Two Persuasions, Two Faiths
The definition of “persuasion” is this:
the action or fact of persuading someone or of being persuaded to do or believe something.
coaxing · persuading · coercion · inducement · convincing · blandishment
a belief or set of beliefs, especially religious or political ones.
belief · opinion · conviction · faith · certainty · certitude · view
While the definition of “faith” is:
complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
trust · belief · confidence · conviction · credence · reliance · dependence
strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.
religion · church · sect · denomination · persuasion · religious persuasion
Not that long ago the question was asked “What is your persuasion?”
Usually, it was put forth in polite conversation, and usually, it was referring to political affiliation. Or, it could be wondering as to which church you belonged. As you can see from the definitions above, the two are very similar, if not synonymous.
In order to have faith, you must first be persuaded. Correct?
As an aside, Romans 8: “37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced [persuaded] that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” And Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe [be persuaded] that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
Obviously I am persuaded to favor the Bible and regard it as an historical document. Nevertheless, this essay is about twos — two persuasions and two faiths: Science and the Bible.
Now, I really like science fiction, but I see it as an attempt to persuade us to believe that science is absolute, wondrous, trustworthy, and has or will provide all the answers to all of life’s questions. You just have to believe. Well, I certainly do not disregard science facts, I do not presume to know everything scientific, but generally speaking, it is most likely all true, with the monumental exception when it becomes a replacement for God. (Note: Romans 1:25 “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator — who is forever praised. Amen.”
All of science is observations of the Creation. Science even provides a Creation Story called the Big Bang. The Bible, however, also has a parallel big bang: Genesis 1: “1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.”
My view is that in itself proves the verity of the Bible record…scientifically. But are they parallel accounts of the same event? Not exactly. Science says what happened and describes the mechanics (physics), and mathematics, and theories thereof. However, I have not seen how it all was initiated. I know, I know…there was this extremely compressed ball of energy that exploded and eventually formed matter. Now, that takes some persuasion and a whole bunch of faith! It always existed in this deep void of space…Now, that takes some religious style faith!
My question is what initiated this immense explosion and what controlled it? What explosion is creative rather than destructive? I ask, because everything we observe scientifically, we are asking, “What was the cause?” Whatever we see, plant, animal, air, stone, all are producing, seed, offspring, weather, sand, and all have forces making it all happen. So, what was directing all we now see? A violent uncontrolled explosion? All we observe teaches us that nothing gets done and nothing gets made without hands and minds attached to head and torso.
Science has no answer for that. I am fully persuaded that Science can only observe and analyze what God has created. In other words, science did not create the universe, it only describes it!
So, my faith in science can only be useful in that context. However, my faith in God can only be unlimited. Acceptance of the Bible and trusting Science are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Notwithstanding, Science is not God It remains for me to persuade you God exists, and He will reward you eternally if you earnestly seek Him. Science exists, but Jesus saves…John 1:1–5 “1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.