In my paper, the following questions will be covered:
- How did the Reformation spark Scientific Revolution?
- How did the Christian Culture encourage Science?
- How to deal with the problems related Interpretation of Scripture?
- What are the various relationship models between Science and Scripture that emerged in history?
- How is the modern Science related to Scripture?
- What are the areas do we need reformation today?
REASON FOR THE START OF REFORMATION:
Johann Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press around 1448 had a significant impact on the spread of ideas pushing Europe headlong into the original information age – the period of Renaissance that lasted from the 14th to the 17th century. On March 1st, 1516, the first Greek New Testament was printed and published by a Dutch priest named Erasmus of Rotterdam. This influenced a young monk, Martin Luther. He understood that the Latin Vulgate of the Roman Catholic Church has been translated wrongly to support their sacramental system. The word Repent or change of heart given in Matthew 3:2 and 4:17 has been translated as “do penance”. The young monk was also troubled at the selling of indulgences and about the friar Tetzel selling it using the words: “As soon as a coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs.” So he penned his Ninety-Five Theses and nailed it to the church door at Wittenburgh on October 31st 1517, launching the Protestant Reformation. And the printing press helped in spreading his theses like a forest fire across Europe.
Luther found that for centuries, the teachings of the proper Word of God had been hidden upon tradition. So Reformation is all about pulling back the covers and releasing the power of the Word of God and the beauty and the truth of the gospel. Salvation is not a man-centered endeavor; rather it is radically God-centered view. That’s why Luther appealed to the five solas: Sola fide (by faith alone); sola scriptura ( by scripture alone); sola gratia (by grace alone); sola christus (by Christ alone) and solideo Gloria (glory to God alone). Before Luther many persons in history stood in his same shoes. Jeremiah 20:9 says, that when Jeremiah was persecuted for not speaking out the Word of God, he said, Your Word is like a fire in my bones. I cannot do anything but speak. In the first century, Paul stood against Judaizers and in the 4th century, Augustine stood against Pelagius. In Luther’s case, he had to stand against the whole governmental system. History says that Luther was so bold even when his life was on the line, he uttered at the Diet of Worms, a papal council, the eloquent words: “I CANNOT and will not retract anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. I cannot do otherwise. Here I stand, may God help me.” This little monk’s challenge to the Catholic Church’s teaching 500 years ago, not only fired Europe with radical thinking; it also sparked the scientific revolution. This is because reformation made the Scripture to be available to everyone and that made people to rethink their relationship with God and to rethink their position in the universe. The spirit of inquiry needed for science was sparked due to Reformation.
REFORMATION SPARKED SCIENCE?
How did that happen? In his booklet, Christ and Science, Fr. Stanley L. Jaki, a Benedictine priest, monk, and physicist, has given four reasons for the unique birth of modern science in Christian Western Europe. First, the Christian belief in the Creator provided a foundation-stone for thinking about nature. Only a truly transcendental Creator could be powerful enough to create a nature that incorporated autonomous laws without the Creator’s power over nature being diminished. Second, it put all material beings on the same level. There could be no divine bodies in the Christian cosmos (unlike the Greek cosmos). Third, humankind was created in the image of God, with a rationality that somehow shared in God’s own rationality. Fourth, humankind, created by God, cannot dictate to nature what it should be. Indeed, the rise of the experimental method owes much to this Christian matrix. The noted conservative thinker Russell Kirk stated, “Modern science, as Father Jaki points out, rose from the natural theology of medieval Christian learning—a fact that philosophes and positivists sedulously ignore.”
Modern Science was born in Christianized Europe because the Christian culture emphasized ideas that were hospitable to science. The Pantheistic or animistic culture did not have belief in a personal, rational, absolutely transcendent Lawgiver, or Creator. Their cosmologies reflected a cyclical view of nature and time (Reincarnation) that caught them in an endless treadmill. Some viewed the universe as god. Some viewed the universe as a god-like animal. They all viewed the cosmos as eternal and cyclical. The scientific quest found fertile soil only when faith in a personal, rational Creator had truly permeated a whole culture. The understanding that Creator is neither the universe nor the part of the universe but who exists beyond time and this unseen God has imprinted his nature on the creation, made many to explore nature to gain an understanding of the nature and the purpose of God.
This idea that God has given us “two books” Scripture and Nature gave additional impetus to the study of nature. The creation story in the first chapter of Genesis brings out the fundamental theme that God imposes order, regularity, rationality, and beauty upon nature, which is capable of being uncovered by humanity, which had in turn been created “in the image and likeness of God.” This was the reason for the emergence of modern science and the vast majority of major scientists were Christians who saw themselves as studying God’s handiwork in nature. They believed that the intricate workings of nature, which they were continually learning about, were evidence of the existence of God. The unique story of a Sovereign, rational and transcendent God became a unique source of inspiration. Scientists like Kepler sang along with Psalmist as they saw the creation unfolding; as in Psalm 8: O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth You have set your glory above the heavens. When I consider the heavens, the work of your fingers; the moon and the stars which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him; the son of man that you care for him. You made him ruler over the works of your hands …
Where from the Conflict Model arose?
However, many might have heard the phrase that Bible is against scientific facts or science disproves religion in most of western media portrayal. A five year study by the Barna Group explores the opportunities and challenges of faith development in teens and young adults within a rapidly shifting culture, the research uncovered six significant themes on why nearly three out of every five young Christians (59%) disconnect either permanently or for an extended period of time from church life after the age of 15. Kinnaman, the President of the Barna group, gave the findings of the research in his book, You Lost Me: Why Young Christians are Leaving Church and Rethinking Faith. The third reason for this kind of disconnect he says, is anti- Science. Young adults feel disconnected from the church as the church is out of step with scientific developments and/or is antagonistic towards science. Furthermore, the research shows that many scientifically inclined young Christians are struggling to find ways to stay faithful to their beliefs and to their professional calling in scientific industries. The origin of this warfare model is from Andrew Dickson White’s book, “History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom”. Most of such portrayals will point their fingers to the Galileo affair that happened during the period of Reformation.
Galileo and the Paradigm shift from Geo-centricity to Heliocentricity:
Space is quite close to infinity and it inspires awe and wonder. So from the ancient days, most of the philosophers spent lot of time in understanding space. Aristotle thought that the skies are the locus of eternity. From the early middle ages, the model of the universe devised by Ptolemy, was accepted that said that each planet, including the sun and moon, orbits on a small circle, whose center orbits the Earth on a bigger circle. Earth is the centre of everything; the geocentric view. During the sixteenth century, when the paradigm shift from the geocentric model of the solar system to the heliocentric model, the model that depicts the sun as the centre, with the earth along with the other planets orbiting around it, took place, the church could not adjust to that new thinking because of its Biblical interpretation problem. This radical shift in thinking referred to as “the Copernican revolution,” was due to three individuals. The first is Nicholas Copernicus, a Polish priest put forward this theory. Noone knows still now how Copernicus came to this understanding with no telescopes? His famous book De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres), on the heliocentric theory was published just before his death by paralytic attack in 1543. When it was published it was immediately prohibited for public viewing. In the meanwhile, the Danish scholar Tycho Brahe got an observatory on an island near Copenhagen, as a gift from the king of Denmark and he carried out a series of precise observations on planetary motion. These observations helped Kepler who was working under Brahe to form the modified model of the solar system and to frame his three laws. However, Kepler was not that good in writing his views. In 1600, Bruno who supported heliocentric model and also the multi world hypothesis, was burnt at the stake for his heretical ideas and to stop spreading such ideas that challenges the catholic church. After around ten years, Galileo from Italy built his own telescope. He was so fascinated by what he saw that he looked again and again and again and again; he saw the same moon that everybody sees but he saw the moon with craters and mountains like earth. Then he turned his telescope to the sun, He saw sunspots on an imperfect sun. Then he turned the telescope to the planet, Jupiter, and there he saw tiny dots of light moving back and forth around the planet and found that these were the four moons and, in fact they are called today as the Galilean satellites. Galileo also could see many more stars of the Milky Way through the telescope. So, when Galileo looked through the telescope and saw all these different things, the imperfect moon, the moons of Jupiter, and sunspots on the sun, the crescent of Venus, the new stars, it changed him and the world forever. Because it convinced him without any doubt that both Aristotle and Ptolemy were wrong and what to do in such a situation like this, when you take a casual look at the heavens and suddenly you see that 2500 years of thought by the best thinkers and greatest philosophers in the world is completely wrong. He did what you and me would have done. He expressed his views and defended the heliocentric view by appealing to the views of St Augustine, and by appealing to the distinction between literal and metaphorical uses of language in the Bible. Galileo was called to the Vatican to answer charges about his views and was put on trial by the church in 1616. Since, the Pope was also the civil ruler of the Papal states in which Galileo lived, the catholic church went ahead with the declaration at the council of Trent in 1546, where only the pope and the bishops had the final say in matters of faith and Biblical interpretation. Finally the Vatican Congregation officially declared that the heliocentric view was false as it was contrary to Scripture. Pope Paul V accepted this recommendation. However it was not contrary to the Scripture.
Problems with Interpretation of Scriptures:
The interpretation of Scripture is only the business of the church and its theologians during the period of Reformation. The question of authority and right to interpret Scripture was a central one for the early Orthodox Catholic Church in that period. The Church had been interpreting the Bible in the light of geocentric assumptions that prevailed during that period. Joshua 10:12-13 says: Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. For the ancients, these verses refer to the movement of the sun around the earth, while the earth sits still without moving. But if we read Joshua carefully, we can notice, “in the sight of Israel.” Joshua is saying that from the perspective of the people on Earth, looking up into the sky, the sun looks like it stopped its movement.
Many centuries before, St. Augustine stressed in his commentary on Genesis, that since certain passages were genuinely open to diverse interpretations; it is important to allow further scientific research to assist in the determination of which was the most appropriate mode of interpretation for a given passage. He also said that in matters that are so obscure and far beyond our vision, we should not rush in headlong and so firmly take our stand on one side that. When the Bible is to be interpreted, we should interpret it in terms of cultural context and allow other passages of Bible to interpret the passage we are trying to interpret. It must also be borne in mind that God “adjusts” to the capacities of the human mind and heart and has to come down to our level if revelation is to take place. Revelation thus presents a scaled-down version of God to us, in order to meet our limited abilities. The author of Genesis, should teach the unlearned and primitive, as well as the learned.
Galileo’s attempt to interpret Scripture met with resistance and even a book written by Foscarini, a theologian who wrote an interpretation of the Holy Scriptures according to the heliocentric theory, was banned. However in 1631, Galileo published his famous book Dialogue concerning the two chief world systems, that caused quite a stir. The book debated the merits of the heliocentric theory versus the Ptolemaic theory, with the argument favoring the heliocentric position. This led to a new trial in 1633, concerning whether Galileo had violated the earlier injunction not to promote the heliocentric theory. At that time pope Urban VIII was under pressure within the Vatican and this political reality contributed to the church taking a hard line on Galileo. He was found guilty and sentenced to house arrest for the rest of his life. Galileo became the poster child for the conflict model of the relationship between religion and science. This affair gave the Catholic Church a bad name and falsely showed that religion and science cannot work together.
One can see from the ancient days onwards till now, this twin thread of Science and religion had various types of relationships among themselves. They were unified in an indistinguishable way during the ancient days, and then they seemed to fall apart and were treated like enemies and so for some time they were running on parallel courses and now again due to the latest technological advances, the threads seem to come to back to its correct trajectory of unification. Based on the above history of the relationship between science and religion, Ian Barbour1, and later John Haught2, suggested four models of relationship between science and religion: Conflict, Independent (contrast), Dialogue (contact) and Integration (confirmation). Unlike the conflict and integration model, the dialogue model encourages rich dialogue between the two disciplines to bring in a point of contact where healthy arguments and disagreements can happen. The independent model states that both Science and Religion can be true, if they are kept restricted to their separate domains. Since science tells us how and religion tells us why, both can be compartmentalized and should not be interchanged in their functions. MikaelStenmark in his book, How to relate science and religion: A multidimensional Model, calls them as religious or scientific restrictionists. He also speaks of scientific expansionists who argue that the boundaries of science can and should be expanded in such a way that something that has not been understood as science can now become a part of science; and religious expansionists who maintain that the boundaries of religion could and should be expanded in such a way that religion in some way become an important element of scientific enterprise.Stenmark rejects the independent model that everything we can learn from in one area of life from another area that can improve our cognitive performance ought to be taken into consideration by rational people. This is because this model is unable to explain the boundaries crossed by Science into the ‘why’ area normally ruled by religion.
In my view, the integration model is the best approach as it allows a positive partnership between Science and Religion such that the knowledge and unique perspective of each can correct and enhance the other. Gregory S. Cootsona (author of Creation and Last Things: At the Intersection of Theology and Science) points out that the integration of science and religion is the best approach, as there is much that can be learned through this exchange. For many complex ethical questions and topics, we need all the knowledge and wisdom that both science and religion can bring to the table, especially when seeking out God’s truth. I strongly believe that if God is the author of Scripture, and also of nature, there must ultimately be a harmony between the correct interpretation of the Scriptural data and the correct interpretation of the scientific data of nature.
An era of Determinism: The Conflict Model?
Sir Isaac Newton, finally completed the revolution started by Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo, allowing us to understand why planets move as they do. Newton was a very strong Christian and one of the most influential scientists and Mathematician who wrote the famous book called principia Mathematica. He found that the same principles which govern the motion of bodies on earth can also be shown to govern the movements of the planets. The same gravitational force which attracted the apple to the earth could, in Newton’s view, operate between the sun and the planets. His three laws of motion and his demonstration of the
1Ian G. Barbour,When Science Meets Religion, Harper San Fransisco, New York, 2000, 11-17 2John F. Haught, Science and Religion: From Conflict to Conversation, Paulist Press, New York, Mahwah, NJ, 1995, 10 mechanics of the solar system that the poet Alexander Pope was moved to write the following lines as Newton’s epitaph: Nature and Nature’s Law lay hid in Night. God said, let Newton be, and all was Light. Newton used God for all the phenomena he did not understand that made the scientists who came after him to say that they found the phenomena and removed God from the equation. A hundred years after Newton came, Laplace, a French mathematician, who derived from Newtons mechanics a deterministic world with the causal closure that rules out any external influence including God or free will. When Laplace wrote Celestial Mechanics, that describes the motions of the planets and comets in the solar system, he gave Napoleon a copy of it. Napoleon got astonished after reading as he could not figure out God in that manuscript. The story goes that Laplace’s reverts back to Napoleon saying: “Sir, I have no need for that hypothesis.” There was a radical change in the relationship between science and theology. From the “God behind” concept of Newton, Aquinas and others, it became “God banished” concept that abandons talk of God’s acting in the physical world and this strategy is adopted by atheism. Also another concept sprang up, which is “God before”, called Deism. In this model, God is described as the first cause of everything, the one who started the universe going with its fixed laws and initial conditions but stands back with no involvement with, His universe.
When scientists were trying to defend a deterministic mechanistic view of universe, Calvin and his successors were following a deterministic view of religion called as Predestination that all events are preplanned by God and there is no free will or freedom involved. Armenians are those, who strictly defend the free will theology and oppose predestination.
Another Paradigm shift: Determinism to Randomness:
But this deterministic world view was challenged by the twentieth century when in 1905, Albert Einstein finally unlocked the mystery of the medium where electromagnetic waves travel, by his discovery of special relativity. Just in five years gap, there was another spectacular discovery by Max Planck that light is light can act both as particle and wave. This puzzle called wave particle duality seemed absurd because when waves are continuous, particles are point like. How can light be both wave and particle? Louis de Broglie guessed if light can act like particles, particles like electrons can act like waves. All these led to the development of quantum theory by few brilliant physicists like Neils Bohr, Heisenberg, Schrodinger, Born, Pauli etc. Modern Physics is based on two big pillars, the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. The first describe the macro cosmos and the second the micro cosmos. With relativity we witnessed a revolution in the concept of space and time Mass, Energy & Time are relative—Relativity theory. Measurements of mass, time, even length and width, are NOT constant, but in reality relative to the velocity of the observer. Newton’s deterministic universe, where every effect has a specific cause and each distinct cause produces one distinct effect, is no more valid. This blew a death knell to determinism and also to naturalism. Because of quantum theory the universe came to be seen as a strange, realm of imprecision and unpredictability in which paradoxes became the norm and intelligibility was, questionable. For, Einstein who said that the most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible,” this became a very difficult matter to digest. So he said in his famous Einstein Bohr dialogue, I am convinced that God does not play dice.” For which Stephen Hawking recently responded, “Not only does God definitely play dice, but He sometimes confuses us by throwing them where they can’t be seen.”
The Mysterious Universe:
Quantum physics has very unusual weird phenomena. I have listed out a few. Even after so many years of the origin of quantum theory, the mystery and the inconsistency of wave particle duality (sometimes light demonstrates the characteristics of a wave and sometimes a particle), still remains to be sorted out. Then comes the weird observer effect, because of Copenhagen interpretation, whether a beam of light or an electron in an atom is, in reality, a particle or a wave depends, literally, upon how you look at it! Heisenberg Uncertainty Phenomenon: If velocity is known location will be unknown and vice versa. Due to this, while classical physics can calculate what actually happens, quantum theory can only calculate the relative probability of various things happening leading to many conclusions. Then again we have this curious phenomenon called as Quantum entanglement. It occurs when two particles remain connected, even over large distances, in such a way that actions performed on one particle have an effect on the other. For instance, when two electrons become entangled, they are perfectly correlated, and the effect is instantaneous, even if the other electron is in a rocket at the other end of the galaxy; this possibility upset Einstein so much so that he discounted this as “spooky action.” Recently this was proved, through an experiment called Loophole-free Bell test, the ultimate test against Einstein’s worldview.
To show the superposition principle, Erwin Shrondinger proposed a thought experiment, that a cat be placed in a sealed box along with a device containing a vial of hydrocyanic acid, a radioactive substance. If even a single atom of the substance decays, a relay mechanism will trip a hammer which will in turn break the vial and kill the cat. The release of the poison is then subject to the probabilistic decay of a radioactive isotope. If the isotope decays, the poison is released. If no decay occurs, the poison is not released. The result is that the cat is in a superposition of states between being dead, and being alive.
Earlier atheists who discounted the intervention of God in this world like miracles, now are confused. The science and God relationship has gone from enemies to partners. The various paradoxes in Christianity, like Transcendence and Immanence, God’s Sovereignty and man’s responsibility and the dual nature of Jesus, the hypostatic union can draw a parallel with the scientific paradoxes. The latest cosmological evidences points to the fact that there will be many things in nature that can never be known (Deut 29:29). Cosmologists are breaking their head over the event that happened between the original singularity called big bang and the Plank time. After the Planck time, the initial glow from the early universe can be detected through the relic microwave radiation. Noone knew who or how the big bang event started and how the matter came out exactly from energy and who set the critical expansion rate of the universe and the reason for the fine tuning of the laws and constants. Stephen Hawking, one of the greatest scientists alive today, says why the universe started on with nearly the critical rate of expansion that even now 10 billion years later it is still expanding at nearly the precise critical rate. If the rate of expansion one second after the big bang have been smaller by 1 part in 1 quintillion, the universe would have recollapsed before it ever reached the present state. Then he goes on to say this even if there is only one possible unified theory it would still be a set of rules and equations, what is it that breathes fire into these equations and makes a universe. This brings the question of the meaning of life into picture. He continues, “Ïf we find the answer to that question why we and the whole of universe exists it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason; then we can know the mind of God.”
The DNA in our cells contains the complete instruction manual of how to build and maintain us. It is an unimaginably complex, encoded system of information storage, averaging around 3.1 billion bits of data. DNA is not a complexity that is born out of randomness, but it is a complexity that is highly sophisticated and ordered. In fact, the complexity of DNA transcends the realm of science and ushers us into the realm of the miraculous. Francis Crick who cracked the code of DNA by finding the incredibly ordered appearance of the Double Helix form of DNA and got the Nobel prize was asked the question, where do you think it all came from? How did the first life start? He brought out a ridiculous theory: Panspermia theory – A spaceship from another planet brought some spores to seed the earth and here we are. The theory of aliens or supreme beings sending life on our planet only moves the question of a intelligent engineer or creator back one step without answering the question at all. Sir Frederick Hoyle the great astronomer, and Chandra Wickramasinghe, came up with “the mathematical probability that all the functional proteins necessary for life, forming in one place by random events, as one part in ten to the 40,000 zeros”. Darwin’s theory is beyond ridiculous as even if the universe was around 13 billion years, the complexity of the DNA could not have formed by random chance. The Bible says God spoke all things into existence. “In the beginning God made heaven and earth.. That is why Francis Bacon says, “A little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion.”. Science in fact points to God.
Recently when I went to NASA’s Goddard space centre near Washington DC, I the giant mirrors of the space telescopes amazed me. These telescopes send dazzling array of images that is breathtakingly beautiful, revealing around 3000 galaxies too distant to be detected by others. These telescopes penetrate far into the vastness of outer space, showing that there is more beyond- much. Take the case of our own galaxy, the milky ways; to travel from one end of the galaxy to the other end, it takes around 100000 light years, ie. 100000 years if we travel at the speed of light, which is 186000 miles per second. Such wonders also indirectly keep us very humble as it proves beyond measure that we are just a speck and a tiny dust in the universal scheme of things. When a group of astrophysicists attempted the impossible, to calculate the span of the universe, they discovered that the visible universe stretched out at least to a radius of 78 billion light-years. Now, try and wrap your mind around how vast our universe is. This explains why on the way home, Neil Armstrong said on Apollo 11, “It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.”
In this Christmas season, I would like to says that the greatest and unfathomable mystery is the almighty God coming down in the form of a helpless child which the human mind cannot comprehend. How can we span the distance between the mighty God and a helpless child? This child, Jesus Christ faced the Cross on a hill called Calvary to bridge this gap the gap of separation between God and man.
Is Reformation still relevant today? Absolutely! The Reformation had to continue. The Church is very much in need of reform. God is calling us to a new reality that better reflects who God is and how much God loves this broken world. What are the things that need to be reformed in our church today? What do we need to stop doing? What do we need to start doing? I think we are on the edge of another Reformation. At this juncture, it is worth to remember the Anabaptists, or re baptizers, who were one among the various sects that broke out after the reformation. They were characterized historically by a love for the Word of God, and by a strict demand for holiness of life. They were persecuted for their beliefs and thousands of them were beheaded or drowned. One of the written account says:
No human being was able to take away out of their hearts what they had experienced, such zealous lovers of God were they. The fire of God burned within them. They would die the bitterest death, yea, they would die ten deaths rather than forsake the divine truth which they had espoused…. They had drunk of the waters which had flowed from God’s sanctuary, yea, the water of life. ….. Therefore they bore all torture and agony without fear. The things of this world they counted in their holy mind only as shadows, having the assurance of greater things. They were so drawn unto God that they knew nothing, sought nothing, desired nothing, loved nothing but God alone. Therefore they had more patience in their suffering than their enemies in tormenting them. . . The persecutors thought they could dampen and extinguish the fire of God. But the prisoners sang in their prisons and rejoiced so that the enemies outside became much more fearful than the prisoners and did not know what to do with them….
Finally I would like to end with a few thoughts:
If we look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, we will never reduce Christianity to utilitarianism nor will treat it as the means to the end. The chief end of all man is to glorify God. Nothing can come closer to the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross. We, as the church in the 21st century, need to recapture a sense of the grandeur of God—how vast and awesome He is. We need a biblical view of His glory. We need a biblical view of God’s sovereignty and His greatness. The church should wake up and embrace the mighty weapon of prayer (Is 52:1).
Jesus prayed, “Father may they be one as you and I are one.” A world in conflict needs a church united, and a world in confusion requires a church without division. Times of uncertainty require a church of hope and unity. 3. The late F. F. Bruce said regarding the healing of a cripple by Peter and John in Acts 3:4–6. According to Cornelius a Lapide, Thomas Aquinas once called on Pope Innocent II when the latter was counting out a large sum of money. “You see, Thomas,” said the Pope, “the church can no longer say, ‘Silver and gold have I none.’” “True, holy father,” was the reply; “neither can she now say, ‘Rise and walk.’” The ministry of the Gospel is not a ministry of words. It is the ministry of power; the power of the Lord Jesus and giving all the glory to Him alone. Christ is longing to share His power with His people. Though miracles and healing are not the main reason for preaching, when we minister and preach, Jesus said all these things will follow. Might be our secret time with the Lord is less. When we minister with Him, we are empowered by Him. When the Holy Spirit comes upon us in power, we do military invasion into the places takes over by enemy. Why many of the ministries are powerless? It has no impact on the world because the world is more into them. They can’t fight the devil anymore. 4. At an important time such as this, we should be swept up into the great redemptive drama that God is enacting on the stage of this planet, for reclaiming the world. That God’s call is both for both men and women. We cannot use again the same interpretation problem with reference to verses regarding head covering, women preaching and put God in a box. God needs both men and women. God’s agenda should become our agenda. His agenda is very clear, first and foremost, reaching out to a lost and dying world, with an one and only message that can transform someone’s eternity. A mission so clear that Jesus spelt it out 2000 years before, called the great commission (Matthew 28:18-20). Martin Luther got a chiros moment and he did something remarkable, something life changing, and world altering. Nothing is more critical than to recognize and respond to such a moment and might be this is our Chiros moment. Christ is the transformer of Culture and He needs transformed lives through which He can make history. The world is in need of the one transformed man or woman who can come to the center stage and become the tip of the arrow that God can use to transform culture, to change the course of history. The challenge is put before us. It is our choice to respond to that call and that will determine our destiny. Many times when we try to lead a safe life, we will never lead a significant life.