From space travel to organ transplants, one of the most important influences shaping the modern world is science. Amazingly, people who lived during the Civil War had more in common with Abraham than with us. If Christians are going to speak to that world and interact with it responsibly, they must interact with science. The question is, how are we to understand the relationship between science and Christianity? At a dinner party I was introduced to a professor of physics. On learning that I was a philosopher and theologian, he informed me of the irrational nature of my fields, contending that science had removed the need to believe in God.
Others maintain science and theology mix like oil and water; they are so different that no discovery in science has any bearing on theology or vice versa. Science and religion are radically different spheres of life, they maintain. This opinion was enshrined in law in the creation science trial in Little Rock, Arkansas in December 1981. In that trial, creation science was judged as religion masquerading as science.
Still others seem to believe theology is not rational unless it has scientific confirmation, and they fervently look about to find that confirmation. Who’s right? Is science a threat or a help to faith, or are they unrelated at an intellectual level?
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