Pastor's Pen
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March 16, 2015, 11:00 AM

Geology, Science, Education, and Faith

Geology,  Science, Education,

And Faith


   Somebody asked Jesus, “Which is the greatest commandment?” Jesus quoted what was given in the Old Testament, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6: 4-5). But Jesus made an amendment in the Matthew version of this statement: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). Have you ever thought about that … loving God with your mind?

   I would suggest that to love God with your mind begins with being curious about God. You may go weeks months, or even years without ever wondering, “Is there Somebody who made this world? What’s He like?”  For the followers of Jesus, from the earliest days up to today, loving God with “all your mind” meant even more. They and we believe Jesus taught that God created everything, that God thought everything up!  So, anytime we learn something that’s true, anytime we learn about how creation works or even about math, geology, science or faith, we are actually thinking God’s thoughts after Him.

   What has me thinking about all of this are some thoughts I have shared recently with a brilliant geologist. Actually this gentleman and I have met every Tuesday morning for about six months sharing thoughts about his vocation, education, and, faith experiences. (We also spent a lot of time talking about hunting, motorcycle riding, fly fishing and grandchildren.) He knew me as a pastor and church leader and never held it against me.

    I was invited to the Ardmore Geological Society (AGS) monthly dinner meetings and he knew that I enjoyed the fellowship as much as learning about the igneous that are dominated by mafic (low-silica) and felsic (high-silica) flows and intrusions, with few examples of intermediate igneous rocks. (Please, don’t be impressed … I got that out of a geology magazine I was given.) But, when asked if I had learned anything from the presenter at one of our dinner meetings, I said, “It was organic chemistry and probability and statistics that aimed me toward religion.”

   You might have noticed that in a couple of paragraphs up, I went from the present tense to the past tense when talking about my geologist friend. Recently, I officiated at his funeral. He is one of those people who came into my life and left too soon! He will be missed, I know, by his family … but also by the entire geological community. In a worship service that celebrated his life, this man was remembered by people in his chosen profession from all over the country.  This pastor gives thanks that Tom Olsen allowed me a few moments in his life; and now he has graduated to the Church Triumphant.

Dr. Rick Baggett is pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Ardmore (the church with the bells) and can be reached at:


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