Is God highly exalted, apart from creation, above and beyond space and time, transcendent? Yes. Is God present within creation, personally engaged, working in and through all things, immanent? Yes.
Some religions consider the divine as being an utterly transcendent, disconnected, dictatorial figure. Others regard divinity as being wholly immanent, found within nature, bound within time and space.
But the Christian faith acknowledges God as both transcendent and immanent. One event which gives great clarity and depth to this is the incarnation: God becoming human in the person of Jesus Christ. He “did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:6,7, NASB).
The apostle Paul commends this kenotic impulse to us: “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus” (vv. 3-5).
Membership in organisations is often considered for its benefits; we ask, “What will I get out of being involved?” Let me encourage you today to consider this from a different perspective: “How can others benefit by my membership?” Many in the CSCA (and our parent/sibling affiliate the ASA) have thought, “I am the only Christian in my research group and the only scientist in my church.” Listing your name in our membership directory creates opportunity for real community by being there for that starting undergrad or grad student in science who has moved to your university, by supporting that new researcher or lab technician with Christian fellowship with other scientists.
We who have positions of authority, responsibility, and seniority in our workplaces can answer Paul’s call by making ourselves available as conversation partners, coming alongside the next generation, inspiring them to a faithful and scientific life. We can share our journeys, its pitfalls and triumphs, its sorrows and joys. And we can make ourselves vulnerable to the challenges, enthusiasm, energy, criticism, and insights of our youthful counterparts. Together, across the generations, we can grow in answering God’s particular call upon us as “royal scientists” to search out the patterns that God has concealed within his creation (Proverbs 25:2) and to delight in and study the great works of the Lord (Psalm 111:2).
NOTE: For the month of December, members of CSCA/ASA can give gift memberships for only $10! (When you fill in the order, sign in first and leave your own name as recipient and not the person to whom you want to give it. You will receive a downloadable PDF with a promotional code that you will give to your friend. They need to activate the membership themselves in order to sign the statement of faith.) Non-members: Just tell someone who is a member that a CSCA membership is on your Christmas wish list!
We also encourage donations at this time of year. Click the button below, or use the “Support CSCA” tab above.