«All the words of my mouth are with righteousness; nothing crooked or perverse is in them. They are all plain to him who understands, and right to those who find knowledge» (Proverbs 8:8-9).
Alister McGrath was born in Belfast (Ireland) in 1953. Starting at the age of nine, he became interested in studying natural sciences. He frequently visited his school library to read books on astronomy, and he even built a small telescope from which he was able to observe Jupiter’s moons. As the years went by, he focused on the study of mathematics, physics and chemistry. Later, he obtained a scholarship to study Chemistry at Oxford University. By then, he considered himself an atheist, because according to him, science and religion were antagonistic and irreconcilable fields of study. But a few months before entering university, he read a book about the history and philosophy of science. Reading that book shook his mind. He suddenly realized the truth and limits of scientific knowledge. Impressed, he concluded that the scientific method might be limited and even that the field of ethics and morality might be beyond its own perimeter. And if science couldn’t explore them, therefore, there had to be other ways to access them.
Likewise, McGrath began to understand that the natural world is malleable and that nature can be interpreted, without losing its intellectual integrity, from different points of view. Some «interpret» it from an atheist point of view, but it can also be «read» from a religious point of view, and that doesn’t deny anyone the possibility of being a genuine scientist. Later on, young Alister realized that atheism was actually a belief system he had naively adopted because he considered it was a factual statement of reality. He began to understand that Christianity had far greater intellectual strength than he had imagined. So a few months later he decided to change beliefs and approached the gospel. Once he finished his Chemistry studies, he began studying Theology. Currently, Alister McGrath has three doctoral degrees from Oxford University: Molecular Biophysics, Divinity and Letters. He’s written many books about science and religion, history and theology.
Many mysteries are still undiscovered in this world. Actually, our discernment is very limited still. Young people who are passionate to seek knowledge in any of its fields are still needed today. But to correctly interpret everything that’s learned, one must listen to the voice of God, and heeding it is the beginning of all true knowledge.