How can we resolve the tension between reason and faith?
[Darris McNeely] I was intrigued by a recent headline, "Can I Be a Scientist and a Christian?" It's a good question. It's a question endlessly debated today among people who believe strictly in science as a means of explaining our world and our universe, as opposed to those who believe in the Bible and take the Bible as the word of God and as a guide for life. Can we marry the two, or must the two remain forever separate?
You know, there are basically three different categories into which people fall as they try to explain the creation, or the existence of this world, life, the universe, and to reconcile faith and reason together, science and the Bible.
First off is what we might call atheistic evolution – the idea that evolution is the sole means to explain the origin of life on earth, there is not a God, there is no Creator, He is not involved in the process. According to a recent poll, about 15 percent of Americans polled adopt and accept this approach.
A second is what is called scientific creation – the idea that the Bible is literal and that there is a God who created this world, and science is not exactly as evolutionists would say that it is. About 46 percent of people adopt this approach. Many who call themselves Christian, fundamentalist or otherwise, and believe in the Bible as an account to explain the creation.
And then there's another third category in a general sense, called a theistic evolutionist, tends to blend the two – that the world, the universe was created by a God but evolution is used as part of the process by which the life forms arose on this earth, especially, and within the universe in terms of its creation, but with a hands-off approach from a Creator who designed into the processes the ideas and the things that we might term as the evolutionary process.
When you look at this, in one sense, these are three general classifications, but on Beyond Today, we have done a number of programs on the very subject of evolution, Darwinian evolution, and of course we seek to take the Bible as the word of God and as a source for revealed knowledge. Now, one of the things that we approach – how we approach this subject here on Beyond Today, in a sense, puts us a little bit different from some of these others that accept God and the Bible in try to explaining this world.
Number one, we understand that the Bible is a book of theology. It is a revealed word from God that explains God, mankind, and how this and why life exists and why this world exists as it does. We do not take the Bible as a book of science. The Bible is not a book of science. It's a book that explains theology. We also, however, understand that the gains and the knowledge that science has produced in this modern world, where they are demonstrable facts, must also be considered in terms of understanding what God reveals within the Bible. If you can take the two and take an approach where you don't exclude the two, but you seek to take the Bible to explain what science cannot explain, and you seek to take what science provides and to help us understand what the Bible itself does not reveal to us, then we can begin to work our way towards some understanding of this world, this life, what God has in mind, and seek to come to some answers by understanding all that is there.
You know, the Bible has a verse – it's in 1 Corinthians chapter 2 – that talks about, in essence, the knowledge that man has, as opposed to the revealed knowledge that can be known as God gives us that knowledge. And in verse 15 of 1 Corinthians chapter 2, Paul makes a statement. He says that, "He who is spiritual judges all things" (1 Corinthians 2:15). And if you take that approach, perhaps rather than trying to exclude and draw a big dividing line between science and the Bible, we might take a more inclusive approach, and take an approach that takes the science and the Bible together to begin to understand this wonderful world and universe that we find ourselves – and also to understand exactly who God is, what man is, and what man's purpose is within the design of this fantastic universe that we see.
You have the Bible. You have books of science, as this one here is just one that seeks to talk about what the cosmos is all about. And rather than mutually exclude the two, why not take both to begin to understand what it is that God purposes for mankind. That perhaps is a better approach to understand who we are and what God is doing.
That's Beyond Today, BT Daily. Join us next time.