The following is a five minute speech that I gave at our church in Erlangen concerning the relation of my work as a physicist and my belief in God.
By profession, I am a researcher at the University of Erlangen. In my work as a physicist, I study the forces that bind the smallest particles together: the so-called "quarks" which are bound together by "gluons." (The name "gluon" comes from the word "glue.")
I am also a Christian: I believe in the God of the bible and trust in Jesus for my salvation.
Do my profession and my faith have anything to do with each other? Some say that science deals with the "hard facts" of the natural world while religion deals with "spiritual matters" -- and the two have nothing in common. In the next few minutes I would like to discuss the relation between by work as a scientist and my faith in God.
What does the bible say about the universe? What does it say about the "quarks" and "gluons" that I study? First it claims that God created the universe, and after he had finished creating, it says in Genesis 1:31,
"God saw all that he had made, and it was very good and there was evening and there was morning -- the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in their vast array."
This is what makes science a worthwhile enterprise: I know that absolute truth exists, absolute truth about the world around us. I know that the subatomic particles I study -- the quarks and gluons -- must obey laws and I know that these laws must be beautiful. After all, God pronounced his creation to be "very good."
The non-Christian must also assume these things: the existence of truth, the existence of physical laws that are simple, beautiful, and understandable -- but without any basis, without any assurance that this is in fact true.
But does my faith have a more practical effect on my work? Consider Colossians 3:23-24,
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the LORD, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the LORD as a reward..."Too often, scientists work for rather vain reasons: to impress their colleagues... to show that one is smarter ... for the sake of one's pride. If that is the motivation, the scientist chooses work that is trendy, work that is popular. Instead of searching for the truth, the scientist tries to prove that his own ideas are correct.
On the other hand, it is not so easy to impress God, who created all things and knows all things. He knows if I am working for his glory or merely for the praise of men. This is a high standard, one that I often don't live up to, but God will bless work that is done to his glory.