The Point: The Man Who Saved the World

Not a sparrow or a nuke falls without His notice. For the Colson Center, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.

If any man can be said to have saved the world, it’s Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov, a former Soviet officer who oversaw Moscow’s early warning radar in the final years of the Cold War.

One morning in 1983, a siren went off and “giant blood-red letters appeared on [his] screen” warning of missiles inbound from the United States. Petrov only had moments to decide whether to wait for more information, or retaliate.

Petrov made the call not to recommend a counterattack. Moments later, he learned what the “missiles” actually were—sunlight on clouds.

Petrov died earlier this month, having received numerous accolades for his cool head, including the Dresden Peace Prize. But it’s important to remember it wasn’t just Petrov at work that day. Scripture teaches that God is aware of everything and in control of the course of this world.

We might wonder why terrible things happen. We should also wonder why many terrible things that should have happened, didn’t.


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