Anaheim SDA Church
Mid-week Pastor’s Update
April 6th, 2022
“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, will never cease.” Genesis 8:22
Well, we are in springtime, when it is said the elements of summer and winter battle against each-other. This week, we are experiencing one of the biggest temperature swings I can recall in recent memory, with days having been gray and cool Sabbath-Monday, but then hot and in the 90s here in the latter half of the week!
But even this temperature disparity is small within the range of our planet. The coldest temperature ever recorded on earth was -128.6°F (-89.2°C) in Antarctica in 1983, whereas the hottest was 131.4 °F (56.7 °C) in death valley in 1913. That’s a span of 260 degrees Farenheit (or 146° C)!
But even this range is small compared to known temperature disparaties in the universe. From “absolute zero” of -273.6°C (-460°F) to the hottest star (“Sirius”) at 18,000° F (9,400°C), nearly twice as hot as our own sun. The universe experiences temperature a disparity of nearly 18,500 degrees Farenheit (nearly 9,500° C). So, we experience just a tiny percentage range of that fluctuation here on earth (a mere 1.4%, if my math is right).
Why? Two reasons: first of all, our atmosphere and the oceans regulate (“even-out”) the earth’s temperatures. Without them, the sunny areas would soar in heat, and the dark areas would plunge to sub-zero temperatures constantly. Secondly, we are in the “goldilocks zone”, or ‘ring of survivability’ in our solar system. To be more than a few %s closer would too hot for life to survive (think Mercury or Venus), and to be more than a few %s farther would be too cold (with Mars and the further planets getting progressively less hospitable).
Now: some would just call these factors to be fabulously fortuitous or incredibly lucky; but we as believers believe this is all because life was intentionally placed here. Indeed, we are in the ‘goldilocks zone’ of physical factors in dozens if not hundreds of areas. I’ve heard it said that if the gravitational constant of the universe was either 1% stronger or weaker, life would not be able to exist anywhere. If the moon were either 1% closer or farther from earth, life wouldn’t be able to continue on earth. If water’s solid form (ice) were denser than its liquid form (as is true for almost all other liquids), life would not be sustainable for us. This and countless other factors of density, friction, viscosity, etc. would eliminate life if just slightly different.
So what do we chalk it up to? Incredible coincidence and fortuitousness on both the universal and local (solar system) levels? Or do we affirm that a superintelligent designer (God) was behind it all? For me, it is far easier to believe the latter. To quote tongue-in-cheek believer, Norman Geisler: “I don’t have enough faith to be an Atheist”*.
Just late last week we had “April Fools” day, and the Bible says “the fool has said in his heart, ‘there is no god’” (Psalm 14:1). We’ve obviously got lots of highly intelligent people who say there’s good reason to deny God’s existence, but do they still look like ‘fools’ to the heavenly intelligences? I believe they do: I frankly believe that a cosmology that excludes God is one that is made out of a primary motive, a desperation really, to deny the existence of God, and therefore to excuse oneself from a source that we would be accountable to.
The Apostle Paul put it well in Romans 1 (and I’m so glad he did), saying: “Since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (v.20)
I, for one, am greatly interested to see how atheistic scientists will attempt to defend themselves on Judgment Day: I don’t wish them ill (would much rather they would repent, believe, and find eternal life), but, according to the scriptures, they will have to give account for having violated conscience by ignoring overwhelming evidence of God’s existence, and promoting such perspective to others, to (partially) soothe their consciences in negating God as well.
In the meantime, let’s praise God for having given us a protected zone in the extremely hot/cold universe in which we can live and thrive!
I pray you and your families are blessed the rest of the week and beyond.
Pr. Mark Tatum
In fact, Geisler wrote a book called “I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist”. You can check it out here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Have-Enough-Faith-Atheist/dp/1433580756/ref=asc_df_1433580756/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=525188730924&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=7164407384995709916&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9031592&hvtargid=pla-1296189864614&psc=1