by Dr. David Moffett-Moore, pastor and author of The Jesus Manifesto: A Participatory Study Guide to the Sermon on the Mount, Pathways to Prayer, Wind and Whirlwind: Being a Pastor in a Storm of Change, and more!
The Psalmist writes, “O God, our God, how majestic is your name over all creation!” as book-ends for a psalm that beholds the wonders of the universe, the stars above and the flocks beneath, and in wonder and delight is moved to glorify God.
My father was walking home from a Boy Scout meeting late one evening and, beholding the canopy of creation over his head, the heavens in all their glory, felt that oceanic oneness and described this experience as his call to professional ministry. Growing up in a Christian Scientist household, he had little experience of clergy yet this mystic encounter convinced him to become one.
“Why not a scientist?” I asked him. “Why not an astronomer or astrophysicist and study those stars in the midnight sky?” But it was not that kind of reasonable, rational experience; it was more experiential than intellectual. He felt called, compelled to a spiritual pursuit based upon this physical, tangible experience.
I think modern science is, or at least can be, a divine revelation and an opportunity to experience the divine in contemporary ways. God may be encountered in telescope or microscope, in petri dish or specimen slide as readily as in any sacred text, any holy canon.
One of the biblical images of God and nature is that all the universe is but the garb that God wears, worn not to conceal but to reveal God’s divine presence in, with and through all of God’s creation. In my studies of Celtic spirituality I am reminded that the Christian Celts regarded the created order as God’s first revelation and any text on a page or written manuscript as a secondary revelation. Even according to those written words, God’s first spoken words were “Let there be!” and there was, as God in Genesis speaks creation into being.
In my book Creation in Contemporary Experience I include introductory chapters on scripture and doctrine, but the meat of the book is in modern science as contemporary revelations and experiences of the divine. Evolutionary biology and morphic field theory, the big bang as God’s “Let there be,” quantum mechanics as the dance of the cosmos, chaos theory as allowing free will, Christ as an event of spiritual singularity.
I believe that the God who loves us, forms us, frees us and fills us, desires to be known and experienced by us, wants to be at one with us in our atonement, and therefore continues to reveal God’s presence, purpose and promise to us through our study of all creation, from quarks to quasars, from electron probability fields to black holes. I believe that scientists of all stripes can join with mystics and theologians, declaring “O God, our God, how majestic is your name in all creation!”