Naïve children, frightened seniors?
In my younger years, I was sure that two kinds of people made up a vast majority of North American Christianity: children too young to know any better and seniors too old and frightened to think clearly.
Yes, I knew it all – and without the time-consuming bother of checking out the claims of Christianity or having any meaningful conversations with Christians. All the knowledge I needed came from newspaper articles or scornful remarks by equally ignorant friends and family members.
This ‘approach’ to faith went far beyond me. Consider these words, written in 2011 by blogger Chelsea Hoffman: “Atheism isn’t so bad; you don’t have to feel guilty for hanging up your entire existence on the idea that you’re being watched and judged by an archaic deity that is universally accepted among the science community to not even exist.”
The truth, as I found after becoming a Christian in 2002, is startlingly different. Wikipedia lists a whopping 24 living scientists who stand in direct opposition to Chelsea Hoffman’s sweeping pronouncement.
And just in case your non-Christian friends claim that they’re all doddering seniors, consider just these two: Physician-geneticist Francis S. Collins (famous for helping to map the human genome) was only 56 when he published the 2006 bestseller, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief.
Collins, now the director of the National Institutes of Health in the United States, wrote, “Science is not threatened by God; it is enhanced” and “God is most certainly not threatened by science; He made it all possible.”
Astronomer Jennifer Wiseman is a senior project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. She is also a public dialogue leader at the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion.
I couldn’t find out Wiseman’s birth date, but she earned a Ph.D. in astronomy from Harvard University in 1995, so she’s likely in her 50s. Wiseman has commented on movies from a Christian perspective and written about how to encourage young Christians in science. (You can find both online).
I wish I’d known, before 2002, about Wiseman, Collins and all the other brilliant minds doing scientific work while having a meaningful relationship with the creator of the universe and His son. It might have changed my life much earlier.
Does this knowledge make any difference to you? Can you use it in conversations with family and friends who don’t know Jesus?
Frank King’s views are his own and do not reflect on his role as manager of media relations for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association of Canada and Samaritan’s Purse Canada.
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