Science in Christian Perspective

Letter to the Editor

Reflections on PSCF Articles

Daniel Heinrichs

ASA Retired Associate Member
207 ˝ 11 Evergreen Place
Winnipeg, MB R3L 2T9 CANADA

From: PSCF 49 (September 1997): 208-209.

Some of the articles in PSCF have raised questions in my mind lately and I would like to express a few thoughts.

As a Christian believing in Jesus Christ as my Savior, I believe that God is the true Creator, that he created and is responsible for the cosmos. When we study science, no matter what field, we are studying God's handiwork and discovering the natural rules that govern it, the rules that God has set up to control the cosmos. In this light the process of evolution, whatever it consists of, is God's way of doing things. I also believe that God always knows what he is doing; he does not perform miracles. We may see them as miracles because we do not understand what God is doing. Probably our greatest handicap is the dimension of time. We feel that we have to put everything into a time reference, which limits our ability to understand the cosmos and greatly perplexes our studies.

Our greatest problem is that we believe that we can arrive at the final truth of life and of the cosmos. The writers of the various articles generally reveal this conviction. They categorize and codify the results of their studies until they arrive at a system of conclusions which they firmly believe is the truth. I am 77 years old now and have followed the teachings of science for most of my life. I have seen many theories of science firmly established, only to be discarded later and replaced with other theories that are discarded in turn. The theories we accept today will also be discarded or altered in their turn before many years pass. Or, the other way around. I remember when established scientists mocked the idea of the Big Bang, talk about shifting continents was even more absurdˇI still think it is absurd because I have studied too much geologyˇand the idea of the earth's magnetic pole reversing was laughed out of town only a few years ago.

What is wrong is the way we understand life. Scientists need to study more literature and attain a more balanced concept of life. The truth lies in paradox and can never be categorized and codified. Our Christian faith and our Bible are based on paradox. God, the great Creator who can do anything, came to this earth in Jesus Christ, was humiliated and put to death on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins, which we had committed in rebellion against him. This is utterly ridiculous, but it works! It is the greatest paradox of history; it has given humankind a new concept of God and drawn millions of people to God. It is so different from the way we function naturally. God has given us a pattern to use as we follow Jesus; it is through humility and defeat that we gain the victory. What an awesome thought; we always think that with the strongest arguments and the most forceful presentation, we will win.

A few years ago the periodical Scientific American devoted a whole issue to the activities of the living cell. I was utterly amazed after I finished reading it. The cell is so small I can't even see it with my eyes but it contains an unbelievable maze of activities. Then I looked to the other side, to the geology of the physical earth around me. Could I believe that random chance had transformed the one side into the maze of the other side? Not even with my eyes shut. But I do believe that God is the Creator of the cosmos and everything in it. As scientists study the cosmos and the life it contains, much light is thrown on the way God works but we will never fathom the depths of his methods and activities. If we did we would become equal to God himself. In the field of genetics we are now within eyesight of approaching that goal but humans need first to deal with their sinful nature.

Let's keep in focus, as Christians, when we study evolution or any other science, we are studying God's handiwork, how he has created, and how he creates today.