Expecting the unexpected

1 Cor 3:19 says

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”

The Christian faith is counter cultural and full of surprises, even looking at it from within our present culture which is so influenced by Christian values: leaders are servants; guests are welcomed equally regardless of their social standing; no ‘sin’ is worse than any other; and forgiveness is free.

So when we do science should Christians – who believe that God who in his relationship with us is wise enough to turn things upside down (as far as most human wisdom is concerned) and come up with things that are better than we imagined – not expect the same thing to happen when we look at the world? That’s certainly the world that science reveals.

Those who have faced the challenge of research know very well that nature does not obey their imagination. (From Galileo to Gell-Mann, Bersanelli & Gargantini, Templeton Press, 2009)

Quantum physics, evolutionary biology and cosmology are full of surprises that turn our theories upside down. What we observe is certainly consistent with the God that Christians believe in – a great big God who surpasses all imagination. I’m not sure if this is a new idea, but in my recent foray into natural theology I’ve not come across it, and I’d like to know if it’s been considered!

2 thoughts on “Expecting the unexpected

  1. Martin Davies July 29, 2010 / 7:16 pm

    Hi Ruth – I love the thrust of this – trying to avoid speaking for God or putting God in a box. We’ll never have a complete understanding of the divine, and it amazes me that atheists and theists talk with such authority about God (notwithstanding the insights of scripture).

    The more we discover about the universe the more we are in complete awe.


  2. Paul Norridge August 7, 2010 / 9:35 pm

    Hi Ruth – you might find some of James K.A. Smith’s writing interesting. He suggests that this is what a Pentecostal view of the world brings to philosophy — a universe open to surprise…


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