A marriage between two avowed enemies can be hazardous. Any two people who are absolutely certain that their view is the only right one will create terrible tension. Just look at the bloody battlefield between spirituality and science.
If you are committed to both medical science and spiritual truth, how are you supposed to sort through the maze of information and supposition to find reliable conclusions?
And why would anyone want to combine medical information and religious belief in the first place?
The answer to the second question is easy. When you are younger and more foolish, you feel invincible and the physical person is all that really counts. But as you age, the events of life reveal more of the close connection between physical and mental (this includes the social, emotional, creative, and memory) functions. Late in life, awareness presses even closer about the religious and spiritual.
Life-threatening experiences and the ravages of aging remind us that death comes to all. At this point we look for reliable help in the spiritual area of living too. Physical, mental, spiritual are all important to the best of living and dying. That’s why I’m interested in putting them all together. The earlier we start developing robust function in all three parts of life, the more we get from every experience.
Remember the last post, the story about my surgeon friend? I finally had to conclude that he was wrong on both counts. The ancient philosophers are completely right about some things, but completely wrong about others.
Those who believe that the Bible is inspired by God Himself may become very wrong by making it say what it does not say. And there were good people in Bible times who held scientifically inaccurate opinions.
But scientific knowledge has an even poorer batting average than Biblical knowledge. In the fifty years since my medical school graduation, so many basic concepts have been changed. We used to believe that once the brain was mature, no new cells were formed. We believed that the bones were laid down and just remained that way. We believed that for women “feminine forever” (hormone replacement therapy) was the healthy way to go until very recently.
We knew there were chromosomes but we even had the count wrong. Then we found structures for RNA, DNA and now we even have the genome mapped out. There are other concepts we couldn’t even imagine in 1960. We knew that non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and adrenal cortical steroid drugs had persuasive effects but it was only after we isolated the prostaglandins, prostacycline and thromboxane that we finally had any idea why or how.
What am I sure about today? With conflicting opinions swirling around how do I know what to believe? Let’s start with the spiritual. I believe that Scripture (the Bible) is true. My understanding of what it really says is growing and I thank God for that.
I believe that there is a real, personal, involved and loving God who wants the best for us all. He has given us freedom of choice. That freedom of choice has been misused and God is moving carefully to expose the lies that have been told about Him.
He is doing all this without ever interrupting our freedom to choose. The missing piece for most people observers is about the person Satan. And our understanding of Jesus has a lot of growing to do yet also. I am also sure that He plans to come again, very soon.
Science would have me believe that order and beauty can both just happen if given enough time, energy and space. With each new scientific discovery, that belief system gets more and more impossible to support. Follow a fetus from conception until the baby is three months old. I have spent a lifetime marveling at that process, and I do not understand most of what I see.
Scientific information mostly had to be discovered. Spiritual information is mostly revealed. The author of both is the same One. I’ve held some questions for years, awaiting an answer that fits both science and scripture. Plain statements of scripture do become guides in understanding science.
Many of my questions get answered each year. Those best answers come when I truly want to know more about the inventor, designer, manufacturer, and maintenance person. His goal is to show me what He has in mind that fit facts given in both His books, Discovery and Revelation.
Understanding His way leads me to seek the very best for all people now and an eternal, complete, health for all who choose to know and follow Him.
Now for a toast: May there be lifelong happiness for both Intensely Spiritual and Truly Scientific. Happily wedded for an eternity!