The Musings of a Pastor-Scientist

I like science. In fact, I’ve been trained as a scientist and a science educator. I love learning about the world and universe which surrounds me. As a youth, I gained a passion for outer space, and had a great desire to become an astronaut. Later, I studied at one of the finest universities in this country, Auburn University, and received a degree in Marine Biology and completed a thesis in Freshwater Stream Ecology. Then, I went on to study theology, and eventually became a bivocational church planter working as a science teacher, combining my love for science and theology.

I try to pass this passion along to those around me. My sermons contain science references, and tonight, I took my niece outside to see Venus and Jupiter in the sky. My students are currently reading about rockets and will pretty soon build and launch their own.

Last week, I began watching PBS’s “The Elegant Universe” with Columbia physicist, Brian Greene. This program examines string theory, which is an area of physics which seeks to unify quantum mechanics and general relativity under one, central theory. It truly is amazing to see what one can learn from physics. For example, everything about electricity and magnetism can be summed up by four equations! Amazing!

I am saying this, because in all of my studies as a scientist, one would be led to think that I would be persuaded to lose my belief in God. However, the exact opposite has happened. As I have learned about the elegant universe, the stars, the planets in their orbits, gravity, the speed of light, the interactions of organisms in a freshwater environment, the numerous plants throughout the state of Alabama, the tides, the moon, DNA, RNA, neurons, gravity, motion, atoms, protons, neutrons, electrons, geology, weather, and more, I have seen more and more of our Creator’s fingerprints in the world around me. I boldly proclaim as the psalmist did, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” (Psalms 19:1)

As a pastor, it is not only my duty, but my great pleasure to preach the Glory of God to the church. I want the people who hear me preach to walk away from my sermons, knowing that the Creator of the Universe is truly a great God. I want those same people to begin to desire Him above anything else this world has to offer. If I fail in this, I will fail as a pastor AND a scientist. I must proclaim that which I have seen and I have heard. That’s what good scientists do; they share what they have learned. That’s what good pastors do; they proclaim the Glory of God.

There once lived a brilliant man by the name of Albert Einstein (you may have heard of him). The pastors of his day and time failed to proclaim the Glory of God to him in a way that would lead him to worship his Creator. Charles Misner, one of Einstein’s students, wrote the following:

“The design of the universe is very magnificent and should not be taken for granted. In fact, I believe this is why Einstein had so little use for organized religions, although he struck me as basically a very religious man. Einstein must have looked at what the preacher said about God and felt that they were blaspheming! He had seen more majesty than he had ever imagined in the creation of the universe and felt that the God they were talking about couldn’t have been the real thing. My guess is that he simply felt that the churches he had run across did not have proper respect for the Author of the Universe.”

Imagine if Einstein had met a pastor-scientist who truly preached the Glory of God…

May I have the boldness to preach Christ and Him Crucified in a meaningful, contextual way in order that people may be led to worship their Creator.

Look at the stars tonight. Not only did God create them and put them in their places, but he made you as well.

“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” (Psalm 8:3-4)


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