Each month I read Scientific American, cover to cover. Those explorations almost always lead me down spiritual paths. The same reaction occurred recently as I dug through *Timefulness: How Thinking Like a Geologist Can Help Save the World, a fascinating read authored by geology professor Marcia Bjornerud. Her scientific insights complement biblical theology that I hold dearly. That I find helpful for my identity as a Christian.
Geology is rooted in time—as in eons, eras, epochs, ages or periods. Geochronology considers long-time, an approach that seems to echo God’s timelessness. Humility and patience—two useful attributes of the human spirit—are summoned by the truth that this planet has existed in various manifestations for billions of years before us.
In our present age—dubbed Anthropocene to denote the effects of human interaction with the planet—the existential realities we are facing can be seen as the result of a misguided or misaligned view of humanity’s place in the larger scheme of things. We are paying the price for a continuing idolatry that mistakenly makes us the center of everything that exists.
The field of geology provides spiritual space for the providential workings of God, slowly made evident to our perhaps-impatient senses. God’s creative power peeks out from layers of rock, volcanoes, tectonic movement and other geological formation processes.
Continual stewardship is a theological/practical response to geology and theology. In geological time, we humans have appeared only recently, but we bear primary responsibility for ensuring that this wondrous creation is not destroyed because of our small-minded fears or greediness.
I consider the witness of Scripture and geology as mutually motivating. I’m glad that all of God’s continuing revelation continues to unearth possible answers to our deepest wonderings about our origin and destiny.
And I will keep reading Scientific American….
*Timefulness: How Thinking Like a Geologist Can Help Save the World. (New York: Princeton University Press, 2018.) Both title and subtitle grabbed my attention.
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