Question: "What is the Omega Point?"
Answer: Omega Point is a term coined by scientific mystic and Catholic priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881–1955). According to Teilhard, the Omega Point is the final point to which all of history is progressing. Teilhard recognized that the Bible points to Christ as the Omega, the One for whom, through whom, and to whom are all things (see Romans 11:36). However, it would be incorrect to think that Teilhard is calling Christ the Omega Point. More accurately, Teilhard would probably say that the biblical writers were describing the Omega Point in terms they understood, but the Omega Point is something more than Christ. The Omega Point is the ultimate unity that all of history is evolving toward.
Frank J. Tipler is a more recent mystical scientist. Tipler is a mathematical physicist and cosmologist at Tulane University. Tipler believes that the universe will eventually collapse into a single point—that is, all the matter and energy in the universe will be contained in one speck of almost infinite smallness and density. He identifies this Omega Point as God, since he believes that this point has all the properties that people think of when they think of God. Tipler’s work is not generally well-received among scientists.
Evolutionary theory teaches that, although the universe may have the appearance of design, any such appearance is accidental. The universe is going somewhere, but it is not aiming at any point—there is no goal in the proper sense of the word. When taken to its logical conclusion, this results in a very bleak outlook on life.
The type of scientific mysticism embraced by men like Teilhard and Tipler seeks to salvage some dignity for evolution by stating that the universe does indeed have a goal. It can be expressed in religious terms and also in scientific terms. The final goal is the Omega Point, which the biblical writers knew as God or Christ. However, the biblical writers were only using terms with which they were familiar. Certainly none of the prophets or apostles would have described God as an impersonal singular point of almost infinite density and smallness. (Many scientists who are not mystics, like Stephen Hawking, believe the present universe will suffer the same fate. Hawking calls the point a “singularity.”)
Christians know that history is going somewhere. History is “His story.” However, we reject the concept behind the Omega Point teaching. We do not believe that everything will culminate in some impersonal point of ultimate unity. Scripture teaches that people will continue forever as personal beings and will spend eternity with God or banished from His presence. All things will be summed up in Christ, and all things will culminate in God’s glory (Colossians 1:19–20), but the universe will not become one in substance with God, nor will God become one with the universe.
In summary, naturalistic evolutionary scientists believe that the universe has no goal. This perspective can lead to despair. (If the universe has no purpose, why does anything I do matter?) Mystical scientists like Teilhard and Tipler believe that evolution has a goal in view, and they call the ultimate coalescing “the Omega Point.” On the surface, this perspective may sound a bit more encouraging. Some may even incorporate religious language, calling the Omega Point “God” or “Christ.” But, according to the Omega Point theory, the final disposition of the present universe will be little different from that described by the naturalistic evolutionists (although the mystics have hope that somehow personality will survive the “compacting” to be reborn in another universe). Christians believe that history will culminate in a final judgment (Revelation 20:11–15), after which every person will continue as an individual who is either in fellowship with or alienated from a personal God. This final state will not be accomplished by naturalistic evolution but by the dramatic intervention of the personal Creator of it all (Revelation 19:11–21). The Bible teaches that what we do here and now matters because we will continue to live with the consequences as individuals for all eternity.