Faith and Science

May 14, 2021


Faith and science – can they be compatible?

Approximately 83 percent of the internet content consists of people steering bicycles into trees, landing parachutes in swimming pools, and bouncing from rooftops onto trampolines. Faith is alive and well. Humans are placing unwavering trust in tree branches and little kids at close range with whiffle ball bats. Of course, faith is only as good as the object in which it’s placed.

How is your faith? Maybe you would say, “I’m crammed so full of faith that doubt can’t survive in me.” I’m surprised God hasn’t just taken me up to Heaven. My favorite Bible verse is Gen 5:24, ‘Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, for God took him.’ That’s me. Any day now. My friends will be so impressed.

Or maybe you would say, “Doubt? How did you know? My faith was once a living thing. Vibrant. Bulletproof. Joy characterized me. And then: Along came bankruptcy. I watched cancer do its thing. My wife left. Someone I admired fell.” In most of us, doubt is traced to this: How could there be a God when (fill in the blank). Sometimes it’s silly stuff. A guy told me he’d been pulled over and given a ticket for driving with his dog on his lap. He said, “What kind of God can let this happen?” We treat God like a cosmic plumber who should fix stuff when we bust it.

But perhaps your reasons are anything but silly. Maybe you can’t see how faith and science can be compatible. Have you noticed that doubt is now considered nobler than faith? We have “honest doubts” and “blind faith.” Faith can’t be honest? Doubt can’t be blind? Lesslie Newbigin wrote, “One does not learn anything except by believing something, and—conversely—if one doubts everything one learns nothing.”

We are obsessed with certainty. But there’s far too much that science can’t explain for us to put our complete trust in it. Last week a young atheist asked my daughter-in-law, “Do Christians believe in science and medicine?” Yes. We give thanks for them both. You can’t study the history of science or medicine without encountering a stunning array of brilliant and compassionate Christians. But keep in mind that science tells us what the world is like, Christianity tells us what it means. science can’t explain away God, but it can show us how beautiful and creative He is.

Hebrews 11 says, “By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.” So, have a little faith. Not in ropes or tree branches. But in an awesome God who loves you.

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