Science and Faith

There seems to be a surge of Christians who hold that there is no essential disharmony with the vast majority of modern science theory and Christianity. In such fields as Theistic Evolution, their views try to harmonize naturalistic science with supernatural theology. They claim that Christianity must be saved from those who are intellectual ostrichs, with head firmly planted in the ground. For example, see http://www.biologos.org.

I urge everyone in this debate to take thier positions slowly and carefully. As a student of church history, several times over the centuries Christians have taken positions that were designed to harmonize Christianity with the current perceptions of the world. They thought they were doing good, thought they were helping to save Christianity. But in the end, they did more damage to the cause of Christ than they ever imagined. People like Kierkegard and Bultmann thought they were helping Christianity, but their cure was worse than the disease they were fighting. Those of us who are apologists will spend the rest of our lives trying to undo what damage was done in theology and philosophy over the last 300 years.

We should never shy away from honest intellectual inquiry. But remember: both science and theology attempt to explain the truth about the real world. Sometimes theology is wrong, sometimes science is wrong. If we add up how many times each has been wrong over the last 300 years, I’ll take theology any day of the week. At any point in history, the classic doctrines of our faith have held up much greater than the current views of science. My college astronomy text is so outdated, it is not even a good doorstop, let alone good for study. What makes us think the current ones will hold up any better? I was recently speaking to a couple of atheists who dismissed any technical paper that was published prior to the last 2 or 3 years. On the other extreme, some Christians have held on to theologies that they were sure were correct, only to be proven wong later. It seems the theologians were wrong about the sun circling the earth.

So while we must be open to all honest inquiry, I urge those who hold so tightly to science’s view of reality to be careful how much faith one puts in human ability to interpret the world around us. I’ll take God’s special revelation (the Bible), since it’s held up pretty well over the years.

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About humblesmith

Christian Apologist & Philosopher
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2 Responses to Science and Faith

  1. humblesmith says:

    As an addition to this post, I also encourage everyone to read some authors with whom you disagree. The only way we learn is to have our ideas challenged. Too often we have our minds already made up, then we go out in search of people who also agree with us so that we can have our beliefs reinforced. When the only literature we read and the only conversations we have are with those with whom we already agree, we have no way of seeing the blind spots which inevitably creep into our thinking. Unless we read those with whom we disagree, we are merely rearranging our prejudices.

    Further, many authors, no matter how scholarly or well-intentioned, tend to give false views of their opponents, then critique this false view. Only by reading both sides can we truly make intelligent decisions.

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