Giving Religion and Science a Chance to Get Along

Christianity stands alone among all the religions of the world in that its religious text is harmonious with the facts about the universe revealed by modern science. That statement may seem incredulous to many who have heard that science and faith are incompatible. Such a sentiment is conveyed by people who don’t understand faith (or the Bible), and they are seemingly confirmed by people of faith who distrust and misunderstand science.

If God is true, His fingerprints should be seen in the universe He created.  So Christians should not be afraid of science. Scientists and people who love science, also, should not be closed-minded about the evidence of God. Close-mindedness should not be characteristic of the scientific community.

Just as many Christians are ignorant of science, many people of science are ignorant of the Bible. As Francis Collins, the director of the National Human Genome Research Institute since 1993,[1] concluded when he realized he was ignorant of the claims of faith, dismissing the Bible out of ignorance is not very scientific.

We can’t possibly prove God, which is why many people of science reject the idea of God out of hand. But scientists accept many things that can’t be proven. They accept the concept of beauty, though science cannot tell us what it is; and they love their spouses and children, though the idea of love eludes scientific analysis.

To the extent that God is super natural, He is not susceptible of being measured or quantified by a study of nature. We shouldn’t expect to find God in nature if God created nature, apart from Himself. As the art on a canvas can tell us something about the artist, the natural world can tell us something of the Creator of it, but the art is not the artist.

Just as the art on a canvas is a reflection of the artist, it doesn’t tell the whole story, and different people see different things in the art. Thus, someone can look at the natural world and focus on death, suffering and seeming futility. While, another person can look at the same natural world and see stunning beauty, unimaginable variety of living and nonliving things and the intricately inter-working, complex processes and structures that speak to a mind of awe inspiring magnitude.

In science, we press on when we don’t understand and things don’t make sense. We strive to understand and fill the gaps[2] in our knowledge. The same approach should be used with our understanding of Scripture. A difference between some people of science and some people of faith is that one group has confidence in science alone and one group has confidence in Scripture alone.

Just as a religious person can stray from truth by relying only on Scripture, without the discipline of grammar, the understanding of ancient cultures and, yes, science, people of science can stray from truth without having some understanding of the metaphysical world of logic, philosophy and, yes, religion.

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