A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

On the Beauty of Being a Scientist and a Christian

In one of my favorite episodes of The Simpsons, "Lisa the Skeptic," a plot involving a supposed "angel" pits scientists against naïve religious townfolk. The episode ends with a trial at which the judge puts a "restraining order" on religion, keeping it "500 yards away from science."

Many people say that science and religion need to be even further apart. I disagree, however. And there are many scientists who agree with me.

I am a Christian. I believe that God is the ultimate reality and that the world, including me, was created by God. But this is not just an idle affirmation, a faith statement to be recited in church on Sunday. I find my experience of the world enriched in several ways by my belief in God.

For starters, my first contact with the world that God created is through its great beauty. I write these words from my desk in a sunroom on the back of my house. Outside my window a row of Newport plums is in bloom, their delicate pink flowers lighting up the landscape. My andromedas are also blooming. The dogwood, whose branches brush my window when the wind blows, is starting to bud. Directly in front of me the sun is coming up, visible through the forest. New spring foliage at the tops of the trees is becoming illuminated. In a few minutes I will have to pull my blind to keep the sun out of my eyes.

A choir of birds is singing, celebrating the arrival of the new day. I can tell from their joyous song that they must not be Red Sox fans. The sound of the birds is so welcome, in contrast to the traffic noise from the front of my house, which starts up shortly after the birds each morning.

Scientific explanations exist for all that I see and hear outside my window. And explanations can be proposed for why humans enjoy nature so much. But faith in God is not about explanations. We do not believe in God because we need to explain this or that feature of the world. That is what science is for. We believe in God because we see something deeper in the world, something that transcends the scientific explanations.
The entire post can be read here.

1 comment:

Bill said...

What a great article on general revelation of God's work through the eyes of science! People always try to separate science and religion, but this article does a great job of explaining why what we see and what science brings about is ever more a perfect reason to praise the Lord.