“The Heavens Are Telling of the Glory of God” & “Afterword: Astronomy with Your Own Two Eyes”

by Daniel Ray

Through considering the heavens King David wondered “What is man?”[1] In our own time, modern cosmologists have taken their materialism to the popular level and have left us with a rather bleak answer to that question. We are stellar detritus, “starstuff”, an unintended periodic amalgam birthed in cataclysmic supernovae. This dehumanizing influence is “in the air” [2]  of our increasingly secular culture today. Man is nothing more than matter in a universe that is mostly empty “space”; cold, dead and hostile to his existence. God is no longer a necessary hypothesis for the cosmos or our place in it. C.S. Lewis saw this problem in his own time, calling it the “new astronomy” and hoped to bring back God’s glory, through his literary, apologetic and imaginative works, enacting what he believed was a much-needed “change-over from the conception of Space to the conception of Heaven.”[3] This chapter introduces our ecumenical effort to recapture God’s glory in the heavens. Daniel briefly sketches the popular secular/scientific worldview. Then, with a balanced application of reason and imagination, builds a foundation for seeing the cosmos as it was meant to be discovered and understood, a reflection of the glory of God in Christ.

Daniel Ray is a former middle- and high-school teacher and lay astronomer, and holds an MA in Christian apologetics from Houston Baptist University. Under the direction of Dr. Michael Ward, Daniel completed his thesis on the contemporary relevance of C.S. Lewis’s cosmological imagination in The Chronicles of Narnia. The Story of the Cosmos is part of his professional and personal dream of creating a Christian response to the widely popular Cosmos series with Carl Sagan. Daniel also does a monthly podcast with Wayne Spencer about faith and wonders about the universe at patreon.com/GoodHeavens.

[1] Ps. 8:3.

[2] C.S. Lewis, The Discarded Image (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1964), 110.

[3] C.S. Lewis, Out of the Silent Planet (London: Scribner, 1938), 152.