Man, who once was at the center of the universe, and a unique and Divinely favored being, is now a bit of matter, found on a planetary system, on the edge of a galaxy, but with a consciousness.



Creation, the Scientific Revolution and Diests

"God Creationing the Sun",

Michaelangelo Buonarroti, 1511,

Sistene Chapel, Rome.


A common view of God was a great Fatherly figure on a throne in the clouds. Flights through the clouds and missions to space have dispelled that view. But there is a powerful and awe inspiring feeling of God - as seen in Michaelangelo’s works and in the action of people of faith. But as amazing and sacred as this painting is, is it a violation of the second commandment? What is the reason for the second commandment to state that there shall have no graven images? Why has art showing the Divine been a part of the Christian Church since the first or second century AD, but not a part of the Jewish or Moslem religions ?

Here is a photo, taken with the NASA Hubble telescope,of a nebula where astronomers believe that new stars are being formed or “created“. Massive clouds of dust and hydrogen gas will eventually condense by gravity and generate thermonuclear reactions and become stars.

hubble birth

The color and form is as dramatic as Michaelangelo’s paintings. But this photo is a fact, and facts such as this require us to reevaluate our view of God and the Cosmos on the macroscopic scale.

For the Next Reformation, art is integral and essential. Images help us visualize difficult concepts and increase our imagination. But then certain images may invoke strong negative feelings and increase our antagonism and exclusion of other people.
Creation is the Deist’s Bible and they have little need for the so-called revelationists who reveal God’s Word to us. Thomas Payne and Thomas Jefferson were well-known Deists. Deism was in vogue during the 17 th and 18 th centuries - during the Enlightenment, due in part to the Scientific Revolution and freedom generated by the Protestant Reformation.  Again to quote "The Age of Reason": "... the word of God is the Creation we behold" and ... "I believe in one God and no more, I hope for happiness beyond this life".
The Deists denounced religious intolerance, and accepted the moral teachings of the Bible. Thomas Jefferson’s “Bible” eliminated the Old Testament and was titled “The Life and Morals of Jesus”.

Deists use rational proofs for the existence of God based on the order and design of the Universe - God the Great Watchmaker. Thomas Paine is sarcastic, also shows his knowledge of the heliocentric theory and the science of the eighteenth century, in The Age of Reason he makes fun of Joshua.  "... the account, however, abstracted from the poetical fancy, shows the ignorance of Joshua, for he should have commanded the earth to have stood still." 

Joshua Commands the Sun to Stand Still, Gustave Dore', 1866, Dore's English Bible.  Joshua 10:12-14

joshua sun


Galileo, a famous Italian scientist, built telescopes and observed several moons revolving around the planet Jupiter. Galileo came to support and teach the Copernicus heliocentric theory and in 1615, Galileo was denounced  to the Inquisition and imprisoned.

Drawing of earth's moon, by Galileo, 1609, from observation through his telescope. Galileo saw that our own moon was not a smooth sphere, but had mountains and valleys. Observations such as this led to profound questions about religious beliefs.

galileo inquist

"Galileo Before the Inquistion,

by Joseph-Nicolas Robert-Fleury, 1847, Louve Museum, Paris.

geo helio What we have here are two relative theories. Both could account for our simple observations, but only one (heliocentric) theory would allow allow man to travel into space.

As we view the sun from our place on earth, it appears to move across the sky in its daily orbit - geocentric theory. But in fact, it is the earth that moves, spinning on it’s axis making day and night, while moving around the sun making the seasons - heliocentric theory.

The Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution changed man’s view of the world. The telescope changed man’s view of the heavens. Most ancient cultures studied the stars for practical information about the seasons and for philosophical and religious reasons. The geocentric, or earth centered theory of Aristole and Ptolemy remained the cornerstone of these studies through the end of the middle ages. It fit with the Catholic Church’s teachings of Creation and Genesis and with Greek idea of a perfect celestial, or heavenly region.
Based on observations and calculation, Copernicus, a Polish monk, published a book in 1543, describing his heliocentric, or sun centered theory of the universe. Ancient Greeks, such as Archimedes and Aristarchus, ~ 300 -200 BCE, also had hypothesized about the earth moving about the sun.  They had estimated the circumference of the earth and the distance to the moon.  Geometrically it made sense that the sun could not moved around the earth in 24 hours. 

Giordano Bruno, a Dominican Monk and astronomer, was burned at the stake for heresy in 1600 AD in Rome.  He had avocated the Heliocentric theory and also other heresies, such as arguments against the "trinity".

Physics and Vibrating Strings and our View must change even more!