Mind, Character and Personality/Working With Science
Information, Power, Goodness, and Character—True education does not ignore the value of scientific knowledge or literary acquirements; but above information it values power; above power, goodness; above intellectual acquirements, character. The world does not so much need men of great intellect as of noble character. It needs men in whom ability is controlled by steadfast principle.—Education, 225 (1903). God the Author of Science—God is the author of science. Scientific research opens to the mind vast fields of thought and information, enabling us to see God in His created works.
Ignorance may try to support skepticism by appealing to science; but instead of upholding skepticism, true science contributes fresh evidences of the wisdom and power of God. Rightly understood, science and the written word agree, and each sheds light on the other. Together they lead us to God by teaching us something of the wise and beneficent laws through which He works.—Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 426 (1913).
Religion and Science—True knowledge is divine. Satan insinuated into the minds of our first parents a desire for (p.740) a speculative knowledge, whereby he declared they would greatly improve their condition; but in order to gain this, they must take a course contrary to God’s holy will, for God would not lead them to the greatest heights. It was not God’s purpose that they should obtain knowledge that had its foundation in disobedience. This was a broad field into which Satan was seeking to lead Adam and Eve, and it is the same field that he opens for the world today by his temptations....
The great reason why so few of the world’s great men and those having a college education are led to obey the commandments of God is that they have separated education from religion, thinking that each should occupy a field by itself. God presented a field large enough to perfect the knowledge of all who should enter it. This knowledge was obtained under divine supervision; it was bound about with the immutable law of Jehovah, and the result would have been perfect blessedness.—Testimonies for the Church 5:503 (1889).
Science is Power—A knowledge of true science is power; and it is the purpose of God that this knowledge shall be taught in our schools as a preparation for the work that is to precede the closing scenes of this earth’s history.—Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 19 (1913).
Harmony of Science and Religion—The college at Battle Creek [the first SDA college] was established for the purpose of teaching the sciences and at the same time leading the students to the Saviour, whence all true knowledge flows. Education acquired without Bible religion is disrobed of its true brightness and glory.
I sought to impress upon the students the fact that our school is to take a higher position in an educational point of view than any other institution of learning, by opening before the young nobler views, aims, and objects in life and educating them to have a correct knowledge of human duty and eternal interests. The great object in the establishment of our college was to give correct views, showing the harmony of science and Bible religion.—Testimonies for the Church 4:274 (1879). (p.741) A Knowledge of Science Needed—Young men who desire to enter the field as ministers, colporteurs, or canvassers should first receive a suitable degree of mental training as well as a special preparation for their calling. Those who are uneducated, untrained, and unrefined are not prepared to enter a field in which the powerful influences of talent and education combat the truths of God’s Word. Neither can they successfully meet the strange forms of error, religious and philosophical combined, to expose which requires a knowledge of scientific as well as Scriptural truth.—Gospel Workers, 81 (1915).
The Most Important Science—While the knowledge of science is power, the knowledge that Jesus came in person to impart is still greater power. The science of salvation is the most important science to be learned in the preparatory school of earth. The wisdom of Solomon is desirable, but the wisdom of Christ is far more desirable and more essential. We cannot reach Christ through a mere intellectual training, but through Him we can reach the highest round of the ladder of intellectual greatness. While the pursuit of knowledge in art, in literature, and in trades should not be discouraged, the student should first secure an experimental knowledge of God and His will.—Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 19 (1913).
Christ Employed the Science of All True Science—Without employing any compulsion, without using any violence, He [Christ] blends the will of the human subject to the will of God. This is the science of all true science, for by it a mighty change is wrought in mind and character—the change that must be wrought in the life of every one who passes through the gates of the city of God.—Lt 155, 1902. (My Life Today, 340.)
Research Does Not Conflict With Revelation—God is the foundation of everything. All true science is in harmony with His works; all true education leads to obedience (p.742) to His government. Science opens new wonders to our view; she soars high and explores new depths, but she brings nothing from her research that conflicts with divine revelation.—The Signs of the Times, March 20, 1884. (The S.D.A. Bible Commentary 7:916.)
Science Cannot Search Out Divine Secrets—“The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever” (Deuteronomy 29:29). Just how God accomplished the work of creation He has never revealed to men; human science cannot search out the secrets of the Most High. His creative power is as incomprehensible as His existence.—Patriarchs and Prophets, 113 (1890).
The Bible Our Guide in Science—We are dependent on the Bible for a knowledge of the early history of our world, of the creation of man, and of his fall. Remove the Word of God, and what can we expect but to be left to fables and conjectures and to that enfeebling of the intellect which is the sure result of entertaining error.
We need the authentic history of the origin of the earth, of the fall of Lucifer, and of the introduction of sin into the world. Without the Bible, we should be bewildered by false theories. The mind would be subjected to the tyranny of superstition and falsehood. But, having in our possession an authentic history of the beginning of the world, we need not hamper ourselves with human conjectures and unreliable theories.
Wherever Christians are, they may hold communion with God. And they may enjoy the intelligence of sanctified science. Their minds may be strengthened, even as Daniel’s was. God gave him “knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom.” Among all the youth examined by Nebuchadnezzar, there “was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers (p.743) that were in all his realm” (Daniel 1:19, 20).—RH, Nov 10, 1904.
All Truth Consistent With Itself—These persons [who disbelieve the Genesis account] have lost the simplicity of faith. There should be a settled belief in the divine authority of God’s Holy Word. The Bible is not to be tested by men’s ideas of science. Human knowledge is an unreliable guide. Skeptics who read the Bible for the sake of caviling may, through an imperfect comprehension of either science or revelation, claim to find contradictions between them; but rightly understood, they are in perfect harmony. Moses wrote under the guidance of the Spirit of God, and a correct theory of geology will never claim discoveries that cannot be reconciled with his statements. All truth, whether in nature or in revelation, is consistent with itself in all its manifestations.—Patriarchs and Prophets, 114 (1890).
Some Points to Guard—We need to guard continually against the sophistry in regard to geology and other branches of science falsely so called, which have not one semblance of truth. The theories of great men need to be carefully sifted of the slightest trace of infidel suggestions. One tiny seed sown by teachers in our schools, if received by the students, will raise a harvest of unbelief. The Lord has given all the brilliancy of intellect that man possesses, and it should be devoted to His service.—The Review and Herald, March 1.1898. (The S.D.A. Bible Commentary 7:916.)
Appreciation of Science Vitalized by God’s Spirit—Knowledge is power, but it is a power for good only when united with true piety. It must be vitalized by the Spirit of God in order to serve the noblest purposes. The closer our connection with God, the more fully can we comprehend the value of true science; for the attributes of God, as seen in His created works, can be best appreciated by him who was a knowledge of the Creator of all things, the Author of all truth. Such can make the highest use of (p.744) knowledge, for when brought under the full control of the Spirit of God, their talents are rendered useful to the fullest extent.—Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 38 (1913).
The Handmaid of Religion—There must be schools established upon the principles and controlled by the precepts of God’s Word. Another spirit must be in our schools to animate and sanctify every branch of education. Divine cooperation must be fervently sought. And we shall not seek in vain.
The promises of God’s Word are ours. We may expect the presence of the Heavenly Teacher. We may see the Spirit of the Lord diffused as in the schools of the prophets and every object partake of a divine consecration. Science will then be, as she was to Daniel, the handmaid of religion; and every effort, from first to last, will tend to the salvation of man—soul, body, and spirit—and the glory of God through Christ.—The Signs of the Times, August 13, 1885. (Fundamentals of Christian Education, 99.)