Astronomers tell us there may be as many as 500 billion (500,000,000,000) galaxies out there. Of those, our home, the Milky Way is fairly typical. It is estimated to have 200 to 400 billion stars.
Obviously, the total number of stars in the universe is, well, astronomical.
Now, let me change direction for a moment.
Many will say that The Bible is God’s spoken word. Others will say the words are inspired by God.
We read those words today in English or some other contemporary language. Few read the Old Testament in the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek of the Dead Sea Scrolls. And, for the New Testament that was assembled by the early Christian church, again, few of us read that in the Koine Greek which was more like a common, street vernacular of the Roman market, not a scholarly writing of great finesse and precision.
It therefore strikes me as arrogant — in the extreme — for humanity to think that 1) out of all the Universe, we are the only sentient life, 2) that God singled us out to be the chosen species on the chosen planet of the chosen star in the chosen galaxy, or 3) that in our fledgling understanding of the Universe that God created, that we could be so arrogant as to believe can understand His purposes and 4) that He would send us, and only us, His words, and that 5) we would be able to understand those words across the centuries as our civilizations and science evolve.
Put simpler, I think it incredibly naive of humanity to believe that “God’s word” in the Bible can be anything more than a coarse speller, as in first grade “speller”, for our education.
The Bible is a good starting point, to that I’ll agree.
But the Universe is so unimaginably big — and God created all of that — that I find it hard to believe my tiny little brain can begin to fathom even the slightest inkling of what God might be, or what His purposes are, or that I might be able to get some idea of what my place in all this might be.
How can I possibly think that any substantial part of God’s infinite comprehension concerning our tiny corner of a solar system off in one tiny part of just one of those hundreds of billions of galaxies … how can I think that I can understand that?
So while I don’t reject The Bible, I do scoff at the idea that out of those hundreds of billions of galaxies, each containing hundreds of billions of stars, that there is only one planet with sentient life, or that humanity — out of all that — is God’s highest creation.
The hubris of such an idea leaves me flabbergasted.
I have to believe there are an immense number — albeit separated by so much space that they will never become aware of each other — of sentient and technologically competent species in the Universe. And I believe they, too, will develop a concept of an Almighty Being similar to ours — I think that is inevitable for any thinking creature.
And I have no problem thinking they will have their own versions of The Bible complete with God’s inspired word. And, for those species such as ours that just could not “get the message” in any other way, God might also have sent an emissary, a Son, to guide them to the right track.
But when we nit-pick the meaning of the contents of our Bible or start to try and figure out What Would Jesus Do, why then we’re just making stuff up out of thin air.
The Bible contains guidelines. Guidelines are the broad statements of what should usually be done, not hard and fast rules to control each step of the day.
Get your faces and minds out of the book. Life is out there, not in the book.
God gave us minds and the ability to figure out what engenders life, and what endangers it.
The Bible and Jesus are there to help, but they aren’t the focus.
Live, breathe, go, do, fly, prosper, explore, multiply, expand.
That is what God built into us, that is what our most basic and fundamental drives are all about.
He gave us those drives.
As the Nike ad says, “Just Do It!”