Today, I’m pleased to feature an exclusive guest post by my friend, Melissa C. Travis—a graduate student in the Science and Religion program at Biola University. She’s also a fellow apologetics blogger. Melissa blogs at http://www.hard-corechristianity.com.
Hot Topic: Science and Religion
Mature Christians have an insatiable desire for knowledge of God. We study Scripture to learn what He has to teach us through Special Revelation, and we study His creation (Natural Revelation) through which we perceive a number of of His attributes. Romans 1:20 says:
For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.
Natural Revelation involves the various scientific disciplines that have developed over the ages to unlock the secrets of the heavens, the earth, and life.
Science vs. Christianity?
Unfortunately, there is the common misperception that science and Scripture are either in a stalemate conflict, or they are mutually exclusive, having no bearing upon one another whatsoever. Both views are incorrect. Science and theology do seek to answer some of the same questions about the world and about life; Scripture isn’t silent on the subject of nature and not all scientific theorizing is religiously neutral (contrary to what the secular scientific community claims). Therefore, we cannot simply compartmentalize science and theology, and we shouldn’t avoid the sciences completely, as if they are some kind of dreadful menace to our faith. I believe J.P. Moreland said it best in Christianity and the Nature of Science:
In order to be a fully actualized and integrated human being and a mature Christian with no secular/sacred dichotomy, one needs a coherent, intellectually satisfying Christian world view. Such a world view involves, among other things, fitting science and theology together in a harmonious way (141).
Truth in Harmony
So, what is the appropriate relationship between the two? I share Stephen Meyer‘s view that they should co-exist in qualified agreement (See his essay in Science & Christianity: Four Views). When the sciences and theology are each properly understood, the truths they elucidate will be in harmony with one another. What’s more, the natural sciences have revealed evidence for cosmic fine-tuning and biological design, which points to an intelligent agent that transcends the universe—a designer that is compatible with, and offers philosophical support for, Judeo-Christian theism.
A Stepping-Stone Apologetic
Take caution, though. Where the discipline of Christian Apologetics is concerned, it isn’t accurate to say that “the sciences prove the existence of God.” Rather, our claim should be that the sciences are increasingly offering evidential support for theism and for the associated truth-claims of Judeo-Christian Scripture. I have come to think of the study of the sciences–within a theistic paradigm–as a “stepping stone” apologetic: essential for a cumulative and comprehensive argument for Christianity.
Study the Relationship of Science and Christianity
For the Christian (scientifically inclined or not) who has realized that they have much to learn on this subject, I would like to offer just a few resource recommendations so that you’re not overwhelmed by all the choices at your disposal.
Web Sites on Science and Christianity
DVDs on Science and Christianity
- Unlocking the Mystery of Life by Illustra Media
- The Privileged Planet by Illustra Media
- Darwin‘s Dilemma by Illustra Media
- Metamorphosis by Illustra Media
- The Case for a Creator starring Lee Strobel
Books on Science and Christianity
- Understanding Intelligent Design: Everything You Need to Know in Plain Language by William Dembski and Sean McDowell
- God and Evolution edited by Jay Richards
- The Privileged Planet by Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Richards
- A Meaningful World by Benjamin Wiker and Jonathan Witt
Melissa is a graduate student at Biola University, studying for the Master of Arts in Science and Religion. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in biology and worked in biotechnology and pharmaceutical research for five years after obtaining her undergraduate degree. She has spent more than a decade studying the science and philosophy pertaining to the origins debate and is also currently working toward her certification in general Christian apologetics from Biola. She directs The Woodlands, Texas chapter of Reasonable Faith and welcomes opportunities to speak and teach on scientific apologetics to youth and adults. Her blog is www.hard-corechristianity.com.