Friday, 23 November 2012
God and Science
I don’t find it difficult to believe in God. As a scientist, I often have to exercise faith. Any time I do research, I have to exercise faith. Any time I do research, I have to believe that what I am exploring is real. It would be difficult to explore something that is unreal or only appears to be real. I don’t know all there is to know. But I can build on what I do know-that the natural world does exist. When I begin to explore something, to research it, I demonstrate my faith in that thing’s existence. Similarly, when I pray I show that I believe in God’s existence.
As a scientist, I also have to believe in the regularity of events in nature. I may have to wait until next year to find whether certain things will operate the same way as they did this year. But until I am shown differently, I go ahead with my research, believing that nature is unchanging.
Similarly, I can boldly believe the unchanging promises of God. God will care for me, God will be close beside me, and God will provide for me (sometimes, even bypassing the laws of nature!). God’s promises are unchanging because God is unchanging. In Him are wisdom, power, holiness, goodness, justice and truth. That will never change.
As a scientist, I explore nature, believing that it is understandable. There is no point in working hard if nature is not understandable. Then, as I continue exploring, I am able to unravel the mysteries of nature. Likewise, though God is infinite and I am finite, I believe that He is understandable to the extent that He reveals Himself through Christ and in His Word. So I can begin my exploration believing that I will at least in part, be able to understand God.
When I first began my work as a scientist, I had to study systematically, intelligently and diligently. I would start with the accumulated knowledge that others had discovered regarding my topic of study. I had to learn how they obtained proof and what methodology they adopted. As a person who wants to know God, I can use the same approach in studying the Scriptures, which contains a record of what others, by divine inspiration, have written about God.
I have carried out experiments, with the help of experienced scientists, to prove my personal convictions. I also have had to rely on the experiments conducted by others. Experiencing the living presence and abiding love of God in my life can be verified on an experimental basis. In fact, God is verifying Himself to us through various life experiences. There is a difference in understanding for persons who have experienced the living presence of God and those who have not yet experienced it.
To understand that difference, consider Matthew 5:8 “Happy are those whose hearts are pure, for they shall see God.” In science we wouldn’t say that only the pure in heart can see, say, a nuclear reactor. Anyone, pure or impure, can see a nuclear reactor. But in Scripture, things that are true and real to the pure in heart may not be true and real to the impure. Truth and reality take on new dimensions once you have experienced the living presence of God.
In science, we continue to carry on independent investigations to unravel greater mysteries of nature. As we gain more information, we publish it for the benefit of others. Similarly, when we have other kinds of experience-especially experiences of a spiritual nature-we should share what we learn for the benefit of others.