Elizabeth Cole, author of God’s Cosmic Cookbook, shares that there's space for God and science. 


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It’s the first line of a popular children’s worship song: "Our God is a great big God" and it's familiar to most of us. Simple enough to be understood by very young children, but also deeply profound… in truth, God is so "big", so impossible for us to define or imagine, that we will always struggle. Even getting our heads around what the "fullness of God" really means is likely to trip us up.

We know God is the maker and sustainer of all things: "In heaven and on earth, visible and invisible" (Colossians 1:16). We know God is eternal: "The same yesterday, today and tomorrow" and that he is beyond time (Hebrews 13:8). We know God’s name is "I am" (Exodus 3:14),  the very source and underpinning of existence. And yet, it is constantly tempting for us to cut God down into something or someone more our size; a bit closer to our image not the other way around.

It is constantly tempting for us to cut God down into something or someone more our size; a bit closer to our image not the other way around.

If we can resist this, the incomprehensible bigness of God is actually very comforting. No wonder the psalmist says: "I will fear no evil…" There isn’t much room for fear when we remember we’re loved by such a big God and the very idea of any human activity threatening God seems, and is, a bit ridiculous. Yet if we are honest, fear is often what lies behind many Christians’ discomfort with modern science. The ancient cosmos, the laws and constants of nature, the slow but inexorable evolution of stars and galaxies, elements and planets, the miracle of life and its long evolutionary journey to our arrival on God’s earth – incredible, all of it, infinitely complex and wonderful – but scary? Not at all!

Like most Christians, I believe God created our whole universe, conceiving it all; from the fundamental forces and rules that make it work, to the unbelievable complexity of even the most "primitive" living cell. It is God’s work, from start to finish. God’s thoughts commanded into being; an amazing and very tangible manifestation of God’s word. It is a scientist’s job to study the universe and those of us with faith see this as a Holy endeavour. The stars do indeed proclaim the Glory of God and the sheer wonder of what we find through painstaking scientific research reveals more and more of the awesomeness of God.


That said, science doesn’t address every question. It is great at finding answers to what, when and how, but it has little to say about who or why. In fact, it doesn’t say much at all about some of the most important aspects of our lives; things like relationships, morality and beauty are largely beyond its scope. This is where the word of God we know as scripture is much more helpful. Famous scientists throughout history have described nature and scripture as God’s two books and, together, they give us a more complete understanding of our big God; answering different questions, revealing different aspects of the truth and helping us understand and interpret things more clearly.

Creation speaks to us, revealing more of God’s sheer awesomeness.

From a Christian perspective the incomprehensible size of God allows plenty of room for modern biology with its understanding of genetics and evolution. There isn’t and can’t be any real conflict with scripture on this – both are the word of God – but we might have to adjust our understanding. The Bible speaks to us, revealing God’s nature and purpose. Creation speaks to us too, revealing more of God’s sheer awesomeness and when it shows us that life has evolved over billions of years from the "simplest" slimy life forms to dinosaurs, elephants, oak trees and thinking, talking, humans, who are we to argue! It’s not scary; it is a wonderful additional glimpse of our big God.

You can buy a copy of Elizabeth Cole’s book God’s Cosmic Cookbook here.