It was the article’s title that caught my attention. Given the controversy between conservative Christians and scientists over Global Warming, LGBT, evolution and the like, I was curious to see what the author’s point would be. Would it be another Christian bashing post like I’d see elsewhere? Or would it be a science denying post instead?
I was happily surprised by the fact that it was neither.
I also have discovered a new magazine publication to read.
I have never felt that science was ever in any way a threat to my understanding of God, the scriptures and my Christianity. My grandfather once summed it up to me this way, “Science and Religion are not enemies. They seek answers to different questions. The problems come in when you try to use one to answer the other.” This has been my touchstone ever since and the older I get the more true it seems.
Evolution is as good a way to me to describe in scientific terms as anything else I’ve seen. It also matches up with what we can see/measure and demonstrate. The fact that I am a part of this creation that I believe God made is a matter of more wonder and joy, not less. The fact that the Earth is billions of years old rather than 6000 or so is also not a problem for me. Saying God created the earth in 7 days, I personally doubt it was 7, 24 hour days as we measure it. Especially considering that that sort of understanding of time was not in place when Genesis was written. I’m not really sure I could wrap my head around billions anyway. Saying 7 days is a wonderfully metaphoric way of describing a process that took years and years.
Global warming also fits with my denominations view of our interaction with the Earth. We believe that we are the Stewards of the Earth, not Dominators. See below:
Steward – def. (noun) a person who manages another’s property or financial affairs
Dominate – def. (verb) to rule over or exercise control of
There is major difference if you are taking care of someone else’s stuff than if you are doing what you want with your own. As part of creation we have a responsibility to take care of it, nurture it and help to keep it healthy. Waste and overuse are products of the mindset that we were given “dominion” over the Earth and all things in it.
By the same token, science cannot tell me what my purpose is here on Earth, nor can it completely describe the experiences I have had with the Divine. It doesn’t need to. Nor do I look to science to teach me morals or ethics, this again, for me, is the place of religion.
I find myself in a strange place amongst most of my friends. I have many who, taking the conservative bent, are inherently suspicious of anything scientific that challenges their beliefs. By the same token, I have a number of more liberal friends who find comfort in science with no place for religion in their lives. Not many seem to try to keep the balance and tension between the two like myself. It makes for a lonely place on the knife’s edge.
So I am glad to find an entire community of people dedicated to the same principles and ideas, of allowing religion and science to co-exist peacefully in our lives. And I am happy to remind folks that many of the most prominent early scientists where monks, willing to challenge their beliefs and the beliefs of those around them as they sought to understand our world more fully as part of the wonderful creation God made. So can you trust anything written about Science and Faith by a Christian? I think, for myself, the answer is yes.