Recently, a picture from outer space was posted that some thought looked like the “Hand of God.”
Writing about it for space.com (1/9/14), Tanya Lewis said, “The hand might look like an X-ray from the doctor's office, but it is actually a cloud of material ejected from a star that exploded.”
She began her piece, noting, “Religion and astronomy may not overlap often, but a new NASA X-ray image captures a celestial object that resembles the ‘Hand of God.’”
But I think religion and astronomy have indeed overlapped far more than people realize. And not just astronomy, but science in general.
There is often a perceived incompatibility between religion and science. I think that is especially true after the rise and acceptance of Darwinism in the late 19th century.
However, it’s interesting to note that essentially modern science was born in a Christian milieu about 500 years ago---with early contributions from the ancient Greeks.
All the great leading scientists initially were Bible-believing Christians. They believed that they were---in the words of astronomer Johannes Kepler---“thinking God’s thoughts after Him.”
They understood that a rational God had made a rational universe, and it was their job as scientists to discover those laws that the Creator had impressed into His creation.
Kepler (1571-1630) wrote, “Since we astronomers are priests of the highest God in regard to the book of nature, it befits us to be thoughtful, not of the glory of our minds, but rather, above all else, of the glory of God.” The scientists were thus God’s priests, in Kepler’s view.
To the consternation of some unbelievers, Sir Isaac Newton, perhaps the greatest scientist who ever lived, wrote more on Christian theology than he did on science.
Newton saw God’s powerful hand in His creation. He once said, “Atheism is so senseless. When I look at the solar system, I see the earth at the right distance from the sun to receive the proper amounts of heat and light. This did not happen by chance.”
Sir Francis Bacon is credited with having been the inventor of the scientific method---that combination of induction and deduction, of hypothesis and proof (empirical proof). Bacon was a devout Christian.
Bacon noted, “There are two books laid before us to study, to prevent our falling into error; first, the volume of the Scriptures, which reveal the will of God; then the volume of the Creatures, which express His power.”