Making God or Anything Else a Science?

In Uncategorized on February 18, 2009 at 6:32 pm

Awhile back Phil and I had a discussion about theology and one of my recent class discussions. In my research class my professor made the comment that “science proves nothing” and in many ways I agree. My professor made the argument that science allows us to narrow down certain ideas or theories, but that they are never proven to be right…they are just shown to not be wrong in all the circumstances considered. The alphabet was given as an example. We cannot prove that “x” is “x”. All we can do is determine that it is not a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h,i,j,k,l,m,n,o,p,q,r,s,t,u,v,w,y, or z, but we cannot prove that it is “x”. X’s definition is not based on what it is but instead on what it is not.

As Phil and I continued our discussion this I told him about the four paradigms that social scientists work out of. The paradigms range from believing all truth is objective to believing that all truth is subjective. As I often do in my studies, I tried to relate this idea to God. Surely there are big objective truths about God. God is God is an example. However, there are also lots of subjective truths about God that are personally revealed to us through our relationship with him. As I sat in class I thought with appreciation that of how God does not allow himself to be labeled, explained, and understood fully by the science he created. God is far beyond science. He is far beyond anything we will ever know until later on…and even then we are at the mercy of what he chooses to share.

I say all of this because this mindset of science proves nothing matters a great deal to me. It tells me that my study of theology is never more important than my relationship with God. Moreover, it reminds me that what I think I know I may not. It makes me hesitant to claim to know objective truth. It makes me mindful of how easy it is to take subjective truths and claim their objectivity. Hopefully it will make me ever more slow to speak and quick to listen.

Bringing science into the mix is messy as well because it does not fit with faith. Science tries to prove things so that it is believable. Faith believes things in the absence of proof. I am not trying to bash science. It is good in so many ways. It can be the result of the discipline of our faith. It can be the result of the passions God puts on our hearts. Yet in the end it will prove nothing. God spoke…God is still speaking. Our job is to believe. I believe that we are to hold our beliefs not tightly but loosely with our hands facing upward; so that if God were to send a wind of revelation that which we think we know would be blown away. Whenever our beliefs are held too tightly they often become something we have to prove…they become science. I have a lot of beliefs that I am passionate about…I’m just trying to not let my passion turn into science. I am not the one who proves anything. I will leave that up to God. If I am right…well that is cool. If I am wrong…I’m sure the wind will blow in some repentance. Whatever happens I know that I do not control the wind.

  1. I have been reading Bill Bryson’s “A Short History of Nearly Everything”, which is a basic summary of scientific innovation and discovery over that last few centuries. By basic summary i mean it is still about 400 pages long. Anyways, the scientific ideas have sometimes clashed with my faith, and made me question things. But Pastor Wayne said something interesting the other day. In the end, no matter what science says or seems to prove, God’s Word is the ultimate authority. It is above science. His thoughts are above our thoughts. How can mankind assert that it knows more than God? In the end, what we do understand about the universe and its processes is pretty feeble compared to the magnitude of it all.
    – Phillip

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