Science and Faith

“. . . the mother of the ice and the frost . . .”

“Who is the mother of the ice and the frost,
which turn the waters to stone
 and freeze the face of the sea?” (Job 38:29-30)

My first thought a few weeks ago when I saw these fluffy, furry, feathery (I’m not really sure what to call them) ice sickles was not, “Hmm… I wonder if the ice sickles
that formed after the ice and snow storm served like seed crystals so the exhaust from the nearby heat pump could freeze like rime ice crystals around them and create these fluffy, furry, feathery structures?”  No, my first response was, “Wow!”

In the last couple of weeks the dialogue between science and faith over creation has been stirred again by a much-publicized debate between representatives of both sides.  As both a scientist and a pastor I fail to see need for the dualism created by the argument.  Why the need for either-or?  Why not both-and?  It seems to me that when I first saw the strange ice sickles and cried, “Wow!” that was my statement of faith.  It wasn’t my analytical mind trying to figure it out, it was my spirit crying out to the Spirit of God saying, “How wondrous! How beautiful! How majestic! Thank you, God!”  Only after that did my mind switch to the, “Now how did this happen?” phase.

It seems to me that when our spirit cries out with joy, acknowledgement of beauty, love, hope, and even pain, we find ourselves in the spiritual realm.  When we hold a newborn baby in our arms for the first time, our thoughts do not go back to our days in school when we learned about the “birds and the bees” and “how babies are made.”  Rather, our spirit takes control and tries to find words and thoughts for this new miracle for whom there are no adequate words, thoughts, or descriptions.  We have the means to study this miracle from conception to cell-splitting and all the way to birth, and yet the whole we hold is greater than the sum of its parts.  When we hold the miracle in our arms we know we have stepped into the realm of spirit and Spirit.  The more we understand the biological and psychological processes that are involved in being a human the more we are able to be partners in God’s healing work.  That’s an important job for science.  However, as a scientist I can tell you that the more I break something down to a more elemental level to try and understand it, the more I hear myself saying, “Wow!”  That’s the realm of faith. 

Science need not stifle faith, and faith need not ignore science.  I am delighted that God’s path for me has encompassed both.  I pray that God will continue to help me balance the “Wow” and the “How?”  How about you?

Blessings and Peace,
Pastor, Cross Lanes United Methodist Church
Cross Lanes, West Virginia

Help save lives! For more information on my book, “A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression,” visit

My new book, “Wednesday Wonderings: Spiritual Journaling Through a Lens” is available at and

Check out my video, “Teens Surviving the Storm”

~ by revgenelson on February 12, 2014.

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