Summer 2018

Great Science in Service of a Great God

By Jason Newell

Somewhere around 10 minutes into my first tour of Biola’s brand new Alton and Lydia Lim Center for Science, Technology and Health, I turned to a colleague and whispered, only half-jokingly, “I wish I could go back and be a science major.”

Based on the reviews from current and prospective students so far, I’m not alone in feeling inspired. It’s impossible to be anything less than impressed by the new facility, which we’re spotlighting in the cover package of this issue of Biola Magazine. Open since January, the Lim Center features dozens of laboratories, classrooms, offices and collaborative spaces, and is filled with more than $4 million worth of new technology and equipment. The design is bold, the views are stunning and the energy feels palpable as you walk through the space.

As you’ll see from our photo tour, the Lim Center is a building that will exponentially enhance the quality of science and health education that Biola students experience. It’s a building that will energize thousands of students to want to learn, inspect, experiment and research. It’s a building where friendships will be formed, professional connections will be established, ideas will be tested and discoveries will be made.

Most important, it’s a building where great science will be done in service of a great God.

The dedication plaque just outside the building’s main entrance includes the words of Psalm 111:2, known for centuries as “the research scientist’s psalm”: “Great are the works of the Lord; they are studied by all who delight in them.”

As underscored by this verse, ours is a faith that welcomes us to study God’s works — to ponder and delight in what he has done and is doing. Because we understand that God has revealed himself truthfully in both his written Word and through his created world, we can investigate creation without concern that science will contradict Scripture. Christianity lays out a welcome mat for science. Exploration is a form of worship. Science is a way of experiencing his common grace.

As Paul Ferguson, founding dean of the School of Science, Technology and Health, said at the building’s dedication in February, the Christian faith is characterized by a freedom of discovery — a recognition that the more we study creation, the better we can know our Creator.                                               

“It is that vision that we are embracing in the Alton and Lydia Lim Center for Science, Technology and Health,” Ferguson said. “That is the foundation of how ... we create a new generation of talented scientists who go into any lab or benchtop or bedside and bring the love of Christ to anybody they meet with a wonderful depth and a remarkable grace. That’s the vision of this remarkable center.”

So, enjoy the photo tour, and if you’re around La Mirada anytime soon, come by for an in-person visit. If that’s not possible, we’re also putting the finishing touches on a new video tour of the space, which you’ll be able to find on the school’s website at biola.edu/science.

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