Science in Christian Perspective



Elizabeth M. Zipf,

From: JASA 16 (December 1964): 117.

Long ago, Paul admonished Christians to ". . . walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called" (Ephesians 4:1). Today, as then, the same exhortation stands. We, as scientists, are called to our professions. "The way of man is not in himself, it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps" (Jeremiah 10:23). Since we are appointed by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, we must respond with dedication and devotion to our Savior, excellence in our performance toward our vocation, and sincerity, understanding and genuineness toward our fellow men.

In whatever position or situation we find ourselves, our BEST is demanded. As Christians in science, we cannot afford to be second-rate or slip-shod in our attitude or behavior. Too often, Christians forget that they belong to the greatest and most glorious family in the universe. A friend told me a story about the present Queen Elizabeth as a child. Elizabeth had lost her way and stopped at a cottage to ask for directions. The lady of the house asked who she was. Elizabeth replied, "I am nobody, but my father is the king." We must remember that we are of royal blood, and everything we say and do reflects the King. Thus ' we must lean wholly on our Lord, and not depend on ourselves or our intelligence. We must get our signals from the Master. As Proverbs 3:5,6 says, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." And Psalm 37:5 "Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass." Our lives either reflect the Son or the world. Therefore, our actions and deeds cannot be mediocre; our performance cannot be commonplace. We represent the King. Not everyone is given the intelligence of a genius, but everyone is given a share of talents. We must make use of what He has given us and multiply it to His glory (Luke 19:12-26). "To whom much is given, much is required" (Luke 12:48). In other words, excellence-E xcellence in loyalty, excellence in duty, excellence in performance. This excellence is not only expected in our Christian attitude, but in our scientific pursuits. An acquaintance told me of the disappointing experience when faced with dismissal from professional school because of scholastic failure. He realized that he had not given it his all. Later he approached a Christian professor there but found no sympathy or encouragement. The professor said that a Christian does not have the right to be mediocre. In fact, there must not be a mediocre Christian. When a child of God fails to do his best in the position Christ has appointed him, the failure reflects on the entire royal family. We are denying Christ by our failure. The verse is still true that "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask .of God that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him" (James 1:5) and (I John 5:14,15) "This is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us; and if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him."

A person must count the cost of being a Christian and pay the price. Some find the price too high. But they are missing the greatest privilege in being a child of the living God. What a wonderful assurance it is to have sins forgiven and eternal life promised. "Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?" (I John 5:4,5) Therefore, no disappointment, fear, trial, or problem should sway us. What confidence we have in Him-to know that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). We cannot be mediocre for Christ, when He gave His ALL for us. As witnesses (Isaiah 43:10), ambassadors (II Cor. 5:20), sons and heirs of the living God (Gal. 4:5 and 7), we can do no less than the best. "Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not to men" (Col. 3:23).

Elizabeth M. Zipf, Ph.D.
Acting Supervisory Editor
Biological Abstracts