Divine windows - glimpses of God through life
Seeing God in Science: Dave Gregory unpacked his presidential theme during a seminar at the Baptist Assembly. By Kira Taylor
The incoming President of the Baptist Union Dave Gregory used to work in the MET Office and launched a rocket as part of his induction at the Assembly. Needless to say, his seminar was equally fascinating.
The idea that science and religion are in conflict has long been an issue. However, Dave was encouraging people to reject neither science nor religion. Instead, he explored how Christians can use science as a divine window to see God through.
He talked about his own testimony, how science had initially led him away from faith, but the wonder of the universe had made him rethink whether there was a god.
The need for a dialogue and openness to seeing God through science was key in Dave’s seminar. He admitted that apologetics is needed, but that we should also use science to see God and not see it as a challenge to there being a god.
The issue of climate change as an example of science challenging Christians also featured heavily in his seminar and he spoke about how it is our role as Christians to look after Creation. In a time of discussion, it was realised that showing a care for the world can act as a form of evangelism.
Here, he picked up on an issue raised by Kang-San Tan in the morning session, where he had talked about the world groaning and the church needing to listen. Dave challenged the seminar, asking, “Are we paying attention?”
Through his seminar, he emphasised three ways in which science can help us understand God.
The first was that science acts as an example of God’s wondrous works. He echoed his message in the Baptists Together magazine, talking about the way the Hubble telescope allows us to see Creation in ways we were never able to before.
With this, he showed a startling video, zooming out from a woman’s smile, to the west coast of America and to the entire Earth before shooting out and showing stars and galaxies. It then zoomed back, to the retina and optic nerve through which she is viewing them.
The second was how the messiness of science always becomes ordered, such as the random processes that make a snowflake. He likened this process to the mess of sin and the cross, brought into order by the resurrection.
The final way to view science is through play, how our imagination is needed in science to ask questions and find new experiments. He emphasised how experiments and series like Blue Planet explore the works and playfulness of God.
Dave said, 'There is a wonder and beauty in Creation … that God revels over.'
He ended his seminar with a challenge, asking what symbol would show the connection between God and science. Suggestions included the rainbow, an egg and a Celtic cross.