Most Faith Stories here at City Church are primarily about how someone came to be a Christian. For me that story takes about 15 seconds: My parents raised me in a home focused on Christianity, and I went to a great church during my childhood that reinforced these values. I accepted Jesus as my Savior around the age of 5 years old and have tried to live according to the teachings in the Bible ever since. That’s it; short and simple. What I am more interested in sharing with you today is why I choose to maintain my faith.
For those of you who do not know me well, I am a big geek. I love the nerdy things in life such as building computers, tinkering with random circuit boards and appliances to figure out how they work. I even do calculus problems just for fun. In high school, I enjoyed my experience with the Science Olympiad team more than any other activities I was involved in. So it was only natural that I eventually went into a science based profession. I went to school at the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Technology, where I got my bachelors degree in biomedical engineering. I now work for the medical device company St. Jude Medical, where I share the responsibility for the design, development, and production of Cardiac Rhythm Management products.
Perhaps this gives you some insight into how I think. It probably comes as no surprise that I tend to be very logical, and extremely analytical. In fact, I had to truly define the word ‘faith’ before I felt comfortable preparing this faith story. My general understanding has always been that faith is defined as a strong belief in something that you can not prove. This description was confirmed over the past few weeks as I studied various published definitions of the word.
So why do I maintain my relationship with God that I established as a young, ignorant child? The main reason is that I require relatively little faith. You might be surprised to know that I don’t think it is difficult to believe in God. When I looked around me and studied the evidence I came to the conclusion that there is enough evidence to believe in God without the need for a massive portion of faith. Finding the evidence, and coming to this conclusion was a two step process for me.
The first step was trying to figure out if a god, any god, actually existed. I studied both sides of the coin by reading materials from prominent atheists, as well as Christian scholars. After reviewing the data, I concluded that the world we live in was not created by blind forces but by a divine creator. Saying God created the world in which we live actually requires less faith than other popular explanations. For example, it’s remarkable how perfectly our world is set up to sustain life:
- the ideal location in the solar system to protect us from radiation and extreme temperatures;
- the exact size of the earth giving us the perfect gravitational pull;
- the amazing function the moon plays in stabilizing our position in the solar system and protecting us from countless rocks and meteorites;
- the earth’s unique magnetic core, atmosphere, and water cycle perfectly calibrated for sustaining life.
The list goes on and on. If any one of these factors were slightly different, life would not exist. In fact, the best approximation for the statistical chance of these variables aligning the way they are, is about 7 in 10 quadrillion! These physical science observations are compounded by my educational experience with the intricacies of the human body, including the recent eye opening experience of studying the human reproductive/life cycle with the creation, development, and birth of my 11 week old son; it’s absolutely astonishing. By combining all of this information perhaps you can see my rationale; I never felt that believing in a divine creator was much of a “leap in faith,” not at least when compared to alternative explanations.
With the question of God out of the way, I then set out to find out what kind of god he actually was. I didn’t want to simply assume that the Christian god I was raised to believe was who God actually was. After all, there are other religions with millions of followers. I wanted to know the truth and was open to being proved wrong. So I studied other religions for several years as a hobby. I found the different belief structures fascinating. After collecting the data, and discovering the roots of various major religions, I came to the conclusion that Christianity makes the most sense. A lot of these conclusions were based on the same points that John has brought up during this sermon series. I have not been surprised to find that many of my colleagues who share the same investigative thought processes also share in these same beliefs. Overall, I have found that there are many more Christian believers in the scientific community than I was led to believe by my educators or the media.
So in the end, after my geeky problem solving process was completed, I determined that 1.) There is a god. And 2.) This God is the God described in the Christian Bible. With these two questions answered, I have been able to fully embrace a relationship with God I first trusted as a child with the knowledge that God is very, very real.