Friday, February 02, 2007

Geo vs. Helio or Christcentric?

Last year my oldest student was studying models of the universe as a part of his Greek, Roman, and New Testament History lessons. This naturally led to learning of the geocentric vs. heliocentric debate. Aristotle taught the geocentric system, Earth being at the center of the universe. It was not until Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler that the heliocentric theory was developed, with the Sun at the center of the universe.

Now that man has sent orbiting devices from Earth into space with cameras attached, the perspective of the photograph could sway the debate toward Aristotle once more – though with modifications on his original model. From a particular angle, Earth is the center of the universe as we know it.

Looking through the lens of scripture, a whole other perspective is gained. John 3:16 tells us “In this way God loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” The Greek word used is “kosmos,” or universe. God sent his Son to the Earth to be born of a human woman (Ga 4:4), in order to die for the sins of all mankind. From God’s perspective, the universe is Christocentric.

So last year we made models of the universe with Styrofoam balls, glitter, paint, and wooden picks. We only made the number of planets Aristotle knew. Saturn, Jupiter, Venus, Mercury, the Sun and Mars revolve around the Earth with her Moon. A tag hangs from Earth with John 3:16 written on it, just to keep everything in proper perspective.

No comments: