Theology... and Other Sciences
I was once teaching a Sunday School class for high school students and one of the individuals brought up her science teacher. Apparently, this student made this dreaded statement to the teacher… “I just don’t believe in science; I’m a Christian.”
Perhaps the only thing that horrified me more about this statement was the fact that several other students in my class nodded in agreement. I immediately scrapped the lesson for that day to speak on this topic.
Christianity is NOT at odds with science. It is borderline blasphemous to even make such a statement. Science is the Latin word for “knowledge” and knowledge comes directly to us from God (Proverbs 2:6; Psalm 19:2, etc.).
You may be thinking to yourself that what the student probably meant was that she disagreed about evolution. If her statement had been, “I do not believe in evolution; I am a Christian” then I would have given a solid amen. However, the equivocation of evolution and science is NEVER something that the Christian should EVER commit.
The secular western world wants to paint followers of Christ as mindless and illogical. When a Christian makes a statement conflating science/logic with specific theories (i.e. evolution), then he/she is guilty of playing right into the world’s stereotype.
When evangelizing the lost, I’ll frequently get a question like “hasn’t science debunked the Bible?” The short answer is no. I will often reply with “which science do you THINK debunked the Bible?” The reality is that the science of textual criticism affirms the accuracy of the Bible. The science of archaeology has confirmed much of the dates/times/people/places of the Bible. The science of physics and astronomy are much in-line with Scripture as they demonstrate the expanse of God while also, mostly, affirming a singular point of origin.
It is true that some scientific theories are in discord with the Bible (i.e. the age of the earth and evolution); however, none of these theories should ever be equated to all of “science.”
In perhaps my favorite Systematic Theology, Charles Hodge does a phenomenal job defining the science of theology. As he points out, an astronomer seeks to derive Truths from space, a geologist seeks to derive Truths from rocks and a theologian seeks to derive Truths from Scripture. The Bible is an inspired and infallible source of facts, and it is the job of the theologian to unpack and organize those facts for the good of humanity.
Science is in no ways ad odds with Christianity. As Christians, we are to have a devout love for Truth, and it is the job of science to uncover Truth in various fields. This idea that science is anti-Christian perpetuates the negative stereotype that Christianity is anti-intellectual. Furthermore, it is going to cause Christians to forsake the sciences.
We need Christian doctors, Christian biologists, Christian astronomers, Christian geologists, etc. We cannot, as a Church, withdraw from these fields- they need Christian voices.
Science, as in knowledge, is on the side of the Christian. Never pretend that science is our enemy… that is dishonoring to God.