Stephen Hawking: Grand Design

I thought that is article on CNN was great! It was a summary of the brief response to Stephen Hawking’s new book “The Grand Design”. I would be far out of my league to comment on the science of the book, however I would say it seems to misrepresent the idea of God as creator. Dr. Hawking apparently mentions that it is no longer necessary for God to “spark the fuse” of creation. Dr. Hawking is clearly attempting to dislodge the need for God in the act of creation. This mentality creates a false choice as it forces God and Science into a battle that does not really exist.
Often the church takes this view and misrepresents and misinterprets Genesis Chapter 1 and 2; people read these stories on one level as if they were some sort of map or guide to the creation of first things. These stories are less about the creation and more about the Creator. These stories stores reveal the character and nature of God. In Chapter 1 we see the power of God—God reveals Godself to be all powerful. This picture is only softened by picture of God in Chapter 2 whereas God reveals Godself to be all about relationships.
Dr. Hawking’s theology appears to be flawed, the premise of the book is that cells strive towards spontaneous creation; this does not somehow remove God. It may remove the god of magic and myth but it does not remove the God who is all powerful and entirely relational.
The story of Biblical Creation isn’t some scientific formula; it is the revelation of a God who is loving and powerful. I have seen this misunderstanding repeatedly pull the church apart. Often teenagers enter into a crisis of faith feeling that they must choose faith or science. But this is to misinterpret both faith and science. Scripture reveals God, scripture does not reveal science. The church must walk teenagers through this crisis’s of faith with an open heart and an open mind truthfully telling the story of Creation: about a God who is all powerful and fully relational. The idea of a powerful, relational God is far more breathtaking then forcing God into some sort of timeline.

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Comments

  1. Hi Josh,

    Hope you and Vicki are settling in nicely with JD!

    I agree with your interpretation of the Creation story and I like what you say about walking teens through a crisis of faith around science. However, I’m curious as to how you feel one should deal with adults who truly believe the Creation story IS a literal time line and that all the scientists and their scientific evidence to the contrary are, for lack of a better term, the devil’s minions? Maybe Dr. Hawking is addressing them…

    Take care,
    Dawn

  2. Dawn

    Really great question. I don’t think our job is to necessarily to argue the case one way or the other. I think our task is to present the correct cultural and historical context of the story and then allow people to draw there own conclusions from the context. Scripture is rich and diverse, many believe you can read scripture and interpret it without utilizing the proper tools… without the proper tools you can quickly fall into pitfall and misunderstandings…

    Josh

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