Are Planets Biblical?
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In this episode of the Foundation Worldview Podcast, host Elizabeth Urbanowicz dives into an intriguing question: Are planets biblical? Navigating the intersection of science, everyday life, and biblical teachings, Elizabeth explores how topics not directly mentioned in the Bible, such as gravity and the existence of planets, can still be understood through a biblical lens. Discover how various facets of life connect to the teachings of Scripture and learn how to equip the young minds around you to think biblically about everything. Dive in and explore the vast expanse of God’s creation with us!
Note: The following is an auto-transcript of the podcast recording.
Hello friends, and welcome to another episode of the Foundation Worldview Podcast where we seek to answer your questions so that you can equip the children that God has placed in your care to carefully evaluate every idea they encounter and understand the truth of the biblical worldview. I'm your host, Elizabeth Urbanowicz, and I'm thrilled that you've joined me for another episode today. Now, today's question says, "Are planets biblical? My child is very interested in learning about them. I can't find them in the Bible, so I'm wondering how I should navigate this." This is a really interesting question to think through, and I'm so glad that this question was asked because I think it represents a concept that many Christians are confused about when we are exploring the world around us and then seeing what lines up with Scripture. So we're going to dive down deep into that question today.
But before we do that, as always, I would ask that if you have found the content of this podcast beneficial, please make sure that you like and subscribe so that you don't miss any future episodes, and would also ask that you invest the time writing a review so that others can find this content and we can equip as many adults as possible to get the kids in their care carefully evaluating every idea they encounter and understanding the truth of the biblical worldview.
Now, as we think through this question, are planets biblical, we don't specifically see planets mentioned in the Bible. I think that's something that many Christians are confused about just because the Bible doesn't specifically mention something doesn't mean that that thing is outside the realm of the biblical worldview. I'm going to give you a few examples here. For example, gravity. We do not see gravity mentioned anywhere in the Bible. So does that mean that we should not believe that gravity exists? Well, when we think about it, we know that scientists have studied gravity and can explain it to us what it is and what kind of force it is. We also just experience it every day in our lives that we know that we don't just float up to the ceiling, that we are on the ground. We also know that when we drop objects or if an object falls out of our hand, it falls to the ground.
So we see the truth that gravity exists and those who are scientifically minded and have studied a lot, they're able to explain to us exactly what gravity is and how it works. We're even able to calculate gravity on the moon and what that force of gravity would be on the moon or on other planets. And so the Bible doesn't mention gravity, but it would be ridiculous for us as Christians to deny that gravity existed because the evidence for it is all around us.
Then we ask ourselves, okay, so this is a concept that is not explained in Scripture, there are so many things in the world around us that are not specifically mentioned in Scripture, but there are biblical principles that undergird those concepts. So when we think about gravity, what is the biblical principle that undergirds the concept of gravity? Well, that would be the fact that God has created and sustained everything that we find in the universe.
A passage of Scripture that we see very clearly is in the first chapter of Colossians. In Colossians chapter one, verses 15 through 17, the apostle Paul writes, speaking of Jesus, "he is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities, all things were created through him and for him, and he is before all things, and in him, all things hold together." So in this passage of Scripture, we see this truth that Jesus God, the Son, the second person of the trinity has created all that we see and sustains it all. That last part of verse 17 says, "and in him, all things hold together" so that we know that gravity is a force that was created by Jesus. It is sustained by Jesus because we are God's image bearers we can learn about gravity, we can study it, we can see it all around us.
Another concept that we could look at, for example, is the human invention of airplanes. Airplanes are nowhere mentioned in the Bible, nor did God ever command a human to create an airplane. This makes sense since they weren't created until just a little over a hundred years ago. And Scripture, the canon of Scripture was closed just a little under 2000 years ago. So when we think through this, it's like, okay, nowhere in Scripture are airplanes mentioned. Nowhere in Scripture is anyone commanded to build an airplane. So does that mean that either one airplanes don't exist, which would be ridiculous? We all know that they do. We have almost all people have experiential knowledge that they do exist. Or does it mean that they're not biblical, that humans shouldn't create airplanes?
Well, no, we know that planes have a lot of good, they get people from one place to another faster. They've enabled people and families to visit one another. No longer does it take months on the Oregon Trail to get there. I can get there. I could be in Florida and the US and get to Oregon in just a few hours on a plane. We know that they've made communication between different parts of the world possible. We were able to explore different cultures, languages and countries. And so what is the biblical principle then that undergirds the creation and continuing improvement of airplanes? Well, I think that one biblical worldview concept that clearly undergirds this is the truth that God gave us humans as his image bearers the command to reflect him by creating things that we reflect God as our creator by stewarding his creation and by continuing to create things that benefit humanity.
A passage of Scripture where this is very clear is in the first chapter of Genesis. In Genesis one, verses 26 through 27, those verses say, "Then God said, let us make man in our image after our likeness and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God, he created him, male and female, he created them." So in this passage, we see that God has given us as humans the responsibility of having dominion over creation, that we bear his image and we reflect that image to the rest of creation. So therefore, anytime humans create things to benefit humanity, they're reflecting God's glory as his image bearers and they're reflecting God as creator.
So do we find airplanes in the Bible? No, that wouldn't make any sense to find them there. But do we also don't see any command to create them? But that doesn't mean that we need a specific command to create them because we have this dominion mandate in the first chapter of Genesis that we as humans are to steward creation and we're to reflect God through creating. So anytime we encounter something that the Bible does not specifically mention, we should ask ourselves, how does this topic relate to the biblical worldview? So let's apply this to this specific question that was written in how do planets relate to the biblical worldview? We might not see planets specifically mentioned, and we don't see the names of Mars, Venus, and Jupiter, which makes sense because those names were not given to them until just a little over 2000 years ago.
But what do planets have to do? How do they relate to the biblical worldview? Well, similar to gravity, we know we would be very foolish to deny that planets exist, that through space exploration, it's very clear that there are planets other than Earth in our solar system, and as a way of honoring God with our minds, we need to make sure that we're not denying realities that are very clearly laid out in the world before us. So when we think of, okay, so how do planets relate to the biblical worldview, even if they're not mentioned by name in the Bible? Well, one planets are part of creation. They're part of the universe that God created. And Genesis one talks all about the creation days. Genesis chapter one, specifically verses 14 through 19, talk about this, those verses say, "And God said, let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and for years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth. And it was so. And God made the two great lights, the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night and the stars and God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth to rule over the day and over the night and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good, and there was evening and there was morning on the fourth day."
So if we were talking to our kids about this, we can read them this passage and say, okay, what does this tell us about different parts of creation that God gave us the sun? Does this passage specifically say the sun? No, it calls the sun the greater light. Does it specifically mention the moon? No, it doesn't say the moon, but it talks about the lesser light to rule the night, and then it talks about the stars, which when we see other planets, what do they appear like to us in the sky? They appear as stars when we're just looking into the heavens with the naked eye. And so we can talk to our kids about this. Okay? So this is the part of the creation narrative that talks about planets. So we can know planets are part of creation.
Another truth about planets is that planets are purposeful and they're good. That's something that we get from the first chapter of Genesis that all parts of God's creation, they came about purposely. Nothing came about accidentally. God had a purposeful plan for all that he created and all that he created was good. We read this in Genesis chapter one, verse 31. It says, "and God saw everything that he had made, and behold it was very good, and there was evening and there was mourning the sixth day" Then say, "Okay, what does this tell us about all of God's creation?" We can ask our kids this after we read this verse. It tells us that everything God had made was good. Everything God made was good. So how does this apply to planets? It means that God created the planets and the planets are good. They are part of his handiwork.
Another truth that we can learn from Scripture about the planets is that they were created and are sustained by God the Son. We can look back at that first chapter of Colossians, just as I talked about when we were looking at the concept of gravity. We can look back at verses 15 through 17. I'll read those to us one more time. These verses talk about Jesus, and they say "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things were created through him and for him, and he is before all things. And in Him, all things hold together."
So we can read this passage to our children and then say, okay, what does this tell us about all of creation and in our specific question, the planets? Well, it tells us who created them. Jesus, God the Son, the second person of the trinity created them and he holds them together. A fancy word for that is he sustains them. He holds them together. He sustains them so the planets stay in their planetary orbit around the sun because God sustains the laws of physics that keep the universe working as it works.
So this is something that I think is just really important. Anytime we encounter something that Scripture doesn't specifically mention, we should ask ourselves, how does this topic relate to the biblical worldview? Because especially as we're raising our children, we don't want them to just see like, okay, over here we have Scripture and things that the Bible talks about. And then over here are all the rest of the aspects of life. And they have nothing to do with what Scripture speaks about. No Scripture speaks to all of life. It doesn't specifically mention every single part of life by name, but it gives us the principles, the biblical worldview principles that undergird every other facet of life. And so if we can train our children and ourselves to ask this question, how does this topic relate to the biblical worldview? We are well on our way to equipping them to think biblically about everything.
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