When I was about 19 years old I went to a Christian College (Pacific College- a Free Methodist Christian School). During the 1 year there I had bible study courses examining the process of canonization of the Old and New Testament. At that time I was a product of the Jesus Movement, Campus Crusade, and the Billy Graham LA coliseum conference. I was very energetic and enthusiastic, possibly going into the ministry. After that year I returned to a secular college (Northridge University) for a B.S. in biology (8 years). I loved science and it became a real intellectual challenge to justify science with the Bible. Through a process lasting about 9 years I really lost my faith and sold out to the secular life. The struggle back was at great cost to myself, family, and friends and can never be repaid. However, in that journey I never lost the intellectual process or my love of science, and I questioned everything. This has been a large part of my life for the last 57 years or more. Because of this I have a broad understanding of the mentality of the intellectual secular scientist and the less visible religion based scientist.
I feel it has always been understated by Christians about how hard it is for the worldly to accept the authority of the Bible as the Word of God. While the Bible makes it really clear about how hard and few will accept the spiritual over the carnal, that concept becomes lost when religious explanations seem to be quotes from the Bible. In my life, that difficulty about questions about the canonization of the Bible and conflicts of science and religion had the impact to make me lose the beauty of my initial Faith. It becomes easier to understand when stated differently. The surrender of your will and self to Christ is hard because the questions that arise in the secular and religious arena seem to require you to surrender your intellect and reason. For myself, my not being able to accept blind faith and believing that the greatest asset of humanity is our ability to reason, made my journey to God and exploration of these polarized worlds more difficult. There are many conflicts and questions that will never be fully answered but I am now fully resolved. I wish I had the skill to explain how, but for the last 20+ years my life is an exploration of how God’s glory is amplified by science and how the study and acceptance of the Bible truly reflects God’s Word to humanity.
It is easy to get caught up in the details of the journey back to my faith (evolution vs Gensis, E=mc2, prebiotic soup vs Adam and Eve, Big Bang Theory, etc.). Those are long involved studies, most unresolved. What needs to be made clear is that God’s Word prevails. Faith is by inspiration and revelation, not by the mental process of reason and evidence. The surrender to God and belief in Christ as His Son is an act of choice founded on the inner call of God. We are chosen by God as was the Israelites. The resulting praise, worship, and appreciation of God is the product of reverence and honor to our Creator. That is the beginning of knowledge.
One major step in my choice of Faith is that I needed to resolve the many questions I had about the historical beginning of the Scripture. What I found was not a resolution but an open-mindedness that allowed me to “hear” the Word of God. The great discoveries in my lifetime in Cosmology, Genetics, and Physics were shadowed by the awesome insight and revelations of the Bible. Now I can “see” the glory of God in nature and science, “hear” the Word of God as Truth, and “understand” the significance of my Faith in God’s plan of salvation. It is a mind that can be reasonable and rational and Christian.
There is a major discrepance between the Bible and Science. Science is based on evidence, speculation, and theories. I know science seems to try to disprove God, but I also have become aware that the Bible doesn’t try to disprove science. The Bible is a book to reveal God and His covenant for Man’s salvation. It is not a book of fact, but of Faith. Science is so unresolved and historically unreliable (a Big bang or Steady State Universe?, a round or flat world?, a theory of everything?, etc.) and it leaves such gigantic gaps in knowledge that really make it absurd to proclaim there is no God. The Bible is written so differently from scientific journals and literature that there is really very little conflict, except that which is exaggerated by Man. Science seems to have such belief in it’s theories, may be’s, possibly be’s, could be’s, and the famous, perhaps, that they forget to remember that hypotheses are not facts. Certainly, the proclamation of NO God is not proven. In fact, as they try to explain the “just rights” of conditions for life on Earth by the infinite “multiverse”, they should realize that by their own argument, one of those “universes” must have a God (“maybe” ours).
My testimony to Man is how God revealed Himself to me by his awesome creation. The idea of a doubtless belief in God through science certainly makes it easier to become a Christian. However, I feel that the foundation of my Faith and belief in Christ is because the Holy Spirit constantly drew me back, in the face of my resistance, to my first initial Faith. It is this voice that strengthened my mind to seek truth and find Jesus. It is the Bible which helps me to mature as a Christian and be able to feel the comfort and assurance of the Truth of God’s Word.