What is the Relationship Between Faith and Science?

God Universe

For the first few weeks of school, I led a discussion group on faith and science. I decided to summarize my points on this blog for your benefit. This post is on the relationship between faith and science. In future posts I will cover supposed reasons why God has been disproved, and close with reasons to believe in God.

So why faith and science?

As a graduate of the University of Illinois with a bachelor of science in electrical engineering, I come from a prestigious university well known for engineering (EE is #3 in the nation). In this environment, faith in God is often bashed as blind and baseless. Our culture in general in the West often makes fun of people of faith for being “ignorant.” Despite these criticisms, I found my faith while in college and found answers to all of the questions that I had. I hope to explain some of the answers that I found in this post and in the following ones.

Faith

What is faith? What do we mean by faith?

In the strict religious sense, faith could be defined as whether or not you believe revelation from God. But faith is also used in everyday experiences. For example, if I were to tell you that my favorite color is green, there would be no way for you to prove that I’m telling you the truth. In addition, when we start our car in the morning, do we double check that all of the parts and equipment will work? Do we double check our brakes? No, we don’t. These are examples of faith, but they aren’t blind faith.. there is actually reason involved in these decisions.

You probably trust that with sharing a simple thing like my favorite color, I wouldn’t have a reason to lie. In addition, you probably have the idea that I’m at least a pretty decent person and wouldn’t be prone to lying. With regards to the car, we realize that though we haven’t checked all the parts, they were working just fine last night and nothing should have changed over the course of the night. In a similar way, our faith in God isn’t just blind. We have good reasons to believe, reasons that aren’t always 100% verifiable, but they can make a very solid case. I’ll be going through these with you over the next couple of blog posts in this series.

Revelation

How does God reveal Himself to us?

God reveals Himself to us in many different ways: through reason, philosophy, and the sciences, in the world around us, in who we are, and in what He directly reveals to us. God reveals Himself to us through reason as we contemplate how the world came to be and exists. He reveals Himself to us through our own longings like our desire for the infinite, for truth and happiness, for unconditional and infinite love. God reveals himself to us in the human person: in our desire to truth and beauty, our sense of morality, and our own inherent idea of God. God also reveals Himself more directly, as the God of Noah, Abraham, and Moses. As a Christian I believe that God most fully revealed Himself as Jesus. God reveals Himself in the world from its order and beauty.

Science

What is science?

When we think of science, (I hope) we think of the scientific method, which allows us to test and prove things in a quantifiable manner.

The Scientific method:

1. Define a question

2. Gather information and observe

3. Form hypothesis

4. Test the hypothesis, perform an experiment

5. Analyze the data

6. Draw conclusions from data

7. Publish results

8. Retest conclusion

The scientific method is a powerful way to make conclusions about quantifiable phenomena. We can use science to measure data in the physical realm, but even science has its limits. With the scientific method, we can find out what we are made of and how our bodies work, but we can’t find out our purpose and meaning in life.

An interesting point to make is that science isn’t the only rational system of thinking: all of the branches of philosophy require reason. Philosophy is basically the study of being: what exists and why they exist. This is specifically called metaphysics and is the basis of all philosophy. There are other branches of philosophy, like philosophy of man (what is human nature), philosophy of ethics (how should man act), philosophy of politics (how should society be), epistemology (study of knowledge, how does man know what he knows), and finally natural philosophy (study of nature). What we call science is actually only one branch of philosophy, natural philosophy. All the other branches of philosophy still require reason and rational thought, but often the only one that we think of nowadays is science.

Can the scientific method be applied to God? We know that science can only be applied to things that we can quantify, things we can measure and observe. So now we have to see if God matches up to these requirements.

Who/What is God? How would you describe Him?

There are a few traits that we have to become familiar with in order to describe God. The first is that God is omnipotent, which means that God is all powerful. The next is that God is perfect- all good and benevolent. God is also omnipresent, which means that He is continuously and simultaneously present throughout the whole of creation. God is eternal- He always was and always has been. The final important trait of God for now is that He is transcendent, or outside of the universe.

With all of this in mind, we have to realize that God cannot be studied by science. Since God is transcendent, he can’t be measured or observed. God isn’t a material being (besides the part where Jesus walked here on Earth and Jesus in the Eucharist in the Tabernacle of your local Catholic Church).

How does the Catholic Church view faith and science?

Believe it or not, Pope John Paul II wrote an entire encyclical on the topic in 1998, called Fides et Ratio (Latin for Faith and Reason). You can read it in English here. In the encyclical, Pope John Paul II argues that faith and reason are essential together, like two wings of a bird.

“Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth- in a word, to know himself- so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves.” – Pope John Paul II, Fides et Ratio

Can faith and scientific reason ever contradict each other?

Since the Catholic Christian faith is true and reason is true, they should never conflict. Often people have misconceptions of the faith which makes the faith appear to be false, though. I’ll cover that in the next post.

We don’t need necessarily need “blind” faith to believe in God’s existence, God’s existence can be understood through reason, which I’ll cover in the last post. Specific things about God and Jesus, etc. must be taken by faith in God’s revelation, though.

Here are a few more quotes from the Church on the relationship between faith and reason:

“Believing is an act of the intellect assenting to the divine truth by command of the will moved by God through grace.” – St. Thomas Aquinas

“Since the same God who reveals mysteries and infuses faith has bestowed the light of reason on the human mind, God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever contradict truth.” – Catechism of the Catholic Church 159

“Consequently, methodical research in all branches of knowledge, provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with the faith, because the things of the world and the things of faith derive from the same God. The humble and persevering investigator of the secrets of nature is being led, as it were, by the hand of God in spite of himself, for it is God, the conserver of all things, who made them what they are.” – Catechism of the Catholic Church 159

In terms of religion, the whole point of this discussion is to show you that believing in God isn’t a “blind” faith based decision but rather an exercise of reason. Believing certain things about God may require faith, but believing in God’s existence does not.

The next post will be about supposed reasons why God has been “disproved” and I’ll debunk them. In the final post I’ll share some reasons to believe in God.

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Missionary Life

The whole crew for religious testimonies Sr Juliett and Br Vittorio

Hey Guys! It’s been a long time since I’ve had an opportunity to blog and I’ll have to keep this short but I wanted to share some thoughts from my first month as a missionary!

On days like today I feel like though I gave up stuff to become a missionary, I realize that God is rewarding me even more for my decision than what I gave up. It is such an honor to be able to occasionally be the vessel by which God reveals His love to others.

Prayer is so important! When we pray and ask God to allow us to meet someone we need to, it happens! Two quick examples from the past two days:

1. My teammate (TD! Hello?) Perla and I were walking around campus by the dorms before Sunday night mass telling students that there was mass and where it was (so many don’t know!) that night, and beforehand we said a prayer asking Him to direct us to whoever He wanted us to meet. We got to meet my new friend Carlos. He was walking with headphones in the opposite direction, and when I first said hi and tell him about mass, he didn’t even notice me. But Perla was even more persistent (and awkward haha) by coming right up to him so that he had to take his earbuds out. We told him and he was like, “ok, I’ll come with you.” So we headed over together. Turns out he grew up Catholic and was even an altar boy all through high school, but since he is a freshman he had no idea that there was mass on campus. I got to sit with him at mass and exchange contact numbers so that we can go lift and go hiking together. Praise God!

2. Just tonight I was on my way to my discussion group with students about the relationship between science and God when I was texting a friend asking for prayers that I can share the Gospel with many students on campus. It was a wonderful discussion group.. but what was so amazing that there was this woman sitting by who was close enough to hear what we were talking about who started talking with us and was so interested in God and faith. I got to share the Gospel with her and help her get connected with the Newman Center and my contact info so hopefully she will come to understand Christianity more (she believes in God but isn’t sure about stuff, grew up Jehovah’s Witness) soon!

The students at Montclair State University are awesome! It’s a much smaller community than I’m used to at the University of Illinois, but because of that I’m able to get to know them much better!

That daily holy hour and daily mass are so necessary.

Prayers that the rosary group I’m trying to start up will grow would be much appreciated!

Oh yea! I’m going to Nicaragua over spring break on a mission trip with FOCUS missions! Any college aged student is welcome to join! I can’t wait to go to serve the poor and share the Gospel (and live it!) with them!

Any prayers would be much appreciated! Thanks and God bless!

Creationism and Science: The Seven Day Creation, the Big Bang, and Genesis

The following is a guest post by Eric Novitsky:

The Big Bang theory is one of the most widely known explanations of how the universe could have developed. Most textbooks estimate that the universe is around 15 billion years old, however a recent paper estimated it to be around 13.75 billion.1,2 The oldest rocks and crystals on the planet earth have been found to be between approximately 4.3 to 4.4 billion years old.3-5 The earth was initially a ball of molten rock and metal at temperatures of around 2000 degrees Celsius and needed time to cool before solid rocks could form, so the age of the earth is estimated to be slightly older, at around 4.5 billion years old.4 Many meteorites that have been suggested to have formed the same time as the earth have also been dated to around 4.5 billion years old.6 But what about the “seven day creation” that is outlined in the Bible? Does the Bible declare that the universe and the earth were created in only one week? By looking at the original Hebrew text, we can see that there is no contradiction between scientific evidence and the Bible.

The King James translation of the Bible was first printed in 1611. Thirty-one years later, in 1642, Cambridge University Vice-Chancellor John Lightfoot published his calculated date for the creation of the universe: September 17, 3928 B.C. He drew this conclusion by analyzing the genealogies in Genesis, Exodus, 1 and 2 Kings, and 1 and 2 Chronicles.7 Eight years later James Ussher, an Anglican archbishop of Ireland, corrected Lightfoot’s date, making it October 3, 4004 B.C. After that, Lightfoot even “calculated” Adam’s creation: October 23, 4004 B.C. at 9:00 a.m.!7 Neither scholar consulted the original Hebrew texts.

If one looks at the original Hebrew text, it can be seen that the Bible doesn’t necessarily advocate that the universe was created in seven, 24 hour days. The Hebrew word yôm was translated into “day” in the Bible.7 Yôm is used in biblical Hebrew to indicate a number of different time periods: day, year, age, season, sunrise to sunset, sunset to sunset, or a segment of time without any reference to solar days.7-9 William Wilson, in his Old Testament Word Studies, explains that yôm is “frequently put for time in general, or for a long time, a whole period under consideration…Day [yôm] is also put for a particular season or time when any extraordinary event happens.”10

Outside of Genesis 1, yôm is used in many other places throughout the Bible. Some examples: Genesis 4:3 (yôm = process of time); Genesis 30:14 (yôm = wheat harvest time); Joshua 24:7 (yôm = a long season); 2 Chronicles 21:19 (yôm = years); Isaiah 4:2 (yôm = a future era); Zechariah 14:8 (yôm = summer and winter), and many references to the phrase “the day of the Lord”, where no specific time frame is given.7,8

There have been some grammatical arguments against yôm, as some have argued that when yôm is attached to an ordinal (second, third, fourth, etc.) that is must refer to a 24 hour time period. However, nowhere else in the Bible are sequential epochs enumerated. The rules of Hebrew grammar do not require that yôm must refer to 24 hours, even when attached to an ordinal.7,11 Hosea 6:2 prophesies that “after two days He [God] will revive us [Israel]; on the third day He will restore us.” Bible commentators have noted that the “days” in this passage (where the ordinal is used) refer to a year, years, a thousand years, or maybe more.10,12,13 It has also been argued that the Hebrew word ‘olam would have been used instead to indicate a long time period. However, Hebrew lexicons show that only in post-biblical writings did ‘olam only refer to a long age or epoch. In biblical times it meant forever, perpetual, lasting, always, of olden times, or the remote past, future, or both. The range of its usage did not include a set period of time.7,14,15

The Hebrew word ‘ereb, translated evening, also means sunset, night, or ending of the day.11,16,17 And the word bôqer, translated morning, also means sunrise, coming of light, beginning of day, break of day, or dawning.14,16 In the first chapter of Genesis, ‘ereb and bôqer are used in the sentences that separate the “days” of creation. Looking at the translation of the Hebrew text, one finds this phraseology: “and was evening and was morning day X”.7 Dr. Hugh Ross explains the grammar structure in this sentence: “If ‘day X’ were intended as the noun compliment for the one evening and morning together, the linking verb should appear just once, in plural form. We would expect the literal Hebrew to say, ‘and were evening and morning day X”, but it does not.”7 The use of evening and morning does not imply twenty four hour days, but instead gives no indication of time. So how old does the Bible say that the universe is? After analyzing the original Hebrew text, we can’t say for sure, but it surely was not 7 days, with each day defined as 24 hours.

But what about the big bang and the creation of the universe? The characteristic of the creation of the universe stated more frequently than any other in the Bible is its being “stretched out”, as can be seen in eleven different verses: Job 9:8; Psalm 104:2; Isaiah 40:22; 42:5; 44:24; 45:12; 48:13; 51:13; Jeremiah 10:12; 51:15; and Zechariah 12:1.18 However, the word used for “heavens” or “skies” is shehaqîm, which refers to clouds of fine particles of water or dust located in earth’s atmosphere and throughout the universe, not the shamayim, which refers to the heavens of the astronomical universe.14,17,18 Dr. Hugh Ross gives another analysis on the grammar in the sentence structure:

“What is particularly interesting about the eleven verses is that different Hebrew verb forms are used to describe the cosmic stretching. Seven verses, Job 9:8; Psalm 104:2; Isaiah 40:22; 42:5; 44:24; 51:13; and Zechariah 12:1, employ the active participle form of the verb natah. This form literally means “the stretcher out of them” (the heavens) and implies continual or ongoing stretching. Four verses, Isaiah 45:12; 48:13; and Jeremiah 10:12; 51:15 use the perfect form. This form literally means that the stretching of the heavens was completed or finished some time ago. This simultaneously finished and ongoing aspect of cosmic stretching is identical to the big bang concept of cosmic expansion. According to the big bang, at the creation event all the physics (specifically, the laws, constants, and equations of physics) are instantly created, designed, and finished so as to guarantee an ongoing, continual expansion of the universe at exactly the right rates with respect to time so that physical life will be possible.”18

The theories that have been proposed to explain the formation and expansion of the universe do not contradict with the words of the Bible. The creation outline of Genesis is another example. At first glance, it seems that in Genesis the formation of the earth is before the creation of light. However, the “light” of Genesis 1:3 existed prior to the separation of light from darkness in Genesis 1:4. The light of that early period was in the energy range of gamma rays, an energy far in excess of that which is visible to the eye, as the temperature of the universe was well above 3000 degrees Kelvin which completely ionized almost all atoms.3,19,20 As the thermal energy of the universe fell below 3000 °K, allowing electrons to bind in stable orbitals around hydrogen and helium nuclei, not only did the photons break free from the matter of the universe (“separated”) but they became visible as well.3 Another theory is that the darkness may not have been an absence of light, but instead it could mean a source of energy. Isaiah 45:7 tells us that the Hebrew word for darkness, hoshek, could be a created substance of the universe.3

Reading further into the creation account, the beginning of Genesis 1:14-15 states, “Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the dome of the sky, to separate day from night. Let them mark the fixed times, the days and the years, and serve as luminaries in the dome of the sky, to shed light upon the earth.’” This is after plant life in Genesis 1:11, which might seem out of place, since light is necessary in photosynthesis which enables plants to survive. However, as noted earlier, light had already been created in the universe. When the earth cooled down after it was formed, the original atmosphere of the earth contained dust and dirt particles that rendered the atmosphere translucent.3,4 The sun and the stars were not visible through this atmosphere, but light was still able to pass through and support plant life. Genesis 1:14-15 outlines when at least a portion of the atmosphere clears, transforming it from translucent to transparent.

After the atmosphere clears, the sun and the stars are visible from the face of the earth, as can be seen in Genesis 1:16: “God made the two great lights, the greater one to govern the day, and the lesser one to govern the night; and he made the stars.” This is not a new creation and does not conflict with the fact that light and the stars were already created. The Hebrew word for made, ‘asah, in this verse is the verb form indicating completed action, meaning this verse is just a reference to the light and the stars that had already formed.7,21

The bible writers occasionally describe the vastness of the universe. In Genesis 22:17, Jeremiah 33:22, and Hebrews 11:12, the number of God’s children is compared with the number or stars in the sky and the number of grains of sand on the seashore, a “countless” number. The Hebrew (and Greek) numbering systems included numbers up to the billions. “Countless” would indicate a number at least one order of magnitude greater, so at least tens of billions.7

The beginning of Genesis 2:4 sums up creation: “Such is the story of the heavens and the earth at their creation.” The literal Hebrew reads “These are the generations of the heavens and the earth where they were created in the day of their making.” Here the word day refers to all six creation days and the creation of the universe that took place prior to the first creation day. Hebrew lexicons verify that the word for generation (toledah) refers to the time between a person’s birth and parenthood or to an arbitrarily longer time span. 14 In Genesis 2:4 the plural form is used, indicating that multiple “generations” have passed.7

If we believe that God is truth, speaks truth, guides us into truth, and does not lie, any apparent contradiction between the facts of nature and the words of the Bible is from human misunderstanding. The more we explore and study science alongside God’s word in the Bible, the more we can attempt to understand God’s truth in science.

References
1. Silk, Joseph. The Big Bang. W. H. Freeman and Co.: New York, 1989.
2. Jarosik, N. et al. “Seven-Year Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) Observations: Sky Maps, Systematic Errors, and Basic Results.” Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 2010.
3. Schroeder, Gerald L. Genesis and the Big Bang. Bantam Books: New York, 1990.
4. Gallant, Roy A. Earth: The Making of a Planet. Marshall Cavendish: New York, 1998.
5. Wilde, Simon A.; Valley, John W.; Peck, William H.; Graham, Colin M. “Evidence from detrital zircons for the existence of continental crust and oceans on the Earth 4.4 Gyr ago.” Nature. 2001, 409, 175.
6. Stassen, Chris. “The Age of the Earth.” The TalkOrigins Archive, http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-age-of-earth.html.
7. Ross, Hugh. Creation and Time. NavPress Publishing Co.: Colorado, 1994.
8. Neyman, Greg. “Word Study: Yom.” Old Earth Ministries, http://www.oldearth.org/
word_study_yom.htm.
9. Whitefield, Rodney. The Hebrew Word Yom Used With a Number in Genesis 1. http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/yom_with_number.pdf.
10. Wilson, William. Old Testament Word Studies. Kregel Publications: Grand Rapids, 1978.
11. Deem, Rich. “Does the Bible Say God Created the Universe in Six 24-Hour Days?” Evidence for God from Science. http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/
sixdays.html.
12. Calvin, Jean, Commentaries on the Twelve Minor Prophets, Volume I: Hosea, trans. John Owen (Edinburgh, UK: The Calvin Translation Society, 1846).
13. Given, J.J., “Hosea”, The Pulpit Commentary, vol. 13, Daniel, Hosea, and Joel, ed. H. D. M. Spence and Joseph S. Exell. Eerdmans: Grand Rapids, 1950.
14. Harris, R. Laird; Archer, Gleason L.; Waltke, Bruce K., Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, vol. I. Moody: Chicago, 1980.
15. Tregelles, Samuel P., Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament. Baker Book House: Grand Rapids, 1979.
16. Brown, Francis; Driver, S. R.; and Briggs, Charles A., A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament. Clarendon Press: Oxford, UK, 1968.
17. Harris, R. Laird; Archer, Gleason L.; Waltke, Bruce K., Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, vol. II. Moody: Chicago, 1980.
18. Ross, Hugh; Rea, John. “Big Bang – The Bible Taught It First!” Reasons to Believe. http://www.reasons.org/articles/big-bang—the-bible-taught-it-first.
19. The University of Sheffield. “Primordial Nucleosynthesis.” http://www.shef.ac.uk/
polopoly_fs/1.14553!/file/Topic3.pdf.
20. Georgia State University. “Temperature and Expansion Time in the Standard Big Bang Model.” http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/astro/expand.html.
21. Mansoor, Menahem. Biblical Hebrew Step by Step, vol. 1, second edition. Baker Book House: Grand Rapids, 1980.

Eric has also written:
Purgatory in Scripture

A book that I found very very interesting and enlightening on this topic is “The Genesis Enigma” by Andrew Parker.

I’m pro-life. Why aren’t you?

Being pro-life is one of the most important things to me. I consider it to be perhaps the most important issue of our generation, with now the HHS Mandate situation also receiving consideration. This post is to explain why I am pro-life and why it is an important issue of our time.

The most fundamental reason why I am pro-life is because life begins at conception. As an engineer, it continues to amaze me how our modern “rational” society refuses to look at this issue from the scientific standpoint. This is something basic that I’d imagine we all learned in high school or even grade school. So what happens at conception?

“The two cells gradually and gracefully become one. This is the moment of conception, when an individual’s unique set of DNA is created, a human signature that never existed before and will never be repeated.” -In the Womb, National Geographic (2005)

“By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from from the moment of conception.” -Dr. Hymie Gordon, Chairman of the Department of Genetics at the Mayo Clinic

“The exact moment of the beginning of personhood and of the human body is at the moment of conception.” -Dr. McCarthy de Mere, medical doctor and law professor at the University of Tennessee

It’s simpler than you think. If you and I were not conceived, we wouldn’t be here right now. Right? So how did we get here? We were conceived, we grew in the womb, we were born, and we grew up to be who we are. The most important thing that everything hinges on is being conceived.

Did you know:

  • At 25 weeks, 79% of babies survive premature birth
  • At conception, your intelligence and personality is already set in your genetic code
  • Your heart started beating after just 18 days
  • Your hands formed at 3 weeks and your fingers formed at 6 weeks
  • As a fetus, you actually had a stronger sense of pain than you have now, you felt pain longer and more sensitively
  • As children mature, they lose this extra sensitivity for pain that fetuses have

A fantastic site to check out: Just The Facts

So there’s the scientific side of it. Now, if you’re a Christian, I’ve got some bible for you.

“Thou shalt not kill” -Exodus 20:13

Those who commit child sacrifice “he shall surely be put to death” -Leviticus 20:1-5

“What you did for the least of these, you did to me” -Matthew 25:40

Jesus repeatedly taught us to care for the poor, the weak, the defenseless. And who is more poor, weak, and defenseless than a child in the womb nowadays? To think that according to our national law, a fully grown man has more protection than a child in the womb, is sick. I don’t know about you, but that screams selfishness to me.

The right to life is one of the fundamental rights as listed in the Declaration of Independence, and it is appalling that our country would restrict this right. If we do not have the right to exist, what other rights can we assume the government will give us? It’s a scary situation. And now our government is continuing this abuse of our rights by taking away our right of religious freedom.

Abortion has been legal in the United States of America since 1973 even though it kills a fetus, it kills a human person. Over 50 million lives have been lost, and now 1 in 4 pregnancies end in abortion. Abortion disproportionately affects African Americans and Hispanics. If you really care about helping others and supporting those in need, you need to get involved in this struggle to restore our inherant right of life for all the unborn and end this tragedy that has taken many times more lives than the Holocaust. We have a modern day Holocaust of the unborn taking place across the globe that we must stand against to protect the defenseless and those in need. Was it cool to support the Jews during the Holocaust? No. Was the government and the establishment all for the civil rights movement in the 60’s? No. It’s taken time, but we are going to overcome this injustice. The facts don’t lie, Abortion is murder.

More info:
The Catholic Church’s take
The Bible’s take
Mother Teresa’s take
Life Site News
Students for Life

Who is God?

There’s a lot of ideas of God out there. You’ve got the Buddhist/Hindu version of God being in everything and everything is the same, you’ve got the religions stemming from Abraham, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, which believe in one God, you have the many gods of native tribes, and the general heavenly spirit of contemporary “spiritual” people, and countless other ideas.

So what does that say about humanity? I’d argue it means that means that it is instinctive for humans to believe in a higher power. Modern atheism as we now know it is actually a pretty modern phenomenon, and even now as I do a little Wikipedia research, only 2.3% of humanity labels themselves as atheists. Over the years man has sought meaning in life and tried to understand who we are and where we are from. God has been the instinctive answer, and it makes a great deal of sense. As we look at it from the brute scientific point of view, the universe as we know it must have been created by a higher being.

But what sort of higher being are we talking about here? This is a God who is all powerful. God is all powerful because He would have to have the power to create the universe, to set those universal constants, etc. This is also a God who doesn’t need any more glory, love, etc. This is because if God needed things, God would therefore not be God, God would be limited. This means that God does not need us (yea, I know, that’s pretty mind-blowing in and of itself). We learn that God is eternal, because if He existed before the big bang and so on, it only makes sense that God was always present. What would have changed to have created the Creator of all? Check out Scott Hahn’s “A Father Who Keeps His Promises” for a  more thorough take on this concept.

Dr. Peter Kreeft’s 12 Ways to Know God is a great list to check out. I’d encourage everyone to check out the rest of his website as well, what a great resource!

We learn a heck of a lot more about God, like His omnipresence- His being present everywhere- as we look back at human history on how He has interacted with us, most significantly in the incarnation of God, in Jesus Christ. There we truly see that “God is love,” as is often quoted from the first letter of John in the New Testament. I believe that in order to qualify this I will be exploring why we can trust the Bible and who Jesus is and why we can believe Him in later posts.

Despite all of these ways of knowing God, He still remains incomprehensible for us. He is above our imagination, anything that we could think of. Crazy, huh?! But we do know that we can come to know Him more and more, and we can find out more and more about Him,  who created us out of love, in our lives. Keep searching! Check out this cool quote by a guy most scientists and engineers are very familiar with:

“Something incomprehensible is not for that reason less real.” -Blaise Pascal

I Believe in God

Hey, just saying it is controversial nowadays! I’d like to explain why in this post. Here are some of my reasons:

1. Scientifically, it makes sense. Look into astrophysics. I’d encourage you to check out this resource compliments of the Magis Center of Reason and Faith: http://www.magisreasonfaith.org/files/pdfs/magis_factsheet.pdf

The most obvious scientific proof of a creator God is the Big Bang. The Big Bang means that there was a beginning, that before, there was nothing, and then after, there was something. But wait, how is this possible? In physics we learn that out of nothing, nothing comes. If the ball is rolling along a plane with no forces on it, it will simply continue rolling exactly how it has been. Well, this nothing was happening, and then all of a sudden things were happening! The Big Bang happened! Therefore, the most reasonable explanation is that there is some sort of creator God, because something happening out of nothing is simply improbable! There is way more scientific evidence, especially science that shows how improbable the possibility of life was even though it still happened.

Here is Fr. Robert Spitzer of the Magis Center of Reason and Faith:

2. We yearn for more. And more. And more. Cue the Black Eyed Peas song “Just can’t get enough” for this part..

Think about it, if you could have the world, would you take it? Of course you would. But would you be satisfied even then? Probably not. That’s an extreme example. How about a simple thing: how many oreo cookies does it take to satisfy you? For me, as long as the milk hasn’t ran out, I’m going to keep going. As a child, after school I would eat and eat and eat those wonderful things! Extrapolate that to everything that we do in life. What is the reason for that? The reason is obviously that we were made for life to the infinite, infinite love, infinite joy! Some faiths like the Buddhists try to resolve this problem by “removing themselves from the world.” As Christians, we know that God created us for Him, and as St. Augustine said, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” By being with God one day, we will finally be satisfied.

3. Experience. This would have to be both the experience of knowing God’s presence, answered prayers, and the experience of the Christian community. Honestly, I’m pretty sure I’ve had out of body experiences. In these times, it’s just a moment of weirdness and feeling all disconnected, and then all of a sudden I’m back and I have to look around and blink and stuff. It’s like I forget where I am. Answered prayers are pretty darn obvious. Maybe the most remarkable part about them are the ones that were “crazy,” there were a couple of those for sure. And then what’s so cool is seeing how black and white the difference is between the Christian community and regular American society. This is something that most people haven’t experienced, though, unfortunately.

4. Miracles. Even the secular press saw the predicted miracle anticipated by three little children of the sun in Fatima, Portugal, in 1917 and reported it. Have you heard of the incorrupt bodies of some Saints? Check it out, you can literally visit them in person too: http://www.catholicapologetics.info/library/gallery/incorrupt/incorrupt.htm