On the Matter of Science and God

Written by Craig Denison

I don’t fancy myself a philosopher, scientist or really even an intellectual. But this morning I had some thoughts that were filling me with confidence in my pursuit of God. So I thought I would share them here. If this kind of thing isn’t your bag, you have my permission to click off at this point and find something more to your liking...

I was thinking this morning on the matter of science and God, often considered two mutually exclusive entities. I jotted my thoughts down in my journal with stellar music and even more stellar coffee from my favorite coffee shop as fuel for my musings. They went as thus: 

Is it so hard to believe that God has always been? Can we not see past the limitations of this world to think that there might be a system, a truth beyond those of our world—of our natural laws? In our considerable limitations we as humans have always created theories about the formation of our world. We make it a habit of thinking that the measure of truth is our level of insight and comprehension, no matter how complex the subject. Is the concept that a big bang could create us and all we see really more believable than the idea that of another law, a higher law with an eternal Creator? Current theories of creation seem no different in foundation than the beliefs that the world is flat or that the earth is the center of the universe. What is birthed out of a limited perspective and our finite understanding of the universe will only ever be conjecture shifting with technological innovation. Every time we can see a little farther or a little smaller we change our thinking, but the beginning point is the same. We believe that we as the created can get to the bottom of how we came to be. We believe that we as that which was formed will eventually get to the exact cause of our formation. And I believe that pursuit to be frivolous apart from the helping hand of the One, True Creator. To see the world rightly we must look past this world, past ourselves to something larger, something outside natural law. We must look by faith to all the ways God shows himself to be real, creative and present. This is not to say that we ignore science, but that we allow science to point to that which is not conjecture but truth--God himself. That we couple science with other tools we’ve been given to know our Creator. That only in science and faith working together can we see the world rightly and thereby experience what we were made for, restored relationship with the Father. 

I’ll close with the words of Thomas Merton that this concept may not just be for the purpose of stirring the mind, but guiding the heart to an encounter with our Creator. 

“One thing above all is important: the ‘return to the Father.’

The Son came into the world and died for us, rose and ascended to the Father; sent us His Spirit, that in Him and with Him we might return to the Father.

That we might pass clean out of the midst of all that is transitory and inconclusive: return to the Immense, the Primordial, the Source, the unknown, to Him Who loves and knows, to the Silent, to the Merciful, to the Holy, to Him Who is All. 

To seek anything, to be concerned with anything but this is only madness and sickness, for this is the whole meaning and heart of all existence, and in this all the affairs of life, all the needs of the world and of men, take on their right significance: all point to this one great return to the Source. 

All goals that are not ultimate, all ‘ends of the line’ that we can see and plan as ‘ends,’ are simply absurd, because they do not even begin. The ‘return’ is the end beyond all ends, and the beginning of beginnings. 

To ‘return to the Father’ is not to ‘go back’ in time, to roll up the scroll of history, or to reverse anything. It is a going forward, a going beyond, for merely to retrace one’s steps would be a vanity on top of vanity, a renewal of the same absurdity in reverse. 

Our destiny is to go on beyond everything, to leave everything, to press forward to the End and find in the End our Beginning, the ever-new Beginning that has no end. 

To obey Him on the way, in order to reach Him in whom I have begun, who is the key and the end—because He is the Beginning."

May God bless us all as we seek to know him by every means given to us under the sun. 


**The image for this blog was created by our graphic designer at the Denison Forum, Evan Burton. I feel that it effectively illustrates this concept in the working together of the earth and the heavens in declaring God's invisible attributes.