– by John Bloom –
The Scriptures tell us that “the heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1) and that God’s “invisible attributes . . . have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made” (Romans 1:20). Yet many Christians today are fearful of studying science, and there’s more to this fear than math anxiety. Many believers have bought into the propaganda that science destroys faith and that science is at war with Christianity.
As a Christian and a scientist who has been working in the discipline long enough to see some major scientific theory and paradigm shifts (such as from an eternal, “steady state” universe to a “big bang” universe with a beginning in space and time), I can say with confidence that “science destroys faith” may be a popular myth, but it is simply false.
What challenges Christianity at times is not the scientific data, but the naturalistic interpretations of the data that many insist must be given, no matter what. The trend I see over time is that the more we study and understand the creation through science, the more clearly we see that it must be the handiwork of God. No good art critic can say that a masterpiece like the Mona Lisa is just “random splotches on canvas” or “somehow painted itself.” Similarly, our growing awareness that nature is a masterpiece makes it increasingly hard for a scientist today to shrug and say that “it just happened somehow” or “it’s always been here.”
For example, since the 1930s we have a growing body of data which show that the universe is expanding in a way which implies that everything in it came from a single point and an enormous burst of energy. Thus, it convincingly looks like our universe had a beginning and that something outside of this universe started it. Sound like God? Sure, and Christians can point to Genesis 1:1 and other verses as confirming this interpretation.
But if science is restricted to only providing naturalistic answers to explain what we see, then no hypothesis can include God. Therefore, scientists must postulate “imaginary time,” or “a multiverse,” or some kind of preexistent “nothing” that somehow has the laws of physics embedded in it. Many only consider it “science” as long as the answer is strictly naturalistic.
But note that the problem is not the scientific data — which clearly imply a beginning, a creation of our universe — the problem is the philosophical bias of naturalism that excludes God as a scientific explanation for it. The heavens are declaring the glory of God just fine, but naturalism blinds us from seeing it.
And it is not only the universe’s beginning which is startling. Our universe just happens to have the right size, density, chemical composition, and balance of forces to make life possible anywhere in it. The same applies to planet Earth. Secular scientists today describe Earth as “rare” and “lucky” that it has precisely the right balance of size, mass, composition, spin, sister planets, and a friendly sun to make complex life possible on it. The more exoplanets we discover, the more our earth and solar system look like an incredibly lucky throw of the dice. At some point, “chance” becomes so improbable that “miracle” or “design”