The Cosmic Triangle

The way we think about God and the cosmos, consider how the creation works and how we as a race and individuals fit into it, is called “cosmology.” We all operate with a cosmology. This is true whether we thought much about it or not. I find that many people, even Christians, do not think about it much at all. We are given bits and pieces of a cosmology from Church, the Bible and our culture, but often we are not very intentional in developing a life that is shaped and formed by a thoroughly biblical cosmology. We may think that believing in Jesus is enough, and apart from this, how we think about creation doesn’t really matter. However, cosmology, the “science” of “how all things fit together,” is essentially linked to our spirituality. In our discussion above on the Enlightenment, we found that our culture has lost hope in a comprehensive theology or philosophy that can inform us how all things fit together. Instead, it is committed to eclecticism, and this attitude has subtly made its way into the fabric of Christian thought. This contributes to our spiritual and moral brokenness.

Let me introduce to you a very simple way of understanding biblical cosmology. I call it the “cosmic triangle.” It is found in the opening two chapters of Genesis. Imagine three points making a triangle. The top point is God who is above and beyond creation, and not essentially a part of it. We find this idea in the very first verse of the Bible where “in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Here we are introduced to a Creator-God who exists outside of space and time. We call this “transcendence” in that God goes beyond any creature or idea a creature might have of Him.

Now let us consider the next point which we place down and to the right of our point of transcendence. We call this point space/matter. Here we have all that God created in the six days of creation; all the wonderful things God made in heaven and earth and the space to give room for them. We see that God proclaimed them “good.” “Good” is a theological word; it includes the idea of “pleasing to the senses,” and as we shall see, far more.

Directly across from this point of space/matter and down and to the left of transcendence is the point which we call “time,” completing the triangle. God created everything in the context of time. Time itself is a creation, but as we shall see, it reflects something of the reality of transcendence.

We now have our triangle. (I would diagram it for you if I knew how to do this on the website software.) We have God and transcendence above, and below, belonging to creation, space/matter and time. In the next few weeks we will discuss each of this and show how they relate to one another, forming a complete cosmology. For now let us say that how we understand each point of the triangle is critical to our lives and worship. Moreover, this simple cosmic triangle helps us to evaluate every world view that is thrown at us through the media or literature. We always must ask, what is this person saying about transcendence, space/matter, and time? Finally, we hope to understand Jesus better through the cosmic triangle.

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