Did anyone ever read Galileo’s Daughter by Dava Sobel? It’s an unforgettable story of how Galileo’s faith filled eyes beheld God’s wonder and majesty as the scientist tracked the sun and stars through his telescope. The Church did not respond to Galileo’s discoveries with the same enthusiastic worship. Instead they pressured Galileo to recant his findings or recant his Christian faith.
Galileo died in 1642. Yet it seems the antagonism and the skepticism between science & faith can seem just as common today. How else do we explain the recent poll published at CCN’s beliefnet noting that almost 50% of protestant pastors believe the earth is approximately 6,000 years old? What causes church leaders to stare in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence and simply ignore it?
I’m traveling to a conference in March run by the BioLogos foundation to talk with other pastors about how this divide can be bridged. And to help me prepare I’ve been reading a wonderful book by Dr. Kenneth Miller form Brown University called “Finding Darwin’s God” It’s a page turner, even for a less than enthusiastic science student like me. As I read I think about how different it may have turned out if the church hadn’t responded in such fear when Galileo made his shattering discoveries. Instead of squaring off into their respective corners, perhaps the church could have led the way in revealing one of the greatest truths she knows: that all truth is ultimately God’s truth.