Friday, May 23, 2008

Science and faith - Complimentary!

There are some people who think science can disprove Christianity. They say that the theory of evolution (note: its a theory) proves once and for all that the creation story in the Bible is rubbish, therefore the rest of it can be written off.

Then when you give them the story of Jesus, they throw science at you again and say He may not even have been dead in the first place and that He didn't rise from the dead.

Okay, lets look at these issues.

Who says science has to disprove faith? Why not science and faith?

For example, the idea of 'the dials' in creation. The proven scientific fact that there are hundreds of different measurements in creation - percentage of salt in the sea (the exact same as in the human body), the exact degree that the earth faces the sun, the distance we are from the moon, the level of certain elements in the air and hundreds of others, that all have to be exactly as they are to sustain life on earth.

Not only that, but the simple truth that if even one were out of sync then it wouldn't matter if all the others were correct. No life on planet earth would exist. Now one or two coincidences is one thing, but hundreds and hundreds (at least 300) all being the exact correct measurement? A complete coincidence and accident?

Not for me. Looks to me like there's some kind of design.

Then there is the fact that scientists are now beginning to conclude that there are at least 11 dimensions to reality, and as many as 13. Scientists are starting to conclude that there is some scientific uncontrollable force out there which governs everything we do. This is science by the way, not some religious texts. Starting to sound similar aren't they?

To me that many coincidences in creation, the different dimensions to reality, the way nature all fits together and apart from all that the sheer beauty in creation suggest to me that there has to be something more. There's simply no other explanation.

Once you come to that conclusion then you look at all the accounts of creation, and the one which sticks out is in the Bible. It may not be the literal description of events, in fact personally I think the creation story is a metaphor, for both the fact that God created the heavens and the earth and designed them, and for the fall of man. Who says that evolution was not the method that God created the universe and life on earth? In fact even more, does it actually matter?

Should our faith in Jesus really be dependent on whether the creation story is literally true?

If it is, I'd humbly like to question just how strong someones faith is. Personally my faith is based on the fact that I believe Jesus is true. That He was who He said He was and that His way is the best way to live. Simple as that.

The creation story and what exactly happened is not as important as what that story represents, and its certainly not what my faith is based on.

But nevertheless, to me the idea that God created the universe explains all the coincidences and science of creation better than any story that it was all just an 'accident'. It only adds to my faith, rather than destroys it. The science of the universe makes much more sense to me when you explain it through the idea that it was specifically designed and created by a sovereign God.

So you see, science doesn't disprove the idea of a creator God. To me it merely strengthens the idea that there is a creator God behind it all and therefore gives me even more confidence that Jesus really is who He said He is and did what the Bible says He did.

If you want to go into whether Jesus was dead, well that's simple to me. The background to the whole story, the science and the historical facts behind it, leads to a different conclusion.

Jesus had been through a Roman flogging, which was known to have killed people on its own without any need for official execution. Following this He had then been executed in the most painful and brutal form of execution ever devised by man. He was totally emotionally drained, and given that He'd been abandoned not just by all His friends but by God as well (unlike anyone else in history) I think its perfectly believable that He died on the cross. To me there is no question. He surrendered His soul to God, He was physically dead.

Even if you question if He was dead, there's the cultural issues and facts around the story of the empty tomb.

It was near enough impossible for a Roman tomb to be opened from the inside, especially by someone with the level of injuries Jesus would have sustained. Roman gravestones would have needed several men to move them, from the outside. Given the amount of Roman guards guarding the tomb, whose lives may have been at stake if they had failed in their job, there is no way the stone could have been moved by anyone without it being noticed. Not a chance.

Then there's the fact that the first person to discover the empty tomb was a woman. In Jewish culture a woman's testimony wasn't valid at all. Only men's' testimony was valid. If Jesus wanted to convince people of a lie that He was risen from the dead, a woman was not the best person to tell first.

Bottom line, to me there's simply no other realistic conclusion than that the story in the Bible is true. Not for me. The evidence otherwise just doesn't add up, scientifically, culturally or historically.

So yet again scientific fact, in this case research about Roman and Jewish culture and how the human body reacted to Roman executions, doesn't destroy faith, it supports it and even encourages it.

Far from one destroying the other, science and faith can in fact be very complimentary