First Christian Church | Pittsfield

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Faith

09.26.19 | Elder's Corner | by N.D. Harrison

    God introduced us to science very soon after He created man. “19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.” (Genesis 2:19-20 NIV) This is the beginning of man becoming involved with science. We continue naming species to this day in the very important branch of science called “taxonomy”.


    Matthew 22 provides an account where Jesus was asked by a Pharisee which is the greatest commandment. “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’” (Matt 22:37) Notice the last words in this passage, “with all your mind”. This verse directs us to combine thought and reasoning with love and worship of God.


    The two passages above make it clear to me that God wants us to use our brains. There have been times in my life (many years ago) when it seemed to me that the Bible was presented in a way that tried to force me to choose: did I want to believe in thought and reasoning and science or in God and the Holy Bible?


    That REALLY bothered me. I knew that I wanted sound scientific treatment for any medical problem I might have. I knew that I wanted computers and microwave ovens and products that science and research made possible. And I was pretty sure that most of the people I knew, including dedicated Christians, wanted the same. Was there a conflict? Could a person be a good Christian and also be interested in science and want the benefits science could offer?


    The reading of my Study Bible, listening to sermons, listening to content in RightNow Media, Googling content on YouTube (yes, YouTube really can be a great resource if used correctly), reading books and talking to others has allowed me to resolve the conflicts I have felt at different times in my life. And I have come to believe that listening to debates between Christians and atheists and deciding who had the more sound arguments helped strengthen my faith. Allowing my faith to be challenged has made me stronger and better able to defend my faith in discussions with others.


    I have tried to set aside a time, at least a couple of times a month, to discuss my faith with others, especially non-Christians. My exposure to the resources mentioned above have been a great help.


    I’m pretty sure there are others who are reluctant to consider Christianity because they think Christians choose faith over thought and reasoning. I believe those people confuse blind faith with evidence-based faith. I believe Christianity is an evidence-based faith and we should be able to confidently share our Christian faith with others. And I believe that in order to do that successfully we need to use the resources available to strengthen our minds.


    Yours in Christ,

    N.D. Harrison