The Pope & Me: Fans of the Big Bang Theory

On Wednesday night, I did something I have not done in a long time.  I watched an awards show on television.  Not just any awards show mind you, but The People’s Choice Awards.  How can the people be wrong? 

Well, the fact that “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” was named Favorite Movie and “Keeping Up with The Kardashians” walked off with the award for Favorite TV Guilty Pleasure means the end of the world might be near.  If you have never seen any of the Twilight movies or don’t know who the Kardashian girls are, you should get your own award for good taste!

I can honestly say that I have never watched the Kardashians’ show (although with Bruce Jenner as their step-dad, hi-jinks are sure to ensue) nor have I ever subjected myself to viewing any of the Twilight movies.  I suppose one person’s guilty pleasure is another one’s cruel and unusual punishment.

However, I do have at least one guilty pleasure when it comes to the television shows that I watch.  I wouldn’t be so open about it, but when the Pope recently admitted that he too had an affinity for it, I knew that I could no longer keep it a secret. You see, the Pope and I both like the Big Bang Theory.

In news stories reporting Pope Benedict XVI’s glowing review of the Big Bang Theory, the Pontiff seemed to offer some positively stunning and heretofore unheard of insights:

“Christians should reject the idea that the universe was created by accident, Pope Benedict said Thursday, adding that God’s mind was the driving force behind scientific theories such as the Big Bang.”

In yet another nugget of praise, Pope Benedict was quoted as saying: 

“The universe is not the result of chance, as some would want to make us believe.”

Wow!  I had no idea that the Pope was a big fan of the Big Bang Theory.  Me too.  And, I am so glad that he told Christians that the universe was not created by accident, but rather God’s mind was the Force behind it.  Cool.  Sounds almost like Star Wars (now those were some good movies — the originals, not that awful mess with Jar Jar Binks) — “Let the Force be with you.”

Wait a minute.  I think I may have misunderstood the Pope’s praise for the Big Bang Theory.  I thought he was talking about the hit CBS sitcom with the four nerds and Penny, the pretty next-door neighbor.  I think I’m all confused now.  I thought that we both liked the same guilty pleasure.

It turns out that the Pope actually likes the scientific Big Bang Theory.  Who knew?  That Christians should reject theories (scientific or otherwise) that posit the random, God-less creation of the universe is something I thought most Christians — or at least theologically astute Christians like the Pope — should already know.  That he had to spell this out is either an indictment of Christianity or an indictment of his understanding of Christianity.

If one were inclined to believe that the Bible is God’s Word and, if one were further inclined to read God’s Word, it would not take very long to come to some sort of conclusion that God may have had something or another to do with the creation of the universe!  The first words of sacred Scripture — “In the beginning God” — might just be a tip-off.

By accepting the Big Bang Theory and rejecting the Genesis account of creation, the Pope (and other Christians) try to have their cake and eat it too.

The Catholic Church no longer teaches creationism — the belief that God created the world in six days as described in the Bible — and says that the account in the book of Genesis is an allegory for the way God created the world.  But it objects to using evolution to back an atheist philosophy that denies God’s existence or any divine role in creation. It also objects to using Genesis as a scientific text. (full article here)

But, herein lies the real problem.  When you reject the Genesis account of creation or write it off as myth or allegory and, when you minimize God’s central role in creation, then what prevents you from rejecting or re-writing other portions of Scripture or minimizing God’s role in other historic events?  The answer is:  NOTHING!

The world will always offer people of faith — Popes, Pastors, and Laypeople — the temptation to walk by sight — hand in hand with the “wise” and “esteemed” — instead of living by faith, hand in hand with the Master.

Contrary to what Pope Benedict said, the Big Bang Theory and other scientific theories of evolution which re-interpret or reject God’s Word will continue to be in conflict with the kind of faith described in the Bible.  And, while science will never have all the answers to how the universe came into being, men and women of faith ultimately know where those answers lie — in God’s Word.  After all, when we talk about issues of faith, shouldn’t we rely more upon Scripture than science?

The Pope and I both like the Big Bang Theory.  He can keep his.  I think I’ll stick with television’s The Big Bang Theory — Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, Raj, and Penny.  We all have guilty pleasures in life.  Seems like some are more guilty than others.  You be the judge.  On second thought, don’t judge me.  I think that’s in Scripture somewhere too!

5 comments for “The Pope & Me: Fans of the Big Bang Theory

  1. January 7, 2011 at 6:33 AM

    Thanks for the post, I also blogged about this topic. See my blog at:

  2. February 9, 2011 at 10:02 PM

    I am a Catholic. (A convert, formerly Southern Baptist, then Episcopalian.)

    First of all, while the Church does not teach “creationism” in the style of evangelical or fundamentalist doctrine, the Church absolutely teaches CREATION!!!! (Read the Catechism of the Catholic Church, beginning with paragraph 279, and going for several pages from there.)

    Catholics are not required to believe in any particular TIMETABLE of creation (either the literal 7 days, or over a period of eons). Time is irrelevant because God created time, and God Himself exists outside of time, whether it be 24 hours or 1 million years.

    Catholics ARE required to believe that God created, that God is CREATOR. Absolutely important! That is mandatory. Also, we did not come from apes. Humans were created as humans, with a unique human soul, in the image of God. So evolution, the idea that we came from apes or whatever, is wrong. But honestly, God created time, and what we reckon as a day is based on the rotation of the earth, as well as having a sun in the sky somewhere. While light and dark came into being on the first day, the Sun didn’t show up until the fourth. So when you try to make a 7-day creation a mandatory doctrine, it is quite problematic.

    Of course, God is God. He wouldn’t need a Sun to have a 24-hour day. On the other hand, God is God. Being outside of time, his seven days could have been any length of time he chose. He very well may have done it in exactly 144 hours (six of our days).

    BTW, as for the TV Show “The Big Bang Theory” — as a Christian (Catholic or otherwise) I feel very uncomfortable with that show. Too much emphasis on sexual situations and innuendo, and there is absolutely no need for it. It may have started out as a clean sitcom, but it’s gone right down the path of most shows these days, making light of things that are in actuality, grave sin.

    • February 11, 2011 at 10:00 AM


      Thanks for reading and for sharing your thoughts. Sorry that it took me a few days to respond. There is no question that God could have created any way that He chose. And while I do not believe that a literal six day creation is a “mandatory” doctrine that Christians must believe in to be considered “saved,” the truly problematic part comes when we begin to view the first eleven chapters — particularly chapters 1-3 — of Genesis as myth or allegory. If there was no real Garden of Eden and no real Adam and Eve and no real “Fall” into sin, then why did we need a real Savior to come and die on the cross for sinful humanity? I think that Christians who do not hold to a literal six day creation must at least wrestle with these problematic questions that arise from rejecting the truthfulness of Scripture, especially the first part of Genesis. And, I agree that “The Big Bang Theory” has become more sexually crude as it has progressed. Thanks again for stopping by. God bless,


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