God’s Providence and Scientific Investigation

I am enjoying reading Mr. Dawntreader’s articles on the book, Science & Faith: Friends or Foes? by Dr. C. John Collins. Dr. Collins is an Old Testament professor at Covenant Theological Seminary. He has his undergraduate and first graduate degrees in engineering from MIT, and a Ph.D. in lingusitics from the university of Liverpool. He is also an expert in Hebrew.

I especially liked this article on the topic of God’s involvement in this world and its effect on science.

In theological terms, this falls in the area of study called providence. How involved is God in the natural world? If he is heavily involved, does it make the study of science pointless?

Collins unpacks God’s involvement in the world by stating the classic Christian understanding of God’s providence. God created real things with real properties (i.e. natures) each with the possibility of causing things. God ceased creating but goes on maintaining and governing. That is, he keeps his creation doing what it is supposed to be doing …

This raises a question. Does God do everything?

In a sense, yes. In a sense, no. God directly governs this world. His purposes are holy, wise and thoroughly good; and he sees to it, that in the end, his purposes stand. The reason the laws of physics work is because God keeps them working day after day. They serve his purpose. So God is directly involved in all of creation daily. However, God created a universe with a web of cause and effect and things that have natures … and one of the properties of those natures is to cause things. In that sense, God did not write this blog post. Mr. Dawntreader did …

Is it still possible for Christians to study and learn about the natural world if God is so involved in it? Of course it is, and we should learn as much as we can. In fact, it is because God sustains this world and gives it order that forms the basis and foundation for studying it.

I encourage you to visit the Dawn Treader site to read the full article, plus the earlier articles on the book as well. This looks like an excellent book on science and faith, and I have added it to my “books to read” list.

Related post: The Bible is to Theology as Creation is to Science

5 Comments

  1. Tom says:

    Another excellent reading site on this topic is…
    http://www.st-edmunds.cam.ac.uk/faraday/Papers.php
    This is a site set up to honor Michael Faraday. He was a famous scientist who combined his scientific research with his wonder of God.
    Stories of his life are a great read. He even expounded that scientific research WAS possible BECAUSE God created it with astounding order.

  2. Ray Fowler says:

    Tom,

    Great site! I went over there earlier this morning and browsed some of the articles. Thanks!

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. God, Quantum Mechanics, and Chaos Theory at Ray Fowler .org
  2. Bible:theology :: Creation:science at Ray Fowler .org
  3. The Need for Christians in Science at Ray Fowler .org

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