science

Science as a Call to Worship

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Job 12:8 states, “Speak to the earth, and it will teach you…”

As an Earth Science teacher, and as someone who loves creation and what it reflects about its Creator, I love that verse.

In context, Job speaks to his friend Zophar in the midst of intense suffering. He explains that he is well aware that God is in control and allowing his suffering. He is essentially saying, “Look at the earth, the animals, the trees. Look at how they are constantly taken care of. Clearly, God has unlimited power and infinite wisdom. His creation screams it! So yes, Zophar, I know God has brought this suffering. He ordains everything that happens, large or small.”

Job’s point is this: Creation teaches us about God. That fact makes me want to deepen my understanding of creation and all its inner-workings. I want to see what it tells me about the God who made it, the God that loved me so much that He killed His Son to allow me to know Him. Yes, I want to know everything about that loving, amazing, all-powerful God.

Creation teaches us about God.

Tectonic Forces

The desire to think more deeply about this topic came to me as I was discussing volcanoes with my class. We were watching a documentary, and the presenter stated, “This immeasurably powerful, yet invisible force shapes and changes the surface of the Earth.” He was referring to the “force” of convection currents deep within the Earth. They constantly churn molten rock underneath the ground, causing continents and oceans to shift and move slowly over time.

In that moment, I was amazed that God would orchestrate the shifting of Earth’s surface by this invisible powerful force. As powerful as this force is, the change that occurs is ridiculously slow. The plates on which the continents rest move about 2cm every year. Yet this movement over time creates mountains and mid-ocean ridges that are so massive that I cannot look at or think of them without reflecting on how incredible powerful and creative God is.

Now, most scientists see these amazing patterns and the structures they produce and think, “Wow, what an amazing planet!” This saddens me. One of the Earth’s greatest injustices is man robbing God of the credit He is due for this amazing creation — and then attributing that credit to random, unlikely chance. As Paul puts it, such people “worshiped and served what has been created instead of the Creator” (Romans 1:25).

Science ought to be an instrument to allow us to understand God’s revelation of Himself to us. As David writes in Psalm 19:1,

The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.

It is through this lens that I see the world, and from there we can assert that systems here are on Earth reflect their Creator.

God’s ability to build mountains is great. His ability to build his church is even greater.

The Tectonic Forces in Our Soul

Consider the movement of tectonic plates by invisible forces under the surface, and then read I Corinthians 2:9-11:

But as it is written:

‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’

But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.

The Spirit reveals God’s great unseen truths to us. And just like the center of the Earth is full of heat, energy, power — yet completely unseen — so is the Spirit of God in us. And this unseen power within us gives us a glimpse of God’s nature. He reveals to us the “deep things of God.” His power, sovereignty, love, existence — everything and anything that we know of God — He worked in us to allow us to know it.

I know I certainly did nothing to arrive at knowing God. I actively ran away from the truth of God, but He, in His infinite mercy, revealed Himself to me through His Spirit. And I am so thankful He did.

But this tectonic-like invisible force doesn’t stop there. It changes us, first inwardly, and then behaviorally. Like unseen flowing magma changes Earth’s surface, the Spirit of God changes our external actions. We become new creatures. The things we used to love, we now hate. The law we used to despise, we now delight in. We are no longer slaves to sin, but we find freedom in being servants of Jesus Christ. Only the invisible working of the Holy Spirit of God could bring about such drastic, unbelievable and seemingly illogical change in the hearts and minds of countless humans.

And as this happens on the individual level, a gradual structure begins to be formed here for God’s glory. It is happening on a geologic time scale, and growing to a size far beyond any natural wonder we have the joy of seeing here on Earth. Throughout human history God has been calling dead sinners, and turning them into living stones, integral pieces in His universal church. A church that has been growing since the dawn of humanity, and will continue to grow until Christ returns. He abides with us and in us. And I am but a single pebble in the vast Grand Canyon. But how wonderful that I get to be a part of such an exquisite wonder for the glory of God.

These mysteries of God, stretching across all of time, are awe-inspiring. The work He is doing, has done and will continue to do is breathtaking. That He brings glory to Himself through the blood of His Son — saving souls from death, bringing them into relationship with Him — is spectacular. I’ll never understand it all, but what a blessing to be in Christ, and to be set apart for the purposes of God. I hope you can say like that old hymn, “I have never lost the wonder of it all.”

The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech nor language
Where their voice is not heard. (Psalm 19:1-3)

God’s ability to build mountains is great. His ability to build his church is even greater. May the wonders of the world cause you to reflect on its magnificent Creator.

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Topher Thomas

Topher is an Earth and Environmental Science Teacher in Durham, NC. He is a graduate of Southeastern with an M.A. in Christian Education with Biblical Counseling. He is married to Abigail, and father to Violet and Margot.

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