The Glory of God in Chemistry

Have you ever been amazed at the beauty or the grandness or the intricacy of nature? Perhaps you have been on a long hike and found a special peace in the quiet of the woods. Or maybe you have been to Niagara and have been overwhelmed by the roar of the falls and the blast of the watery wind against your face. And on the nights when the stars are bright and bold, you are amazed that the longer you look, the more stars you see. If you have ever had an experience like one of these, then you have seen the glory of God.

As a Christian chemistry professor, instead of looking outside to see the glory of God, I get to gaze at the minute details of the universe. Instead of focusing on waterfalls and woods, I get to look at the atoms and molecules that God used to build it all. These tiny particles also reveal the glory of God. Did you know that if an atom’s nucleus were the size of a golf ball, the atom itself would be one and a half miles wide? Did you know that one ounce of gold is made up of 87,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 gold atoms? When I ponder these truths, I cannot fully grasp them. They remind me of the time I first saw the Grand Canyon: even though I was seeing it with my own eyes, I could not fully take it in.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge” (Psalm 19:1–2). As a professor, I am able to be a conduit of nature’s speech. I cherish the opportunity to help students discover the brilliant truths proclaimed by even the smallest pieces of the creation, so that God is glorified.

Stories of the People of God

“Hope College is a Christian community that invites all its members into a holistic and robust engagement with the historic Christian faith and a personal encounter with the living Christ through the Holy Spirit.”

Hope College’s Christian Aspirations

Hope is committed to providing a world-class education “in the context of the historic Christian faith.” (That line is from the college’s mission statement.) Practically speaking, this means the Christian identity of the college is much broader than the good work being done through Campus Ministries: God is moving and working in Hope’s classrooms and laboratories, athletic fields and Pine Grove, residence halls and cottages and cafeterias.

This new Faith at Hope blog intends to celebrate, support and promote Hope’s Christian mission by sharing the stories of the people of God at Hope College. In that way, it will be an extension of, and in service to, Hope’s identity as a Christian community, and it aims to answer two questions rooted in our Christian Aspirations:

  • In what ways are community members engaging with the historic Christian faith throughout the college?
  • What does it look like when community members personally encounter the living Christ through the Holy Spirit?

Following Hope’s Christian Aspirations, the blog aims to be faithful, welcoming, and transformational.

FAITHFUL

The Faith at Hope blog celebrates Hope College’s ecumenically Christian character, recognizing that Christian faithfulness at Hope takes many forms. With a goal of promoting the wide diversity of the body of Christ, the blog is committed to telling the stories of what faithfulness at Hope looks like in its many Christian voices and expressions. As a reflection of our faithful community, the blog will be a platform committed to the historic Christian faith as expressed in the ecumenical creeds of the ancient church.

WELCOMING

Like Hope College, the Faith at Hope blog welcomes people of all faith — or no faith at all — with an invitation to experience the love and good news of God’s forgiveness found in Jesus Christ. To this end, it seeks to tell the many, varied stories of how Christian students, faculty, staff, and other community members are experiencing and expressing their faith at Hope.

TRANSFORMATIONAL

The Faith at Hope blog recognizes that a personal encounter with the living Christ through the Holy Spirit transforms all of life — every field of study or play, every classroom and dorm, every academic, cocurricular, and personal pursuit. As such, the blog has the widest possible scope for sharing testimonies of how the Spirit is transforming the people and place of Hope. It does not aim to prescribe what Christian transformation must look like; rather, it will describe the transformational work that the Spirit is already doing in every sphere of life at Hope College.


So, with those three aspirations in mind — faithful, welcoming, and transformational — we invite you to follow along as we explore Faith at Hope in the coming months.