ACTS International
Home Page of ACTS International
Home Page of ACTS InternationalHow to Find and Know God without having to be religiousLife Help Articles dealing with faith, family, and practical helps for purposeful livingDaily and Weekend Encounters with more than a third-of-a-million worldwide subscribersSupport the Work of ACTS International a not-for-profit organization. Donations are tax deductible for U.S. donorsCurrent report on the ministries and services of ACTS InternationalOnline Store of ACTS ... ACTS CommunicationsAbout ACTS International
ACTS International Home Page Click here for the current issue of  Daily Encounter
Tell a Friend Site Map Share and/or Bookmark
Articles > About God: > Astronauts Who Found God

Astronauts Who Found God

by Chuck Colson

Astronaut, John Glenn's return to outer space many years after his awe-inspiring orbit around the earth is a reminder of the kind of heroism that makes space exploration possible. What author, Tom Wolfe called the "right stuff."

What you may not know, however is that for many of the early astronaut heroes, the "right stuff" included deep religious faith. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin are best known as the first astronauts to land on the moon and take that "giant leap for mankind." But you probably don't know that before they emerged from the spaceship, Aldrin pulled out a Bible, a silver chalice, and sacramental bread and wine. There on the moon, his first act was to celebrate communion.

Frank Borman was commander of the first space crew to travel beyond the Earth's orbit. Looking down on the earth from 250,000 miles away, Borman radioed back a message, quoting Genesis One: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." As he later explained, "I had an enormous feeling that there had to be a power greater than any of us-that there was a God, that there was indeed a beginning."

The late James Irwin, who walked on the moon in 1971, later became an evangelical minister. He often described the lunar mission as a revelation. In his words, "I felt the power of God as I'd never felt it before."

Charles Duke, who followed Irwin to the moon, later became active in missionary work. As he explained, "I make speeches about walking ON the moon and walking WITH the Son [of God]." Guy Gardner is a veteran astronaut who speaks in churches on the reality of God.

To look out at this kind of creation and
not believe in God is to me impossible.

– Astronaut John Glenn

What is it about being in space that seems to spark our innate religious sense? Two centuries ago the philosopher Immanuel Kant said there are two things that "fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me."

Reflections about these things, Kant wrote, lead our minds to contemplate God Himself—the moral law revealing His goodness, the heavens revealing His power.

As the psalmist put it: "The heavens declare the glory of God." Or as John Glenn put it just a few days ago as he observed the heavens and earth from the windows of Discovery: "To look out at this kind of creation and not believe in God is to me impossible. It just strengthens my faith."

Many of us have thought that science is antagonistic to faith. Yet most of the great figures who shaped the scientific enterprise from the beginning have been devout believers—people like Blaise Pascal, who invented the first calculator; Isaac Newton, who discovered the law of gravity; and James Maxwell, who formulated the laws of electromagnetism. All were Christians who felt that the study of nature did not challenge their faith but rather strengthened it.

And that's exactly what space exploration can do in the lives who take part in it. If you're watching the Discovery mission with unsaved friends, explain to them how over the decades space travel has provided an unexpected dividend. Astronauts who powerfully encountered the God who created the heavens and the earth.

Editor's Note: For help to find and know God, click on the Know God link at the bottom of the page.  

From BreakPoint, November 5, 1998. Copyright © 1998. Reprinted with permission of Prison Fellowship Ministries P.O. Box 17500 Washington, DC 20041-0500. To subscribe to BreakPoint Commentary email service click on: and click on the Subscribe to BreakPoint link in the left column.

All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.

    Back to Return to previous page Previous Page    
Site Map   Top
Find Peace With God footer
About God
About Faith
Ask the Teacher
Better Living Tips
Words of Love
Words of Inspiration
People Power for Jesus
Simple and Effective Witnessing for Christ

Spanish Espanol
French Francois

Daily Encounter
Weekend Encounter
Encuentros Diarios
When God Is Silent
Prayer Partners

Special Needs

Helps and Studies
Today's Reading
Annual Reading

Today's Quotes
Happiness Test
Stress Test


ACTS Websites
ACTS in Action Report


Syndicate ACTS Articles
"I Hate Witnessing"
   Audio—No Charge

Opening Closed Minds
Effective Communications
Jesus, the Communicator
Punching Holes in
   the Darkness

About ACTS
Be an ACTS Friend

People Power Invite
Privacy Policy
Snail-Mail List
Contact Us/Feedback

Online Bookstore

Site Map
Report problems to ACTS International
All pages in this site © Copyright 2005-2019 by ACTS International
P.O. Box 73545, San Clemente, CA 92673 U.S.A.
HOME   Daily Encounter  Find Peace With God