Presentation on theme: "Christianity and Science Is scientific thinking consistent with a Bible-based Christian worldview? How should we use the two sources of information (in."— Presentation transcript:
Christianity and Science Is scientific thinking consistent with a Bible-based Christian worldview? How should we use the two sources of information (in the Word and the Works) that are graciously provided for us by God? Lecture at Wheaton College (March 27, 2003) by Dr. Deborah Haarsma ( with slides selected by Craig Rusbult to make a file for the ASA Science Education Website )Dr. Deborah HaarsmaASA Science Education Website
Science arises naturally from a Christian worldview We are studying God’s handiwork (Ps 19:1) God calls us to do science (Gen 1:28, 2:19-20) We are gifted to do science (Gen 1:27) Nature is controlled by one God in a faithful manner (Ps 119:89-90, Ps 74:16-17) We cannot know God’s mind a priori (Job 38, Ps 135:6), but we can learn how He governs nature (Prov 25:2) Redemption history has past, present, and future (time is linear)
Christian worldview beliefs We are studying God’s handiwork God calls us to do science We are gifted to do science Nature is controlled by one God in a faithful manner We cannot know God’s mind a priori, but can learn how He governs nature Redemption history has past, present, and future Science is worth doing Nature is understandable Nature operates in consistent universal patterns Logical models are not enough, experiments are needed Time is linear Beliefs necessary for doing science Science arises naturally from a Christian worldview
A Christian does not have to pretend to be an atheist to do science (“methodological naturalism”) Worldviews which are very different can share the subset of assumptions necessary to do science, so Christianity does not “own” science. Some worldviews not as well-suited to science (animism, circular time). The scientific method is entirely consistent with a Christian worldview
Response to apparent conflicts with Scripture Maybe science and scripture are at war? No! Maybe scripture trumps science? Maybe science trumps scripture?
Belgic Confession Article 2: The Means by Which We Know God We know him by two means: First, by the creation, preservation, and government of the universe, since that universe is before our eyes like a beautiful book in which all creatures, great and small, are as letters to make us ponder the invisible things of God: his eternal power and his divinity… Second, he makes himself known to us more openly by his holy and divine Word, as much as we need in this life, for his glory and for the salvation of his own.
Two Books: Nature & Scripture Nature ScienceTheology Scripture God Necessary Agreement Author of Potential Conflict Human Interpretation Human Interpretation
Two Books: Nature & Scripture A tool for resolving conflicts between science & theology Hope: –Nature and Scripture are both from God and must agree (all truth is God’s truth) Strategy: –don’t throw out one and keep the other (don’t ignore some of God’s revelation) –keep pursuing both science and theology until the underlying unity of Nature and Scripture becomes clear Nature Science Theology Scripture God
if someone requires or implies that a religion a scientific fact Example: –Christianity requires the Earth to be fixed –Science proves the Earth moves –Therefore, Christianity is false Possible responses to the flawed conclusion: 1.Reject the scientific claim 2.Reject the arrow (the “requires” line of reasoning) Some apparent conflicts are due to faulty logic
Nature displays the attributes of God glory, beauty, power, extravagance, creativity, faithfulness, intelligence, immensity, intricacy… Worship is our most fundamental faith response to God’s creation Nature proclaims God’s attributes in universal language Scripture teaches us these attributes, but Nature shows their amazing extent Science reveals parts of Nature that we cannot detect with our unaided senses
God’s Immensity and Love As high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. - Psalm 103:11-12