Is Faith Compatible With Science?
Updated: Nov 26, 2020
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” – Genesis 1:1
The commonly held belief that faith isn’t compatible with science, makes many of the non-Christian men I meet with wary of faith. My guess is that you have children, grandchildren and friends who believe in order to have faith, you have to throw your brains out the window! So my next few week’s blogs will be devoted to helping you dialogue with these doubters in your life.
A few weeks ago, I heard Dr. John Lennox, a brilliant professor from Oxford, and a committed followers of Jesus, speak on the topic, “Is faith compatible with science?” “Of course it is,” was the first sentence out of his mouth! He then went on to make these important observations.
God created both science, (the study of the natural world) and God inspired scripture. Both this world and scripture are God’s creation, so there cannot be any conflict. The only conflict is in our ability to reconcile both in every reading of scripture or every scientific observation.
Science requires faith to “do” science. Every scientist lives by faith. That is, scientists, even atheist scientists, believe there are certain natural laws and facts are always true and that by using these laws and facts, they can discover new scientific truths. This is in spite of the fact that some of the assumptions scientists have made over the years have been proven false by other scientists. So the idea that we can separate faith from science is a myth. It is true that most scientists do not have Christian faith, or a biblical worldview. But, you cannot be a scientist without making “faith” decisions, or no progress would ever be made.
The Big-Bang theory has moved science (but not all scientists) much closer to a biblical world view on the origin of things. In the early years of the 20th century, scientists began postulating that the entire universe came into existence in a nano-second, hence the “big bang.” That theory is now accepted almost universally by all scientists. Whether you believe the universe is billions of years old, or much younger, the Big Bang sounds very much like the creation event. So, you’d think that now that scientists have proved the Big Bang Theory to be true, they’d finally dust off their Bibles and at least consider the possibility that God might be it’s cause. But, even more problematic for secular scientists is the next point.
The Big Bank Theory still requires matter and energy to make that event happen. It drives scientists nuts, at least privately, that they have no scientific (provable) explanation for the origin of matter and energy, other than an intelligent designer. After all, you don’t have to be a scientist to know that matter isn’t eternal. It doesn’t just appear on it’s own. But to acknowledge an intelligent designer, is to acknowledge a god, and worse yet, maybe even the Christian/Jewish God, who claims to have actually created the universe out of nothing. And this God made that claim roughly 3,500 years ago when Moses, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote Genesis! Most Christian scientists believe we’ve not discovered the Big Bang. We’ve discovered creation!
But why does this controversy matter at all? (And from here on, these are my observations, not Lennox’s)
First, many non-science types who were once Christian, have walked away from God because of perceived “errors” in scripture. “For heavens sake, if God got it wrong first shot out of the box, in the 1st verse, of the 1st chapter in the first book of the Bible, how much else in the Bible is untrue?” goes their thought.
When the Holy Spirit inspired Moses to write the Book of Genesis, it’s obvious that he wanted to make it crystal-clear to the world that he not only created the world but in doing so he declares, it all belongs to me!
As everyone knows, if you create something from your own resources, you own it – art, an invention, a garden, etc. So atheists, agnostics and just plain stubborn people know full well, the minute they acknowledge that in the beginning God…, they have an obligation to try to understand and obey this God. In the end, this whole science vs. faith debate isn’t really about protecting science.
It’s about protecting individuals from acknowledging at very least the possibility of an intelligent designer, which in their mind is the “slippery slope” toward the God of the Bible. And the irony, from the Big Bang to mitochondrial DNA, the more we know about science, the more confident Christian scientists are becoming. In fact, science is becoming a friend for Christians.
Next week my blog will be The Real Eve. This is a Discovery Channel video about a startling scientific discovery that non-Christian scientists now begrudgingly acknowledge about the origin of man. Stay tuned.
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