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[1] Faith and Science: A Personal Note

By Steve Bellinger, National Technology Consultant

 I am a Christian.  I say that without apology.  I hope that does not offend anyone, but that’s just the way it is.

 I am also a technologist in the computer world.  I believe in technology; I use technology every day, I teach it night and day, and I have actually created my share for businesses and organizations around the country.

I might also be considered something of a scientist.  My mind runs constantly along these lines.  In my leisure hours, I spend a lot of time watching educational TV and the Science Channel.  I am most interested in the Universe and the secrets that are slowly being unraveled.

Of course, many people seem to think there is a conflict here—even Christians.  I once knew an elderly gentleman who was a very faithful member of the church I attended.  He seemed to be a quiet, sort of simple man, although he was clearly well off financially.  I learned later that he had once been a research scientist. Our pastor described him to me as being “brilliant.”  

I asked the man what kind research he had done, and his response was simply, “I don’t do any of that anymore.”  He had clearly become a faithful believer and had left his life of science behind.  Feeling he had to choose between his faith and his profession, he chose the latter.  I had great respect for this man.  And, partly, because of his response, I wrestled with the dissonance of science and technology on one side and my faith on the other.

It took an 11-year old girl to straighten me out.

Some years ago, one of my daughter’s elementary school teachers asked me to talk to her class about science fiction—a subject I love–and science.  I wore my Starfleet uniform, and talked about Star Trek versus real science.  The kids loved it.

Soon more teachers requested that I present to their classes.  A friend who taught at a school in a different town invited me to address her class.  Halfway through my presentation, I noticed that there were a number of teachers standing outside of the door listening.  I had become something of a star.

Then it happened.

I was really rolling, talking to a class of 4th graders.  The teacher was even more enraptured than were the students and the kids were wide-eyed.  I was getting to them.  They seemed to be understanding.  Then this little girl raised her hand.

“Excuse me, sir, do you believe in God?”

She caught me a bit off guard, but I gave her my pat answer, “Of course I do!”

“Then how can you believe in all that science stuff, too?”

You can see how deep this science versus faith dichotomy goes. 

To this day, I am amazed at the answer that came to me.  This was a public school, so I asked the teacher if it was okay to address the student’s question.  I think she was dying to hear my answer also, so she told me to go ahead.

I drew two boxes on the black board. In one I wrote “science book” and in the other I wrote “The Bible.”

The science book, I said, tells us what and how.  The Bible tells us Who and why. We need both books.  The teacher was a little stunned.  The child simply found the answer satisfactory.  I was dumbfounded. I did not know where that gem of wisdom came from

It did not come from me and that, in itself, strengthened my faith.

I read of a neurophysiologist who once said that the more he studied the human brain, the more he believed in God.  When I watch the science programs in which people like Dr. Stephen Hawking try to explain the source and substance of the universe, and finally admit that they really have no idea, I see God.  You can believe in the Genesis version of Adam and Eve, or you can believe in the Big Bang.  If it started with Adam and Eve, then God made them from the dust after creating the Universe in six days.  If you believe there was a Big Bang, then it must have been God who lit the fuse.

Speaking of creation, I can actually thank of all people, Carl Reiner for helping with the 6-day creation thing.  In his movie, “Oh, God!” John Denver’s character told “God” (played by George Burns) that he did not believe that everything was created in six days, to which “God” replied, “Do you know how long a day is for me?  When I woke up this morning, Sigmund Freud was still in medical school.”

This joke had profound meaning for me.  The Bible says everything was done in 6 days.  Being typical, self-centered creatures, so many of us quickly assume that means six 24-hour days.  But how long would a day be for One who is infinite?  Years?  Centuries?  Eons?

Starting to make a little sense, isn’t it?

Steve Bellinger is from Chicago.  He does high-level web design and teaches computer skills for major corporations nationwide. 

One Response to “Technology”

  • Is science fiction incompatible with Christian faith? I have a sci-fi novel coming out in the spring, a time travel story. The original manuscript was rejected because, in the end, humans has messed things up so bad that only God could fix them. I was told this ending was a cop-out. I removed that part and got the story accepted. Not to be totally out done, I am working on a sequel with an ending where I hope to at least suggest that the Almighty had to step in and clean up our mess.

    There is a whole sub-genre called Christian Science Fiction. I wonder if the world is ready for that.

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