Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Craziness of Cosmogony and Eschatology.

CNN posted this photo I took of last fall's blood moon.

I am really enjoying reading Mary-Jane Rubenstein's Worlds Without End: The Many Lives of the Multiverse. It's interesting studying this while I'm wrapping up our one year of preaching through the book of Revelation.

This Sunday I'll do Rev. 21:9-27. It's about the denouement of the universe and its recreation, by God, into a temple that needs no temple because God's shining presence is omnipresent. John sees the Holy City descending from heaven. It's a cube that measures 1500 miles square.

Remember, this is figurative. But "the fact that this is a symbolic vision does not diminish the glory of what John was attempting to describe." (Barton and Osborne) It doesn't make it any less wild and crazy. Sometimes I find myself reflecting, "Man..., this is what I believe!!!" 

How do I rationally cope with believing in something so unbelievable? My answer is: any time you study deeper into the beginning of the universe (cosmogony), or its end (eschatology), the ideas get fantastic and insane and impossible to adequately verbalize. Which brings me back to Rubenstein's book. I just read what a lot of physicists believe about the first micro-second of our universe. Rubenstein is talking about inflationary cosmology.

"Inflation in its most basic form is a brief burst of insanely rapid universal expansion that kicks in right after the big bang—a hyperactively repulsive gravity that, “according to even conservative estimates,” blows the universe up by “a factor of 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 in [0].00000000000000000000000000000000001 second.” As Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow explain the process, “It was as if a coin 1 centimeter in diameter suddenly blew up to ten million times the width of the Milky Way.”" (Rubenstein, 156. Emphasis mine.)

Really? The craziness of cosmogony and eschatology.