Sunday, December 16, 2018

The Creator Revealed: Now a Lighthouse Book



Every once in a while it is a good idea to break out of the usual routine and do something different. So in this post, rather than my usual discussion of science and Christianity, I'm going to share some encouraging news and even indulge in some self promotion. About six months ago my book The Creator Revealed: A Scientist Examines the Big Bang and the Bible was published by WestBow press. When the book was first published I devoted a blog entry to outline the contents of the book, discuss some of my motivation for writing it, and describe some of the story of how it eventually was published. As I said in my previous post, "There are many good books that discuss the relationship of science and Christianity and describe how science agrees with and supports the Bible. But almost all of those books are written in relatively technical language that can be difficult to read and understand, even for well-educated people who may not be scientifically minded. In contrast to most books on this subject, The Creator Revealed is written in simple conversational language that is entertaining and engaging."

The encouraging and exciting news is that Westbow Press will soon be re-releasing The Creator Revealed within their "Lighthouse Recognition Program." This program is reserved for Westbow books that have shown growth and promise within the marketplace. Lighthouse books are published with the special Lighthouse logo as can be seen in the picture of the new back cover above.

Since the book was first published, it has been given a 5 star rating on Amazon and a 4.35 star rating on Goodreads by those who have read and reviewed it. People consistently affirm that my goal of writing a book that can be easily understood by those who are either technically minded or not technically minded has been achieved. This is encouraging to me since many publishers I talked with did not think there was any market for a non-technical book about science and Christianity.

The Creator Revealed is divided into three parts. The first part is primarily about scientific discoveries and how those discoveries reveal characteristics of the biblical God. The second part explains how the account of creation in Genesis correlates with modern scientific discoveries and integrates with other biblical doctrines. The third part is a practical section showing how the message of The Creator Revealed can have life-changing applications. It might be useful for me to quote portions of the book from each of these three sections.

From Part 1: The Big Bang Reveals God's Character:
"When it comes to the mystery of the origin of the universe, the perpetrator has left clues that undoubtedly point to his character. The creation of the universe at the big bang—including the origin of space, time, matter, and energy—clearly reveals that the creator is both spirit and transcendent, not dependent on our space and time for existence. For the scientist who only believes in natural causes, this transcendent origin presents quite a problem. In 1976, physicist John Gribbin wrote, “The biggest problem with the big bang theory of the origin of the Universe is philosophical—perhaps even theological—what was there before the bang?”1 A beginning of the universe about fourteen billion years ago that requires a transcendent cause is a huge problem for someone who doesn’t believe in God. However, for those of us who regard the Bible as God’s revelation to humankind, this is not a problem at all. In fact, it is a truth that was declared centuries ago when the author of the book of Hebrews wrote, “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible” (Hebrews 11:3). But the big bang was only the beginning of the universe and the first event to reveal the character of the creator. The universe has other properties waiting to be discovered that give even more insight into its designer."2

From Part 2: A Biblical Beginning:
"However, my claim in The Creator Revealed—that the big bang is a biblical idea—isn’t based on what the Bible doesn’t tell us. It is based on what the Bible does tell us. The Bible tells us the story of creation in a way that demonstrates the inspiration and truthfulness of the Bible. To see this, we must use the first guideline, which the seventeenth-century church neglected to follow, namely that every story is told from a certain perspective or frame of reference. The story of Joshua winning a battle when the sun stood still is told from Joshua’s perspective. From Joshua’s perspective, the sun, not the earth, moves. The story of creation must be told from the perspective of someone who was there at the creation. It must be told from God’s perspective since he was the only one there. Now, upon hearing this, most people think that God’s perspective would be from outside the universe looking in, but that is not the case. Genesis itself tells where God is and what his perspective is. The second verse in the Bible, Genesis 1:2, states, “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters” (emphasis added). Do you see where the Spirit of God is? He is hovering over the waters. He is near the surface of the earth where the waters of the oceans exist. From verse 2 onward, the story of creation is told from God’s perspective on the surface of planet Earth, not from out in space looking down at planet Earth. We must interpret the events of the six days of creation from God’s perspective on the surface of the earth."3

From Part 3: Truth Changes Lives:
"Jason was an atheist. Like many atheists, he didn’t know of any compelling reason to consider the idea that Christianity might be true. No Christian had ever given him any objective facts that offered any credibility to Christian beliefs. So Jason was intrigued when he saw that I would be giving a talk titled “Scientific Evidence for the Existence of God.” He was intrigued enough to come see what I had to say.
        During my talk, I gave a presentation that covered much of the material discussed in the first part of The Creator Revealed…..
        These ideas were fascinating to Jason. After all, he already knew about the scientific evidence for the big bang and accepted the theory as the best explanation for the origin of the universe. He had just never heard that what he already believed actually served as remarkable evidence for the truth of Christianity and the reality of the God of the Bible. For Jason, this was the beginning of a journey. He decided that the scientific evidence was sufficient enough that he should at least investigate whether or not Christianity was true and if Jesus really was God’s Son.
        Jason began talking to Christians on campus and learning the facts about who Jesus claimed to be and why Christians have accepted the legitimacy of these claims. Eventually, Jason himself came to the conclusion that these claims are true, that Jesus really is the creator of the universe, God himself, who became a man so that all humans would have the opportunity to have a personal relationship with the creator. Jason became a follower of Jesus. His journey from atheist to believer began with the simple truth that the known origin of the universe, the big bang, is a theistic theory, one that declares the character and personality of the God of the Bible."4

During this Christmas season perhaps you could consider giving a copy of the book The Creator Revealed to a friend, family member, or colleague, either Christian or non-Christian, who does not think that science and Christianity are compatible. Regardless of whether or not that person is technically-minded, I'm confident they will find The Creator Revealed to be a book that will present some new ideas that will encourage and challenge them to know God better. If you don't have a personal copy, perhaps you might want to give yourself a copy for Christmas.

Copies of The Creator Revealed that are currently in stock at Amazon and other distributors will probably not yet have the Lighthouse emblem. You may have to wait until their current stock is sold out. However, I believe books bought from Westbow Press may already carry the Lighthouse logo. Get yours today!

1 John Gribbin, “Oscillating Universe Bounces Back,” Nature 259 (1976):15-16.
2 Michael G. Strauss, Ph.D. "The Creator Revealed: A Physicist Examines the Big Bang and the Bible," Westbow Press, Bloomington, IN, (2018) p.29.
3 Strauss, pp.85-86.
4 Strauss, pp.123-124.

3 comments:

  1. Hi Michael: I really enjoyed the book and its one I'll give away often, for sure. At PS and other places, I've noticed that when people mention cosmic fine tuning and especially the work of Hugh Ross, it tends to be dismissed or depreciated. One technique is to say that the finely-tuned aspects are simply dependencies upon one another, such that one aspect may be finely tuned, but that the others are simply what they must be, physically speaking. It's articulated in different ways. While that doesn't seem right to me, as a lay person, I don't know how to respond. Is this issue or aspect something that's within reach to a person like me? Or is it too technical? If so, can you recommend any resources that address this issue, specifically? Thanks in advance!

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    1. I would recommend A Fortunate Universe by Geraint Lewis and Luke Barnes. They address these kinds of questions and show that the fine tuning is real. It is a result of work done by physicists and published in physics journals. The outright dismissal of fine tuning is naive and inconsistent with known published physics.

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    2. Thank you, Michael. Just ordered that book.

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