Thursday, June 05, 2008

Science Does Not Make Belief in God Obsolete

I've had a very busy week and am just now sitting on my back deck enjoying some solitude with a few books and a to-do list that needs attending to. Last Thursday Linda and I went to Illinois for her nephew's high school graduation. Got back Saturday evening, and went promptly to Monroe County's Relay for Life (cancer funding), where our church had a tent for people who wanted prayer. I think there were 5000 people there at the event. We had a lot of people from our church who got to pray for many people - I'm getting good feedback from this thing.

Then, after a big day Sunday with our church family (morning service, followed by a picnic and softball game where I proceeded to coach the losing team), I was part of a leadership strategizing retreat for our denomination, held just north of Lansing. This thing was held from Monday through yesterday afternoon. I greatly enjoyed that time and felt it was very productive, to include allowing me to connect with a lot of good friends I have not seen in a while. It looks like I will be part of a team that seeks God to lead our 150 Michigan churches into deeper spiritual renewal and transformation. If that happens I will be very excited!

When I returned home yesterday I was pleased to see the free book I ordered from the John Templeton Foundation. It's a series of short essays by scholars responding to the question "Does science make belief in God obsolete?" You can get this booklet on Templeton Foundation's website here.

I just read the excellent little essay by University of Maryland scientist William D. Phillips. Phillips is a Nobel Laureate in physics. His answer to the above question is: "Absolutely not!" Here's a little part of his essay.

"Why do I believe in God? As a physicist, I look at nature from a particular perspective. I see an orderly, beautiful universe in which nearly all physical phenomena can be understood from a few simple mathematical equations. I see a unvierse that, had it been constructed slightly differently, would never have given birth to stars and planets, let alone bacteria and people. And there is no good scientific reason for why the universe should not have been different. Many good scientists have concluded from these observations that an intelligent God must have chosen to create the universe with such beautiful, simple, and life-giving properties... I find these arguments suggestive but supportive of belief in God, but not conclusive. I believe in God because I can feel God's presence in my life, because I can see the evidence of God's goodness in the world, because I believe in Love and because I believe that God is Love."