“Where did everything come from? Where are we heading? Big History tells the story of the Universe starting from the Big Bang, the formation of stars, planets, life on Earth, modern civilization — and what might exist in the future.” www.bighistoryproject.com
Over the last 50 years, education in America has undergone massive changes. The latest in this foray is the “Big History Project”. The web site BigHistoryProject.com is an educational, online-based site focused on assisting high schools worldwide on the subject of history. In the U.S., it is beginning to replace world and American History and even science in some schools and is growing gradually worldwide. It is receiving huge endorsements and endowments from many educational, public and political leaders:
““Big History examines our past, explains our present, and imagines our future. It’s a story about us. An idea that arose from a desire to go beyond specialized and self-contained fields of study to grasp history as a whole. This growing, multi-disciplinary approach is focused on high school students, yet designed for anyone seeking answers to the big questions about the history of our Universe.
“The Big History Project is a joint effort between teachers, scholars, scientists, and their supporters to bring a multi-disciplinary approach to knowledge to lifelong learners around the world.” A large segment is for high school students and their teachers who are involved in home school. Directly into your home. Parents can visit the site at www.bighistoryproject.com and see the approach firsthand.
David Christianson, the “Big History” creator states in a short introductory video that:
“People have always asked the big questions. How was the universe created? Why does it work the way it does? Why do we find ourselves on this tiny planet buzzing with life? Looking at the big picture reveals unexpected connections. To know about humanity, you have to ask about the whole universe.
“…By the end of this course [take note], you will have surveyed the whole history of the universe and you’ll know how you fit into it.”
They do admit they don’t know what caused the immense universe and that they can only speculate as to what will happen next. The Project is an overview or framework for putting together all that we know physically and where everything comes from in their words, its origin. Again I quote:
“Every culture has its own origin story. They may be very short anecdotes. Or they might be elaborate narratives that help explain the mysteries of our existence.
“Big History is an origin story like many others. But, instead of being rooted in a specific culture or geography, Big History aims to account for everything we know and that which we have yet to discover. Contributors include philosophers, scientists, scholars, adventurers and curious learners of all stripes who weave a story of enormous scale. And like all origin stories below, the Big History story has developed over time and will continue to evolve.”
Immediately after this statement, the website has 6 pages that quote or narrate 6 different origin stories. First, is the Chinese story “Pan Gu and the Egg of the World”; that’s the way the Chinese explain creation. The second is Greek. It uses the “Titans and Gods of Olympus”. This is followed by the Native American Iroquois, who have the story of “The Great Turtle Island”. Next in the line is the Judeo-Christian, as they put it, “Tradition” of Genesis. Then it’s followed by the Mayan “Popol Vuh” story. Lastly, as number 6, they have placed the “Modern Scientific” story, which is the teaching of the Big History Project.
They undeniably place the Big History Project in the realm of religion and present science as a choice which mankind may choose as a basis from which to live their entire lives. It is presented as a “new” way of looking at our place in the world.
But is it really new? Of the 6 origin stories, 5 of them have a commonality based in the worship of the universe, of creation itself. Only one, the Judeo-Christian story, when understood and applied correctly, is not founded on the universe but on the One who created it and the purpose for which He created it.
God through Paul gave us a clear and vivid picture concerning the other 5 origin stories:
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
“Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever” (Romans 1:18–25).
Paul is clear that, instead of worshipping God as the Creator, those who consider themselves as the elite intellectuals are in awe of themselves and their ability to gather knowledge. They foolishly worship themselves and all that has been created. Consequently, most of humanity has refuse to acknowledge God’ as their Creator as well.
God through Daniel reveals that knowledge would increase throughout time, but much more as Christ’s return draws near: “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase” (Daniel 12:4). We, as followers of Christ, need to recognize and reject conclusions that are contrary to the truth in God’s word. We need to be discerning and not fall for the secular world’s new philosophies and ideas. This religion of science is no different than all the pagan religions that God warned about. We are to be careful to worship our God as He requires, not in the way that other people define God.
God reminded ancient Israel that He set before them a choice:
“Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you today; and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known. Now it shall be, when the LORD your God has brought you into the land which you go to possess, that you shall put the blessing on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount Ebal. Are they not on the other side of the Jordan, toward the setting sun, in the land of the Canaanites who dwell in the plain opposite Gilgal, beside the terebinth trees of Moreh? For you will cross over the Jordan and go in to possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you, and you will possess it and dwell in it. And you shall be [diligent] to observe all the statutes and judgments which I set before you today” (Deuteronomy 11:26–32).
These choices are set before all mankind throughout time. However, observance of God’s laws was not to be a matter of theory or obligation, but one of the heart: “My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh (Proverbs 4:20-22). We are to give careful attention to the obligations of God’s covenant, laws and statutes and to guard our behavior and our lips: “He who guards his mouth preserves his life, But he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction (Proverbs 13:3).
God states that His commandments are no big mystery; they are not far off : “For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off . . . . But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it (Deuteronomy 30:11,14).
God has revealed Himself through His Word and has shown us that we are to worship Him not through His creation, but in spirit, from the heart, in truth, and in sincerity; through a relationship with Him and not through this physical world: “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him” (John 4:23).The immense universe, while it’s nothing to be worshipped, is a testimony to Who God is. However, no matter how old it is, however immense, it is dying. It is God who is eternally living.
When God commands us to choose, that choice is not colors of gray. It’s black and it’s white. It’s either “all in” or “all out”. His desire is for all mankind to choose life: “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9). “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;” (Deuteronomy 30:19).
Christ never compartmentalized the eternal purpose for which He was born from His everyday physical life. His choice was to always reflect God’s nature and character. He did not practice any pagan or human philosophy of worship such as when the Pharisee’s replaced God’s law with their own traditions. He lived by every word of God (Matthew 4.4). And God is looking for those who are willing to live by His truth through His Spirit. If we trust God, He will direct our lives: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones (Proverbs 3:5-8).
God the Father and Jesus Christ are faithful Creators who are committed to fulfilling their promise of eternal life to those who choose Life.