As a scientist and Christian, I believe Scripture and our scientific understanding of nature complement each other. It can be no other way if Scripture and nature share a common author – God. Nature reveals God as creator, and artist. Scripture reveals God as storyteller, poet, judge, and lover. I believe both Scripture and nature also reveal God as a gambler.
In nature, God began with the simplest elemental approach and brought about self-replicating life on this miracle we call Planet Earth. God, the artist, allowed the medium of life and its replicating basis (DNA) to dictate the direction of his continuing and never-ending work of creation. Scientists call this process evolution, and it’s a creative gamble. Artistic creations can be misunderstood, disappoint the artist, and be easily damaged or destroyed.
I believe God’s greatest gamble in creating life was his evolutionary development of humans. We are the only life forms that crossed over the threshold of consciousness and self-awareness and in doing so have been so successful at manipulating creation. I believe the ‘Fall’, as described in Genesis, is an allegory of humankind’s first ability to distinguish good from evil using free will.
Free will is a gamble, but it is only through allowing it that God can show his love for humankind. If we were not free to make choices but were, instead, controlled within God’s will at all times, there would be no opportunity for love on either God’s part or our part.
I believe that in Scripture, God gambled on a great number of highly fallible human beings to listen to him, hear him correctly, write it down, and to have the writing recovered, interpreted, and put together in some sort of coherent form. He continues to gamble on interpretation of Scripture by every human being of every age who reads or has ever read the collected writings in the Bible.
Although God may be a gambler, I believe the Good News revealed through the collected teachings of Jesus is that God is also the essence of love in the universe. Seeking first the Kingdom of Heaven in this world is the goal of any follower of Jesus, and the way to this goal is through love. I believe through the practice of unselfish or agape love we can begin to experience heaven on earth. The other choice is selfishness through which we can create a hell for ourselves and others. How these earthly choices play out in eternity is known only to God, but the Kingdom of God is as near as our ability to love.
I believe God’s universal and unconditional love trumps all mistakes and missteps due to humanity’s free will and all else of what appears to us as destruction or chaos in the universe. My faith tells me that all things will work out in the timelessness of infinity, which is the unfathomable realm of God alone.