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TruthTalks: Dark Matter and Dark Energy


Why Does Dark Matter; Matter?


While scientists use physical and natural efforts in their attempts to find “God”,  spiritual people employ metaphysical and supernatural means as a way of encountering God.

But is there any merit in the scientific approach and can it live arm-in-arm with spirituality?

Dr Christopher Peppler answers all these questions in this TruthTalks podcast in which he verbally expands on THIS post.

If you would like to listen to other podcasts and audio talks by Dr Peppler, please have a look HERE or subscribe using your favourite podcatcher. is non-profit and we rely on YOU to help us spread the word, so please like, comment, subscribe and interact with us.

Until next time 🙂

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Dark Matter and Dark Energy

Dark Matter! Why does it matter?  Well, due to the strange and obscure nature of the subject, I think I need to explain upfront where I am going with this article.

Cosmologists, Astronomers, and Physicists are forever seeking God in the very small or the very old. Of course, they would not call their quest an attempt to find God, but they would probably concede that they are searching for the origins of physical reality. For most spiritual people, this quest would equate to a clumsy search for God, because he alone is the source of reality. The essential difference between the scientific and the spiritual approach to the quest is that scientists use only physical and natural methods, while spiritual people employ metaphysical and supernatural means of encountering God.


A current example of the scientific search for reality in the news recently is the hunt to find and define Dark Matter and Dark Energy. In this article, I want to state and support my view that God will not be ‘found’ in the belly of The Large Hadron Collider, nor through the lens of The James Webb Space Telescope. However, he will be found by anyone who seeks for him spiritually and not materially.’ “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 29:13-14).


What are Dark Matter and Dark Energy?


Dark Matter is a hypothetical form of matter that astrophysicists think makes up about 85% of all the matter in the universe.

It is invisible and all forms of light seem to pass through it as though it’s completely transparent. However, it does seem to have mass.


Dark Energy is an unknown form of energy, a mysterious force causing the accelerating expansion of our universe.

So, Dark Matter is the name ascribed to the invisible and undetectable matter making up the bulk of the known universe, and Dark Energy is the mysterious power that causes matter to move apart in all directions. Say what? Yes indeed! They constitute the unknown, unseen, inexplicable ‘stuff’ that makes up the bulk of the physical creation and the energy that animates it. They are essential parts of a grand hypothetical model of reality.


I am not a fan of hypothetical scientific models. For decades scientists were convinced that everything in the universe originated in a ‘Big Bang’ that occurred sometime back when time was not yet time. Then a new theory emerged called the Steady State model, which holds that the universe has no beginning or end but remains much the same throughout time. Sir Fred Hoyle said that the Big Bang theory ‘is an irrational process that cannot be described in scientific terms … [nor] challenged by an appeal to observation’. Big Bang or Steady State, but guess what, now there is a new theory … Black Hole cosmology. This is a cosmological model in which the observable universe is thought to be the interior of a black hole. My, my, my! I am confused – how about you? But wait, there’s more!


The other day, I read an article on how researchers are adapting the Large Hadron Collider under the Alps to detect Dark Matter. The Collider is the world’s biggest machine spanning a 27-kilometre circuit and is used to smash subatomic particles together at close to the speed of light. The result of this is the production, for a millionth of a second, of subatomic particles called bosons, quarks, leptons, and even one called the ‘God particle’, a boson they think might have caused the Big Bang. The idea now is that if they can make a magnifying lens strong enough, and attach that to the Hadron Collider, then particles of Dark Matter will suddenly become observable.


Another Scientific Approach


If Dark matter is the original ingredient of physical reality, then another scientific endeavour would be to hunt down its origin. Enter the James Webb Space Telescope. This strangely flower-like apparatus allows astronomers and others to see into the primordial past of the universe. It acts as a sort of reverse-only time machine. Let me explain as best as I, as a non-scientist, can.


Light takes a defined time to reach us from anywhere in the universe, and so what we see of any star is what it looked like in the past. Hubble and the James Webb space telescope have allowed us to see distant stars. These distant stars emitted the light we now see a very, very long time ago.

So, the idea is that if we can look back in time far enough, we will eventually be able to witness the Big Bank itself.

What would this achieve? It would, I suppose, ‘prove’ that our universe started with a mighty explosion of energy (the Big Bang), unless we actually are living on the inside of a black hole, and unless the Steady State theory was right all along. What it definitely will not find is … God. He is beyond time, space and even the spiritual realm, and, as I have said, is only perceived by those to whom reveals himself. So then, best we turn to him for a revelation of origins and creation principles.


God’s Explanation


God-Particle be dammed, my faith is based on what God himself has revealed and not on what physicists dream up. The biblical revelation is as follows:

  • God said ’Let there be …’ light, matter, and life (Genesis 1)
  • ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men’. (John 1:1-4)
  • ‘He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.’ (Colossians 1:15-17)

God is Spirit, not matter, and certainly not Dark Matter, and his spiritual power is the energy that creates and holds all things in Heaven and on Earth together.

Humans cannot find God unless he reveals himself to them: “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 29:13-14) Scientists, of any discipline, cannot find God for he ‘alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen’ (1 Timothy 6:16).


I used to think that science could at least discover how God does things, but I can see that is also limited. We can discover, measure, and record, some of the ways in which God works, but not all. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9). I have said this many times, but it is worth repeating; we are three-dimensional creatures living within the fourth dimension of time, but the spiritual and heavenly realms are multi-dimensional and timeless. How then can we comprehend, let alone scientifically evaluate, that which is spiritual?


I Am Not Anti-science


Despite the tone of this article, I am not anti-science and certainly not opposed to scientists. They are potentially important in helping us live better while we are in the physical realm. I use the word ‘potential’ because not all scientific advancement is beneficial to progress. Some of the results of scientific endeavours do more harm than good – the atomic bomb, weaponised AI, designer drugs etc.


I do not feel that science opposes theology because I regard them as parallel pursuits – the one seeks to explain how things work at a physical level and the other tries to understand whatever spiritual revelation God has granted us. As a result, more scientists than one might imagine are at least ‘religious’ people.



So where am I going with all this? To remind us all, in this very technical and post-enlightenment world, that

God is the source of all matter, energy, and life; that he is the personal creator of all that is; and that he has revealed himself to us through both his written Word and Jesus Christ, his self-manifested living Word.

Science is useful, to a point, but is no substitute for spiritual reality or spiritual endeavours. The Big Bang did not give birth to the universe – God did. Dark Matter and Dark Energy are feeble imaginary substitutes for spiritual power and substance. Telescopes and Hadron Accelerators can only reveal what is already there and do not create anything other than hypotheses and wildly imaginative models of reality. There is a reality greater than the ‘material’ and that is the ‘spiritual’, and there is a prime reality beyond even that, and that is God Almighty himself. We find him and his ways, not through technology or science, but through his self-revelation. The bible provides us with much, but God’s ultimate self-revelation is in and through the Lord Jesus Christ. He, and he alone, is ‘the image of the invisible God’ and ‘all the fullness of the Deity in bodily form’ (Colossians 1:15 and 2:9).

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The sign of Jonah – or a whale of a tale

Over the years I have been keeping reasonably up to date on the findings and theories concerning the shroud of Turin. Every year something new emerges as various scientists seek to understand this enigmatic burial shroud.

The shroud put in its first recorded appearance in 1356 at a time when religious relics and superstitions were rife in medieval Europe. Some researchers claim to be able to trace it back to the sixth century and one even claims that there is reasonable evidence for it coming out of the first century. Whatever its recorded history, many religious people think it is the authentic burial cloth of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Recently the Pope went to pray before the shroud, so clearly he believes it has significance.

No matter what one thinks of the shroud, it certainly is a mystery. In 1898 it was photographed for the first time and this led to an intriguing discovery: the image in the shroud is a negative. Up to this time most sceptics thought that the image was simply the work of a skilled medieval artist trying to cash in on the relics market. However, the discovery that the image was actually a negative put this idea under a lot of pressure. Recently artists and scientists have attempted to reproduce such an image using pigments, dyes, rubs, heat treatments and so on. Their results are interesting but far from compelling. Besides, current microscopic examination of the fabric shows no evidence at all of any pigments.

The Shroud of TurinIn 1988 carbon 14 dating indicated that the shroud originated in the middle ages. More recently, however, facts have immerged which prove that the process was seriously flawed and that the cloth could well date back to the first century.

Since 2003 a number of articles have appeared in reputable scientific journals seeking to make sense of the shroud and its image. A popular hypothesis is that the image was formed by ammonia derivatives from a human body interacting with carbohydrate residue in the fabric (the Maillard reaction). But this doesn’t fully explain the remarkable image. It seems that the image in the shroud is a sort of 3D terrain map of the body it covered. Because of this quality, researchers have been able to use modern computer techniques to develop a full reproduction of the body. In 2010 the History channel aired a documentary showing the results of this process. The resultant 3D image shows a man with abrasions in his face, shoulder, and knees. The scourge marks of a cat-o-nine tails are visible and the wound in the side, wrists and feet are unmistakable.

The consensus opinion at this time is that the shroud of Turin is genuine in that it carries within its fibres the image of a man who died by crucifixion and that in all probability the material can be dated back far earlier than the medieval era. Is it the burial shroud of Jesus? No one can be sure of this, but it is true that the wounds shown in the image conform to the Gospel record of the crucifixion.

Some scientists are still not satisfied with the chemical interaction theory of how the image was formed. They claim that a catalytic event must have caused such a reaction. They theorise that some form of energy must have passed through the fabric to trigger a chemical reaction. One hypothesis is that the units of matter called nuceons must have decoupled causing a dematerialisation of the body. Simply put, the body passed through the fabric of the shroud.

All this is interesting but far from conclusive, so why am I interested in it, and why should you be? Luke 11 and Matthew 16 record Jesus’ words concerning the only sign He was prepared to give an unbelieving generation. Matthew 12:38-41 records, ‘Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you.” He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.  For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”’  Whether or not scientific evidence of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the sign for our age is debateable. What is certain however is that research continues, TV channels continue to produce documentaries, people write books, but the mystery remains. The crucifixion and resurrection remain in the public’s eye.

Every Easter the Christian church remembers the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am grateful that scientists and sceptics, although they may not believe, continue to wrestle with the possibility that this pivotal event in biblical history may well be historically and scientifically verified. If it was verifiable, would this effect my faith in any way? No, but it sure would make an unbelieving world sit up and take notice.

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About Me

My name is Christopher Peppler and I was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1947. While working in the financial sector I achieved a number of business qualifications from the Institute of Bankers, Damelin Management School, and The University of the Witwatersrand Business School. After over 20 years as a banker, I followed God’s calling and joined the ministry full time. After becoming a pastor of what is now a quite considerable church, I  earned an undergraduate theological qualification from the Baptist Theological College of Southern Africa and post-graduate degrees from two United States institutions. I was also awarded the Doctor of Theology in Systematic Theology from the University of Zululand in 2000.

Four years before that I established the South African Theological Seminary (SATS), which today is represented in over 70 countries and has more than 2 500 active students enrolled with it. I presently play an role supervising Masters and Doctoral students.

I am a passionate champion of the Christocentric or Christ-centred Principle, an approach to biblical interpretation and theological construction that emphasises the centrality of Jesus

I have been happily married to Patricia since the age of 20, have two children, Lance and Karen, a daughter-in-law Tracey, and granddaughters Jessica and Kirsten. I have now retired from both church and seminary leadership and devote my time to writing, discipling, and the classical guitar.

If you would like to read my testimony to Jesus then click HERE.