General Revelation And The Anthropic Cosmological Principle: Reasons For Optimism That God Has Made Himself “Known” To Everyone -- By: Hal N. Ostrander

Journal: Christian Apologetics Journal
Volume: CAJ 02:1 (Spring 1999)
Article: General Revelation And The Anthropic Cosmological Principle: Reasons For Optimism That God Has Made Himself “Known” To Everyone
Author: Hal N. Ostrander


General Revelation And The
Anthropic Cosmological Principle:
Reasons For Optimism That God
Has Made Himself “Known” To Everyone

Hal N. Ostrander, Ph.D.

A Paper Presented to The Evangelical Theological Society November 22, 1997

Introduction

The last quarter of the twentieth century is producing an increasing number of scholars characterized by a growing concern for ultimate questions, particularly with respect to those addressing the origin and destiny of the universe. These scholars include philosophers, theologians, and scientists alike, some demonstrating a surprising richness of proficiency in all three disciplines. With the entire cosmos as the object of their intense scrutiny, both on microcosmic and macrocosmic scales, a plethora of penetrating questions is raised at the bidding of these contemporary metacosmologists.1 Why is the universe the way it is? Why does it appear to be finite? Why does it even exist at all? What are the driving forces behind space, time, matter, energy, and consciousness, and why are they so delicately balanced that the slightest difference in their fundamental makeup would prevent both the creation and perpetuation of life? Furthermore, what cosmic ingredients are necessary for a universe to exist, and how has it, been enabled to support intelligent life? Could there be a range of conceivable universes, each with its own potential for giving rise to special states of existence for various forms of conscious life? Is it possible to construct universes with different sets of natural laws in which life, intelligence, and self-consciousness could exist? And the questions go on interminably.

The purpose of the present study is not to provide answers to the above questions but to emphasize the fact that the very createdness of the universe itself can serve us well as the impetus for exploring such matters within theistic frameworks. The universe, then, insofar as it displays its “createdness” aspects by way of general revelation and by virtue of the kinds of questions it rightfully engenders as a result, gives us a number of reasons to be optimistic about the fact that God has indeed made himself “known” to us naturally, and this has always been the case.2 But if

the revelatory insights normally attributed to general revelation per se are viewed from the perspective of a single overarching, metacosmological rubric of sorts—that of the anthropic cosmological principle—they seem to take on a collective cogency far more energetic and effectual than at any previous time in the history of theological, philosop...

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