Help Along the Way: a few thoughts on science and spirituality

In the Help Along the Way blog series, which officially begins tomorrow, I hope to foster a conversation between science and spirituality in the service of God for our children.

You may have noticed that science and spirituality have been at war with one another. The reasons and history of the split is not for this blog. (Although, if you are interested Biologos has helpful information and insights from trusted Christian theologians and scientists.)   

Science is tested reality. Science takes a reflected upon intuitive nudge from the universe, and tests it. Science asks the question, “What is real about this nudge?” Can we also say that spirituality is tested reality?

Christian philosopher Dallas Willard encouraged the testing of spirituality. Christian spirituality empowered by the Holy Spirit produces results. The litmus test is the character of Christ formed in the life of the Christ follower. This is the fruit of the work of God in the life of a human being.

This is not new thinking. The late Billy Graham is often quoted as saying, “We can’t see the wind, but we can see the effects of the wind.” The effects of the wind of the Holy Spirit can be tested. While “spiritual formation is the slowest of all human processes” says Jim Houston, it does occur and it can be seen.

“Reality is what you run into when you’re wrong.” –Dallas Willard   

I have heard Dallas Willard say this when explaining how God’s universe can point us to truth. The universe and all things in it function on a basis of reality. There is something true about gravity on our planet. We know this truth and we test it everyday. In fact, I continue to literally run into it over and over again. Just ask the poor guy who witnessed my recent fall off the curb and into his brand new Porsche.

The process of noticing reality and testing it applies to the spiritual life as well. It’s how trust in God is built. For example when we first begin our life with God, we have the inclination to ask God to help us. We notice when we need help and we ask for it. God often clearly answers these early prayers as God is cultivating relationship. In a way we are testing the reality of our relationship with God. 

Dallas has also said, “Reality is what you can count on. God and God’s kingdom are the ultimate reality.” When we split science and spirituality we end up seeing less of God’s kingdom. It’s like standing in my backyard and thinking it’s the whole world.

To be clear the Father is communicating, the Spirit is reaching, Jesus is teaching, and we are invited to wake up to the wisdom and knowledge of the Trinity.

Human beings are wired with a quest of knowledge to inform life and the Rabbi is in.

We have been sleeping in science class for too long.