Science or Religion: Must We Choose?

By opinion | Wyoming Tribune-Eagle (Cheyenne, WY), November 15, 2014 | Go to article overview

Science or Religion: Must We Choose?


opinion, Wyoming Tribune-Eagle (Cheyenne, WY)


Science or religion: Must we choose.

Young people today are led to believe they must choose between faith or reason, science or religion.

While it is tempting to blame atheistic evangelism preached by those who hope to win converts to the belief of unbelief, Christians must be accountable for our own contribution to this false notion. Historically, fear has caused some within the Christian community to reject truth revealed by science. They believed, for example, that accepting what science discovered about the age of the Earth compared to the age of man would amount to rejecting what the Bible claims about creation. Therein lies the dilemma: Do we believe that man came to live upon the Earth six days after it was created? Or do we believe scientific evidence that shows the Earth existed long before the appearance of man? And if we choose to accept the scientific evidence, must we then reject the Bible? But this question is falsely framed. It would be analogous to saying that a soldier's historical account must be disregarded because he wrote that the battle began at sunset. By now everyone knows that the sun does not rise or set; that it is the revolution of the Earth that makes it appear as if the sun is moving. Therefore, we must not consider his account to be historically accurate. Unless of course, by reading his scientific inaccuracy within the greater context of the entire account we can deem that he was not interested in being scientifically accurate - that his intent was to be historically accurate. Moses is not teaching Earth Science 101 in the book of Genesis. The scientific method, as we know it today, was not a consideration at the time. We would be wrong to project that intention onto him.

Read within the greater context of the Torah, we know that Moses was greatly preoccupied with removing pagan influences that had impacted the Israelite community. Pagans believed in many gods. Moses tells the Israelites that all of creation was made by one God, and this one God is good. Also, he is not a God of chaos but a God of order; hence, the numbering of days. We know this was a significant concern for Moses, considering that the Israelites had resorted to a pagan practice when they created and worshiped the golden calf. So why would he bother describing the creation of the Earth? Precisely so that he might describe the one who created it. Genesis is not about how. It's about who.

Another factor contributing to the notion that faith and reason are opposed to one another is the insistence by some within our Christian community to read the Bible only with a literal interpretive lens. …

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