At the heart of my faith

Published 6:07 pm Monday, January 21, 2019

As a medical chemist, I spent the first part of my life in the realm of science. Then, as a  Christian, I’ve spent much of my life in the no-man’s land between faith and science. And as you well know, there is an intellectual battle between those who believe in creation and evolution. Both sides have the same evidence and the same facts, so you might wonder why they come to different conclusions. 

The answer lies in the land of presuppositions — each side begins in a different place and using the same facts ends up in a different place. The creationist begins with, “In the beginning God…” The evolutionist begins with, “Science has all the answers.” 

For example, you might hear the same news story on two news networks, but the focus and conclusions would be very different because they interpret the facts using different presuppositions. 

For example, the creationist group “Radioisotopes and the Age of The Earth” questioned the age of zircon crystals in granite. Scientists say those crystals are 1.5 billion years old based on the amount of lead created by the decay of uranium. But that decay also releases helium and if the crystals are more than 6,000 years old, they would not contain as much helium as they do. Most dating estimates assume a constant rate of decay, but over thousands or millions or even billions of years, the rate of decay is likely to change.

So, depending on your presuppositions, you might say the crystals are 6,000 years old or 1.5 billion years old. Or you might be open to believing there are some things we just don’t know and there are some things we simply believe by faith. 

This is the third week in our “Absolute Basics of the Christian Faith“ asking, “What did God make?” And the answer is, “God spoke everything into being; by his own free choice, and it was very good.” From Hebrews 11: “God spoke everything into being by his own free choice, and it was very good.”

When I was in seminary, Doug Oldham came to sing at the Wilmore United Methodist Church and one of my favorite songs was “God said it, I believe it, and that’s good enough for me.” My basic presuppositions come from the Bible, but I’m also a scientist, and I’m constantly trying to make the two compatible. The Bible says God created the heavens and the earth, but it really doesn’t give much detail. It’s not much help if we’re asking, “How did God create the earth?” And that’s where my science kicks in. I’m always asking questions about my faith and my science.

But at the heart of my faith and science is the simple statement, “In the beginning, God…”