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By guest editorial Michael Block
Pastor, Columbus Avenue Baptist Church 

Two men opposed on answer to fundamental questions


November 7, 2018

During this past year, two men who highly influenced the world in which we all live died: Billy Graham and Stephen Hawking. Both men attempted to answer the big questions in life and came to opposite conclusions. Each of them wrote many books to address these issues. Their last books speak of their beliefs, Hawking’s last book, which was recently released, is titled Brief Answers to The Big Questions, and Graham’s last book was titled, Where I Am: Heaven, Eternity, and Our Life Beyond. Hawking said that God does not exist and thus, there is no heaven; Graham said that there is a God and that after he dies, he will be in Heaven. As these men faced life, they each came upon their own perspective. We also will have to answer this question for ourselves.

Each of these men and their work was an influence on my life. As a young boy, Stephen Hawking would spend time with his family, as they would often spend time in the summer, stretched out staring at the stars. His mother said of him that he had a strong sense of wonder. She could see that the stars would draw him. I also loved to gaze at the stars on a clear summer night with a sense of wonder, and still do. When I read his books, I saw him describe this wonder in the theories that he expounded. It made me dream of the possibilities of what was out in this incredible universe.

My father was not a believer for most of my childhood and adolescence. Yet, whenever this man by the name of Billy Graham was on TV, he would take the time to listen to the services. So, as a good son who wanted to be with dad, I would also listen. Billy Graham spoke of a God who knew me, loved me, and would forgive me. God had demonstrated this through Jesus Christ who was God in the flesh, who died for my sins, and who had been raised to life again. As looking at the stars had brought me a sense of wonder, so did this message about God who loved me so much that He would die so that I could live.

Stephen Hawking and Billy Graham helped me to look beyond myself to see the wonder that is all around me. One who saw this physical universe, and one who saw what is behind and beyond this universe. One, who, in his theories, believed that the universe created itself. One who believed there is a creator behind the universe and loves us personally. In their final books, they described what they have come to believe. Each of us must make this decision for ourselves. Are we in a godless universe or a God created universe. Is this all there is, or is there someone who is behind it and who really does love us?

Those of us in the Goldendale Christian Fellowship are praying for you. And we are here to talk with you about this question.


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