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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Science and the Bible

Some Christians reject science, in general, as anti-God. Although the charge is not without some foundation, it is an oversimplification, at best, and short-sighted and unbiblical.
Why an oversimplification? Because many important scientists, from, say, Copernicus through Francis Collins, head of the US human genome project, have been believers.

Why short-sighted? Because rejecting scientific findings unnecessarily alienates potential followers of Christ. "If they are so wrong about the science, why should they be right about salvation?"

Why unbiblical? Because God reveals Himself in more than one way, according to the Bible itself. Psalm 19:1-4 tells us that God is revealed through nature, which means that scientific findings can tell us something of God's nature and power. Romans 1 says: "20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse." (ESV, which version allows quotation for uses such as this, if properly cited.) Does that mean that scientists are always right? Of course not. There was a time, in the previous century, when the scientific consensus was that genes were made of protein, not DNA. That was wrong. Scientists have made other mistakes, and will continue to make some. But that doesn't mean that consensus science should be rejected out of hand. It's usually right, and its findings are part of God's revelation to us. Mistakes have been made, and will be made, in the interpretation of the Bible, too. That doesn't mean that we should ignore it. The Bible is always right, and our understanding of it usually is.

If both are properly understood, there should be no conflict between the Bible and scientific findings. (I realize that our understanding of both is imperfect, at best.)

This is the fourth anniversary of this blog. Thanks for reading!

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Note added, January 26, 2012: Acts 14 also indicates that God has revealed Himself through nature:
14 But when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of it, they tore their clothes, and sprang into the multitude, crying out, 15 “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to the living God, who made the sky and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them; 16 who in the generations gone by allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. 17 Yet he didn’t leave himself without witness, in that he did good and gave you rains from the sky and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.”(World English Bible, public domain)

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