How can God be described as a scientist?
Loosely metaphorically? He does not have to investigate anything, but he knows what works, how it works and what doesn’t work. And he has creative solutions to problems, as do scientists trying to devise things.
A scientist seeks natural explanations for natural phenomena.
There is also the church of Christ, scientist.
Scientists have to be creative to make instruments and other devices to aid in their seeking. One recent little one you might have heard about is the JWST.
Jesus is referred to often as the great physician yet he does not right proscriptions or perform medical operations. He called himself the Good Shepherd and the Gate yet he doesn’t pastor real sheep nor have five bars and a latch .
In my view, Poetry is much more about evocation and impression, than accuracy and precision. Like the difference between a watercolour and a photograph.
Jesus is rightly called the great physician because he is a healer. But a physician is usually not a scientist, because a scientist is a researcher and investigates natural phenomena. What would God need to research in the natural world? What doesn’t he understand in the natural world? I thought the natural world was his creation.
That isn’t a recent edit addition that I didn’t see before, is it? @beaglelady?
Why not call Jesus a cowboy? He’s a shepherd, and therefore a stockman,…
We have a lot of Cowboy Churches around here that might go along with that. https://www.cowboychurchhc.com/
What is the etymology of the word?
The etymology of a word is not the meaning of the word!
The only church that calls Christ a scientist is the Christian Science Church of Mary Baker Eddy. Their churches are all called Church of Christ, Scientist. I assume we’re supposed to accept them as Christian churches. (I don’t)
The only scientist who can be compared to God is the fictional Viktor Frankenstein, who brought inanimate matter to life. (Yes, the scientist’s name was Frankenstein, not the monster.)
Sometimes the meaning of a word is not precisely as normally used in poetry!
I have no problem with saying God is a ‘knowledge-ist’, especially metaphorically in a poetic frame. Mostly what I think is “Lighten up.” And it is more than obvious in a doxology how it’s being used. Anyone paying attention isn’t going be confused and put it in another context. Why don’t you have a problem with ‘Holy Ghost’ in the Old Hundredth Doxology? Or maybe you do.
Agreed. This is even more true in poetry where the context defines the words meaning. I doubt the doxology is intended to mean that God’s ‘up there’ with a chemistry set. So what might they mean instead?
The only one? That’s a big statement, have you asked them all? (joking ) Calling Jesus a scientist doesn’t make one a follower of Mary Baker Eddie any more than calling God Jehovah makes one a Jehovah’s Witness. Neither does it legitimise either of those groups. This is like saying, Mormons call God Father so if you call God Father you agree with Mormonism.
If we make metaphors walk on all fours then yes I suppose that is true. Poetically, I don’t think that is the case. I have heard Jesus called the ‘hound of heaven’ and God the Great Mathematician. But I doubt those people meant that Jesus has a waggy tail and God is good at calculus. David calls God his Rock in Ps19, but God is not and nothing like a literal rock. John the Baptist calls Jesus the ‘lamb of God’ but Jesus is nothing like a literal lamb. That’s ok though, because poetry doesn’t work on 1:1 correlations. If it did we’d have to cut most of the pages out of hymnals:
Joyful, joyful we adore thee,
God of glory, Lord of Love
Hearts unfold like flowers before thee (except they don’t because hearts don’t have petals)
Opening to the sun above (if my heart opened I would die; also this appears to be promoting sun worship.
See what I mean?
I see what you did there, intentionally or not. (I suspect the phormer. ; - )
Would it be rude to repeat
Yeah probably, so I won’t.
Never said that
I don’t need any schooling or mansplaining on what a metaphor is. I was merely questioning whether it’s an appropriate metaphor to call God a scientist. After all, a scientist studies the natural world, trying to learn more about it. So how is God a scientist?
My mistake. I apologise.
Was not my intention to school or mansplain. Thanks for the conversation thus far. I’ll be stepping out at this point.
For those who are way too uptight with a particular metaphor when doxologizing God (I suppose ‘doxologizing God’ is redundant, but I don’t think it hurts to emphasize the object), we maybe better switch to similes. It is of note that no actual Christian scientists (lower case s) have objected to the metaphor however.
How is God like scientists? First let’s observe that all scientists are not research scientists. That’s exactly why we use the adjective.
God, however is like research scientists in more than one way. An important way is that he is patient. Research scientists have to be extremely patient. I won’t elaborate here except to say that in many, many situations, they have to watch and wait, or just wait. He is also like research scientists in that he is not myopic. That is not the same as focused, because he is definitely like them in that respect too. Like research scientists, he tests and analyzes. What does he test and analyze? Hearts and minds. He is like research scientists as well in that he is interested in truth and correcting falsehoods. I expect there are other ways in which God is like research scientists, but that will suffice for now. (But please, anyone else, scientist or no, please certainly feel free to add to the list!)
There are other kinds of scientists besides research scientists that God is like too. Let’s look at a definition of scientist:
A person who is studying or has expert knowledge of one or more of the natural sciences.
God is like scientists who teach from existing knowledge and truth, some exclusively, not being directly involved in research. They are also interested in correcting falsehoods, so certainly there is overlap in similarities with research scientists. And of course, many research scientists in academia and elsewhere also teach. (Others, again please feel free to add to this!)
Another way God is like scientists – they don’t typically beat dead horses.
It would be fair to say – especially from the biblical perspective of God’s sovereignty, that God is interested in all of the sciences. God is like a cosmologist. God is like a molecular biologist. God is like a chemist. God is like an elementary particle physicist… So add similes, and maybe a smile?
But don’t scientists do research, investigating the natural world?