There are two answers to the question. One answer is the popular one, but I will present it without the fancy talk so you can see to the heart of what it means. It is the one taught in textbooks in most school systems but is usually placed near definitions of the scientific method to give it credence. The second answer is much lesser known and is given plain definition by one reference. The second answer is outlawed in most classrooms; you cannot teach it without getting into trouble in most public schools or institutions. Each answer comes from totally different worldviews.
Before we begin, let us have an example before us. Linda and I sketched one galaxy one night, which is known as NGC 7331. It is not hard to find as a smudge of faint white in the constellation of Pegasus with a medium-sized backyard telescope, but we use a little astro-video camera to get to a little more detail. So from a little spot near Galax, Virginia, we watched the screen that showed the output of the video and sketched for about 30 minutes. She went for the color and density of object in her observation; I went for the over all structure in my observation. We both used the same equipment and sketched at the same time.
Back to the question: What’s a Life to God?
Popular Answer #1: Nothing, but the answer is usually not stated so plainly because it causes such problems. By definition, God had nothing to do with creation, or a god-involvment is simply not believed or permitted. The complexity we see in a galaxy, therefore, is a result of random processes that went from something very small to the universe. It includes tens of thousands of galaxies (like the one we sketched). It took a long time. The same un-directed processes yielded complexity and some form of primordial substance somewhere that yielded life after more un-directed processes. This special process that happened is the life we see on earth, which includes us. None of this was observed; no one was there. It has nothing to do with the scientific method, because the method demands observation for a starting point to test any assertion. Rather it is an assertion of world-view proportions because it is believed by faith that it must have happened this way. This process, by definition, can happen anywhere. Other forms of life are possible anywhere from the same un-ordered process. An individual life, therefore, has no instrinsic worth, direction, or purpose. Construction of artificial purpose maybe deemed needed for someone’s sanity or temporary well-being, but it has no true basis or foundation in this wholly natural un-directed and un-planned process. This is (without the fancy words found in most textbooks) naturalism or evolution as generally taught to sons and daughters or men and women.
Answer #2. The second answer is given in the Bible by God in various texts in many of its books. They are consistent in that God is plainly stated as the Creator of the universe. Substance, mass, energy, and its specific organization that we see were purposefully commanded into existence. It is stated in first person (God says it and the words are recorded) and third person (notable biblical characters say He did it). Further, several scriptures say that with this Creation included the creation of the laws that govern it. We have discovered some of those. However, no law by itself creates something from nothing. Rather, laws identify predictable behavior of things; God set up the whole system. Life was not a product of a long process of change or a 18.5 billion year experiment by God to yield life. Rather, everything we see was created in a short period of 6 solar days, and most of those days address the special sphere (earth) that was designed for habitation from the start. Mankind was given a specific and special life on earth from the beginning. The first man was created on Day 6 of Creation. He had ability to communicate from the beginning. The universe and everything in it, however, have serious flaws and problems. They are the consequences of wrong decisions by the first man and woman, who believed they had an idea of how to be like God but without Him. Mankind has been trying to be like God without a relationship to Him ever since. It does not work. In a larger view, the universe will not last forever and neither will mankind. Mankind is in need of saving from mistaken actions and beliefs. While the earth endures, Christ is the answer and offers salvation from our state of affairs, but we are not coerced to accept Him. Rather, we choose to reach out to Him, or we do not. Our decision will affect life after death as well as our walk through the life we have on earth. There is no second chance to make the decision. Reference: the Bible
So what is this galaxy we sketched? Are all of its stars known to God? From the biblical view of creation, each galaxy is a created star city. Each star is known and placed (see Isaiah 40:26 and Psalm 147:4). Further, the galaxy and others like it exhibit God’s power and atributes (Psalm 19:1). Stars were created on Day 4 of Creation (check Genesis 1). Psalm 147:1-4 and others like it have statements about God’s love and care for each person in the same area where scriptures say He named and placed the stars. Therefore, each life has value that is known by God.
Want to study the subject in more detail? You can go to www.christworksministries.org, then the Files Gallery, then the Creation Study. With a short registration, you can have it for free and you may copy it to send it to others (it’s about 1 megabyte and in a PDF format). The study explains the biblical view of creation and treats it in contrast to the popular evolutionary view. It is designed for 13 year old children and older. You only need a Bible to use during the lessons. The evolutionary/naturalistic worldview is contrasted to the Biblical view with respect to what we observe. The effects of the each worldview with respect to the sciences and history that are taught in most schools is presented.