“Science versus Christianity.” Now if there was ever an expression to make me wince, that would be it. Not only do a I believe it is incorrect to suggest there is a conflict, it is also dangerous. Consider how children today grow up surrounded by the benefits of science and immersion in the teaching of science. Do we really expect people to unlearn all their science classes to come to Jesus? And should we anyway? Why do we think there is conflict between science and the Christian faith? Consider the following:
Science minded people sometimes give the appearance of a fight by not “getting” what Christianity teaches. Some religions of the past have invoked gods to explain the unexplainable. And so when it rains it is seen as a god sneezing or something like that. As science progresses and we realize how evaporation and condensation works, to have faith in such a sneezy god makes no sense. And so some think that as science progresses, all religions will eventually be rendered silly. However, Christianity does not work that way. We do not think of God as the one who makes rain and sends it down, we think of him as the One who created the cycles of evaporation and condensation and all that such cycles need in the first place. He is not the “God of the gaps” but the “God of the whole show” as John Lennox has famously said.
Christians can sometimes give the appearance of a fight by not “getting” what the Bible teaches. Too “wooden” a view of scripture can cause us to defend propositions that we never should have held in the first place, never mind defending with a fight.
We forget that both the Bible and science are sources of truth. As we read in Psalm 19:1-2 (NRSV)
1 The heavens are telling the glory of God;
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
2 Day to day pours forth speech,
and night to night declares knowledge.
Yes, truth can be found beyond the Bible. In our family we have experienced the truth that insulin can keep a type 1 diabetic child alive, and that chemotherapy can be used to treat cancer. We thank God for those who are committed to learning truth through science!
We forget that The Bible and science tend to deal with different questions, or at least they should. Science tends to ask the “how” questions, or question of function. The Bible tends to answer the “why” questions, or questions of meaning. Yet we do well to recognize some overlap where appropriate.
We forget our history, and how the Christian faith has been supportive of science. Where in the world has science really flourished throughout history? Yes, wherever Christianity has flourished, so has science. This is only natural as science depends on the dependability of natural law, and the Christian believes in a dependable Lawmaker. So Christians have always made good scientists.
We don’t realize how science is supportive of the Christian faith. We don’t have room to go into detail here, but the Kalam Cosmological Argument for the existence of God is worthy of notice, as is the Fine-tuning of the universe. Intelligent Design is another avenue where science meets and supports faith through following the evidence of complexity and information through to the best explanation.
Science versus the Christian faith? Not at all – these are exciting days to be science loving Christians! Or Jesus loving scientists.