by Pastor Steve
“The Cosmos is all that is – or ever was – or ever will be.” With those words made famous by Carl Sagan a generation ago, “The Cosmos” is being reworked for a new generation on the Fox television network. It was shown Sunday night on TV. A generation ago I watched and marveled at so much of the grander of the original. I watched this new installment by DVR on Monday in High Definition. What I found was much the same as the original, with better graphics, newer scientific information, but the same underlying presuppositions.
The first twenty minutes were by far the best. The show did a remarkable job showing the staggering and unimaginable immensity of the universe. They tried to encapsulate the scientific knowledge we have gained, as many believe it to be, and take us on a journey through our solar system and beyond using the scientific method.
The scientific method is explained in simple, easy to understand terms:
1. Test ideas by experiment and observation.
2. Build on those ideas that pass the test and reject the ones that fail.
3. Follow the evidence wherever it leads, and question everything.
These are the rules that the natural man follows in his quest for knowledge, and in themselves they are not bad. The problem is, they are impossible to keep objectively and “The Cosmos” series often wanders far from these rules. Imagination and speculation are inserted with the same certainty as what we believe are the facts. No one is neutral. Man is totally depraved, and without the understanding that there is an eternal Creator God, man’s search for knowledge will lead him astray.
As they show the wonder of the universe, through pictures, CGI graphics and animation, this is where we as Christians can rejoice. Our great God created all of this. We are discovering more and more of what He has made. His creation far exceeds what we have known in its immensity and complexity. We can and should expect to learn more as the years go by. The knowledge gained, by the light of natural revelation, should humble us and cause us to worship and serve the Creator. But natural revelation, which testifies to the Creator is never enough. Instead, man in his depravity proves the truth again and again which is explained so well in Romans 1:18-23.
The Cosmos IS the “god” of this new series and evolution is their authoritative bible. The means whereby everything comes to pass are accident, chaos, and time. Theories and imagination become realities, and their own rules are broken when they asked to “question everything”. It appears they only want us to question the existence of God Himself, and give a natural explanation for all that there has been, is and will be. The sun, moon and stars were the gods of ancient civilizations. Not much has changed, but “the god” is now much larger. The Cosmos is the god of this series, and Carl Sagan is the prophet.
Is there value in the series? Everyone needs to judge for themselves and their family. This type of program does fascinate me, and I expect to tape and watch them all, just as I saw all of the original series done by Sagan himself. Do understand the series is not pure science and you will be bombarded by the things our society bombards us with daily. Take a tour of the Grand Canyon, read the explanatory signs that are posted, and you will find much the same thing.
But this series goes even further. It is a mixture of science, pseudo-science, imagination, pop psychology, philosophy and religion. They are trying to answer the great questions of existence while denying the existence of God. They pit science against religion and by implication take their shots at those who would believe in God today. With the matter of fact presentation given, one wonders if they even understand where they have taken their own “leap of faith”.
They mock the foolish men who once thought the earth to be the center of the universe. What they willfully forget is our “cosmic address” does not matter. Our physical place in the universe is not what ultimately matters nor is this what God speaks about in the Scriptures.
God made all things for His own glory. While the majesty and immensity of the universe overwhelms us, do not forget that His providence rules over all. This is true from the macro to the micro. And do not forget, God has His eye on this earth specifically and man in particular. It should overwhelm us to think that God made all that is, in the beginning, and we only see a speck of it. There is the vastness of what is still unseen, of the material and spiritual and much of it is unimaginable to our finite minds. Yet His watch care is here. God made man in His own image from the dust of the ground. The God-man came into this world. The cosmos is not God. The cosmos is the creation, and man is the crowning glory of that creation. That should not cause us to be arrogant, but humble in the sight of a God who is more glorious than we truly comprehend.