Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
I was speaking with an acquaintance about the history of scientific inquiry once. An interesting idea came up, one which, being a non-scientist, I had not really thought of. Out of all the possible ideas and theories which we could devise, out of the myriad explanations for different parts of our world, how do scientists decide what path of inquiry to pursue?
Our Psalm for this week can help us find an answer. God has set His glory above all. He has put things in place. And, lest we forget, God exceeds us all in wisdom and knowledge. He, being glorious and intelligent, arranged it all. Our job, with the bit of glory and honor we have, according to verses 5-6, is to take dominion. We try to understand and care for this world.
How do we use this knowledge to evaluate theories? My acquaintance said that his highly scientific friends, as well as the great thinkers through history (many of whom shared his and my biblical world view) say that some theories are simply beautiful. They explain reality in balanced terms. They make sense. There is a beauty to them, which strongly suggests they are true. The ancients often spoke of truth, beauty, and goodness going together. Apparently this also applies as we try to understand physics, chemistry, and biology.
The earth belongs to the Lord. His name is majestic and His majesty shows in the creation. When we find truth, beauty, and goodness together, we will probably be describing God’s creation well. The God of all wonder lets us find truth as we observe His works.
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