The Vocation of a Christian Scientist

What we scientists are doing is studying how God makes the world work. I find that many of the challenges in relating science and faith spring from an inadequate appreciation of what this means. Conversely, just as there is an added dimension of pleasure in enjoying the creative work of someone you know, so there is an added pleasure in studying the world if you know the creator. ~ Andrew Briggs, Real Scientists, Real Faith

It is true that greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide act to trap infra-red radiation and thus contribute to a warming of the planet. It is also true, that I love my six-month old daughter. True statements both, yet based on categorically different types of evidence: one universal and scientific, the other personal and experiential. Not all scientific statements are true, and not all true statements are scientific. ~ Mike Hulme, Real Scientists, Real Faith

All scientific knowledge in the end is provisional, some more so than others. And all truly religious people – Christians or those of other faiths – understand that they are grasping knowledge of God only tentatively. As a Christian, my religious faith battles constantly with doubt, mystery and uncertainty. Any other description is a caricature of what it means to live as a Christian. This state of contained ambiguity is not paralyzing for me, neither as a believer nor as a scientist. It is in fact truly humanizing and liberating. This humility – whether of the religious or scientific variety – in the face of the mysterious and unknown is not the same as religious agnosticism. Humility is not to be equated with lack of belief, but with an appreciation that though we do believe, we wrestle with our belief and find that faith grows through being exercised. Scientific knowledge can only be acquired given a certain commitment of the scientist to the efficacy of the scientific method and a belief in the rationality of the universe. If one remained agnostic about science, then little scientific knowledge would be found to be secure. So too for Christianity. Agnosticism about the the existence of God and the claim of Jesus Christ is of course a possible position, but such a lack of commitment – a lack of faith – excludes this person from certain ways of knowing. ~ Mike Hulme, Real Scientists, Real Faith

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