Many times it seems like science and faith are at logger heads, but they don’t have to be. Science and faith are not like two sides of the political aisle, where you have to pick one camp or another. For many Christians science can be a tricky thing, especially when it comes to theories of how our universe began. You’ll hear creation spouted as gospel on Sundays and evolution equally spouted as gospel the other six days from society. When having larger conversations about science and faith, here are five ground rules when attempting to reconcile the two:
1. Don’t check your brain at the door. God’s not afraid of questions. Some automatically assume that if you’re a Christian you have to suspend logic and reason. Not at all! Some Christians are fearful of asking too many questions, afraid that science will somehow pop the bubble of Christianity. God’s not afraid of questions, because if you honestly search for truth (not simply evidence to back up your established bias), you’ll end up at Jesus, because Jesus is the truth.
2. Every argument is made within the context of someone’s bias. Everyone is biased. We just are. If someone says, “I just follow the facts, I’m not biased,” they’re lying. Everyone is biased. The reason we all argue within the context of bias is simple: none of us where there. None of us were there 6,000 or 300 million years ago when the earth was created. None of us were there to see if it was God or a Big Bang. We have an incomplete set of evidence, and we have to fill in the gaps with something. We fill in the gaps based off of what we think (or hope) happened. For instance, this blog post is biased because I’m biased. I personally think the evidence points overwhelmingly towards an Intelligent Designer behind it all. Everyone is biased. Let’s just accept that.
3. The Bible wasn’t written as a scientific textbook. There are going to be a lot of scientific questions that remain unanswered when reading the Bible, but that doesn’t prove any type of deficiency in the Bible. The Bible was written as a revelation from God to man, culminating in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That’s the point of the Bible, not to answer our FAQs about how the world began.
4. Every position takes an element of faith. You have to have faith to believe that God created the world, but I would argue (and remember, I’m biased) that you have to have more faith to believe that this entire universe happened because of a random explosion of molecules. Here’s my argument for that: stop for a moment and look at the smartphone or computer you’re reading this on. What amazing technology! As utterly complex as that piece of technology is, you’d have a hard time convincing your friends that you were walking in the woods one day and saw that smartphone or computer lying on the ground, and your theory was that it came about because of a random explosion of molecules. No! Your smartphone or computer had an intelligent designer who created it on purpose for a purpose. The utter complexity of the universe points to an Intelligent Designer behind it all. It takes faith to believe in creation, but I believe it takes much more faith to believe we came about at random.
5. Christianity doesn’t rest on whether or not Noah’s Ark really happened. Some believe that Christianity is a house of cards resting entirely on the Bible and that if you can poke a hole in one aspect of the biblical record then the whole thing comes crashing down. Skeptics would point to creation or the biblical account of a worldwide flood and use that to try and disprove everything in the Bible. I personally believe that creation happened and that Noah’s ark happened because Jesus believed they happened, and I’m going with the guy that prophesied his own death and resurrection and then pulled it off. But let’s say (for the sake of argument) that some of the accounts in the Old Testament didn’t happen exactly how they’re written, that’s not the end of Christianity. Our faith doesn’t rest on a Book. The Bible testifies about our faith but is not the foundation of our faith. Christianity rests on a single event in human history: the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Everything else is secondary to that, even the Old Testament.