Science Drove Me Away From Faith (And Helped Bring Me Back)

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Introductory note from President Deb Haarsma:Today we want to share Dana’s story with you. Like too many young people today, Dana was taught that the scientific evidence for evolution is wrong and contrary to Christian faith. Bright young scientists are being faced with a false dichotomy, leaving many to conclude that God, the Bible, and church are anti-science or irrelevant to the world today. Praise God that, after 30 years, Dana experienced the presence of God in her life. She now rejoices in studying the truths of scripture and the truths of the God’s creation alongside each other. 

You can help BioLogos to reach more people like Dana. Please pray for other scientists who are lost, thinking that God is irrelevant to science. You can discuss these ideas in your own church, campus, or community, using some of our resources. And you can invest in the work of BioLogos, supporting our ministry to invite the church and the world to join the conversation.

I am an avid science enthusiast and brand-new Christian.  As a young person, I fell victim to the dichotomy message. I truly believed that I could not accept both science and Scripture; therefore, I was blind to the Good News for 30 years.  Blessedly, in January 2015, the Lord revealed himself to me in awesome splendor, and I accepted Jesus into my life.  

My crisis of faith began when evolution was presented in a high school biology class.  As an origins story, it made a whole lot more sense to me than a God entity that I could not see and had not personally experienced.  Yet, it was not evolutionary ideas that caused me to turn away from God but instead the insistence from my faith community that the science is wrong when I could clearly see the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, as I proceeded through a master’s thesis with a focus in paleontology.

I continued to study this conflict by attending church seminars and reading young-earth creationist materials.  Ultimately, I concluded that the arguments were not valid and that the science presented did not reflect what I knew to be the essence of the scientific method.  I was not convinced to reject what I understood to be true about our world, as discovered through centuries of scientific inquiry.  Instead, I had to reject the Gospel.  God become irrelevant, and my faith journey ended.  The idea that I could embrace and trust both Scripture and science was never presented by my faith leaders as an option for me to consider.

I was again confronted with the science/faith dichotomy when recently given the gift of Jesus.  This time, the Holy Spirit would not let me reject my salvation, but what awful anguish I experienced as I assumed I had to reject my beloved science instead.  I was thrilled to learn that I could believe in both!  As I investigate my newfound faith alongside my scientific knowledge, the Lord continues to reveal to me that scientific findings and the use of the scientific method are very good, just as his Word is also good.

BioLogos was one of the first resources the Lord directed me to when I discovered his wonderful grace.  This is why I place great value in this ministry, as a support towards full exploration on God’s truth, disclosed through both nature and the Bible. The efforts of BioLogos shed light on evidence that for years has been feared by many Christians.  I truly believe that I now have the Lord’s blessed consent to understand the Bible differently than what was presented to me in my youth. Genesis has become brilliantly relevant to my spiritual growth. Praise the Lord, I am so grateful to have both science and salvation in my life!

Notes

Citations

MLA

Oleskiewicz, Dana . "Science Drove Me Away From Faith (And Helped Bring Me Back)"
http://biologos.org/. N.p., 17 Jun. 2015. Web. 20 October 2017.

APA

Oleskiewicz, D. (2015, June 17). Science Drove Me Away From Faith (And Helped Bring Me Back)
Retrieved October 20, 2017, from http://biologos.org/blogs/archive/science-drove-me-away-from-faith-and-helped-bring-me-back

About the Author

Dana Oleskiewicz

Dana Oleskiewicz is self-employed in the environmental field, with an emphasis on water protection. She provides oversight to the Citizen Lake Awareness and Monitoring Program and is the Administrative Director for the Water Management Association of Ohio. Dana has 28 years of experience in education and has a passion for citizen science within water resources. She received a B.S. in Biology with a minor in Secondary Education and an M.S. in Aquatic Ecology, both from Kent State University. Her area of specialization is in nonprofit organizational development, collaborative decision-making, environmental education, and lake ecosystems.

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