“The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens. Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high.” (Ps. 113:4-5)
From The Christian Church in the Last Days
The ingenious discovery by two scientists Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Richards, documented in their 2004 book The Privileged Planet, leads us to one of the final great truths to be discovered at the end of the Scientific Revolution and of human redemptive history. In their book, they make the argument that there is a surprising relationship between the physical factors that make our earth habitable and the same identical factors that also provide the best platform for making scientific observations of the universe. The 20 or so physical factors that make our planet earth uniquely habitable in our solar system, and the prime location we enjoy within the Milky Way Galaxy that provides an open window to investigate the cosmos, reveals a creative God of superb craftsmanship and precision who actually invites us, through a natural world that is orderly, intelligible, and accessible to investigation, to pursue a full and mature understanding of His creation.
Guillermo Gonzalez, an astrophysicist, observed a full solar eclipse in 1995 in India, and then connected the novelty of this occurrence to other similar physical evidence in the universe in collaboration with Jay Richards in their book. Together they reached the inspired conclusion that the factors that make our planet habitable in our solar system and in our Milky Way Galaxy, at the same time also provide the optimum environment for human observers to make scientific discoveries of the cosmos.
For example, our distant sun is four hundred times the size of our moon but also four hundred times farther away, creating a nearly perfect lunar eclipse of the sun and thus the conditions accessible to investigation by modern man. A full lunar eclipse of the sun blocks out the harsh glare of the sun while leaving exposed the outer atmosphere, enabling scientists to study the “flash spectrum” of light observable only during an eclipse. This information opened up our modern understanding of the composition of stars and formed the basis for the current-day study of astrophysics.
The theological implication from science is that God is experientially close enough to us to design ahead of time the tight size and distance specifications of our sun, moon, and earth in such a way to create solar eclipses, in full anticipation of the emergence of the modern study of astrophysics in the early twentieth century. The same God also brilliantly sets up the tight specifications of a journey of faith modeled for us through the narrowly channeled life-script circumstances of an Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, Joseph and Mary, Peter, Paul, and Jesus.
If it takes the Intelligent Designer God to set up for us the physical conditions in our solar system to be able to observe a lunar eclipse of the sun leading to a scientific understanding of the larger universe, it is timely for modern Christians to now also officially recognize that it will take God to likewise engineer the unique conditions of a journey-of-faith life-script of tightly specified events and circumstances, to lead us into “all truth” (John 16:13). The extremely narrow specifications that set up the precise conditions to open up the way for the scientific investigation in the natural world, as evidenced through the unique phenomenon of a solar eclipse, are a quantitatively measureable, empirical revelation of the master craftsmanship of God. This same intricate precision is mirrored in the equally tight specifications of a journey of faith leading to the revelation of moral and spiritual truth, as recorded in the narrative stories in the Bible (Ephesians 2:10).
The empirical scientific evidence for the notion that our planet earth is special and privileged through the common factors that support complex life and at the same time provide a prime observation platform to make scientific discoveries, translates seamlessly from the natural world over into the biblical concept of a journey of faith leading to the highest levels of discovering eternally valid and applicable moral truths.
God designed the exact size of our earth, its location within the “habitable zone” in our solar system to permit liquid water, the size and type of our sun, the large size of our moon that maintains the uniform tilt and rotation of our earth for a stable weather environment, and the transparent nature of our atmosphere that supports both complex life and scientific investigation. This same creative God is composing and orchestrating journeys of faith for Christians through this current spiritual, moral, and intellectual environment of our world today (Jeremiah 31:31-34).