by Matt Slick
Science is that branch of study which seeks to observe, discover, and understand the nature and principles that govern our universe, our world, and ourselves. The result of this process is a systematic categorization of knowledge with the goal of predicting and manipulating events according to discovered natural laws.
Science has shaped our lives dramatically. Because of science we now have great medical knowledge. We can travel in jets, automobiles, and trains over great distances. We can harness rivers, predict storms, and use the power of the atom. By picking up a phone, we can talk to almost anyone in the world. We can see anywhere on the planet via television and even gaze upon the surface of the moon and Mars. Like a giant flood gate that has been opened, what is flowing through its doors is a wonderful technology of helps, advancements, relaxation, amusements, security, answered questions, and hope. No longer must we till the land with our hands, pray for life giving rain to water our crops, be subject to the whims of nature, and be helpless during times of sickness. In fact, science has become for many a new god.
Before the time when science was looked to for explanations of the unknown, mankind turned to religion. History is full of stories, writings, and the influence of religious beliefs upon entire societies. Temples dedicated to various gods are all over the world. Even though science has not replaced religion in all areas, it offers an intellectually justifiable reason to deny God's sovereignty. Evolution is a good example.
When a society is powerless to control its future and is vulnerable to the elements of nature, it turns to that which is in control of those things: god(s). In all religious systems, prayers are offered in the hopes of appeasing and convincing a god or gods to help in time of need. But now that we can provide irrigation to replace rain, medicine to cure diseases, weapons to protect our homes, and television to dull our minds and hearts, the need for a deity to pray to has given way to the need to obtain money in order to gain the benefits of technology: comfort, leisure, and security. The world offers a new kind of religion: science. The scientists are its priests and the general populace is the congregation.
What Does this Mean to a Christian?
To the Christian, science is merely that branch of discovery that categorizes, discovers, and utilizes the knowledge woven into the fabric of the universe by a Sovereign, All Powerful, and Omniscient, Creator. Science is not the end of all things, but merely one of the means by which man may glorify God. This is because God is the creator of all that is. He has hidden the treasures of his ominous glory in the very universe in which we exist. The power in the atom, momentum, energy, mass, time, etc. are all creations of God and, therefore, under his authority. The more the Christian learns of these things, the more he can glorify God. Science must be subservient to Him, not the other way around. Science is not God's replacement. Every Christian should know that.
Do the Bible and Science Disagree?
Where other cosmologies found in religions have the world on the back of turtles, or the earth being the result of a fight between gods, biblical revelation is quite consistent with science. This is not to say that the Bible is vindicated by science; rather, it is science that is vindicated by the Bible. Consider the following: (note: all quotes are from the NIV)
The Round Shape of the Earth--"He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in," (Isaiah 40:22).
The Earth is suspended in nothing--"He spreads out the northern [skies] over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing," (Job 26:7).
The Stars are Innumerable--"He took him outside and said, "Look up at the heavens and count the stars--if indeed you can count them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be," (Genesis 15:5).
The Existence of Valleys in the Seas--"The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare at the rebuke of the LORD, at the blast of breath from his nostrils," (2 Samuel 22:16).
The Existence of Springs and Fountains in the Seas--"In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, on the seventeenth day of the second month--on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened," (Genesis 7:11). See also Gen. 8:2; Prov. 8:28.
The Existence of Water Paths (Ocean Currents) in the Seas--"O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! . . . When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, . . . . You made him [man] ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet . . . the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas," (Psalm 8:1, 3, 6, 8).
The Hydrologic Cycle--"He wraps up the waters in his clouds, yet the clouds do not burst under their weight," (Job 26:8); "He draws up the drops of water, which distill as rain to the streams; the clouds pour down their moisture and abundant showers fall on mankind," (Job 36:27-28); "The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course. All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again," (Ecclesiastes 1:6-7).
The Concept of Entropy--"In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded," (Psalm 102:25-26).
The Nature of Health, Sanitation, and Sickness--The listing for this section is too large for this page. But the scriptural references are Leviticus chapters 12 through 14.
There is no God but One
Christians need to be careful not to let science usurp the place of authority and honor that belongs to God alone. If you are a Christian, you need to keep in mind that God alone is the Lord and that He placed the universe here. We are here for Him, so we might glorify Him and enjoy Him forever (1 Cor. 1:9). There is no God, but one (Isaiah 44:6, 8). But . . .
Do you look to science as your hope, your security, and your safety net? Do you go to God only after science has failed you, only after the medicine doesn't work, or only after your comforts are threatened? Is television an idol to which you sacrifice your time and energy? Are the pleasures offered by technology, which is the child of science, the fruit you seek more than God? How much of your dependence upon God has been replaced by your dependence upon things?
Science is the creation of God and God is the Sovereign of all.
Look inside your own heart and see which is on the throne.