#842 – Science and Christianity

Galaxy NGC 2841
Galaxy NGC 2841

This past weekend I gave one of the most challenging sermons I’ve ever given. I don’t mean that it was challenging for the congregation, but it was challenging for me.

We’re in a series called Questions Friends Ask, looking at different questions our friends could ask us about Christianity. I had the pleasure (?) of tackling the question, “Doesn’t science disprove Christianity?”

My basic premise was that science can’t disprove Christianity because science only measures and examines the visible world. Science only addresses the things that we can see, so it has nothing to say about what we can’t see. When we start with the invisible things, though, like God and faith, it puts the visible world in proper perspective.

Here are a few ways the invisible helps put the visible into proper perspective. 

Who, Not How

The invisible helps us focus on the who of creation instead of the how. Some Christians believe that God created the universe in six literal days and other Christians believe that God created the universe over the course of billions of years. I believe that God created the universe over billions of years, but I’m less concerned about the how than I am the who. Genesis paints an amazing image of a loving God who created a beautiful world with intention and order. In the chaos of our lives, it does us much more good to focus on that kind of God and invite him into our chaos than to spend time arguing about how he created the universe.

God’s Glory

The invisible also helps us see how the visible declares God’s glory. Psalm 19:1 says:

The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

The created world has no choice but to declare God’s glory. Rocks, trees, oceans, stars, dogs and dolphins were all created to declare God’s glory, and by simply being themselves they do just that. We were also created to declare God’s glory but, unlike rocks and dogs, we have a choice. We can choose to declare God’s glory or we can choose to live for our own glory. So when we look at a sunset or an image of another galaxy millions of light years away, the fact that they declare God’s glory should encourage us to do the same.

Focus on the Unseen

The invisible also helps us to focus on what’s really important. 2 Corinthians 4:18 says:

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

I love the created world; it includes Star Wars, hamburgers and Netflix. As much as we may enjoy the created world, though, it’s not where our focus should be. When we focus on the invisible, the unseen realties of God, we see what really matters. Instead of the temporary realities of the created world that can distract us and pull us away from God, the invisible world keeps us focused on the eternal realities that lead us deeper into our lives with Christ.

I love science and how it helps us better understand the world that God created. And when viewed through the filter of God’s unseen realties, science is nothing to be feared or shunned.

How do you view the relationship between science and Christianity?

If you would like, you can listen to my sermon here.


6 comments on “#842 – Science and Christianity”

  1. Great work, Scott! I just happened to be reading a book with a pertinent quote from Gregory of Nyssa:

    “In speaking of God, when there is a question of His essence, then is the time to keep silence. When, however, it is a question of His operation, a knowledge of which can come down even to us, that is the time to speak of His omnipotence by telling of His works and explaining His deeds, and to use words to this extent. In matters which go beyond this, however, the creature must not exceed the bounds of its nature, but must be content to know itself. For, indeed, in my view, if the creature never comes to know itself, never understands the essence of the soul or the nature of the body, the cause of being . . . , if the creature does not know itself, how can it ever explain things which are beyond it?”

  2. Thanks for this, Scott. I am always glad when Christians say that science is not our enemy. I would also add that, if we will let it, science can help us become better stewards of God’s world, as we were created to be (put in the garden to till it and keep it, Gen. 2.15). I will try to listen to your sermon soon – hope you received lots of positive responses and, more importantly, I know you were being a faithful proclaimer of the Word!

    1. Thanks, Mike! I did get a lot of positive response. I was worried that some people would get angry with me because I don’t hold to a six-day creation.

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