God and Science

Aug 9, 2020    Brian Jennings    Tough Questions
HIGHLAND PARK CHRISTIAN CHURCH

Tough Questions: Can I Believe in both God and Science?

Sermon Handout, Discussion Questions & Resources

(Brian Jennings, 8/9/20)

(This is an outline of the sermon with added Questions – in italics – for you to ponder and discuss.)

Why we do this series:

Spiritual Growth
Witness:

Q. When was a time that you were left in awe?

Part 1: Genesis 1

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light” (Genesis 1:1-3).

Part 2: Two polar-opposite opinions.

Opinion 1: There is no God and everything in our universe is here by chance.

A few enormous problems:

Science can’t answer our deepest questions.
Answers (without God) endlessly lead to more questions.

Opinion 2: Science can’t be trusted unless it aligns perfectly with my view of the Bible.

This position has problems as well.

The Bible is uninterested in correcting scientific misunderstandings. We know a lot about the universe now that the Bible authors did not know.
If we get it wrong, we might harm people. Remember Galileo?
The literary style matters.
I Sam. 2:8; Job 9:6; Ps. 75:3 all say that the earth sits on pillars. God is more concerned with communicating to them that God is in control and unconcerned about their scientific assumptions.
And what about the Bible’s use of sunrise and sunset. Does the sun actually rise or is it the earth rotating?

Q. Did you learn something new as you considered the problems of the two extreme positions?

Part 3: Understanding the purpose of the Bible

When it comes to the story of the creation of the world, the Bible cares a lot more about the Who and Why than it does the When and the How.

Q. How does the Bible answer the questions of Who and Why?

We believe, in essentials unity, and in non-essentials liberty and in all things charity.

Q. What are the essentials and non-essentials in the discussion about the creation of the world?

Part 4: Application

Read the Bible as it was intended to be read.
Don’t demonize scientists.
Build bridges with people scientifically-inclined.
Be cautious about publicly sharing stuff which you have little to no knowledge, especially without consulting your friends who do.
If you love studying and exploring our world, attach your heart, not just your head, to God’s great creation. Renew your sense of awe. We’re thankful for you.

Part 5: God wants to walk with you.

The Bible begins with a beautiful garden where mankind is invited to walk with God.

The Bible ends with a beautiful garden-city, where mankind is again invited to walk with God.

Q. Will you set aside 20 minutes to go on a walk with God this week? Pay attention to nature. Pay attention to him. Talk with him. Listen to him.

Q. Will you give thanks for Baxter’s baptism and pray for his spiritual journey?

Resources

The Late Great Ape Debate by Bayard Taylor

The Lost World of Genesis One by John Walton

The Works of His Hands: A Scientist’s Journey from Atheism to Faith by Sy Garte (and you can find his recent article in Christianity Today and an interview on the Quick to Listen podcast)

American Scientific Affiliation - https://network.asa3.org/