Nature of the Universe
- Judaism – Genesis 1:1, the first verse of the Tanakh clearly states, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The universe and everything in it was created by God. Except for humanity, who was uniquely created, the first man from the dust of the ground, and the first woman from the side of man, and except for God who is eternal, everything has come into existence out of nothing from the spoken word of God. It is taught in the Genesis account that the Lord created all in six days and rested on the seventh and is from this structure of creation that the command for humanity to work six days and rest on the seventh is derived (Exodus 20:8-11). Nature is objective and distinct and separate from a personal, transcendent God.
- Christianity – The Christian Bible incorporates the teachings of the Tanakh concerning creation, and adds more details to them. The first verses for the Gospel of John state, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” Christianity also shows that God is the sustainer of the universe as Colossians 1:17 states, “in him [Jesus] all things hold together.” Nature is objective and distinct and separate from a personal, transcendent God.
- Islam – The Qur’an doesn’t have the detailed narrative and specifics of creation as that of Judaism and Christianity, namely it lacks the order of creation that the Genesis account gives, but it is not mute on the subject and retains that Allah created the heavens and the earth in six days (Surah 7:54). Nature is objective and distinct and separate from a personal, transcendent God.
- Hinduism – The Rig Veda states that no one knows the origin of the universe, because none one observed it, but it also gives an explanation that the universe came into existence through the cosmic sacrifice of the God, Purusha, with everything being made from his body parts. The Purusha explanation gives explanation to Hinduism’s teaching that all of creation is one, and that all is eternally divine. However, this monistic reality is masked by an illusion. As souls are subject to reincarnation, the universe is subject to cycles of death and regeneration.
- Buddhism – Buddhism doesn’t have a specific teaching on the origin of the universe. What is certain concerning the universe is that all things are constantly changing, and in this sense there is a new universe created every moment. Linked to this permanent shifting is a complete lack of personal identity. If you are never you, and I am never me, and everything is only classified for convenience’s sake, then what is the universe but nothingness?
- Jainism – The universe is eternal, neither created nor made by a Creator God.
- Sikhism – The universe is created by the one and only true God. According to Guru Granth Sahib page 1399, “He established the earth, the air and the sky, the water and the oceans, fire and food. He created the moon, the stars and the sun, night and day and mountain; he blessed the trees with flowers and fruits.”24
These contradictory views of the universe are some of the contradictory teachings found in the world’s religions that this Contradict bumper sticker is attempting to bring to light. www.contradictmovement.org