This is part two of “It All Started with Genesis” that posted last week. Click here to read Part One.
Probably the most brilliant scientist I have ever heard speak is Dr. Hugh Ross, a Canadian Astrophysicist. As a young boy he was very curious about the universe. At the age of eight Ross read every book on Astronomy in his well-stocked elementary school library. He says:
“At age ten I had exhausted the science resources of the children’s and youth sections of the Vancouver Public Library and was granted a pass to the adult section. A few years later I was given access to the library of the University of British Columbia. By the time I was sixteen, I was presenting public lectures on astronomy and at seventeen won the British Columbia Science Fair for my project on variable stars. Also at seventeen, I became the director of observations for the Vancouver branch of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (an organization of primarily amateur astronomers). I felt glad to have found so early in life a pursuit I loved.”
Ross had no formal religious beliefs, and he knew that the European philosophers of the Enlightenment largely discounted religion. He says:
“I first looked for insight from their works. What I discovered, however, were circular arguments, inconsistencies, contradictions, and evasions. I began to appreciate nature all the more, for it never presented me with such twists.”
So Ross finally decided to read all of the holy books of the world’s major religions. He believed there was a God out there and reasoned that if He was the Creator he would be speaking through one of these books. The problem is most of the holy books he read were esoteric, mysterious and vague. His great frustration is that none of them contained anything stated specifically enough to be tested.
Finally, he picked up a Bible he had received from the Gideons. He was struck by how simple, direct, and specific it was and he was amazed at “the quantity of historical and scientific references.”
What rocked Ross’s life was reading the first chapter in the book of Genesis. He put it this way:
“Instead of another bizarre creation myth, here was a journal-like record of the earth’s initial conditions—correctly described from the standpoint of astrophysics and geophysics—followed by a summary of the sequence of changes through which Earth came to be inhabited by living things and ultimately by humans. The account was simple, elegant, and scientifically accurate. From what I understood to be the stated viewpoint of an observer on Earth’s surface, both the order and the description of creation events perfectly matched the established record of nature. I was amazed.”
Ross committed himself to vigorously reading the Bible through, testing the accuracy of all its statements on science, geography, and history. It took him eighteen months. He then confesses that:
“At the end of the eighteen months, I had to admit to myself that I had been unsuccessful in finding a single provable error or contradiction. This is not to say that there were not any passages in the Bible I did not understand or problems that I could not resolve. The problems and passages I couldn’t yet, understand didn’t discourage me, however, for I faced the same kinds of things in the record of nature. But, just as with the record of nature, I was impressed with how much could be understood and resolved.
I was now convinced that the Bible was supernaturally accurate and thus supernaturally inspired. Its perfection could come only from the Creator Himself. I also recognized that the Bible stood alone in revealing God and His dealings with humans from a perspective that demanded more than just the dimensions we mortals can experience (length, width, height, and time). Since humans cannot visualize phenomena in dimensions they cannot experience, finding these ideas in the Bible also argued for a superhuman author.”
Ross did not know what to do next. He then spent a long evening studying the salvation passages in the Bible. Ross then realized he must humble himself before God, asking Him to forgive him of his pride. Ross committed himself to following Christ. He says,
“At 1:06 in the morning I signed my name on the back page of my Gideon Bible, stating that I had received Christ as my Lord and Savior!
All of the scientific and historical evidence I had collected deeply rooted my confidence in the veracity of the Bible and convinced me that the Creator had indeed communicated through this holy book. I went on to become an astronomer and then an astrophysicist, and my investigations into both the cosmos and the Bible have shown me a more wondrous, personal God behind nature than I could ever have imagined.”
We must remember, however, that for Hugh Ross it all started with Genesis.