Friday, November 20, 2009

Science and Christianity

One Darwinist railed at me, “Christianity has nothing to do with science. In fact, it has inhibited research!” Here’s how I responded:

The historical testimony in favor of the Christian role in the development of science is overwhelming. British scientist Robert Clark sums it up this way:

“However we may interpret the fact, scientific development has only occurred in Christian culture. The ancients had brains as good as ours. In all civilizations—Babylonia, Egypt, Greece, India, Rome, Persia, China and so on—science developed to a certain point and then stopped. It is easy to argue speculatively that, perhaps, science might have been able to develop in the absence of Christianity, but in fact, it never did. And no wonder. For the non-Christian world believed that there was something ethically wrong about science. In Greece, this conviction was enshrined in the legend of Prometheus, the fire-bearer and prototype scientist who stole fire from heaven, thus incurring the wrath of the gods.” ("Christian Belief and Science," quoted by Henry F. Schaefer, 14)

Even the arch-enemy of religion, Richard Dawkins, has acknowledged that “science grew out of a religious tradition.”

There are several aspects of Christianity that I think have made it amenable to the progress in science:

1. The assurance of our relationship in the Lord gives us courage to ask questions and to receive answers. I never had the wherewithal to examine the world because I had been too involved in myself and my own insecurities before Christ had established me.

2. Some faith systems are fearful of antagonizing the gods by examining too closely. However, the Biblical faith is about seeking truth and wisdom and understanding the ways of God.

3. Some faith systems just believe that the gods did it. This belief also stifles inquiry. However, the Bible makes it clear that God largely rules through the laws He has established (Jeremiah 33:25). Therefore, it is possible to discover those laws.

4. Order is only possible given an omnipotent monotheistic God. Polytheistic systems can’t account for orderliness, but rather the competition among the gods.

5. The Biblical faith encourages us to use our minds (Matthew 22:37).

6. The Biblical faith regards the creation as “very good” (Genesis 1:31). Therefore, it’s something worth examining. For some religions, the created order is always in flux and not worth examining, but rather transcending as quickly as possible.

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