Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Jesus Is the Creator

The monthly email invitation to attend the science/faith organization chapter meetings always closed with the exultation “Jesus is the Creator.” As we contemplate the intersection of science and faith in this blog, we recognize that as we discover the wonders of design, whether in the fine tuning of the cosmos or in the magnificent, intricate design and functionality of living things, we are looking at the work of Jesus, the Creator.

Historian Mark A. Noll, in a Christianity Today interview entitled “The Foundation of the Evangelical Mind,” states those who rely on Christ for their personal salvation should also rely on Christ “to provide the basic standpoint from which to look at intellectual problems.” This means recognizing, Noll continues, “that everything exists because it was created by Jesus. John 1, Colossians 1, and Hebrews 1 all make the same statement: It’s not just that the Lord God in some general sense created everything. We also have the amazing statement in Colossians 1 that all things hold together in Jesus.”

When we study the natural world with this in mind we strengthen our Christian faith, according to Noll. “When responsible examination of nature takes place, the examiner discovers not just nature, but nature as created by the Son of God and sustained by Providence…The relevance of Christ for science is to realize that everything that exists in nature comes from Christ, but also that the life of Christ gives us a way of exploring nature that involves openness to what we experience. So, ‘Come and see’”.

Another Christian historian, George Marsden, wrote in The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship (1997), that the centrality of our Christian faith--that Jesus Christ is God incarnate--has an implication: “…that the supernatural and the natural realms are not closed off to each other.” Our secular society makes every effort to disconnect the supernatural and natural realms. Alas, in effect, we are counseled that the natural realm does not inform us about God.

The concept of Jesus as the Creator becomes more vital as we study the world of nature. Let us offer a word of caution. Noll and Marsden do not espouse pantheism which posits the equivalence of Deity and nature. We must guard against such errant thinking. But failing to see Jesus as the Creator of our fine tuned cosmos and our marvelously designed living things may be an error of equal magnitude. The multidimensional essence of Christ is revealed in the natural world by His agency as the Creator.