If you believe the media, “anti-science” Christian beliefs are holding back much-needed progress in the medical world.
But one Christian researcher is carrying out ground-breaking work in developing a coronavirus vaccine.
And he credits God, prayer, and scripture with the record speed at which things are moving.
Dr. Francis Collins is a geneticist known all over the world for his work on the Human Genome Project.
But he’s also well-established as a person of faith within the medical community.
In fact, Dr. Collins was recently awarded the Templeton Prize, a prestigious award for researchers who study faith in conjunction with science.
“I have been very outspoken about the harmony that I see between science and faith,” Dr. Collins explains.
He’s adamant that faith is “complementary” to science and admits that his intense interest in science may have led him to faith as a young man.
“Faith…does not involve proof, but there’s certainly plenty of rational arguments to support the belief in a creator god,” he said.
“That’s where I found myself at age 27 when I was trying to prove my atheism and discovered that atheism is probably the least rational of all the choices, because it takes the position of asserting a universal negative, which scientists…are discouraged from doing.”
Ever since his conversion as a young man, Dr. Collins has spent his career pursuing research that glorifies God – and that dedication has never been more needed than right now.
As the current director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)—the agency responsible for most of the health research conducted in the United States—Dr. Collins was called upon to join the White House Coronavirus Taskforce in May 2020.
The Trump administration knew that such a gifted geneticist could undoubtedly contribute to the development for a coronavirus vaccine.
Dr. Collins jumped right in and has already made astounding progress, but he regularly reminds his fellow researchers that the urgent situation calls for hard work each day.
“Everything matters. I’ve never felt the same sense of urgency in 27 years at NIH than I do right now,” he admitted.
“One feels that even one little mistake could cost a day, might have a real consequence in a few more months in terms of somebody’s life.”
“We have to press on with every kind of energy, collaborative potential, and intelligence and creativity that we can, and not make mistakes…that’s why I’m getting up at 3:30 [each day],” he added wryly.
But even more than hard work, Dr. Collins is convinced that this health crisis—and the weight it places on researchers and physicians—calls for strong faith and daily reliance on the grace of God.
“If we miss the opportunity to identify an effective treatment, or if our vaccines end up being badly chosen…people are going to lose their lives to that.”
“And that does weigh upon me and I do many times have to ask God for some help,” he said.
“Prayer really has helped me a lot…reading those Psalms, realizing this is not the first time humanity has been faced with a plague.”
Dr. Collins points out that Christians and non-Christians alike can take encouragement from God’s faithfulness to humanity throughout history.
“I was unprepared for a virus that could infect people without any symptoms and have them be highly infectious. That’s new,” he admitted.
“[But] I shouldn’t imagine that [the COVID-19 pandemic] is so exceptional that nobody else has ever experienced anything like it before.”
“I know [God] suffers along with all those who are suffering from this virus,” he said. “We will get through this, we will figure it out.”
“But the sooner we get there, the better that will be.”
Dr. Collins is confident that, by God’s power, he and his team can successfully develop a coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year.
“We are doing everything humanly possible to get that vaccine out there,” he said.
“With all of the teams that are assembled right now and their willingness to do whatever it takes to make this happen, and with God’s grace, [we can do it].”
Please pray for Dr. Collins and his team as they work around the clock to develop a successful vaccine and glorify God in their work. They need spiritual support in this battle!