I would call myself an amateur scientist, if such a thing exists, who loves to read books and watch lectures by great scientific geniuses, like Steven Hawking and Carl Sagan. The complexity, scale, and beauty of the universe engrosses me; pictures of stars, galaxies, supernovas, and nebulas fill me with joy and awe.
Therefore, it mystifies me that many of the brightest scientists, those who spend the most time studying creation, do not believe in God. How is such a thing possible?
In the fourth century, Augustine diagnosed the cause of this problem amongst the scientists of his own day (which should prove this isn’t only a modern issue).
They say many true things about what has been created but they do not seek with true piety for the truth, the architect of creation, and hence they do not find him. Or, if they do find him and know that he is god, they do not glorify him as god; neither are they thankful but become vain in their imagination, and say that they themselves are wise, and attribute to themselves what is yours. [. . .] They measure the heavens and number the stars and weigh the elements, but are forgetful of you ‘who has set in order all things in number, weight and measure.’
We as Christians must agree with Augustine; Steven Hawking, Albert Einstein, and Charles Darwin found and discovered many true things about the universe, for which we are indebted to them. Yet, though God graces them “with the mind and intelligence to investigate these things,” their fallen hearts prevent them from knowing the nature of truth. They speak of science and Scripture as mortal enemies.
Maybe you love science and feel like you cannot reconcile it with your faith. This is one of our grand cultural myths. They appreciate one another; science celebrates the complexity of God’s creation, and the scriptures open our eyes to the true created majesty of the universe.
I think of the intro to Carl Sagan’s famous TV series, Cosmos:
Do you feel the disconnect? Carl Sagan speaks of the “Cosmos” as though it were a glorious, sentient being, beautiful beyond comprehension. He so desperately wants to see the creator in the Cosmos, but instead shrouds him with beautiful language about his invented God, “Cosmos”.
In Isaiah, the angels proclaim, “The whole earth is full of the Lord’s glory!” Every scientist and human sees it, and should believe it, but our hard hearts miss it. We sit in the grandstands of God’s rapturous cosmological spectacle. Let us revel rightly in a universe filled to the brim with God’s glory.