Document Type

Working Paper


I have been blessed with enough of a sense of adventure to have experienced the awe-inspiring beauty of a rain forest at night, the top of Half Dome at Yosemite National Park, the sheer cliffs and rushing waters of the Narrows at Zion National Park, Plateau Point—which seems suspended in the Grand Canyon, and the top of a 14,000-foot peak in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. These are the types of places about which one of the characters in Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance observes, “This is the hardest stuff in the world to photograph. You need a three-hundred-and-sixty-degree lens, or something.”[1] Just as the aesthetic experience of nature requires active participation within it and cannot be captured in the boundaries of a photograph, in order to truly understand the context of any academic discipline one must look up periodically from the reading, writing, bench, or field and take in this kind of global view. While I cannot lay claim to actual or intellectual lenses with perfect, 360-degree power, what follows is my attempt to evaluate the traditional borders and restrictions of the fields of Microbiology and Immunology through the globally relevant lens of Scripture, and to present an integrated portrait of how one might move Christianly within these fields; this practice of focusing Scripture’s lens on one’s discipline should be a defining characteristic of any Christian scholar.

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