A long time ago (about four decades actually), in a university far, far away (well, it was really only about two hours north of here), it was a time of civil war—between science and my Christian upbringing. It was so gradual, I didn’t even realize it was happening until it was too late. It wasn’t that science overwhelmed my spirituality through brute force and unassailable truth. I didn’t just sit back one day and say, “Well that clinches it, science wins through superior logic!”
Instead, it was more like a slow erosion. None of my physics professors or fellow physics majors (either of them!) flat out said, “God is a myth” or “Jesus was just a fine fellow.” But we all thought science had – or would eventually have – all the answers to all the mysteries of the universe. The Big Bang started things. Evolution shaped everything. The laws of physics and thermodynamics and others controlled things. Einstein explained things. Quarks were the building blocks of all things. We had it all figured out, so what need was there for God?
We had it all figured out, so what need was there for God?
Since we were so smart, we knew God must be an invention of the less sophisticated masses who needed mystical explanations for how things were created, how we should act and what happens after we die (oblivion, of course)! The arrogance of our imagined intelligence kept us from doubting our stance, despite the billions of God-fearing, Jesus-loving people sharing the planet with us. We were right. They were wrong. How sad for them.
Sadly for me, it took years beyond college and some very serious problems in my marriage to make me realize that maybe I had erred in my reliance on science as the rock of my foundation. For me, the road back to Christ wasn’t a lightning and thunder kind of thing. It was more like a slow, uphill slog as I examined the road rock by rock.
Why so slow? Well, I was sort of stuck as to where to start the journey. I couldn’t really pray since I wasn’t sure there was anyone there to hear my feeble attempts—and if there was, I was pretty sure He didn’t want to hear from me. Isn’t it Hebrews 11:6 that says “without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that He exists…”
For me, the road back to Christ…was more like a slow, uphill slog as I examined the road rock by rock.
So for you analytical, scientific, faithless folks out there, here is what worked for me. First, read lots of books from authors like Lee Strobel, Philip Yancey, C.S. Lewis, J.B. Phillips and more. They are very logical writers who can give you the facts you need to build faith and integrate it with science. The two are not mutually exclusive! My personal logic progression went like this: The New Testament is provably true. If you believe in Plato, Aristotle or Homer, you have to believe the New Testament. There are many more New Testament manuscripts, written much closer to the time of the actual events (some by eye witnesses) and with a greater degree of accuracy between manuscripts than any other document of antiquity.
When that sunk in, I realized I therefore had to conclude Jesus was real and not a legend. As C.S. Lewis says so well, we have only three choices in how to consider Jesus: liar, lunatic or Lord. Would his disciples, eye witnesses to all He said and did, have been so steadfast in their testimonies—eventually leading to martyrdom—for a liar or lunatic? Did all those eye witnesses to the resurrection also lie? Did a liar or lunatic spawn a religion that has endured for 2,000 years?
Since the New Testament and Jesus are real, the Old Testament must also be real based on the fact that it contains hundreds of messianic prophecies, all fulfilled in Jesus Christ despite almost incalculable odds (actually, someone did calculate the odds that eight such prophecies would be fulfilled in one person to be 1 in 100 quadrillion). Add to this the fact that archeological finds are consistently supporting the Bible’s stories.
If the whole Bible is real and Jesus is Lord, then God and the Holy Spirit must also be real—and that was scary to acknowledge. But grace is also real, and that was the key.
If the whole Bible is real and Jesus is Lord, then God and the Holy Spirit must also be real—and that was scary to acknowledge. But grace is also real, and that was the key. I was able to finally pray with faith, acknowledge Jesus as my Savior once again (the first time was as a child), receive/reactivate the Holy Spirit indwelling in me and get help transforming my shallow, self-centered, erroneously-directed life.
And that is my final proof for you. It works! I feel, think and act differently. I am no longer the center of the universe; I know now that I am part of something larger and more purposeful. Through the grace of Jesus, God knows me and has plans for me. Through my birthright as a believer, I am able to hear from Him regarding those plans. This is the Good News that I had tuned out for all those years, mistakenly thinking that science had all the answers.
From this new perspective, I can see how science and religion are complementary. Why didn’t I see it before? Who did I think started the Big Bang? Guided evolution or designed the end product? Overcame entropy? Balanced the forces of electromagnetism, gravity and the weak and strong nuclear interactions? Created the quark (or whatever the smallest building block is now known to be, 40 years after I studied these things)? How fearfully and wonderfully made it all is! Way too much so to be the result of chance, randomness or natural selection!
How fearfully and wonderfully made it all is! Way too much so to be the result of chance, randomness or natural selection!
So please use my experience, and don’t let science replace God in your life! But if it already has, maybe my path can help shorten your journey! Read the Bible as the history book it is, not as science fiction!