As a young adult generation, we are inundated with all the latest technologies and scientific information. We’ve been raised on science telling us that God was dead, or at best, uninterested. We’ve sat through humanistic teaching such as evolution, the big bang, safe sex. We’ve been forced to reconsider a variety of issues and try to balance them with our guidebook, the Bible.
This conundrum began back with the Renaissance when the Church did not adapt well to new thinkers. While in the end, many Christians have become very comfortable with seeing God in the science of life, early on, the Church had a more, shall we say, inquisitive way of dealing with those who questioned things. Copernicus, then Brahe and Kepler, and finally Galileo—all great scientific thinkers—challenged long held beliefs about God and science and in the process, ended up to some degree on the wrong side of the Church leaders. It’s no wonder that science began a movement away from God. The Enlightenment didn’t help the process, even though the majority of great thinkers in the powerful Scottish Enlightenment were churchmen. By the time we rolled into the 19
century, science had moved far from God (or had the Church pushed scientific thinkers away?).
Well, a funny thing has happened for scientists on the journey over the past 20 years. The more they’ve studied and delved, the longer they have looked for science as cause, the more they’ve come to find evidence for a Greater Being than they previously believed possible. In fields as disparate as astronomy and biology, scientists are finding more and more issues that point to a Great Designer. Longstanding concepts, such as irreducible complexity (something in the world cannot be reduced beyond a certain point, and that point maintains a level of complexity that demands intelligent design), are hot topics.
Newer issues, such a biological tensegrity, are breaking new ground in biology, pointing to never before seen aspects, such as cytoskeletons that provide shape to cells with implications that point to issues of community and the need for connection, even at the cellular level. Questions about the very nature of the universe continue to challenge what scientists think they know and point them back again and again to the aspects of a Wholly Other.
The December 2002 issue of Wired magazine held a lengthy special report on Science and religion. In the opening article, “The New Convergence,” the authors report that “discoveries about [why life exists and how the universe began] are inspiring awe and wonder, and many scientists are reaching out to spiritual thinkers to help them comprehend what they’re learning.”
This isn’t really new news. Leonard Sweet has been writing about the spiritualization of science for over a decade. In his book Postmodern Pilgrims, Sweet wrote, “Too much of the new science (especially physics) is arguably being annexed as an outpost of the divine—a source of illumination into the ways of God.” In his other works, Sweet clearly indicates the very thing that Wired is telling us—science is finding its answers lie with God.
Author Lee Strobel reported much of the same thing in his book, The Case for Faith. There, in an interview with Dr. Walter Bradley, formerly of Texas A&M, Strobel explains how many in the origin of life crowd (mostly Darwinists) are running out of options except a Divine Designer. “The mood at the 1999 international conference on origin of life was described as grim.” Elsewhere, Dr. Bradley calls those who are searching for life science answers apart from God as “in stalemate or in a confession of ignorance” and holding theories that are bankrupt.
The exciting question is, How do everyday Christians embrace this fact? For starters, we should see the great opportunity to help our scientifically minded friends move closer to God. From most of the 1950s to now, science has contributed to providing more ammunition for skeptics. Now we have the chance to see a merger as our faith in God provides answers to the puzzling questions of the universe. Or perhaps better said that our faith provides confidence even if we still remain unsure about these questions.
Secondly, we should rejoice in our faith—one that doesn’t need proof from science to tell us God is alive and well. As we head into 2004, God’s hand in the world is seen more and more clearly. Like Paul wrote to the Romans, “since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen.”
Thirdly, perhaps you should get a copy of Wired (or visit them on the web) and see exactly what they’re saying. There are still questions. There are many scientists who don’t want to find faith ever (there are some Christians who don’t want to include scientists in their world either). However, the opportunity for dialogue is there. Get with your skeptical scientifically minded friends and have a friendly open conversation. They might actually be surprised that you are aware of it. They might actually want to hear more about the spiritual dimension that we know well. They might even be interested in a relationship with God.[Carl Creasman is the spiritual leader/pastor of Numinous, Inc., from where he speaks nationally, writes, sings in a rock band and teaches history at Valencia Community College in Orlando. You can check out more of Carl’s world or invite him to visit your church/college at www.numinousinc.com.]
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