Excerpted from The Evidence of God in an Expanding Universe, edited by John Clover Monsma. New York: G.P. Putman’s Sons, 1958



By Edmund Carl Kornfeld, Research Chemist

A.B., Temple University, M.A., Ph.D., Harvard University. Since 1946 with the Lilly Research Laboratories, Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis; presently Head of Organic Chemical Division. Specialist in rubber chemistry, synthetic organic medicinals, organic chemicals development.


Professor Edwin Conklin, biologist at Princeton University, has often said, “The probability of life originating from accident is comparable to the probability of the Una­bridged Dictionary resulting from an explosion in a printing shop.” I subscribe to that statement unreservedly.

It is my firm conviction that there is a God, and that He planned, created, and sustains the universe.

But I should like to be more specific. It is obvious that the word “God” means so many different things to the myriads of people who have employed it in the many languages of earth. When we speak of “God” do we mean by this (1) the universal creative intelligence and coordinating principle of Nature; (2) the personal God of the Hebrew religion, the One who was both the Creator and the Leader of His people; or (3) do we define Him as the personal God, revealed through the Jewish nation, who sent His Son, Jesus Christ (by Whom He had made the worlds), to be not only Creator but also Redeemer of a lost human race? Since other religions of the world multiply the definitions without end, there must be a great variety of answers to the question-in fact so many, that we can consider only the three defini­tions given above.

It is well known, of course, that there are those who hold only to the first definition of God as creative intelligence, while others, the orthodox Hebrews for instance, embrace both the first and the second. The Christian, on the other hand, accepts all three concepts, and his view is in direct antithesis to that of the atheist who denies each one in turn.

As a Christian I hold specifically to the third definition presented above. I believe in the God who is revealed and portrayed in the pages of both the Old and New Testaments. In both Testaments He is claimed to be both the Creator and the Sustainer of the universe. Most of Holy Writ, how­ever, is devoted to a description of His quest for a personal relationship between Himself and man whom He had created. In this connection it may be observed that it is highly interesting that not a single attempt is made in the Bible to prove the existence of God. The narrative begins with the simple statement: “In the beginning God—,” and quotes King David, Divinely inspired psalmist, as saying “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.” With the Bible simply assuming the existence of the God proclaimed therein, it is perhaps presumptuous for a scientist or anyone else to attempt to use man-made systems of logic to prove or disprove His existence. Nevertheless, let me tell briefly how the science of organic chemistry influenced and strengthened my abiding belief in God.

We will admit that we must believe either in a supreme creative intelligence in Nature, or as the only alternative to this we must believe that the universe as we find it has come about as the result of chance, and chance alone. To one who has seen the marvelous complexity and yet the pervading order in organic chemistry—especially that in living systems —the idea of chance is repugnant in the extreme. The more one studies the science of molecular structure and interreaction, the more one is convinced of the necessity of a Planner and Designer of it all.

That has been my own experience. While laboring among the intricacies and infinitely minute particles of the labora­tory, I frequently have been overwhelmed by a sense of the infinite wisdom of God. So highly intricate are the organic and biochemical processes functioning in the animal organ­ism, that it is not surprising that malfunction and disease occasionally intervene. One is rather amazed that a mecha­nism of such intricacy could ever function properly at all. All this demands a Planner and Sustainer of infinite intelligence. As I continue my labors, my belief in God is progressively strengthened and the attitude of unbelieving colleagues, anywhere in the world, becomes more and more an inexpli­cable conundrum. The simplest man-made mechanism re­quires a planner and a maker. How a mechanism ten thou­sand times more involved and intricate can be conceived of as self-constructed and self-developed is completely beyond me.

Many scientists will probably admit the high probability of some creative intelligence in Nature, and yet the gap between this admission and a definite belief in the Christian God has been bridged by relatively few. It is the conviction of this writer that the bridging of this gap comes about, not by the processes of scientific method, but by the exercising of simple faith. Such faith will reveal God as the “Alpha and Omega,” not only of the “plan of salvation,” but also of the entire universe. It will reveal Him, in the words of Robert Grant‘s majestic hymn, as “our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend.”

Christian faith in a God who is both Creator and Redeemer is neither irrational nor subrational, but in a wider sense it is perhaps superrational—above and beyond the confines of man-made logic. Faith in this case must precede reason, for “He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”


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