Science vs Christianity

As Christians, we have to be able to answer the question: “Why Christianity, as oppose to any other religion or non-religious belief?”.  For me, it is not a question of choosing a system of beliefs or a theology with which I feel comfortable – that would be putting the cart before the horse.

Christianity is first and foremost an evidence-based faith – the historical evidence points to the existence of a man, whom the Greek-speaking world named Jesus, who claimed to be the son of God, performed miracles, taught about God and heaven, and was raised from the dead precisely as he claimed he would be.  The challenge is to construct a world-view that fits with these facts, which is the challenge that the writers of the New Testament and the early church took on.

However, there is a continual challenge that all of us who wish Christianity to retain that privileged status must face – in light of continuing developments in our understanding of scientific, historical and literary evidence we must continue to re-evaluate the evidence for our faith and, where necessary, adapt our theology to fit the facts rather than denying the facts to suit our theology.

The consequence of failure to engage with this challenge is that Christianity becomes just another religion ….

One thought on “Science vs Christianity

  1. Well it’s risky to have a theology that says that God just does the bits we don’t understand. I prefer to think of science as a way to better understand God’s creation, but I also understand there may be others who will misinterpret that comment. I don’t think you can have a belief in the Christian God without believing he is the creator of the universe, but understanding what it consists of in detail and exactly how he might have done it are, I would say (although others would disagree), not fundamental to belief. Various history, politics and awkward characters make out science and Christianity to be enemies but I don’t think in essence they have to be. Part of the misunderstanding may be due to the nature of proof. An argument for the historicity of Jesus from reliable historical manuscripts is not the same sort of evidence as an argument for a molecule as a regulator of a cancer mechanism based on a set of controlled experiments. However, neither in themselves necessarily prove everything you would like to know about either topic, but they are both types of evidence that contribute to a larger picture. But this misunderstanding is just part of a wider misunderstanding that can happen between academic disciplines that use different types of evidence to create their belief systems.

    I observe (in my world), the main problem to be one of culture clash. Christians who are not scientists don’t need to understand science to be a good Christian, and so, like may other non-scientists, don’t take much interest in the details. Likewise, many scientists (not all) assume Christianity is irrelevant, or only see bad outcomes that are associated with it such as historical wars, or science skepticism, and have no reason to look further. However, there is a strange paralell between the sorts of moans that Christians have about people not really understanding Christianity, and the sorts of moans scientists have about non-scientists. More interestingly, from my viewpoint as both a Christian and a scientist, as much as I think this issue is important, I would say that there are probably large chunks of the population in this country who probably don’t care much about either.

    I think it would be great if we as Christians could communicate the love of God better…well maybe you lot are and it’s just me who’s not making the grade.

    I also think it would be great if we as scientists could engage more with the media and politics to combat ignorance in that area too…or at least persuade Radio 4’s Today program to employ someone with an inkling of what science is…

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