Book Review: Why the Universe Is the Way It Is by Hugh Ross
by Rich Deem

Why the Universe Is the Way It Is


In a slight departure from their usual books on a testable creation model, Hugh Ross (Reasons To Believe) takes on the big "why" questions about the universe and why God created in the way He did. This book represents a continuation of Creation As Science with more emphasis on how biblical theology fits with what we know about the characteristics of the universe and life on earth.

Why is the universe so large?

The size of the universe and the earth has been described as being both too large and too small. When fifteenth and sixteenth century explorers were looking for routes to Asia, the earth was seen as being too big. Now, people complain that the earth is too small to support all its inhabitants and the universe is too large. However, Ross goes on to show that the universe is exactly the size it needs to be in order for life to exist at all in it. More details about these design parameters can be on Size of the Universe: Isn't it Too Large to Have Been Created by God for Humanity?

Why is the universe so old?

Why would God create the universe over 13 billion years ago and wait all that time before creating human beings? It turns out that rocky planets were not even possible in the universe until several generations of stars had created the necessary heavy elements. Other important factors that require an old universe and old earth include the amount of radioactive materials in the universe, the age of the Sun and the stability of its nuclear fusion cycle, the amount of land mass and oxygen on the earth, and the optimal viewing time and location to observe the universe.

Why such a lonely universe?

Although the universe is large and populated with seemingly endless numbers of galaxies, recent evidence suggests that even simple life may be rare and advanced life extremely rare or absent throughout the universe.

Why such a dark universe?

Our galaxy resides in a low density area of the universe, and the earth is located between stellar arms within our galaxy. Our dark location offers a perfect vantage point to observe the universe.

Why a decaying universe?

The existence of the second law of thermodynamics along with dark matter ensures that the universe will become more and more hostile to life, eventually resulting in the end of all life, consciousness, and knowledge. For more information, see The Hope of Atheism and Humanism: The Ultimate Fate of Life, the Universe, and Everything.

Why a realm beyond this one?

The timing of humanity's appearance in the universe and on earth corresponds to a point of optimal "coincidences" that allow for the existence of advanced life. Some of these parameters include the earth's rotation rate, the amount of fossil fuels, solar stability and luminosity, solar eclipses, and plate tectonics. This chapter also includes several examples of what makes humans unique among all other forms of advanced life on earth. ultimately, the existence of hope, destiny and purpose as a part of human drives makes no sense from an evolutionary perspective.

Why this particular planet, star, galaxy and universe?

The Creator and the CosmosThis chapter examines the evidence for the fine tuning of the universe, solar system and earth. The number of fine tuning parameters have increased every year that Reasons To Believe has compiled these data. Why the Universe Is the Way It Is does not specifically examine the details of this fine tuning, since this is covered in detail in The Creator and the Cosmos.

Why believe the Bible?

Although the Bible does not contain a detailed scientific description of the creation of the universe, it makes some remarkable claims, many of which were not confirmed by science until recently.

Why not a perfect universe - now?

This chapter examines the false assumptions skeptics make about God's purpose for the universe and why those assumptions are wrong. This chapter delineates eleven reasons why God created the universe according to the Bible:

  1. God wanted humans to exist
  2. The universe is a classroom for humans
  3. Universe demonstrates God's divine nature
  4. Universe shows us our own human nature
  5. Spread of mankind through global civilization
  6. Universe displays God's glory and goodness
  7. Universe created by God for the conquest of evil
  8. Universe instructs God's angels
  9. God personally rescues us from sin
  10. God amazes us with His grace
  11. The universe trains us for the new creation

Why these physical laws and dimensions?

This chapter discusses why God created the physical laws the way He did. Many of the characteristics of the universe ensure that sin is limited and punished with increased suffering. This chapter also ties together the purpose for humanity, his redemption and ultimate destiny.

Why two creations?

This chapter explains why God didn't just create humans in heaven, but allowed us to learn about the price of sin and redemption by direct experience. Those whose will is transformed will experience the second creation with our Creator.

Why the new creation is better?

This chapter examines some of the amazing characteristics of the new creation and how we will be blessed when we choose to spend eternity with God in His kingdom.


Additional information is provided on some of the proofs. Some of this information is available online at

Conclusion Top of page

Hugh Ross' latest book is an excellent integration of biblical theology with the latest scientific evidence that supports the Christian worldview and the Bible as God's revelation to humanity. It also provides answers to common skeptical questions and complaints. The book is not overly technical, so it is recommended for all those interested in science and the Christian faith.


Why the Universe Is the Way It Is
Why the Universe Is the Way It Is
Last Modified September 21, 2008


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