In this series, we are exploring many topics concerning doubt in God and Christianity. Pastor Miles brings answers to the church through this message series, explaining what to do with our doubts and how we can learn to trust God. This week we explore how some people may experience doubt by having faith only in the science of the natural world.
SCIENCE [noun sci·ence] = Knowledge about or study of the natural world based on facts learned through experiments and observation.
Some people say that science explains God away; if we know how things happen, then God must not exist. But science is simply a discipline of understanding the natural world; it helps us understand what is already there, how it works, and how to anticipate what may happen in the future. Science did not put the sun in the sky or grass on ground. It did not create photosynthesis or determine the chemical and biological relationships between plants and animals. Science didn’t cause things to happen; it only tells us they do happen.
The scientific method involves four steps:
Hypothesis (what I think is going to happen)
Controlled experiment (testing my theory over and over)
Conclusion (what the experiment revealed)
Science explains how our world works, but not how it started, so it cannot explain away the Creator. Science explains the properties of the natural world, and one of these principles is that there has to be a beginning to everything: nothing comes from nothing. The “Mad Scientist” of today’s message is the Creator God. Wouldn’t it be maddening for Him to watch us observe all of the incredible things He’s made and not give Him any credit for making them? He gave us a brain to observe, study, and learn so that we can understand more about who He is!
Although the Bible is not a scientific book, it does have science in it.
2,700 years before science discovered that our solar system travels in orbit around the galaxy, the Bible told us that the sun has a path.
2,500 years before science discovered the water cycle, Job 36 talked about clouds collecting water and raining distilled water onto the earth.
3,300 years before science discovered the connection between blood and life, Leviticus 7:11 told us that life is in the blood.
Before science discovered that the universe is rapidly expanding, Isaiah 40:22 told us that God stretches out the heavens like a curtain.
Pastor Miles used a fish tank as a metaphor for our world. Everything in the universe is inside the fish tank and science explains, not determines, how everything in the fish tank works and how all of those systems work together. But there is also a supernatural world outside of the fish tank and the rules of the fish tank do not apply to that supernatural world. God can reach in to intervene any time He chooses and can express His authority over the natural laws of our world.
As an example, recently, Pastor Miles and his wife Debbie prayed for a man who had blood clots in his lungs. He was facing a very risky surgery and doctors were doubtful whether or not he could survive. However, before the procedure was performed, the doctors discovered the situation completely resolved, which they labeled “an unexplainable, incredible development.” Although the rules of this world cannot explain how this could possibly happen, God intervened from another world according to His rules.
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse. Romans 1:20
God desires for us to study and learn about His amazing creation, and then give Him glory for the awesomeness of it all. As the above passage states, God’s creation reveals His attributes (creativity, artistic ability, organizational skills, and eternal power) so profoundly that we are without excuse to know Him. Just as you would never look around your apartment and think that “nothing” made it, or view your wardrobe and think that “nobody” designed it, how much more should we look at the complex beauty around us and recognize that it was deliberately and carefully crafted?
In John 9, we see an intersection between the natural world and the supernatural, as science is played out in a miracle of Jesus.
Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing. Therefore the neighbors and those who previously had seen that he was blind said, “Is not this he who sat and begged?” Some said, “This is he.” Others said, “He is like him.” He said, “I am he.” Therefore they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?” He answered and said, “A Man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and I received sight.” Then they said to him, “Where is He?” He said, “I do not know.” John 9:1-12
1. The Father is glorified through the story science tells. John 9:1-7
When you look into the natural world, you see amazing, incredible, and indescribable things. But we only have this ability to see this because of the amazing camera lens of our body. Pastor Miles showed a diagram of the human eye, the best camera known to man.
The iris opens and closes to regulate how much light goes into your pupil.
The cornea is the protector of the eye responsible for 70% of focus, and is nourished not by veins because it has to be completely clear.
Although you can’t see clearly underwater, there is constant fluid on the eye. God has designed a system so that when you blink, just enough fluid flushes the eye to keep it clean, but not so much fluid that our vision would be blurred.
There are 130 million rod-shaped cells in the eye to detect light. The best human-made camera detects photons at a rate of 100 to 1, but the human eye’s rate is 10 billion to 1. That’s 10 million times better! (Think of how much time and money goes into developing camera technology, yet we’ll never catch God!)
That incredible human camera accounts for only ¼ of a thousandth of your body weight, yet 80% of the information coming to your body comes from the eye.
The eye can handle 500,000 messages at same time.
There are 6 million cone shaped cells in the eye to determine color variation.
The signals are taken through a million nerve cells that go to your brain.
The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language Where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their words to the end of the world. Psalm 19:1-4
When someone is born blind, science tells us how the eye works and the cause of the blindness. But science may not be able to do anything to improve the impairment. Yet in an instant, God can reach touch and restore sight.
2. Jesus submitted himself to and exercised authority over the scientific laws he created. Philippians 2:5-8, John 10:37
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2:5-8
Jesus submitted Himself to the scientific laws of this world by humbling Himself to become human. He bled and was susceptible to emotions and physical pain. However, He also declared and demonstrated on earth the superiority of the kingdom of God, calling upon the power of the Father in heaven.
The supernatural power of the throne of heaven can only be accessed by faith. As Jesus’ followers, we are not citizens of this world, but of heaven, so we are not limited by the laws of science that we understand. (Our earthly science doesn’t even tell us everything about this world, much less the supernatural world!) Eternity is in us and we are called to live out God’s power on earth. This is how Jesus showed that He was the Son of God!
If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; John 10:3
3. The Spirit of God operates inside and outside of the laws of science. Romans 8:11
If you have an illness, medical professionals will explain to the best of their scientific knowledge (which is constantly increasing) how to best treat the illness, but God is the great Physician and can reach in far beyond our limitations.
But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.” Mark 10:27
By faith, we have access outside of our natural world to exercise power and insight that doesn’t exist in this world. God can give us supernatural strength, healing, words, and knowledge if we ask Him.
But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Romans 8:11
May God the Creator impact you in a powerful way today - that you would be in awe of His presence and desire to fully follow Him!