-filled who reply online to articles like the one linked above. It saddens me more than you’d believe to read how Christians respond on discussion boards over the internet. Many of them are simply cowards who would never say such things to one’s face, but the anonymity provided by the internet makes them feel bold. This is not the type of boldness God calls us to through Scripture. We are told “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. BUT DO SO WITH GENTLENESS AND RESPECT” (1 Pet. 3:15). We often neglect the latter half of this verse, and I sincerely apologize to those who have been our “victims.”