Things That Go Together Like Science and Christianity

We have seen a pattern with this administration, which is, they don’t believe in science. A few times during the 2020 vice presidential debate, democratic nominee for VP Kamala Harris made statements such as this concerning the present administration having no faith in science. The context of her comments were, I believe, in reference to climate change and the coronavirus.

Now, concerning Mrs. Harris, it’s striking that she and her political party would have the effrontery to say someone else “doesn’t believe in science,” all the while supporting notions such as boys who have identified themselves to instead be girls (or the other round a way), acknowledging ideals like “gender fluidity,” and denying the fact that fingers and toes and a beating heart within the womb is a separate, living person. It’s really quite astounding, to say the least. One might even venture to call it hypocrisy. Maybe?

Seeing this hypocrisy in another can be a great help in having our own eyes opened to truth concerning ourselves. It is always good to carry out some self-examination and ask the question, “Might I possibly be doing the same thing?” This can be very hard for us humans to do. I know it’s certainly hard for me.

I don’t want to be ambiguous, so let me explain what I mean before going any further. As a Christian, I generally have no trouble accepting scientific discovery in certain areas. Medicine and predicting the paths of hurricanes would be two examples. There are other areas, however, where I can immediately push it all off, shake my head, and say, “Can’t possibly be true. Just that false science again…” You can probably think of a few examples yourself on that one. 

So if you had the sneaking suspicion that we might be dealing with the topic of science in this post, your perception is right on. If you are wondering, “Why in the world is he talking science?”, I don’t blame you. Let it be said up front that I am not a scientist, but about a year ago the Lord led me to a new kind of ministry that is very much on the front lines of science. (It’s another life example that you just never know how God is going to direct your path!) The work and ministry I am presently involved in has given me a new perspective on the wonders of God’s world, the excitement of research and discovery into this wonderful creation He has made, and the realization that my horizons have been in need of broadening. When it comes to the works of our God, there is always so much to learn.

I have certainly learned that if we are going to allow God to open up our understanding and give us some light, a couple of things are necessary. 

First, we need to be humble. Let’s just acknowledge that it’s pretty proud for anyone to think that they understand it all and no further knowledge is necessary. I believe most people do have biases toward scientific discovery in one way or another, Christian or not. It’s easy to push something off that we don’t understand, or that doesn’t appear to fit our beliefs or agenda, and just chalk it up as crazy false science— we assume that somebody must be just deliberately trying to deceive. Fears can be stirred up within us, and it is often this fear that causes us to have bias toward something that might actually be a real discovery/advance in science.

So if we have an agenda to be moved forward, our comfort zone is being shook up, or our preconceived ideas are taking a pretty good beating by some “fact” or discovery— well, the facts can be nimble, the facts can be quick, and the facts can go jump over a candlestick. And in this kind of response, we quickly nestle back into our comfort zone, feel mighty good about ourselves, gain the pat on the back by those whose approval is vitally important to us (I believe this can actually be the biggest problem), and convince ourselves that we have just taken a very bold stand for traditional truth and common sense. But humility is always necessary if we truly want God to open our eyes to truth and wisdom. Pride can cause those who are walking in some darkness to think they are walking in light, and as the Lord said, “how great is that darkness.” So humility is a must.

For some, the problem just comes down to a basic honesty issue, whatever the sincere reasons behind it may be. Some know the reality of the facts. They are not confused about the data. The honest scientific data is sitting right there. Just cold, hard facts that don’t seem to care one little bit about my feelings or my deeply held convictions. But, no. Still can’t accept it or even consider it. 

If we can’t be honest, then we really are at a dead stop, and God cannot bring us into more light. Again, we may feel like we took the “safe” road, but did we? For God’s people, dishonesty is not helping the cause of Christ, even if the motivations are good. So complete honesty is another must.

Ultimately, what we are talking about here is a recognition of revealed truth, even if the truth might seem strange or scary to me— uncomfortable truth (at least for a time). But if it is real-world truth, it should never be discarded. Discarding it will never end well, and if God has led you to it, it would be downright sinful to turn away or turn a blind eye. It would do wonders for the cause of Christ in the world if God’s people would recognize this bias and/or dishonesty, no matter the reason, and see it as such. When it comes to discovery into God’s world, wisdom would surely admonish us to have an ear to hear, and at the least, not burn people at the stake just because they don’t fully agree with me. 

God has revealed Himself to mankind through His Word and through His world, and these two things should not be viewed as enemies of each other. For far too long Christianity has been pitted against modern science, and vice versa, and certain real-world scientific discoveries have been viewed as something evil and anti-God by many Christians, until they have been proven beyond any doubt to actually be true. We need to recognize that both the Word and the world are revealing God and His truth, and declaring His glory. If truth is coming from the microscope, or the calculator, if it is understood properly, is it not truth ordained of God? Can we qualify some truth as more truthful truth than other truth? No, truth is truth, facts are facts, and our faith is in the God of truth, whether we discover it in the Bible or in the laboratory. Would not one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms = water, or 2+2=4, be truth that is from God that He has placed within His world? The earth truly is the LORD’s, and all that it contains. (Psalm 24:1)

Of course the main difference here is that God’s Word gives us special revelation, known only by God revealing it supernaturally to us. And truth such as the gospel is certainly more consequential truth than that of math facts. Praise the Lord, He has given us this all-important truth through His Word! But the point here is, the general revelation given to us by God within His world is no less truth. And ignoring it or denying it would simply be denying truth that is from God. Is it not the same thing when an atheist completely rejects something in God’s revealed Word because, in his perception of things, it doesn’t “agree” with his science?

Now this brings us to our next point, which is, if God’s Word is really true (and it is), then it will eventually all make sense with God’s real world. And we can look back in history and see how this has happened time and time again, bringing glory to God and validity to His Word. Of course the problem in all of this is, what about those cases where there are presently things that don’t seem to be adding up? What do we do then?  This is where we can get fearful and worried, and allow the biases and denials to begin. Therefore, this is where we must practice that humility and have fearless, gutsy honesty, ultimately trusting the God Who breathed the Word and Who spoke the creation into being.

I know and believe that God’s Word is truth— all of it— and I am the one who will truly make a real mess of things when I start making dogmatic proclamations that God has never actually said, all in an effort to try to defend truth. This can really get muddled. Our proclamations quickly turn into absolute biblical truth in our minds, and it becomes quite difficult for us to separate the two any longer. And then, what are we going to do if/when the science catches up to our proclamations-turned-doctrine, and shows them to in fact be in error? Well, we have observed some of that in the past.

Consider— In the late 1400s Copernicus claimed his scientific discoveries were showing him an absolutely unbelievable, and in the minds of some, an absolutely unbiblical thing… that the earth actually revolves around the sun, and not the other way around. His book “On the Revolutions” was placed on the church’s “Index of Forbidden Works” for about two hundred years. (That’s a two with two zeros after it.) Now, we may look down our noses in our modern day and wonder at the utter foolishness of those folks. However, in their own understanding, they had good theological reasons for their flabbergastedness. The same theological case could be made today that Scripture is “against” the idea that the earth revolves around the sun, and that it actually teaches the opposite, as David, in Psalm 19:6, speaks of the sun in its circuit through the heavens. We now live in a time where God has given us the ability to see with our own eyes the situation of how He has created our little corner of the heavens. Therefore, no rational person today would teach that the sun revolves around the earth. Man’s theological ideas had to catch up with the science of how God created things to actually work, although it did take quite a few years from Copernicus’s discovery. The revolving of the planets around the sun is a fact of science that nobody denies today. Is this science “evil” since it seems to contradict God’s Word? Or, does this mean the Word of God cannot be trusted? No, and no. This Psalm is poetic, and in hindsight it’s easy for us to say that God’s Word does not actually teach a geocentric universe. This Psalm was written based on David’s observations, as he gave glory to God for His creation of and lordship over the sun. As time went on, God continued to give mankind the ability to discover more and more things about His creation which were previously unknown, and bold men and women began to put God’s Word alongside of God’s world, standing in awe over His majestic ways. And this continues. It would surely be a mistake to think we have discovered it all, and have it all figured out, here today in 2020.

Look, if a man (we’ll call him Biff) has been taught all of his life that two plus two equals six, and that notion has been pounded into his head since time out of mind, and then some annoying chubby fellow with strange hair comes along (we’ll call him Chet), (we are into some old Hardy Boys books around here presently), and with no desire or agenda to prove anything or discredit anyone, but through plain old calculations and discovery in the world begins to proclaim, “Eureka! Why, it appears God actually made things in such a way that two plus two equals FOUR!” It doesn’t matter how much Biff does not want to believe it. Facts are facts. It would do no good for Biff to say that chubby little fellow Chet is just simply a liar, or that he was a proud arrogant man, or that he was being used by the enemy to shake everyone’s faith, or that we should always start with what we’ve always been taught. Instead, Biff (or someone else) would need to be able to demonstrate how and why two plus two does not in fact equal four.

As our current Vice President reminded his opponent in the debate, “You are entitled to your own opinions, but you are not entitled to your own facts.” And, if they really are facts, then by gum, they are God’s facts. It would be a grave error to go around poo pooing them… God is being good to us when He allows mankind to discover more of His truth in and through His remarkable world. If, due to fear, we choose to deny what He has revealed to us in the world, He cannot bring us further on to even greater things. And bad choices always have bad consequences.

In all of this, I of course am not saying there is no such thing as “junk science” or science that is being used for political gain, any more than I would say there is no such thing as false Christian teaching, or Bible teaching used for personal / political gain. Another thing we certainly need is wisdom. But it would be a mistake to throw the beaker out with the boiled water in either situation.

God gave us eyes and ears and a mind in order to worship Him, and to search out Him and His ways. How awe inspiring it is when through our senses and our mind we understand revealed truth from our Creator. Both God’s world and God’s Word must be filtered through these agents to make it into a person’s consciousness. We have been given the Holy Spirit to help guide us, as we acknowledge Him in everything. But as finite creatures, we are still prone to error, in both areas. We don’t know everything about everything, in either correctly understanding the Bible or in understanding science. We are ever learning, seeking out truth, standing on a solid foundation of faith in God, and relying on help from the Holy Spirit of God. So again, one key to all of this is to stay humble. We don’t have to turn off our eyes and ears and mind. We must observe and take it all in, to the best of our ability. And then we seek to improve our abilities, to the glory of God. We must ask the hard questions and train the next generation to do so as well. This is how we will take ground and advance the kingdom of Christ in this area.

Taking a literal and honest view of Scripture is invaluable in science, and taking a high and honest view of science is invaluable in building our faith in and having a proper understanding of Scripture. It is God’s Word and it is God’s world. They both belong to God, and they are both declaring His glory. And, contrary to some modern perceptions (believers and non-believers), these things are not at war with each other. They may be at war with our own pre-conceived ideas, but they are certainly not at war with each other.

What the new generation of warriors for Christ desperately needs are some honest, humble, open-minded truth seekers who will not be guided by fear and pre-conceived ideas. God’s Word will ultimately be shown to be true in God’s real world. We should not fear this. If what we hold to is actually error, then we should fear. But we hold the truth. And those who follow after the truth ultimately have nothing to fear (though we may have to endure some paradigm shifts along the way, which can be quite unpleasant for a time).

I think it’s pretty safe to say that we will never, this side of heaven, fully understand everything. For truth-seekers, there is so much yet to be understood, explained, discovered, searched out. If we are Christ-followers, we must always be truth-seekers, because we are following the One who IS the Truth. And if we will be honest with what God reveals through His miraculous Word and His incredible world, we will keep being led further in and further up into truth. If we deny truth in any area, the faith of some is at stake, and the enemy will be empowered. But if we humbly and diligently seek after the truth, the mouths of unbelievers really will be silenced along the way, and God will be glorified.

Christianity isn’t a cult, false religion, or a deliberately made-up deception, as some atheist science professionals and professors want to claim. And, contrary to some modern Christian and creationist thinking, true science isn’t either.

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