Parish Link - February 2023

Science and faith side-by-side

Faith and Science - Living Side-by-Side

Dear Friends,

Picture the scene: A car with four passengers is heading north along the M1. Can someone tell me why? Answer 1: Because the driving force is greater than 0 and equal or greater than the combined resistive forces of gravity, friction, reaction force and air resistance. Answer 2: Because the four passengers live down South and need to attend a family event up North. Interestingly, both these answers are equally valid. They can exist side by side and even complement each other.

The same is true for Faith and Science. Both have the potential to be creative and inquisitive forces for good, seeking to define and explain, and to improve the life of the world around us. Both repeatedly fail to reach this potential.

This month marks the beginning of the season of Lent. On Ash Wednesday the priest reminds the people: “Remember that you are dust and unto dust you shall return”. Or should that be: “Remember that you are atoms, and unto atoms you shall return.”? Both statements are equally true. Both Science and Faith challenge human arrogance. We are not the centre of the universe and the measure of all things.

Lent is a time for us all to remember how small and transient we are. But it is also a time to consider our full potential for good. Lent is a time to recognise our past failures, to draw a line, and to make a new start. Lent is a time to return to square one. Clear the lab of life. Rewrite the hypothesis. Start a new experiment. Who knows what’s around the corner? “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.” (Isaiah 55.8)

Love and prayers

Revd Johannes Nobel