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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A Biblical mandate for scientific study

This verse hit me this morning as I was reading my devotions:

Psalm 111:2 Great are the works of the Lord,
studied by all who delight in them. (ESV)

How true! God's works are great, and studying them, as many great and not-so-great scientists (such as Isaac Newton) have believed, is a way of learning about God Himself. It's also a delight. In other words, nature is one of God's revelations to us.

. . . Newton appeared to believe that divine attributes could be read in the book of nature. The fact that the light of the fixed stars is one with the light of the Sun pointed to the unity of the Godhead; the fact that star systems had been placed at such immense distances from each other, preventing what would otherwise be an uncomfortable implosion, was a mark of wisdom and foresight. John Brooke, "The God of Isaac Newton," pp. 168-183, in Let Newton be!, edited by John Fauvel, Raymond Flood, Michael Shortland, and Robin Wilson. New York: Oxford, 1988. Quote is from p. 171.

For Isaac Newton and other architects of the modern scientific worldview, the "laws of nature" were a direct expression of God's will -- God's control of all physical processes. Nancey Murphy, "Divine Action in the Natural Order: Buridan's Ass and Schrödinger's Cat," pp. 325 - 357 in Chaos and Complexity: Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action, edited by Robert John Russell, Nancey Murphy and Arthur R. Peacocke. Vatican City State: Vatican Observatory Publications, 1997. Quote is from p. 325.

Thanks for reading.

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