Why Should We Fear the Fingerprint of God?


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Photo by Amanda Leutenberg

I am about to finish Hugh Ross’s book, the Fingerprint of God.[1] I highly recommend it for the Christian who struggles to reconcile fundamentalist doctrine on Genesis and the creation story with modern science. Hugh Ross fundamentally asserts that God speaks both through natural revelation (the universe) and divine revelation (the Bible).

Yet, we seem to have a profound distrust of science. For good reason, we should be wary of scientists, but no more than we should be wary of preachers who stray from truth. People are flawed by sin and by finite limitations. Scientists are no less (or more) flawed or sinful than others.

Science, itself, has been dominated by anti-theistic thought for centuries now, but that is no reason for Christians to ignore or dismiss what science reveals (just as scientists should not ignore or dismiss the God that science reveals). There are believers, like Hugh Ross, who can help us sift through the dross and find the gold.

Hugh Ross does a superlative job of chronicling the history of cosmology as it has been influenced by the facts science reveals, as well as the flawed attempts by people to influence that science by their preconceived notions of a godless universe. Try as they might, however, the evidence of God persists, and that is the story of the history of cosmology that Hugh Ross unveils, chapter by chapter in his book.

Though science is dominated by anti-theistic motivations and notions, those facts that science reveals of this natural world also speak of the existence of the Creator to the one who is willing to listen. Scripture, itself, tells us that God speaks through His creation. As Paul said in Romans 1:19-20:

“what can be known about God is plain to [us], because God has shown it to [us]. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.”

This passage is often cited for the proposition that people have no excuse for not believing in God because God is evident in His creation.[2] The same passage, though underscores the foundation of that proposition: that God’s creation points to and “speaks” of Him. We should not, then, be afraid to know what there is to know of His creation.

Understanding can be gained by studying living things (through biology and zoology and chemistry):

“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;
or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you;
and the fish of the sea will declare to you.[3]

Understanding of God can be gained through cosmology, physics and similar studies of the vast expanse of the universe as David observes in the Psalms:

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?[4]


The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.[5]


The heavens declare his righteousness,
for God himself is judge! Selah[6]

Paul, when speaking to a Greek, pagan audience, appealed to the known world, as revealed by science, as well as to their own philosophers and poets in Acts 17:[7]

The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for

“‘In him we live and move and have our being’[8]

as even some of your own poets have said,

“‘For we are indeed his offspring.’[9]

The significance of Paul’s general reference to the natural world, civilizations, philosophers and poets should be emphasized. Paul was obviously well read and well-rounded in his knowledge of the world, including the known science, political and geographical understanding of the time and the writings of pagan philosophers and poets, and he used that knowledge in preaching the Gospel.

In order to engage the world, we need to understand it. Though we are not “of the world”, we nevertheless live in the world[10]. Since the creation speaks of the Creator, we should seek to understand it and use that understanding to engage the world.

We are ambassadors to the world for Christ[11]. Ambassadors are foreigners who live in the country to which they are liaisons. In order to be an ambassador, we can’t live our lives apart from the world to which God has made us liaisons. We should not only understand the society and culture (and sometimes we “know” it too well), we must also be up to date on the knowledge of science and understanding of the world we live in.

We can’t understand or relate to the world around us without knowledge of the world, how people think, how people see things and the philosophers and poets people listen to and read. Science is a major driver of the thinking and understanding of the world around us. Who, other than believers, will show the world that the science points us to God?

In the book, Fingerprint of God, Hugh Ross helps us to bridge the gap between what scientists who are heavily influenced by their anti-theistic presuppositions say and what science actually reveals. In the process, Hugh Ross traces the history of the divergence of a large segment of the church from modern science.

That divergence is seen in the views of the New Atheists and Fundamentalists who have (both) entrenched themselves on a “literal” reading of Genesis. That divergence began centuries ago, and the gap has widened ever since.

Both camps have dug themselves into position based on a misreading of Genesis. Read the Fingerprint of God to understand how that is. I highly recommend it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[1] The Fingerprint of God: Recent Scientific Discoveries Reveal the Unmistakable Identity of the Creator by Hugh Ross, (Revised Edition 2000) I got the 2nd edition from 1991 and wish I had gotten the updated version as many scientific advances were made from 1991 to 2000.

[2] Romans 1:18-20 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”

[3] Job 12:7-8

[4] Psalm 8: 3-4

[5] Psalm 19:1-2

[6] Psalm 50:6; See also Psalm 97:6 (“The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory.”)

[7] Acts 17:24-28

[8] Probably from Epimenides of Crete was a “semi-mythical” 7th or 6th century Greek philosopher/poet who was said to have the gift of prophecy and other spiritual gifts. Much of the account of his life was mythical, a mixture of fact and fiction. He was even honored as a god.

[9] From Aratus’s poem “Phainomena”. Aratus was a Greek poet who lived from 315 BC to 240 BC who was interested in medicine, grammar and philosophy. His most famous poem was Phainomena, a reworking of another poem from about a century earlier that described the constellations and the night sky and the dependence of all the celestial bodies on Zeus.

[10] John 17:6

[11] 2 Corinthians 5:20 “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.”

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