Dark matter was first postulated due to the gravitational force of galaxies (or lack thereof) which couldn’t be explained by the visible mass of objects in any system. Therefore, it became clear that there is an invisible, ordering force holding space together. Hence, the term “dark” matter.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Paul, Ephesians 6:12 NIV
Astronomers and theoretical physicists state that both dark matter and dark energy once worked together, from the moment of the Big Bang to be precise, but dark energy began accelerating expansion and working against the ordering forces of dark matter around 5 billion years ago.
“…the expansion rate of the cosmos began speeding up about 5 billion to 6 billion years ago, like a roller coaster zooming down a track. That is when astronomers believe that dark energy’s repulsive force overtook gravity’s attractive grip.” Adam Riess, prof of physics & astronomy at Johns Hopkins University
In other words, dark energy is working to rip space apart and repel the unifying “gravitational” forces of dark matter. These are the scientific facts. And this blog post is my theological interpretation of those facts.
So, what I find most fascinating is how close this event—a war in the heavens—is to the formation of planet Earth, some 4.6 billion years ago.
Could this war between dark matter and dark energy be evidence of the spiritual war that eventually caused tohu wa bohu (chaos and destruction) upon the earth, impacting the evolution of life as we know it?
The early church father Athenagoras (ca.130-190AD) said that Satan was originally, “the spirit which is about matter who was created by God, just as the other angels were… and entrusted with the control of matter and the forms of matter” (see Greg Boyd’s Satan & the Problem of Evil, pg. 46-47).
This idea that Satan is the “spirit of matter” is most likely rooted in the NT teaching that the devil is “the ruler of the cosmos” (archon tou kosmou), having power over the physical and material world (Jn 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; Eph 2:2; 2 Cor 4:4)—a challenging worldview to a post-enlightenment audience.
Just as diabolos is from the root “to scatter and cast apart”… so it is with this “dark energy” that would currently appear to be, or is at least feared to be, the eventual demise of the cosmos.
“The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.”
1 John 3:8b
We need only to embrace Christus Victor for a hopeful future where, in light of the resurrection, cosmic renewal is promised, therefore, inevitable.
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.” Paul, Romans 8:18-21 NIV
I suppose that in the future (possibly after you and I are long gone!), scientists will observe dark energy losing its power, or turned in on itself in a way that can’t be fully explained, certainly not with the rhetoric of the rationalist.
Of course, this “dark” power is already losing its grip on the earth through a Kingdom revolution inaugurated by Christ. It’s no mystery to his church.
May the generation of Kingdom revolutionaries that are around to witness dark matter’s victory over the diabolical forces of dark energy be the first to say…
“We told you so.”
Yes. Come, Lord Jesus. Come.
Viva La Revolution!
D.D. Flowers, 2014.