Science and Believing in God

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I was sitting in my son-in-laws study this past week, while he was at work. Skimming through the book titles one caught my eye (Calvin, my son-in-law, is an avid reader). The book was titled, “The Language of God: A scientist presents evidence for belief.” It was written by Francis S Collins, the former head of the international Human Genome Project. In the introduction he writes about a speech given by then President, Bill Clinton. On June 26, 2000 at a press conference Bill Clinton said, “Today, we are learning the language in which God created life. We are gaining ever more awe for the complexity, the beauty, and the wonder of God’s most divine and sacred gift.” Francis Collins was one of the contributors and strongly endorsed the inclusion of those two sentences in the President’s speech.

Christianity is not a fable and it is not mythology. Belief in the God of the Bible is not fiction—it is reality. Science does not disprove God. There are many scientific truths that are discerned in Scripture including the direction to perform circumcision on the eighth day coinciding with the peak of blood-clotting in newborns (Genesis 17:12); hand-washing and bathing prevent the spread of disease and germs, (Leviticus 15); and the earth is round (Isaiah 40:22). It is important however to remember that the Bible was not written as a scientific textbook, rather, it was written to bring people into a relationship with God, their Creator, through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus. Sometimes we need to remember this when we think of other aspects of science. Prior to the 17th century and a discovery made by Galileo, everyone thought the earth was the center of the universe and the sun, moon and stars revolved around the earth. Verses like Psalm 104:5, “You built the earth on it’s foundations so it can never be moved,” and Ecclesiastes 1:5, “The sun rises, the sun sets, and then it hurries back to where it rises again,” almost seem to support this. This is contrary to what we know. Science has shown us that the earth circles the sun. If you read Psalm 105 in context, however, the Psalmist wasn’t writing a text on astronomy, he was writing about the great power of God, and in Ecclesiastes 1:5, the teacher is writing about the repetitive and familiar patterns of life.

Science will continue to discover new things. Some of those discoveries will clearly confirm the text of Scripture. Other discoveries may cause us to re-examine our interpretations of God’s Word. It is crucial that we as Christians remember that science is not the enemy of faith. Despite the persecution and eventual house arrest that Galileo was forced to undergo, he still believed in the benefit of science to confirm the belief of the Christian. He said, in what should be considered the mission statement of all Christian scientists, “I do not feel obligated to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended for us to forego their use.”

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