Science and Religion, Pt. 1: Introduction

February 15, 2018.

Last year I wrote a post about the interplay between science and religion, and some of my introductory thoughts toward the matter. This year, I am setting out to do a series of posts that explore this subject matter with more depth, as I think we often talk pretty vaguely about the subject, and this vague talking doesn’t always push the dialogue along as it should. I would love to develop this into a lecture series that I could travel and give to churches who are interested in exploring the interplay between science and religion (especially as this subject becomes more and more important for our young people). The series I have planned is pretty long (I think the topic deserves some devoted time), and I have been studying much more than normal in effort to clearly work through some thoughts. Unfortunately, I also believe it could be rather controversial at points (especially to certain groups), but I pray that you follow my logic all the way through if you decide to go down this journey with me. I think that it is time that we face these questions head on, and see what answers we arrive at- even if they aren’t the answers that we have always held to be truth. I mean, we are supposed to be seekers of truth, right? So, we follow the data (whether theological, scientific, historical, etc.) wherever it may lead.

As I have said before, I don’t plan for this to be the end all, be all for the subject. The discussion will continue onward. My goal for this study is to start the conversation, and to lay out the evidence for why the scientific theories (specifically those that are seen as in conflict with the Christian worldview) are the way they are. It is my belief that many Christians are so quick to reject the science simply because they don’t know the evidence. I know I was in that camp for a long time. Further, it isn’t quite fair to say that everyone needs a Ph.D. in a science field to actually know anything about the subject. But it’s also unfair to reject the science without honestly looking at the evidence that scientists who are well acquainted with the data put forth.[1] Thus it is my goal here to go into detail about some of the data in scientific fields, data that is not often objectively considered by many well-meaning Christians. In the end, what you think about the data is up to you. All I ask is for your honest attention.

This is not a question that is going to go away. The conflict between religion and science is a real conflict that our young people are struggling with. I contend that much of the conflict is completely unnecessary. But to get there, we must first have a grasp on what we are discussing. After I present some of the data that backs the theories, I then plan to move on to what we do to come to terms with the data, and how we should view scripture. I ask that you hear me out. The data are becoming (or rather, already have become) overwhelming. If we choose not to face the hard questions head-on, our children certainly will. This series is my way of beginning to prepare both us and them for that challenge, and to offer a different path that many might not even know exists. Perhaps I will have a separate post to explore why I think this truly matters.

This is not the first blog series or articles on this subject matter. A great many books, articles, podcasts, etc. have been produced that address these questions, and much of what I say will be indebted to these resources. I plan to link out to many of these sources along the way. We live in the age of the internet, where an almost unfathomable amount of information is available to us. Unfortunately, that also means there’s a lot of false information available too. I hope to bring a little clarity to my audience, even if that is all that I am able to do.

I was going to write an introduction to the series, but in reading through my previous post, I decided that most of what I was going to say was already written there. Please read this post first as an introduction to the series. Some of it might make its way into several of my other posts on the subject, but this first post will serve as a good foundation and introduction for the series. My plan right now is to post a 16ish part series, interspersed with resources and articles that other people have written that have helped me or that I think can help others along the way. I will post this introductory post today, and I will repost the article I wrote last year tomorrow to begin (though you can certainly read it today if you’d like. Next week we will get into the historical aspects of the discussion, and the week after that we will get into the heart of the matter. I pray that you consider these words as we journey together and that your faith finds new strength. Science and religion need not be enemies any longer.

-Walt

The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
    and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
    whose voice is not heard.”
(Psalm 19:1-3)

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[1] I must point out here that just reading what “your side” has to say about the data and science is not honestly looking at the evidence and determining what you yourself believe about it.

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