The Compatibility Of Science And Christianity

Protoplanetary_diskChristians should be the first to combat the idea that science and Christianity are at odds with one another. They aren’t. In fact science, by its nature, is a limited field, contributing only to the field of observable knowledge accessed through our physical senses.

Christianity, of course, does not purport to explain DNA or the string theory or black holes, but it does reveal God and His plan and purpose for the world. It answers the big questions of life: who am I, why am I here, what is my destiny?

In reality, science and Christianity together give us an understanding of life. No one should separate the two, and yet an artificial divide is being forced onto society.

This divide would be similar to asking someone heading into a movie theater if he’s going to listen to the movie or watch it. Well, both, would be his logical reply. No, no, the pundit says, you have to choose one or the other. Sight and sound aren’t compatible.

Well, yes, they are. They reveal different things, but those things aren’t in contradiction. In fact sight and sound complement each other and give a fuller, richer movie going experience. So too with science and Christianity.

The root to this divide seems to be in the creation versus evolution debate. Because the courts have ruled that evolution is science and can be taught in schools while creation is not and cannot be taught in schools, a line has been drawn in the sand. Choose what you believe, the pundits say–science or religion.

First, evolutionary theory is filled with unrepeatable parts that can’t be studied by the scientific method. Second, science is far greater than evolution. And third, Christianity is not synonymous with religion.

In other words, evolution requires a great deal of faith to believe–more so in my opinion than believing God designed the universe and brought it into being. Did you know that a single strand of DNA contains 3.1 billion bytes of information. A single strand. And yet we are to believe that an accidental concussion matter and energy is responsible for the process that ordered all of life. Truly, it is more believable that an explosion in a print shop resulted in Webster’s Dictionary.

The second point is equally important. Science that actually adheres to the scientific method does contribute knowledge about the physical world–knowledge which does not contradict the Bible. As a matter of fact, a host of early scientists were Christians, from Francis Bacon, Galileo Galilei, Johann Kepler, Blaise Pascal to Isaac Newton, Samuel Morse, Louis Pasteur, and many others.

A great number of Christians working in the fields of science exist today, too, men such as the following:
# Dr. Larry Vardiman Senior Research Scientist, Astro/Geophysics
# Dr. William Arion, Biochemistry, Chemistry
# Dr. Paul Ackerman, Psychologist
# Dr. E. Theo Agard, Medical Physics
# Dr. Steve Austin, Geologist
# Dr. S.E. Aw, Biochemist
# Dr. Thomas Barnes, Physicist
# Dr. Geoff Barnard, Immunologist
# Dr. John Baumgardner, Electrical Engineering, Space Physicist, Geophysicist, expert in supercomputer modeling of plate tectonics

Last point: Christianity is unique among religions because of Jesus Christ–no other religion has a person at the center of its faith as opposed to a system. No other religion offers grace and mercy instead of rules and regulations. Sadly, Christianity has been lumped in with those that play on superstition, guilt, and fear. Christ, in fact, brings peace and joy and hope and help. Christianity is not about a way to appease an angry God. It’s a realistic understanding of the human condition and the need of the human heart.

In no way does science step on Christianity’s toes. The incompatible is the dismissal of God as the One who is before all, created all, and rules all. But if you accept God for who He is, study science all you want. The two are not mutually exclusive.

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Published in: on March 5, 2013 at 6:32 pm  Comments (12)  
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12 Comments

  1. There is a saying that the more one tries to harmonize the tensions found in Bible doctrines the more you are entering heresy. Example being the Trinity. Modalism explains the persons of the Godhead to make sense for human understanding and reasoning at the expense of clear statements in the scriptures. I think science makes the same error when it tries to explain the supernatural with its unprovable theories.

    • Good point, Bob. Much better to accept the witness of Scripture (inspired by our omniscient God, after all), rather than explain away the supernatural or shoe-horn Scripture into a human origins theory.

      Mind you, I don’t think it’s wrong to postulate that God speaking the world into existence might have looked like this or like that. But to say it had to be such and such because science has “proved” this and that . . . It’s a mistake to go there.

      But worst are those who leave God out of the equation, who think God is an invention of man to explain the things in nature we didn’t understand. But now that we know the cause of lightning and volcanic eruptions, we can dispense with the notion of God. That’s short-sighted and ignorant of what lies behind the physical realm.

      Becky

  2. This was beautifully written. What a tribute to our Lord, who spoke this world into existence.

    • Thank you for your kind words, Mindy. Praise God that He is over all He has made. What a privilege we have to learn more of Him as we learn of His world.

      Becky

  3. Very well done, Becky! I am one of your “Christian scientists”, although relatively unaccomplished. You speak eloquently for us. I thoroughly enjoyed your movie theater analogy. Yet you seem to turn your back on that analogy when it comes to evolution. You separate evolution from God’s design. What if evolution is part of His Grand design? What if it is part of the miracle of creation? I, for one, believe it is. There are several excellent books explaining that belief by our fellow Christians who are, simultaneously, Bible-believers and accomplished scientists. In the end, Jesus knows how He did it. He is the “proof” of everything that we try to prove, but can’t, except through Him.

    • Thanks, Len.

      Yes, I should have differentiated between Christians who believe God used the evolutionary process to create and atheists who believe evolution began on its own without the initiative of an Intelligent Designer. As I read the Genesis account of creation and put it together with other passages of Scripture, I conclude that we don’t know what process God used because He didn’t tell us. He could have created in 6 days measured in hours or 6 days measured in thousands of years. He could have created in the blink of an eye, for that matter.

      My own thinking is that it was a relatively short period of time–that, as Adam took the form of a full grown man, the rest of the earth and the universe took the form of a fully developed, “fully grown” system, I lean that way because death didn’t come into the equation until after Man sinned, but evolution suggests otherwise.

      But clearly, I’m speculating as much as you are. Scripture simply lets us know God created. The plans were His, the generation of all was His, the existence of all is by Him, for Him, and through Him (Col. 2).

      Becky

      • Death. There are many definitions, kinds and conceptions. I think God conceived of death hoping He wouldn’t have to use it, but knowing He would. The implications are enormous. The best I can do to explain it is that death is a metaphor and a reality at the same time. (Kind of like how God’s will is done at the same time human free will is maintained) How He does that is incomprehensible. Speculating is fun. Thanks for letting me be part of the conversation!

  4. Let me also say this: We Christians tend to argue about relatively small points of contention considering the “big picture”. I maintain that the basics of our faith are much bigger, and more relevant to our unity than our petty differences.

    • Amen to that. I don’t think the specifics of what we believe about creation should divide us as long as we both believe God created.

      Becky

      • Amen, and Amen!

  5. Well said, well said, well said. Thanks!


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