Sunday, April 7, 2013

good science

Read I Samuel 6 and Acts 17

And watch. If it goes up on the way to its own land, then it is He who has done us this great harm. But if not, then we shall know that it was not His hand that struck us; it happened to us by coincidence. I Samuel 6:9

I Samuel 6 gives a description of the first scientific experiment recorded in the Bible. It appeared pretty clear to the Philistine people that the Ark of the Covenant was the cause of the pestilence they were experiencing. Wherever the ark went, the people were afflicted with tumor.  They had reason to be terrified of the Ark. The intelligentsia of the Philistines wisely advised that they send the ark back to Israelite territory with an appropriate offering to appease the Israelite God. But they wanted to find out if possibly the outbreak of tumors with the presence of the Ark was a coincidence. So they set up their experiment: Put the ark on a cart that was pulled by two milk cows. Then take the cows’ calves away and watch what direction the cows go. If the cows went immediately to their calves, then, perhaps, they would have to attempt to figure out another cause for the tumors. But if the cows went against their nature to be with their calves, and pulled the ark instead into Israel, then the evidence from the experiment would be that the cause of the tumors was the Israelite God.

It was a good experiment and the Philistines were able to draw a correct conclusion from their experiment.

Too often we Believers are disdainful of anything that comes from the scientific community. We have reasons for our disdain. Classic evolution is accepted as foundational among most scientists, absurd as it is. (Any child understands that disorder cannot form itself into order.) Also, our Faith is all about faith. We trust in God even though there is much we do not know or understand about Him. We believe that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin, though we do not quite understand how Jesus’ blood would make atonement for all our guilt. As Believers, we put our trust in our God of Whom we perceive and understand “as through a glass darkly.”

But though faith is so very important, we need to be careful that we acknowledge the wisdom and the conclusions of careful and honorable scientific research. Just as the Philistines could create a good experiment and draw good conclusions, so our modern scientific community can do the same.

Francis Collins, who headed the Human Genome Project, was not a Believer until he drew some godly conclusions from studying our DNA. He was drawn to Faith in God from the good information of science. He says of his Faith, “The God of the Bible is also the God of the genome. He can be worshipped in the cathedral or in the laboratory. His creation is majestic, awesome, intricate and beautiful - and it cannot be at war with itself.”

As Believers, we know that all truth is God’s truth. We do not do ourselves any favors by disregarding truth that comes from places other than Scripture. I believe we dim the testimony that our Lord Jesus tells us we need to be to the world (Matthew 5:14) if we shut our minds to good and honorable scientific inquiry.


  1. Perhaps the Christian's aversion to science stems from his difficulty in dialoguing with opposing perspectives. Science asks questions, Christianity presumes to already have the answers and cannot be bothered with inquiry. Even in your appeal for further scientific exploration you compare the greatest secular minds, unfavorably, to the minds of children -dismissing their theories as "absurd." This is a difficult place to begin a dialogue.

  2. It was not my thought in this devotional to encourage dialog from those of the secular mindset. I believe those who read this devotional are Christian Believers. So what I was encouraging, is for Believers to not dismiss out of hand conclusions drawn by the scientific community.