Are miracles impossible? Are they unscientific? Should we scoff at the idea of miracles?
I must say at the outset that this article is not by any means intended to be scientific, and that I’m not a scientist. However, I will make reference to science in order to make my point. It’s my contention (and of course not mine alone) that God is the Master Scientist. While secular scientists claim to have backed the concept of God into a corner by explaining things in physical terms instead of what they dismissively and condescendingly describe as superstition, the truth is that the physical universe and all the laws they observe were created by God in the first place. There would be no natural laws if God had not miraculously created them.
Does God have to prove himself to the scientist in order to be loved? The testimony of Scripture is the opposite:
At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children (Matthew 11:25).
Jesus Christ also said:
…blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed (John 20:29).
God had no need or reason to make the pages of Genesis into a detailed scientific manual in order to prove His wisdom. He doesn’t peer through the clouds and wave, neither does He feel any obligation (or desire) to present Himself to Richard Dawkins’ laboratory to be studied in order to prove His existence. God is far above all that, and refuses to bow to the arrogant.
Johannes Keppler, a Bible-believer, once said that he and other scientists were, “thinking God’s thoughts after him”, but the arrogance of secularism today is that the great “We” are the masters of wisdom and knowledge, by discovering scientific truths (and inventing some).
Discoveries in science over the past hundred and fifty years or more have often been shocking or at least surprising to researchers. A famous quote in this regard is from physicist Niels Bohr:
“Those who are not shocked when they first come across quantum theory cannot possibly have understood it.”
― Niels Bohr, from “Essays 1932-1957 on Atomic Physics and Human Knowledge”.
Even more challenging is the following quote of his:
“Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real.”
In one example of what the study of quantum mechanics has revealed, the chair you are sitting on, or the floor you are standing on, isn’t solid at all-it’s almost all empty space. Were it not for the invisible electromagnetic and other forces, bonding atoms and molecules which have virtually no mass anyway, you would fall to the center of the earth.
The more scientists look, the more they see things unimagined before; the more intricacy and complexity they see, and the more mind-boggling principles they discover. And despite their strivings to find “the theory of everything”, they will never understand everything. The reason for this is that the God of the Bible, who claims to have created all things, is infinite in nature:
Is anything too hard for the Lord? (Genesis 18:14).
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth, He will not grow tired or weary and his understanding no one can fathom (Isaiah 40:28).
There is far more to know-infinitely more, and when those without faith mock the idea of miracles they are limiting their own understanding.
SCIENCE AND MIRACLES
As a young Christian I was blessed to find two books by one of the many Bible-believing scientists of the time who discussed the relationship between science and faith. Professor E.H. Andrews, at the time of writing, was Professor of Materials in the University of London, and was formerly Head of the Department of Materials and Dean of Engineering at Queen Mary College. In his work, “God, Science and Evolution” (Evangelical Press-now probably out of print) one of the topics of discussion was miracles. While I don’t claim to be representing his position here, he certainly helped me get a grasp on the subject, and to see that the concept of the miraculous is to be respected, with discernment and caution.
Each discovery in modern science pushes back the boundaries of knowledge. We humans now know far more than we did a hundred years ago. Could it just be, then, that waiting at the end of the road of discovery (or in the realm of an infinite being, somewhere down that road of discovery) is the understanding of the physical principles which bring about what we now call “miracles”? I’m not saying that miracles are merely physical interactions we don’t understand yet, but God is a God a reason, wisdom and process. He isn’t a magician, or, as one recent (and clearly faith-challenged) pope put it, “God doesn’t have a magic wand”. Perhaps somewhere down that road of potentials is the understanding of how everyday scientific principles can be bent, distorted, changed, affected, augmented or otherwise negated.
God hides his face from those who don’t want to see it. Are secular scientists truncating their level of knowledge and their horizons by refusing to have faith or to seek the Creator of all that they survey?