I have been reading an interesting little book by Sigmund Brouwer called, Who Made the Moon? He wrote it as a way of exploring the conversation he wants to have with his two young daughters. He wants to explain to them his faith in a creator God while living in a world of science and atheism. He wants to encourage them to think for themselves and ask good questions. He wants them to wrestle with both science and faith. It is an easy read and a good introduction to critical thinking as it pertains to the intersection of science and faith.
In the book, he has this quote from the astronomer, Robert Jastrow.
For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is able to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.*
What I take away from the quote is that both science and theology will take us only so far. Both science and theology use their tools to investigate the nature of the universe and both will seek to answer the big questions of ultimate reality and how the universe came to be. But at the end of the day, both come to a place in which they cannot “see” anymore. At this highest peak, there are no more absolutes by which either can say for certain, this is the final answer. On the top of this mountain of ignorance, both must then resort to faith. This faith must either be rooted in an infinite universe or an infinite God; there is no more knowing – only faith. The distinction between the two faith perspectives is that one leads, at best, to uncertainty, and at worst, nihilism; while the other type of faith leads to hope.
Sigmund Brouwer’s book is one more way to explore how we might think about our universe and continue to hold on to hope. Our hope rests in an ultimate promise that one day we will be able to say, “I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now…Come further up, come further in!” (C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle.)
*Brouwer, Sigmund. Who Made the Moon? Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2008. (Brouwer 2008) Ch. 4.