Friday, March 16, 2007

Prayers for Zombies (stolen words from my dead mouth)

THIS BOOK looks very interesting.

This prayer is excerpted from the book:
Dear God, it’s me—Your servant in science. I wanted to thank You that my latest paper was accepted by such a prestigious journal. We put a lot of work into it, and it was nice to see our work recognized.

Lord, you got me through grad school, and by Your grace I’ve been doing well in research—for which I’m grateful. But, when it gets down to it, I’m just not feeling easy about this whole direction for me. I’m not sure how exactly I ended up with this particular research focus. I have learned a lot, but sometimes I have to ask myself, “Who really cares?” If no one ever found out about what I’m researching, the world would still go on. Lord, You’ve given me a good marriage, blessed me with kids, a good church, but ... Lord, I don’t want to sound ungrateful ... but what I really want is to do something significant for the kingdom of God. I mean, the time is going by. The years fly now, and it doesn’t seem like I’m doing much of eternal significance.

Oh, I have taught my share of Sunday school classes. And there was that short-term mission trip the year before last. And, yes, there was the meeting in Chicago where I was able to share my faith with several folks in my field. They were kind of surprised that a good scientist could be a believer.

Maybe I ought to quit the research game and join a student ministry. I seem to have a good rapport with college students. Or maybe, as we just heard at the missions conference at church last month about the great need for missionaries in third-world areas, and last week a representative from a relief agency made a presentation, my heart just went out to those needy people. Maybe I should explore the missions direction.

Lord, I just want to do something significant for the kingdom. I long to hear You say at the end, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Please direct me to something that really counts.

The prayer encapsulates my thoughts on my vocation--to me, considering the significance of one's job as a scientist (or a plumber) is much more than a direct addressing of God's existence. So many times we look at religion and science as polar opposites, and most people attempt to resolve this by agreeing with that basic premise and pitting our favorite fighter against the foul foe that we prefer. But is this justified? I would say no, and that futher, it is not the way to show someone else that their deification of science or hatred of science is unjustified.

In fact, consider these words by Pascal in Pensee #473:

"It is a remarkable fact that no canonical author has ever used nature to prove God. They all try to make people believe in him. David, Solomon, etc. never said: 'There is no such thing as a vacuum, therefore God exists." They must have been cleverer than the cleverest of their successors, all of whom used proofs from nature. This is very noteworthy.

To me, the whole idea of being the person who attacks this or that atheistic position based on one's scientific background is so superficial, when compared to what science is actually about. Have we learned more about the world, and can that help people live a better or healthier or insert the appropriate adjective life? If so, we are showing as Christians that we care about others. That is more of our mission than any "Blasphemy Challenge", or inverse correlation thereof.

So I say we blow off Richard Dawkins and think more about what matters in the world, which is truth as truth. As my previous blog on hamartology stated, if evil is a non-entity, then these errors of others should not be our hangups. Instead, we should focus on the light that we have--and we shouldn't be surprised if we see light from heaven and earth, from God and nature.

No comments: