Having been a part of the Baptist tradition for much of my life, I never really observed Lent and this being my first time I decided that one of the things I wanted to do was read a daily devotional. When I came across this book on Amazon, it immediately caught my attention and I decided it would be the one I would use.
“Paying attention to the world around us – to the intricate structures of nature, to the mind-bending reality of the cosmic and microscopic realms – will invite us to recognize that the God we worship, and with whom we have an ongoing relationship, is present in the raging storm, the fiery whirlwind of the surface of a star, and the deep silence of intergalactic space.”
The author of Lent is Not Rocket Science, W. Nicholas Knisely, is a physicist, astronomer, and Episcopal Bishop. Knisely drew from both his scientific and religious training and knowledge to write a wonderful book of meditations for Lent. Instead of being suspicious of science, he invites Christians to learn about God by studying the creation of God around us.
“But I hope as a result of this journey through Lent you are more willing to be comfortable with not understanding something and still accepting its reality.”
I don’t know if it was intentional or just coincidence that Lent is Not Rocket Science came out as the same time that the new “Cosmos” series is on television but it truly is fitting. Bishop Knisely explores the crossroads of religion and science and shows that there’s nothing wrong with not fully understanding things about our religion by showing that there are also many things we still don’t understand about science. It’s not a problem that we can’t fully explain creation. The fact that we can’t explain exactly how Jesus died and rose from the dead doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. He shows that just there are many more questions to be answered in science, there are many more questions to be answered about faith and religion and he urges us to pursue those questions “with the same tenacity and focus that scientists bring to their study of the created order.”
“But many people react to the unknowns of the resurrection by either trying to explain the resurrection away or by trying to draw a veil around the event and warning people not to enter the sacred precincts. I wonder if, instead of trying to resolve them too quickly by denying the reality of the resurrection, we might not better profit by committing ourselves to a journey through the door that the resurrection has opened in our understanding of the world. Perhaps that is the task of the Easter people.”
Another important thing that I took away from Lent is Not Rocket Science is something that we all need to take to heart. Science and Religion are not mutually exclusive. Bishop Knisely begins the book on the scale of the cosmos and ends up at the molecular level and illustrates throughout that you can believe in science and still believe in God.
“Here’s the thing. Science is very good at describing how repeatable events happen. Science has nothing to say about the miraculous, except that it is not predictable or explainable by using the tools of the scientific method. But that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. It means rather that such a question is unanswerable by the scientific method.”
I thoroughly enjoyed using Lent is Not Rocket Science as my daily devotional during Lent. It was enlightening, challenging, and thought provoking. The reader is never told “this is what you must believe,” on the contrary, we’re encouraged to ask questions! If you’re interested in both science and faith in God, I’d definitely recommend this book a devotional.