Recently, a picture from outer space was posted that some
thought looked like the “Hand of
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
In 1660, the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural
Knowledge was founded. This prestigious organization, still in existence today,
is the oldest such institution still in operation.
James Moore of the Open University in England notes it was
founded in a Puritan college (Gresham), and virtually all its early members
were Puritans---at a time when Puritans were a small minority. He said that
Protestantism “encouraged the birth of modern science.”
I had the privilege of doing some TV interviews at the Royal
Society (for our special on “What If Jesus Had Never Been Born?”---hosted by
the late D. James Kennedy).
One of those I interviewed was physicist Sir Alan Cook. He
said, “One of the implications of the incarnation is that Christ took human
form upon Him, including the power of thinking about things and observing
things. It seems to me that an implication of the incarnation is that we, those
of us who are able to, have a Christian obligation to study the world as God’s
I’ve had the privilege of interviewing on several occasions
for my radio show Dr. Stephen Meyer, who earned his Ph.D. in the philosophy of
science at Cambridge. Dr. Meyer, a fellow at the Discovery Institute, is the
author of the New York Times bestselling book, Darwin’s Doubt.
I asked Dr. Meyer for a statement for this particular
article. He wrote me: “Far from conflicting, the overwhelming scientific
evidence of design in life and in the universe—in the digital code stored in
DNA and in the fine tuning of the laws of physics, for example—clearly shows
that science can—and does—provide support for a theistic view of
So it comes as no shock to me to see the reported “Hand of
God” in the heavens. I believe we see the “Hand of God” even in the study of
the heavens, and of the earth.
Dr. Jerry Newcombe is a key archivist of the D. James Kennedy
Legacy Library, a spokesman and cohost of Kennedy Classics. He has also
written or co-written 23 books, including (with Dr. Kennedy) What If Jesus
Had Never Been Born? and (with Peter Lillback), George Washington’s
Sacred Fire. Jerry hosts gracenetradio.com Thursdays at noon (EST). www.truthinaction.org.
Jerry Newcombe, D.Min.
P.O. Box 1
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33302