For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Romans 1:20
One of the problems that arose from the Church (by this I mean the established church bureaucracy of Western Europe) using the Bible as a scientific text was that the Bible was never meant to be a scientific text. The Bible was written as a communication about how we can relate to the Creator, not the explanation of creation. Unfortunately, the Church, up until the Renaissance, took a very strict view of explaining the universe only through the lens of scripture. That very stance, ironically, caused the Church to lose the faith of adherents who saw that scientific truths were better explained by- science.
The evolution of scientific thought and method evolved through the 16th and 17th centuries, spurred by discovery voyages that opened up the secrets of unknown parts of the world. Instruments like the telescope and the microscope allowed curious philosophers (they weren’t called scientists quite yet) to discover secrets of this marvelous creation.
Galileo was banished by the Church for daring to maintain the theory of Copernicus – the theory of a heliocentric universe. The Church could not tolerate a theory that did not maintain the earth as the center of God’s creation. Just because people believed that the earth-centered theory was true did not make it true.
I sometimes tell this to my clients- that just because they believe something strongly does not make it true. I use this in the sense of emotions, which can lead us to strongly believe certain things that may not be true. The willingness to look at the possibility that my beliefs about certain things does not make them true is the beginning of healthy thought.
So, how does that work with faith? Isn’t faith a strongly held belief that may not be able to be proved scientifically? Yes, faith is that, and much more than that. Actually, my faith is enhanced by science.
Tomorrow, a story about how that worked for me.
Prayer: Your creation is so profound, your plans so amazing. Help us not to get lost- missing you by focusing on the wrong things, Amen