God’s Oasis in Space

Except from Chapter 14 of Beyond Shallow Faith, copyright 2018, 2019

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

—Romans 1:20

The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.

—Psalm 19:1

If you want evidence of God’s awesome power, just listen to what astronomers tell us the universe contains. Near the far side of the known universe, quasars[i] generate the energetic equivalent of a galactic explosion. Throughout the universe—even in our own Milky Way Galaxy—we find stellar collisions, exploding stars called supernovas,[ii] black holes,[iii] and deadly levels of radiation. Any of these would obliterate life[iv] on Earth if they occurred within a few light-years[v] of us.

On the other hand, if you want proof of God’s grace, look at Earth. Life exists on this planet only because God created an oasis amid the desert of space. In this chapter we will explore the lengths to which he went to provide a hospitable planet for us. . . .

Beyond Shallow Faith is available on Amazon.com.

[i]. “Quasar” is an acronym for “quasi-stellar radio source.” Because not all quasars emit powerful radio waves, they are also known as QSOs, short for “quasi-stellar object.” The closest quasar is about five-hundred million light-years from us.

[ii]. A supernova is a huge explosion that occurs when a massive star—much more massive than our Sun—nears the end of its life, collapses in on itself, and then explodes. A supernova can be bright enough to outshine billions of stars. The temperature in the core of a supernova just before it explodes can reach one-hundred billion degrees Kelvin. After the explosion, whatever is left becomes either a neutron star or, if the matter is sufficiently dense and massive, a black hole. Chinese records of a supernova in the constellation Taurus in 1054 A.D. state that a “star” was so bright that it was visible in broad daylight for a month. The last supernova in our galaxy was in 1604 A.D.

[iii]. A black hole is so incredibly dense and massive that not even light can escape its gravity. Since light is trapped, a black hole cannot be seen, but its gravitational effects can be measured.

[iv]. Throughout this chapter, when I speak of “life” I do not include those microbial forms of life—so called “extremophiles”—which are able to survive under extreme conditions that would be fatal to higher forms of life including humans. These microbes can withstand heat in excess of 212° F (the boiling point of water), cold below 32° F (the freezing point of water), and seemingly toxic environments.

[v]. The speed of light is 186,282 miles per second in the vacuum of space. This is more than 670 million miles per hour. Light is slowed slightly when traveling through our atmosphere—to about 186,220 miles per second.