The Devil’s in the Application

The Devil’s in the Application August 27, 2014

Today’s guest post comes from Daniel Reeves, one of an excellent class of students from Bethel Seminary who recently studied the intersection between theology and science.

Both scientists and theologians pursue knowledge with passion. Sharing what is discovered in convincing ways is also common for each. In Isaiah 55 we are reminded that God’s thoughts and ways are not our own. This extends into the subjects that surround the intersection of science and theology. Science and theology do indeed intersect. Whether through revelatory data, or through well-thought-out study of Scripture, or divinely supernatural encounters, Isaiah 55 holds true. Our vantage point remains too limited to swing the bat of arrogance from whichever side of the plate our preferred methods come. With God being the author of all things, Christians have an amazing opportunity to find characteristics of the Creator from many of His sources – and they are all His sources. Sovereignty, right?!? And, are not all of the ways in which God reveals Himself pure and utter grace?

Sadly, when Christians go online, or in public, to share their views, it isn’t always, or often, done in a way that is from the perspective of one simply receiving this grace. We have become adversarial. And, the world is watching! The public discussion about God’s revelation has become a vicious debate by supposed brothers and sisters. It leaves us far from the lofty ideal of God being known by our love for one another. We often leave humility aside and opt for arrogance in defense of our preferred revelation. There is a great opportunity lost in this – for the world and for Christians. By bringing a desire to know more to the discussion rather than a penchant for being right, greater understanding and greater faithfulness is possible. As there will always be more data to discover, and more thorough understanding of Scripture possible, and with the next unexpected miraculous intervention from God pending; humility would grant us the capability to obtain expansive and awe-inspiring wisdom, worship-worthy knowledge of His providence, and wondrous experience of God’s great power. We may just find peace and unity there, too! What would the world do if it saw Christians united in peace, hope, and love at this intersection?

This excerpt of a prayer from Daniel Harrell is a great start toward this humility from a science-valuing faith perspective:

“When I consider the works of your hand, which you display in all you have created, I am at once awed and bewildered. I believe, yet sometimes I need help to believe. I wonder at your creativity, and at the same time I wonder why your creativity looks so different than I would expect. I wonder why the earth evolved instead of simply appearing, and why life has taken such a long road to get to where it is[1] . . . I will deal with the dissonance by standing firm in my faith. I will seek you with my whole heart. I will persist in my prayer.”[2]

Perhaps the science-skeptical faith perspective could offer a prayer something like this:

“As I ponder your words and the works I’ve seen you do in my life, I am certainly pressed to my knees in gratitude. Your words are often mysterious and unfathomable. I need help to believe. I wonder at your love and wonder why you would bother. I see your creation and order in the world, as well as its seeming chaos. I don’t know how you hold it in your hands, or how the data fits your ways. I will leave my questions to you and choose faith. I will seek you with my whole heart. I will persist in my prayer.”

After prayers like these, perhaps we could enter into fruitful discussion without arrogance or spite. By applying data and wisdom to life, with humility, we might escape the Devil’s design for the details. Wouldn’t that be a revelation?

[1]  Harrell, Daniel M. (2008-08-01). Nature’s Witness: How Evolution Can Inspire Faith (Living Theology) (p. 93). Abingdon Press. Kindle Edition.

[2]  Ibid. p. 102.

Browse Our Archives