Prayer, Plain and Simple

Wow! Wednesday’s post “Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2009 Deserves Praise… To God!” certainly generated a reaction.  While I cannot, for lack of both time and expertise answer every individual objection that readers have posted I can defer to an expert on the subject.  In “Nine Ways God Always Speaks” Jennifer Schuchmann and I reference to work of Francis Collins, and evolutionary biologist and practicing Christian.  Yes, he’s both, and therefore qualified to help us see science has a window to bring God glory.


In his book, “The Language of God,” Collins highlights what he claims is irrefutable evidence of God’s existence–the beautiful, simple orderliness in living cells. As a pioneering geneticist and the former head of the Human Genome Project, Collins was one of the first to see and understand the intricate physical blueprint of humanity. Collins called the human genome “the language of God.” He said it was the most remarkable of texts and claims his team has accomplished not only a revolutionary scientific achievement, but also an expression of worship.


Francis Collins was an agnostic when he heard the “language of God” call to him while he and his teamed cracked the safe that held the mysteries of the human genome. But for Collins this objective reality did not immediately translate into a personal transformation. Collins was still on the fence. He had been reading the apologetics of C.S. Lewis’ himself a former agnostic. The voice of nature had softened him, but he had not yet yielded.


How that happened Collins related in an interview with Salon Magazine:

Nobody gets argued all the way into becoming a believer on the sheer basis of logic and reason. That requires a leap of faith. And that leap of faith seemed very scary to me. After I had struggled with this for a couple of years, I was hiking in the Cascade Mountains on a beautiful fall afternoon. I turned the corner and saw in front of me this frozen waterfall, a couple of hundred feet high. Actually, a waterfall that had three parts to it — also the symbolic three in one. At that moment, I felt my resistance leave me. And it was a great sense of relief. The next morning, in the dewy grass in the shadow of the Cascades, I fell on my knees and accepted this truth — that God is God, that Christ is his son and that I am giving my life to that belief.

While the macro-message of nature spoke to him of nature’s God, it was a particular moment in nature that made it all personal for him. Here a natural phenomenon, a waterfall confirmed symbolically what he already was coming to personally believe. It was a convergent moment for Collins. He saw patterns in nature that he was already disposed to believe were meaningful.


Arguments for and against God’s existence matter little. What does matter is encounter. God can be glimpsed in the shadows of his handiwork; he can only be KNOWN in his specific, intimate presence.  

“God I pray today for everyone who seeks to know the truth, and to follow truth wherever it leads.  The Bible promises that if we seek we will find, and that truth itself sets us free. We pray that we all will have strength and courage to seek truth and follow it whatever the cost to our own belief system. Even more we pray to know YOU even more than the truth about the things you do and make. We ask for the privilege of encounter, to know you intimately. In Jesus…”

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