Annnnnddddddd we’re back with another Women of Faith interview. I was lucky enough to interview one of my absolute favourite people in the world. I got to ask some questions to Cinderella (Yes, that’s her real name!) about faith and science!
Cinderella (or Cindy) is currently doing an integrated PhD in Cancer Sciences. She is currently working on finding better ways to help the immune system differentiate between healthy and tumour cells, to potentially improve treatments for multiple myeloma. SO EXCITING! I know someone working on cancer research! Let’s pray that everyone in this field grow in wisdom and is not motivated by money but the love of people!
What does a woman of faith mean to you?
Cindy: To me, a woman of faith is someone who knows and is confident about her worth in Christ. Her identity does not lie in the fact that God gave her two X chromosomes, but in the fact that God loves her enough to lay His life down as a ransom for her. She is well aware of her weaknesses and her strengths, but she doesn’t pride in them or let them define her – instead she keeps her eyes fixed on Jesus, and strives to live for His glory alone.
When have you struggled with faith?
Cindy: My faith struggled greatly when I was doing my A-Levels. I was pressured to apply for Medicine when I had no interest in it. I argued with my family, hoping to change their mind. As my efforts proved futile, I grew bitter towards God for not helping me and decided to secretly apply to the course I wanted, Medical Genetics.
As a new Christian, my idea of faith was flawed – God was a genie to me, I wanted Him to grant my wishes when and how I wanted it. I did not understand how God worked.
I didn’t trust Him enough to surrender my future into His hands – even if it was Medicine He had for me, I should have trusted His judgement over mine.
I didn’t trust Him enough to know that no matter what anybody says or does, He will take me where He wants me to be.
However the beauty in my broken story, is the fact that despite the bitterness, pain and hurt I inflicted upon myself and others around me, God made my Medical Genetics dream, a reality. My faith still shakes amidst uncertainty but God has used that experience to remind me that my God is big, He knows best and that I need not strive with man for what God has in store for me. Even if He gives me something I didn’t want or expect, I can rest assured that it is for my good and His glory.
Being a scientist, do you find science and faith incompatible?
Cindy: Absolutely not! Romans 1:20 says, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” No one can deny the fact that our universe is amazing, from the stars in the sky to the bases in our DNA, it is all just so mind-blowingly amazing! Science helps us understand how these amazing, yet diverse systems work.
The more we understand the universe, the more we stand in admiration of God.
Many scientific pioneers, like Sir. Isaac Newton and Gregor Mendel, were Christians. They believed in a Creator God, hence expected the world to be governed by laws. Even today, there are plenty of Christian scientists, to name a couple: John Lennox, Francis Collins.
The debates and misconceptions arise when people often confuse science with naturalism. Theology and Science are compatible as they deal with different questions, as someone once said, theology deals with the ‘why?’ and science, the ‘how?’. Theology and naturalism however, are incompatible – both address the ‘why?’, but in VERY different ways. One looks to God while the other looks to material things. For example, when we speak of the origin of the universe – a theist would attribute the big bang to God, while a naturalist would attribute it to chance. I would argue that both parties agree on the science behind the big bang (which I know little about!), and even the randomness of the event. What they do not agree on, is the source of the event and the randomness. A similar logic can be used to reason the other supposedly controversial theories around.
I am not going to tell you how to marry your science with your faith, that is entirely up to you. However, I would like to highlight the fact that the church is scientifically diverse, from young earth creationists to theistic evolutionists, the church has them all, and we can all agree on the fact that God created this amazing world we live in. If this is something you would like to look more into, there are plenty of resources available to help.
How can we live empowered as women of faith?
Cindy: First, know God and His Word. The more we get to know Him, the more we learn about ourselves. The more we know what His word says, the more we will be able to resist and flee from temptation. Eve was tempted because she didn’t really know God’s word – He said, ‘don’t eat the fruit’, but she heard, ‘don’t touch the fruit’. When you don’t know His word properly, anyone can sow seeds and doubt and lead you astray. On the contrary, when Jesus was tempted by Satan for 40 days, He did not fall because He knew His Word!
Second, be a part of an honest and healthy community. Accountability is important, so is fellowship with other believers who can encourage and sharpen you.
Who is your sHero?
Cindy: There are so many to choose from and they are all amazing! If I were to pick, I would pick Mary, the mother of Jesus. She was unprepared in every sense of the word, when God called her to bear the Saviour of the world. Yet, despite knowing her frailty, she was willing and obedient. I also find it fascinating that her calling was so counter-cultural. As a virgin bearing a child out of wedlock, she pushed the boundaries set by the culture and the laws at the time. God often calls us to break out of the boundaries set by our society, culture or background. He often calls us into a role that we feel totally unqualified to fulfil. Mary’s willing heart and brave obedience reminds me to step into my calling with courage, faith and total trust in God.