Book Review: Beyond the Cosmos: What Recent Discoveries in Astrophysics Reveal About the Glory and Love of God
Hugh Ross, president and founder of Reasons To Believe, has published an updated, third edition of Beyond the Cosmos, originally published in 1996. Since the publication year was the year before I began GodAndScience.org, I never did publish a review of the book. However, it remains one of my favorite books on theology and science.
Beyond the Cosmos is based upon biblical theology and the scientific theories about string theory and extra dimensions of space and time. According to string theory, the universe consists of at least nine dimensions of space, three of which make up the vast amount of the volume of the universe, with the remaining six dimensions relegated to minimal volume. The theory is based upon observations in particle physics that predict such dimensions. In addition, numerous observations from Big Bang cosmology indicate that the universe first began to exist 13.8 billion years ago. The implication is that not only space, but time itself began only 13.8 billion years ago. The first two chapters give an introduction into the concepts of strings and extra dimensions of space and time. Chapters 3 and 4 provide experimental evidence for their existence, which is part of the book that has been updated to reflect the latest scientific research. Those who are not into the science can skip those two chapters and trust that Dr. Ross knows what he is talking about.
Chapter 5 is an introduction into what the Bible says about extra dimensions of space and time. It also includes a discussion of some of the implications of this theology on some of the miracles described in the Bible. Chapter 6 includes a discussion of biblical doctrines that are dependent upon extra dimensions of space and time. Spend enough time in these two chapters to make sure you get the concepts, since the rest of the book is dependent upon this understanding.
God and extra dimensions
The next 11 chapter provide specific examples of how God can be understood in terms of these extra dimensions. They answer questions such as:
- How can my choices be totally "free" if God is in control of all things?
- How can God hear my prayers while listening to the prayers of billions of other beings at the same time?
- How can God be forever alive and yet suffer death on a cross?
- How can God be all-powerful and all-loving and yet allow so much evil and suffering in the world?
- How can God be both three and one?
- How can God subject someone to eternal torment and call that an act of love?
If you have never thought deeply about these questions, you are going to be amazed at some of the answers and how all these paradoxes are easily resolved.
Beyond the Cosmos is an examination of how Christian theology can be true within the framework of modern scientific theories of cosmology. The book does not require a degree in science to understand, but it does require the reader to think deeply about the content that is being explained. If you are a Christian who is content with "the Bible says it, I believe it" then this book is not for you. However, if you want to understand biblical principles at a deeper level and take your faith to the next tier, you will want to read this book. Although parts of the book are speculative, they provide a context for understanding possible ways God is able to do what He does. The book will inspire you to look on the glory of God in a whole new way while increasing your faith. It is a must-read for the thinking Christian.
- The Extradimensional Nature of God - How can God be three-in-one?
Creator and the Cosmos by
A classic book for modern Christian apologetics and science. Dr. Ross presents the scientific evidence for intelligent design of our world and an easy to understand introduction to modern cosmology. This is a great book to give agnostics, who have an interest in cosmology and astronomy.
Today's New Reason to Believe
Integrating Science and Faith
- 03/30/2015 02:07 AM
Soft Tissue in Mollusk Fossils and the Case for a Young Earth
When it comes to science-faith discussions, the age of the earth is one of the most contentious topics among evangelicals and conservative Christians. Most of the scientific debate surrounding this issue centers on astronomy and geology, but young-earth creationists have recently turned to biology to make their case for a young earth. One prominent argument … Continue reading
- 03/26/2015 02:24 AM
How We Keep Our Eyes on Target
They say it’s harder to hit a moving target. The difficulty increases even more if the weapons platform is moving, too. Consider the tank chase scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Indy manages to avoid the guns on a lumbering tank by never staying put. Unless on very flat and horizontal terrain, World … Continue reading
- 03/23/2015 02:42 AM
Does Science Make the Case for God, or Not? (Part 1 of 2)
Does science make the case for God, or not? It depends on whom you ask. Author and TV host Eric Metaxas argued the affirmative position in a recent (December 2014) Wall Street Journal piece.1 A month later in response to Metaxas’ article, the New Yorker published an opposite position2 from theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss. Rather … Continue reading
- 03/19/2015 02:40 AM
Blood Moons: An End-Times Sign? (Part 2 of 2)
Popular Bible preacher John Hagee has authored a book and produced a movie by the same name, Four Blood Moons (in theatres March 23 only). On the film’s website the San Antonio megachurch pastor states, “The heavens are ‘God’s billboard.’ He’s been sending signals to earth, and we haven’t been picking them up.” In part … Continue reading
- 03/16/2015 02:15 AM
Blood Moons: An End-Times Sign? (Part 1 of 2)
Four Blood Moons, a theatrical one-night event scheduled for March 23, 2015, and based on Texas megachurch pastor John Hagee’s New York Times bestseller of the same name, has garnered attention. I’m featured briefly in the film as a skeptic of Hagee’s central claim that a sequence of four total lunar eclipses signifies that “world … Continue reading
- 03/12/2015 02:10 AM
Twisted Evidence for Early Life
Anyone working on a home improvement project knows how important it is to have “the right tool for the right job.” This maxim also applies to science. Scientists need the right scientific tools if they ever hope to advance our understanding of the natural world. Perhaps no group of scientists has a greater need for … Continue reading
- 03/09/2015 02:56 AM
Early Life Was More Complex than We Thought
Is Genesis scientifically credible? According to the common narrative in our culture, scientific advance has rendered Genesis (and other creation accounts found in the Bible) untenable. Yet, if the Genesis creation “days” are viewed as long periods of time and the proper frame of reference is identified (Earth’s surface), remarkable agreement emerges between the Bible … Continue reading
- 03/05/2015 02:04 AM
Q&A: Were Dinosaurs Reptiles?
From Jerry in Los Angeles, CA I’m reading your book Navigating Genesis. On page 66 you say, “Given that dinosaurs were reptiles, not mammals…” Wait a minute! I thought it was shown decades ago that dinosaurs were not. They were warm blooded and some were feathered. I thought it was common knowledge that dinosaurs were not … Continue reading
- 03/02/2015 02:45 AM
Q&A: Could “Fresh” Dino Tissue Survive for Millions of Years?
From Nate in Fullerton, CA: Recently I’ve been referred by some young-earth creationist friends to a couple of articles about a Tyrannosaurus rex tooth and a Triceratops-type horn that both underwent an autopsy showing (relatively speaking) “fresher” organic material. Does this affect the time line for the existence of dinosaurs? I appreciate the thought put into this … Continue reading
- 02/26/2015 02:14 AM
Q&A: Are Dark Matter and Dark Energy Just “Props” for the Big Bang?
From Gavin: I always enjoy and profit by listening to RTB’s scholars discussing and interviewing others on various creation-science, theological-philosophical, and biblical topics. I am interested to hear what you have to say about the following. A commentator on a young-earth creation (YEC) website said, I am very impressed with the way YEC cosmologists have … Continue reading
Last Modified February 22, 2011