Science and Faith

Oh my. Sharon’s sermon on Sunday was excellent“Science and Faith, Can these Two ever get along?”  Even Sam’s friend Dave had to say that it was excellent! (This was his second visit to our church.)

First of all, she pointed out that Science and the Bible are two different things:  the Bible teaches you “how to go to Heaven”, while Science teaches you “how the heavens go”; The Bible answers the questions “Why?” and “Who?”, while Science answers the question “How?”; the Bible does not intend to explain physics, while Science does not intend to explain metaphysics. Christians in the past have made some serious mistakes about this, for example, condemning scientists because what they’d discovered contradicted a mistaken translation of the Bible. (Galileo.)

Two mistakes that are often made, are using Science to prove OR disprove God, and using the Bible to prove or disprove Science. In this area, we discovered something we’d never thought of… we’d just read something quite similar in our book-reading club:  how there’s a problem with Intelligent Design. You’ve probably heard that Intelligent Design is the idea of explaining those things that Science can’t explain, by saying that God created it. Well, as much as the Christians who are proponents of Intelligent Design don’t mean it this way, this is what they’re actually saying:

“If you can’t explain it, God did it; if you CAN explain it–God did NOT do it”! (It was Sam who put Sharon’s words in simpler terms for people like us to understand.)  So, the better idea is to realize that God is working through science, which works out in the thinking of seeing God in everyday-miracles. Most of us know that I think, but tend to forget it. (It doesn’t mean that the more spectacular miracles don’t happen.)

So even though you should not use something for that which it was not intended, Science and Faith CAN “get along”. If you leave Science out of Christianity, you end up with a shallow spirituality. Sharon then went on to show how Science can teach us about God, giving a few examples with Scientific principles and theories. An obvious one is the Laws of Nature. It’s easy to see God in all the intricacies, detail and beauty of nature. Another one is the Anthropic Principle: there are several facts that if they were not true, mankind could not exist (for example, if the earth wasn’t in the exact position that it’s in, etc.). The one we found fascinating, was the Quantum Theory. I guess there’s really quite a lot more to it, and it’s the kind of thing that’s difficult to follow if you’re not one of Einstein’s children, but part of it–put very simply–is that there’s always a possibility, no matter how minute, for the opposite of something to be. In other words–“anything IS possible”! Sharon also mentioned Evolution… some Christians believe that God USED evolution to do His creative work; she didn’t really say which side she’s on–I think she believes it’s possible, even if not necessarily true…. perhaps partly true.

On to the “other side”, what the Bible teaches us about the world: that God created it, so is above the Creation; that mankind was created and given “dominion” over the rest of the world–in other words, a responsibility to look after it; and that nature “speaks” to us of God. (“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” Ps. 19:1-4)

Sharon always concludes her sermons with a few points to help you put it into practise, and this time we just feel like copying those points word-for-word, they’re so good (they’re included on the point-form notes she always hands out–emphasis ours):

So What?

  1. “The world is charged with the grandeur of God.” Are you spending time intentionally soaking in God’s creation? Why or why not?
  2. “I cannot understand why God would give us an intellect and then not want us to use it.” Take some time to learn about scientific discoveries so that you can have a thoughtful conversation with someone who is deeply skeptical about the Christian faith.
  3. “The God of all desires to be worshipped by all.” Is your life a form of worship to God?..”

Walk to Rivendell
:  It’s a bright, fair day.

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