From the earliest moments of childhood humans are focused on discovery. All of us were designed by God for science and the scientific method. The most basic definition of the scientific method is as follows; “Sci.en.tif.ic Meth.od – noun: A method of procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.” Google As a Christian pastor I am aware of the driving hunger for knowledge and truth that I see in most people. Some pastors discourage the study of science but true science only validates the biblical account. The Bible emphasizes the search for truth and commends those who have a love for the truth while condemning those who do not. (See 2Thess. 2:10) The Bible teaches that love is the greatest of all human qualities and that love rejoices in a knowledge of the truth. (See 1Cor. 13:6)
Science and the Truth Test
While everyone is called to be scientific, a scientist is someone who has devoted their life to the scientific method more intentionally. They have a greater intensity, passion and focused priority to discover certain information and truth. Whether we are scientists or simply scientific, the gathering and analyzing of information must consistently pass the truth test. Every person, including scientists, have a bias. Each of us is an intellectual product of our environment, our experience, and our ability to decipher what we have received. According to the Bible, the drive for truth must be paramount and God insists that we live according to it. The search for truth must be an a fundamental part of our existence. Our journey is an quest for the acquisition of knowledge and the understanding of what it means. The process involves continuous problem solving and the results determine our attitudes, philosophy, and behavior.
God and deeper Discovery
Moving forward, all of us, whether simple or brilliant, develop a biased position and it is normal to interpret everything according to that position. We all have limited information, yet we must make decisions based on the knowledge we have. Even the best scientist is ever-searching for more knowledge, hoping it will lead to a greater understanding. It is only pride and arrogance that claims absolute understanding. The fact is, we are all gaining new information. A great person is one who is able to honestly challenge their predisposition. It is an act of humility and a key to deeper discovery. Without this humility we may learn but not be able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Faith and Truth
Central to the scientific method for a Christian is a magnificent dynamic called faith. It is not blind faith, abstract reasoning, or presumption. Rather, it is an intellectual analysis and a conclusion based on the evidence. The Bible warns against blind faith and presumption. It says, “The goal of our instruction is sincere faith.” 1Tim. 1:5
It says presumption is error. (See Ps. 19:13) It even says, “The prophet who speaks presumptuously … that prophet shall die.” Duet. 18:20-22 NAS
The Bible teaches about God’s omniscience, the need for absolute truth, and mankind’s lack of knowledge. To emphasize this we read, “Let God be true and every man a liar.” Rom. 3:4
This verse is not designed to shut us down as if we were mindless creatures, nor does it suggest that we live in blind faith. No, it is designed to propel us forward to search the heart of God. This leads to genuine discovery and a love for the truth. The Bible illuminates this journey by saying, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.” Pro. 25:2
Searching Out a Matter
The search for truth regarding a matter is what we were made for. It is glorious to search out a matter. We were made for the scientific method. We do not need to be scientists or super spiritual people to discover God and truth. The Bible says, “He [God] is not far from anyone of us.” Acts 17:21
This comes at the end of a deeper thought. “From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.” Acts 17:20-21
God established the nations so their inhabitants would seek and find him. There is a connection between a people group, a parcel of land, and discovering God. The information that each ethnicity is given in their nation is enough to lead them to a powerful faith in the Living God.
The Need for Faith
Faith is not foreign to humans, it is required in every area of life. We need faith to fly in an airplane, drink water from a tap or to commit ourselves in a love relationship. We look at the information before us and based on that, we move forward and believe in the skill of a pilot, we trust our civil engineers, and give the most intimate part of our being to another person. In life we would be paralyzed in a prison of fear if we did not exercise faith. Faith is a trust in something we cannot see, but we have sufficient data to rely on nevertheless. The Bible says faith is substance and evidence.
Faith in God is based on hearing Him in such a way that we are convinced that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him. (See Heb. 12:1-6) We can hear God in a number of different ways. Test this; use the scientific method, but be humble.
We can hear God through studying the universe, listening to Him in our hearts, reading the Bible, having a vision or dream, through another Christian, having a visit from an angel, through a set of amazing circumstances, through an awareness of His divine presence, or He could speak to us in an audible voice. Many times a person will ask God for a sign or for direction or poof of His existence. Then God speaks and the evidence is so overwhelming that logic dictates a response of faith. Like having faith in a pilot, a civic engineer or a love partner, once we have enough information we step out and trust God and His Son, Jesus Christ. It is just part of the scientific method.
Through listening to hundreds of faith reports, I have learned that everyone has a unique story. God adjusts His radio waves to accommodate each human receiver. If we are simple, God speaks simply. If we are academic, He may speak in a more sophisticated way.
Every person who genuinely seeks God will find Him; it is His promise. There are a few conditions. We must be humble. We must be ready to engage in a life of faith, if sufficient evidence is forthcoming. We must be willing to follow the Lord with our allegiance and obedience once we know He exists. This response is logical; it is the least we can do. This step is not the end; after coming to faith in Jesus the journey of discovery has just begun.