A Science-Fiction Sampler

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Matthew Menning


The Fox network's popular television drama, "The X-Files," is concerned with the quest of two FBI agents for the truth in the face of the apparently unexplainable. In a recent episode, Agent Scully, the team's skeptic, struggled with terminal cancer. Lying on her hospital bed, she spoke with her partner about her illness. As an adult, she said, she put her faith in science and her desire for truth. When science and logic failed to explain a mystery, she was willing to entertain the possibility of anything from alien contact to government conspiracy. Not until cancer brought her close to death did she reconsider faith in a God who is present in this world and who offers strength to those in need. For Agent Scully, accepting the presence of a God she could not explain and did not understand required more courage than battles with terrorists or alien abduction. Scully risked her objectivity and discovered a peace and potency that enabled her to endure her cancer until she was healed.

Agent Scully's dilemma is not unfamiliar. Since the Renaissance, scientists have astounded us with their discoveries. That which was unexplainable has become increasingly mundane. Humans have walked on the moon, come to understand the workings of subatomic particles and discovered the secrets of heating food using microwaves . Most of us do not understand the science behind these marvels, but accept the fact that scientists do, and could explain them to us if we wished to learn. For many of us, it has become increasingly difficult to believe that there is anything science cannot explain, given time and resources . The inexplicable is anathema to our society, and it seems that we are forced to choose between our faith in science and our faith in a God whose existence scientific method cannot prove.

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Menning, M. (1997). A Science-Fiction Sampler. Reformed Review, 51(2). Retrieved from https://repository.westernsem.edu/pkp/index.php/rr/article/view/1342