Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Faith and Science

It’s commonplace among intellectual Christians to assert that there’s no contradiction between faith and science; however, I’m not sure they actually believe this because there are still statements like the following from the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy:

“We further deny that scientific hypotheses about earth history may properly be used to overturn the teaching of Scripture on creation and the flood.” http://www.bible-researcher.com/chicago1.html

To make a statement like this, you have to be worried that there are incompatibilities between faith and science, namely between science and the flood and creation accounts.

Because it appears to me that many Evangelicals actually do believe there is a conflict between faith and science, I want to take a fresh stab at why there is not.

The reason is that science by definition cannot address the central occurrences of Christianity. Science only addresses those things that are readily demonstrable. So let’s start with the sine qua non of Christianity: the resurrection of Christ.

Science cannot address the Resurrection because the Resurrection is a miracle. Miracles are not falsifiable in labs; by definition, a miracle is something that happens outside the natural order of things. Science only deals with the natural order of things. It’s a classic case of apples and oranges.

The same is true of the Virgin Birth.

But what about the Flood and Creation? Science seems to speak to those matters, even contradicting Scripture. However, the way in which there is a supposed contradiction between science and the creation and flood accounts depends on an interpretation of the Scripture which is probably false, namely an overly literal interpretation.

To me, whatever the case may be with the literalness of the flood and creation, if the Resurrection happened, then my faith is on like Donkey Kong, and I’m a born-again, hymn singing, tongue speaking, Bible beating Christian.

And that is why faith and science don’t contradict.

4 comments:

Ben said...

Bible Beating? Kenny, have you been abusing your Bible again?

- Atlanta Ben

Jeff said...

"My faith is on like Donkey Kong"

More proof that Christianity is a 500-pound gorilla :)

Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

The Bible is not a science or even a history textbook. It reports things sometimes with the same naiveté and unselfconscious enthusiasm as a grandmother telling someone about what her little Danny did this morning. The Bible is about Truth, and especially the practical Truth of "how to enter the Kingdom of God, and live forever". The vehicle of this Truth is human language and the flow of human history, but it's the Driver of the vehicle that matters, not the car or even the scenery, and it's the Destination.
Mystery Driver.

jackswords said...

I'm glad you say use "overly" to qualify "literal," suggesting there's a continuum of how literal you can be with reading the Bible.

Another thing... I feel like I've been practicing double-think for a number of years. If you ask me, I'll tell you I believe in a literal seven-day creation, but that the science that says otherwise is quite plausible. But really, I'd rather trust the scientists on a question of science.