In the beautiful 1965 movie The Sound of Music, Maria (Julie Andrews) and Captain von Trapp (Christopher Plummer) sing “Something Good,” in which they say they must have done something good sometime during their childhood or youth, because they have found each other. What interests me in this song, however, is not their love story but this particular lyric:
“Nothing comes from nothing, nothing ever could”
When put into context, the line means that God has rewarded them for their good deeds in their childhood by bringing them together. But when taken out of context–although I normally don’t like doing it–it may lead one to the question of the origin of the universe. Although it is quite a leap to go from their love song to the origin of everything, the line pertains to one of the most besetting questions:
“How did the universe and everything in it begin?”
Roughly speaking, I think that there are two competing types of answers to that question. (* There is a mediating position called TE [Theistic Evolution]).
First, there is the God explanation. It depends on and trusts the Bible’s description of the origin of the universe: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Second, there is the No God explanation. This attempts to account for the origin of the universe without God. The American Museum of Natural History (amnh.org) gives an exemplary stance of this view: “Our universe began with an explosion of space itself–the Big Bang. Starting from extremely high density and temperature, space expanded, the universe cooled, and the simplest elements formed. Gravity gradually drew matter together to form the first stars and the first galaxies.”
This question concerning the origin of the world is important because it affects almost every aspect of one’s life. In fact, your answer to that question demonstrates your conviction of where you’re headed after death. For those who accept and believe in the God explanation, death means a passage to God their Maker. For those who resort to the No God explanation, death simply means the end of their existence.
Where do you stand?