Hasn't science shown that Christianity is wrong?
Can we really appreciate modern science and be a Christian? Doesn’t one cancel out the other?
Here’s the surprising thing: there doesn’t have to be a full-blown battle between science and Christianity.
We need science—it gives us practical benefits that help us live well. We need science to help us know well—science begins to help us understand the cosmos.
But let me suggest that we also need Christianity to live well. Christianity is all about Jesus, who claimed to be the author of life. If that’s the case, then what he has to say about life is worth listening to.
We also need Christianity to know well. We need the Bible’s take on why exactly things aren’t right with the world, and why things aren’t exactly right with us.
But here’s the thing—we need good science, and we need good Christian thinking. Science depends on being open-minded in order to do its investigations—but is it always open-minded?
For example if I begin with the assumption that it’s only by evolution, over time, by random chance that all things came into being, am I actually loading the dice? Does my starting assumption end up blinding me to results that I may not necessarily like?
Science can sometimes be closed-minded.
And Christianity needs to be good Christian thinking. Christianity depends on saying what the Bible tells us. But do we? For example, the Bible does speak about all existence, but it doesn’t always explain the particular “When?” or “How?”. It’s more interested in the “Why?” or “So what?”. I mustn’t say more than what the Bible says, and I need to appreciate the Bible isn’t a modern scientific textbook. There are some things about which the Bible is simply silent.
But when both science and Christianity are good, we have a win-win situation. CS Lewis, the late Oxford lecturer and writer, put it this way: “In science we see the notes to a poem; in Christianity we have the poem itself.”
Sure, we won’t know everything—how could we? There’ll be findings from science the Bible is more or less silent about, and there are things about life that science can’t really answer. But we’re not wasting our time with science when we ask questions like “When?” or “How?”, and we’re not wasting our time when we read the Bible and ask: “Who put this all together, and why?”
Science doesn’t have to be anti-Christian, and Christianity doesn’t have to be anti-science.
It’s unfair to ask science to answer questions it just can’t answer: “Is there a God?” “What’s life all about?” It’s also unfair to ask the Bible to speak about things it just doesn’t necessarily speak about—questions that are best left to science.
But science and Christianity can work together—and with this we can approach the man Jesus Christ, about whom Christianity revolves, and ask: “Is he the creator of all that is?” and: “Can he explain my life?”
There’s far, far more that can be said about this issue! And if you’re still curious, or want to think about things more deeply, here are a few suggestions:
GO TO www.bethinking.org/science-christianity
READ Unnatural Enemies by Kirsten Birkett (you can get a copy here)
GO ON a Christianity Explored course, and ask your questions there.