Christianity & Science

It has widely been assumed that faith in God and science are incompatible in forming a view of reality within our modern word. However, the Christian faith has had much to say about science and has had a rich and varied hand in its development. For example, some of the contributors have been, Roger Bacon, Johannes Kepler, Blaise Pascal, Michael Faraday, Isaac Newton, Gregor Johann Mendel (father of modern genetics), Georges Lemaître (father of the Big Bang Theory) as well as current figures such as Francis Collins, who lead the Human Genome Project. That is not to say that this relationship has been always harmonious or even amicable. The Galileo incident which followed Nicolaus Copernicus’ discover serves as a reminder that human being often fail in understanding. However, the Galileo incident has often been a story about science against religion, but this is an untrue as a large part of the issues were personality driven, and the facts have been grossly distorted in the telling. Nevertheless, this should serve as a reminder that misunderstandings are not just moments of conflict but opportunities of discovery.

In the modern world, we seem to have forgotten the contributions Christians have made and reduced the relationship between Christianity and science as one of conflict rather than of cooperation in discovering not just who God is, but what God has done and what He has made.  That is certainly what the scientist of the past thought they were doing, understanding how God has done it, not just why. To simply reduce Christianity’s history down to Galileo and the Pope is to grossly distort the history of Christianity and science as a whole. Often the misunderstandings of today are largely down to a broader understanding of what is being said.  For example, Christians believe that God has created the universe, out of nothing. However, when we say nothing, that is what we mean. When some scientist says things like, the universe came from a quantum vacuum, that is not nothing. As the scriptures say: I urge you, my child, to look at the sky and the earth. Consider everything you see there, and realize that God made it all from nothing. Also, what God has made, as we are told is ‘good’ and is worth studying because it tells us something about the one who made it. Also, Christians always understood that God and creation are not the same thing, if God is before creation then He is before time, space and matter, before all things. Therefore, God is not a thing, He has no matter, no form, He is not an entity, but is the upholder of all things at every moment. We can no more see the face of God in creation than a carpenter can see himself in a wooden table. Who God is and what God makes, is not the same thing. However, indirectly it can tell us something about God. We believe that God is both the ground and the goal of all things, the one from whom all things come and the one to whom all things return. Nevertheless, as Allister McGrath sates: Faith is not something that goes against the evidence, it goes beyond it. The evidence is saying to us, 'There is another country. There is something beyond mere reason'. To discover more, take a look at these clips below and visit the links.

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