But it turns out that there is no mistake. The universe was created in a burst of light fifteen billion years ago. Our sun and our planet came into existence billions of years later. So light did indeed precede the sun. The first reference to light in Genesis 1:3 can be seen to refer to the Big Bang itself. The separation of the day and the night described in Genesis 1:4 clearly refers to the formation of the sun and the earth. Day and night— which we experience as a result of the earth’s rotation—were indeed created much later than the universe itself. The Genesis enigma is solved, and its account of the creation is vindicated not as some vague parable but as a strikingly accurate account of how the universe came to be.

Let’s remember that the Old Testament was written more than 2,500 years ago by people who essentially contended that God told them what He did. Gerald Schroeder notes, “These commentaries were not composed in response to cosmological discoveries as an attempt to force an agreement between theology and cosmology…. Theology presents a fixed view of the universe. Science, through its progressively improved understanding of the world, has come to agree with theology.”

Leading scientists have, sometimes reluctantly, endorsed this conclusion. Arthur Eddington, who finally conceded the veracity of the Big Bang, acknowledged that “the beginning seems to present insuperable difficulties unless we agree to look at it as frankly supernatural.” Arno Penzias, who won the Nobel prize for his discovery of the cosmic background radiation that corroborated the Big Bang, said, “The best data we have are exactly what I would have predicted had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, and the Bible as a whole.”Astronomer Robert Jastrow puts it even more vividly. “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak. As he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”

I am not citing the Bible to prove that God created the universe. I am citing it to show that the biblical account of how the universe was created is substantially correct. The Bible is not a science textbook. It does not attempt, as science does, to give a detailed account of how the universe and the earth were formed into their current shapes. But what it does say about creation—about the fact of creation and about the order of creation—turns out to be accurate. In a manner that once would have seemed impossible, the Bible has been vindicated by the findings of modern science.

Now it is time to supply the “missing link” and show that the universe did have a creator. The proof is extremely simple. Everything that begins to exist has a cause. The universe began to exist. Therefore the universe has a cause. That cause we call God. For a long time the denial of a creator was based on denying the second proposition. No, the atheists insisted, pointing to Newtonian science as their evidence, the universe does not have a beginning. It’s a kind of perpetual motion machine. It has always been there. Science has now removed that argument.

So atheists—including atheist scientists—are reduced to denying the first proposition. Everything that has a beginning doesn’t necessarily have a cause. The universe simply is and there’s nothing more we can say about it. Philosopher Bertrand Russell adopted this position in a debate on the existence of God. He said, “The universe is just there, and that’s all.” Physicist Victor Stenger says the universe may be “uncaused” and may have “emerged from nothing.” Even David Hume, one of the most skeptical of all philosophers, regarded this position as ridiculous. For all his skepticism, Hume never denied causation. Hume wrote in 1754, “I have never asserted so absurd a proposition as that anything might arise without cause.”