I am a geologist who believes that our planet and the living beings it sustains were formed by the will of God. Like other […]
I am a geologist who believes that our planet and the living beings it sustains were formed by the will of God. Like other aspects of Creation, the earth and its rocks “have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world” (Ps. 19:3, 4, NIV). What message do these silent words carry? Can we learn more about the qualities of the Creator through the study of geology?
The God of Heart, Soul, and Mind
Our minds are able to arrange geological observations in a logical fashion, and apply this knowledge for prediction and management. Why is it that our brain can so effectively make sense of the environment surrounding us? To me, this wonderful resonance between human minds and the world they seek to understand speaks of a Designer who created them both.
Not only is the world intelligible; we also respond to it emotionally. Breaking waves approaching the beach can be described mathematically, but can also make us feel surprised, pensive, excited, or relaxed. The Creator made our world for us to enjoy in a multilayered, beautifully integrated way.
The Infinitely Vast Wisdom of God
Earth’s processes can be organized according to consistent patterns. However reality exceeds our models, it transcends our imagination at every observable scale. We inhabit a richly textured universe with infinite opportunities for discovery. These vast possibilities for exploration are a humbling but joyous reminder of the greatness of our Creator God.
The Mighty Power of God
Rock formations preserve evidence of massive processes, such as the movement and collision of continents that involve enormous amounts of energy. But the Maker of the world is greater than anything seen in His creation. So folded, uplifted, and transformed rocks remind us of the Creator’s mighty power, which is able to do “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Eph. 3:20).
The God of Intentionality
The study of planets outside our solar system has led to a better appreciation of the remarkable combination of planetary conditions that allow us to live on Earth’s surface. Within an immense universe, humans find themselves in the very place where their existence is possible. This balance required for life that some attribute to chance is a gift that helps us recognize God’s intentional plan for us.
The God of Resilience
Despite Earth’s beauty and design, nature has a dark side for which answers are not always obvious. However, a striking resilience is observed when hazardous geological processes affect our world’s systems. Buffering mechanisms absorb significant environmental stress, and normal conditions are often restored after catastrophes. God has endowed the Earth and its inhabitants with coping mechanisms to resist and spring back, providing assurance that He has not abandoned us.
The God of History
Earth’s rocks can be arranged in an ordered succession, showing that our planet had a beginning and a history, for which every layer is a tangible reminder. God’s self-revelation in the Bible traces this history from Creation, to the Flood, to the precious promise of a new heaven and a new earth (2 Peter 3:5-13).
Like the sequence of metals in the image of Daniel 2, rocks attest to history’s directionality and point toward the God who accomplishes His plan in the times He has predetermined.
Ronny Nalin, Ph.D., originally from Italy, is a research scientist at the Geoscience Research Institute at Loma Linda University.