And then I wrote: As I have mentioned, in 2009 the Redemptorist Press invited me to write a series of reflections on issues of religion and science for the Sunday bulletins that are distributed in churches throughout the United Kingdom.
As it happens, the days of the week in 2009 match those of 2020 (after this year's leap day) and the liturgical calendar also matches; thus, both in 2009 and 2020, the 19th Sunday of Ordinary Time falls on 9 August. Here's what I wrote for that reflection:
As a religious scientist, I am often asked about miracles: does God suspend the laws of nature if we ask? This is related to a larger issue theologians have pondered for centuries: how does God act in the Universe? If the world obeys the laws of science (presumably, set in place by the Creator), and God obeys his own laws, then how can God change the inevitable? For that matter, if all we know can be reduced to chemical reactions in our brains, subject to the laws of cause and effect, how can there be any human freedom?
The ways theologians have answered these questions can be complex and subtle. But there are some basic starting points…
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