4th August 2013

Science and Faith

“We’ll never comprehend all the great things he [God] does;
his miracle-surprises can’t be counted”
Job 9:10 (The Message paraphrase version)

The very last sentence in Stephen Hawking’s book, A Brief History of Time says: “If we find the answer [to why the universe exists], it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason—for then we would know the mind of God.” This doesn’t mean that Hawking is looking for God. He uses the term, “God” as a metaphor for what science doesn’t yet understand.

Although I am not a scientist, I find what is happening at the leading edge of science fascinating. As the first verse of the nineteenth Psalm says: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” That was written about three thousand years ago, at a time when we had only rudimentary understanding of the workings of the cosmos. How much more fascinating is today when we have an even greater grasp of the nature of our universe?

Even atheistic scientists admit that the magnificence of the creation fills them with awe, even if it doesn’t lead them to acknowledge its creator. But what it should do is to make them think twice before making bold statements about there being no God.

The paradox in scientific investigation and achievement today is that, as we push the frontiers of scientific knowledge further into outer space and deeper into inner space, we begin to realise the limits of what we currently know. Things we thought nailed down, may no longer be the case. We discovered the universe was expanding, but believed the rate of expansion was slowing down. Now, scientists believe it is actually speeding up. The scientists working at the Hadron Super Collider in Geneva seem to be on the verge of discoveries that could turn our understanding of physics on its head. The creation does seem to be, as various astronomers and physicists have observed, not only stranger than we had imagined, but stranger than we could ever imagine.

Of course, this, of itself, neither proves nor disproves that God exists. That is a question beyond science. God cannot be measured by scientific instruments. There is no microscope, no telescope, no micrometre, no measuring device that can measure God. God transcends his creation. God is not a created thing and creation is not an extension of God’s being. Real knowledge of God himself depends upon God’s own self-revelation.

To those who know him, like the Psalmist, even God’s actions in creation remain a mystery beyond human comprehension. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to understand the mysteries of creation. It’s sad that many Christians see scientific discovery as a threat. Yes, some may use certain selective bits of scientific information about creation to counter Christian beliefs about God. But God, by his Spirit, may use someone’s desire to look into the mysteries of creation to open them up to searching for the mystery behind creation. And for those who know God in Christ, appreciating the wonders of creation will help us, like Job, recall the wisdom, power and creativity of our Lord. Truth is truth, and something that is true about creation cannot ultimately contradict something that is true about its Creator.

Scientific discovery, when properly interpreted, can show us more of God’s handiwork. And faith in that God, when properly understood can show us that the Creator is not only powerful beyond our imagination, but has a love for us that is not only greater than we understand, but greater than we can even imagine.

The wonders of creation, Mighty Father, hold no mysteries to you. But they do point to you and, for those who know you, confirm not only your might and magnificence, but your control and perfection in dealing with us. We live in your creation, we are a part of your creation, but never let us equate you with your creation, Father, because you are beyond, outside, creation, dwelling in eternity. In Jesus name we give you praise,

Study by Joseph Tkach


joeandtammyAbout the Author:
Joseph Tkach is the President of Grace Communion International (the Denominational name of The Worldwide Church of God UK), and resides in California, USA.

You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK.  For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

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