Saturday, 22 April 2006

Do the heavens declare?

I like the following quote, because I think it embodies a constructive Christian approach to a “theology of nature.” The point here is not to learn about God or prove God’s existence through an observation of nature that is independent of God’s self-revelation. Rather, beginning with what we know about God through revelation, we can also become open to the natural world in a new and richer way. Here’s what the famous astronomer Owen Gingerich says:

“I am not a theologian, nor have I solved the riddles of existence.... I cannot prove that God exists, or that God’s claim on our lives is what makes life ultimately meaningful. But do the heavens declare the glory of God? I think so. The universe is so full of such wonderful things that I can hardly think otherwise. Holding this view makes my understanding of the world richer and more coherent. But I can’t prove it.”

—Owen Gingerich, “Do the Heavens Declare?” in The Book of the Cosmos, ed. Dennis Danielson, p. 528.

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