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The good folks at St. Helen’s Bishopsgate in London have developed a website designed to show that science and Christianity can go together called ‘Science a personal view’.

In the Post Modern age we’re very scientific. The media has spotted this trend, thrusting celebrity status on Prof. Brian Cox (more so than when he was in DReam) and commissioning shows like ‘Attenborough: 60 years’ and ‘Stargazing live’. These programmes show something of the scale, complexity and wonder of God’s universe. However Post Modernism has taught us that nothing is communicated without a purpose or agenda and all too often Science is used to discredit Christianity or worse disprove the claims of the Bible.

In light of this William Taylor (Rector of St Helen’s Bishopsgate) asked 9 scientist from St Helen’s (including 7PhD’s, 1 Prof.) to say on camera why they think Science and Christianity don’t contradict each other. The 12 short (90 second) films that comprise the body of this work is the project titled ‘Science a personal view’. The aim of this work is:

1. To encourage Christians (particular scientists) to show them many credible scientists are Christians.

2. To engage with some of the viewpoints of atheistic scientists.

Below is the introductory video. To view the entire 12 video series, go here.

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19 thoughts on “Science and Christianity”

  1. Rick Owen says:

    See also “Reasons To Believe” website.

  2. Philip James says:

    I’m a true believer that science can be used to explain Christianity, but I am not a believer that science is faith like the Roman Catholic Church through – St Thomas Aquinas (human reasoning), metaphysics (Aristotle), epistemology etc…

  3. Philip James says:

    A prime example of how science can explain Christianity is that in the garden of Eden the Bible speaks of a mist ( a dew) that would form a blanket over the garden in the morning and would water the plants and fruit tree. This dew was a fundamental part of the plant’s sustenance because it allowed the plants to make food through the process of photosynthesis where green plants use direct sunlight and water to make food.

  4. Beth says:

    The “here” link at the end of the post didn’t work, but this one does:

    For what it’s worth :)

  5. kyle says:

    I’m glad to find these videos. Christians should not feel threatened by science. Science, in the sense of the way things are and the processes that govern them, is God’s work as much as the Bible is. But it is abundantly clear that science can not answer all the questions, especially the BIG perennial ones that won’t let us go. At a certain point, unless you are comfortable with nihilism, everyone has to make a leap of faith in something.

  6. Thanks for brining attention to this. I’ll pass it on to the vice chair of my board who is the chair of the Science Dept. at the University in our town. There is a great need for more sane thinking about the relationship between science and Christianity. I am particularly troubled by the intramural divisiveness within the body over matters like the age of the earth. I had a man once threaten to leave our Church if we would not explicitly add the young earth view to our doctrinal statement. I gently reminded him that this matter has never been a test of Christian orthodoxy or condition of Christian fellowship for the confessing Church. I had to find a nice way to say, “Good-bye”because he was bent on causing trouble over the matter. Personally, I hold an original creation and subsequent formation view articulated so brilliantly by the late Donald Grey Barnhouse. If your interested in a nice introduction to his view, I posted it here:

  7. RayC says:

    Good blog, thanks. I agree that we should not fear but rather be informed. There’s a great book that lays the latest arguments side by side in the form of top quality articles:

    This is a heavy-weight book in many more ways that one. Very diverse topics and the articles are detailed, but all the better for it. And even with 3 Nobel laureates on the other side I don’t think they in any way have the upper hand. I don’t know if this helps, but I read this in terms of evaluating the viabilty of naturalism rather than young/old earth categories.

  8. Anselm Hart says:

    I’ve written a blog about one aspect of these videos that I find concerning:

  9. Rebecca says:

    Just wanted to put in a word for St. Helen’s Bishopsgate: I’d encourage anyone visiting or living in London to put St. Helen’s on your agenda. As a study abroad student in London, I attended Sunday evening services and Wednesday Bible studies there. Not only did it enrich my time in England, but it demonstrated that while many North Americans tend to perceive Christianity as dead or dying in the UK and Europe, there are places in which it is very much alive.

  10. Ronnie says:

    Good to hear, but personally speaking I’ve never been a big fan of science since I have bad memories of 10th grade chemistry class…

  11. david says:

    It is good to be able to read a site that can both see the truth of God’s Word, and the truth of science.

    I would like to start by saying, that both Religion, and Science, have within them, those people who are less than sincere, or honest, with ill intent, seeking self-adulation, rather than humbly seeking to know a truth, driven by their own agendas. I will try to steer clear of doing the same thing myself.

    Science is to me, the indepth observation, and skilful manipulation of God’s Creation; skilful manipulation may or may not be righteous manipulation, each event must be judged by its own merits, and God’s Own Word has to be the Judge; I hope I can say that to myself, only right and wrong, as established by God, in His Word, is what matters, likes and dislikes are something different, and my opinion of likes and dislikes, cannot carry
    any greater weight than anyone elses.

    It really concerns me that some scientists are gaining such celebrity status, that for many people (my nices and nephews, and their parents included, who work within a scientific industry), what those celebrity scientists say, is taken as being true an accurate, without any public debate being possible, which leaves statements that could be challenged as erronious, going unchallenged, and the statement becoming established as truth, when it may not be quite so clear cut.

    I think back to when Prof Brian Cox told us that the desert winds, given time, could create their own sandcastles, as he made a sandcastle of his own in the desert, using moist sand, and a bucket in which to contain, shape, and compact the sand, before turning out his sandcastle, with it’s compact, sharp, vertical edges. I am convinced that Prof Cox, would have known his statement was perhaps a little flippant, but who would dare to question him?
    Is it not the desert winds, and the desert sun, that would destroy Prof Cox’s sandcastle, and prevent one ever being created naturally, however long entropy may be at work, and what of the moisture needed within the sand itself for capillary action to bind the sand grains together, where does the necessary moisture come from, and the verticle sides of walls, and castellations, how are such unaerodynamic shapes created by the very power of wind that erodes such things even as I write this?

    I wonder sometimes if there is a tendency for the celebrity scientists to rely upon the fact that their TV performance can not be questioned there and then, and that their status itself may deter people from questioning them at all; and I find that people readily tell themselves that the scientist knows best, and the rest of us cannot posibly understand as they do, therefore do not try to – but that is not how I fee.
    Someone did question Prof Cox, on TV, about his statement he made about the desert winds building sandcastles, and Prof Cox bowed his head, looking embarrassed, and said “I may have to rethink that.” I was pleased to hear Prof Cox say that, but I wonder just how many people, because of erronious statements such as Prof Cox made, increasingly believe that chance, and time, are the powers of creation.

    Some scientists still claim that if you give every chimpanzee a typewriter, between them, quite by chance, given long enough, they could write the full works of Shakespeare.

    This thinking that time, and chance, are the powers of creation, along with a driving force of need, can only begin to look plausible, if we ignore what I would consider to be some rather obvious obstacles to this claim.

    Chance never changes, more importantly, chance never stops, for chance is just a moment in random events, and chance is only known to the conscious, those able to observe chance, it is not known to itself, or known to the events, however, chance is known to God, and chance can, and I am sure does, play it’s part, in part, in the evolution of God’s Creation, two examples being cross-pollination, and cross-breading, taking place by chance, within the bounds of an existing establishment. Chance is not the creator in those two examples, chance is just the moment in time, the opportunity for an event to occur, and such events, afforded the chance, can occur again, and again, and again, evolving, as they take place within the bounds that govern them.

    Chance, decides nothing, it cannot, it is not a consciousness, it is just a moment in time; and chance is governed by constraints, set boundaries.
    Chance cannot design, though it may colour. Chance is never aware of either enhancing, or inhibiting a situation, chance is without conscious knowledge, without awareness, and if by chance an advantage is evolved, it is just as easily lost again, by chance, for chance does not know to stop at the point of advantage, but chance is neverending, unwittingly moving in a radom direction.

    The Giraffe is cited as an example of evolution, as people try to explain its long neck. Starvation is said to be the driving force, the need to evolve, to survive. The more we think about it, the more implausible it all would seem to be.
    If a Giraffe developed a longer neck, as a result of contending for food, then it was not by chance, but by design, as chance would know nothing of need, and so could not contribute to need.
    If a Giraffe had to stretch, in fact to over stretch, that it might survive, before evolution could by chance develop for it a longer neck, then the impact such food shortage would have upon the fertility of the Giraffes, as we know from farming, would mean the Giraffe was lucky to survive at all; and such near starvation, over many millennia, causing poor fertility, small young, and a lack of milk for the young, such evolution of the Giraffe’s neck is simply implausible.
    The Giraffe is a food source for other animals also; could it really have afforded chance, or evolution, the time they needed to design, or happen across a solution?

    Sir David Attenborough, on one of his programmes, was telling us all how the Passionflower mimicked the yellow eggs laid upon it by a butterfly that uses it to feed it’s caterpillars.
    Sir David, told us that the Passionflower mimics the yellow eggs, in colour, and size, but just how can the Passionflower mimic anything?

    Surely if the Passionflower was going to mimic something, it would first need to be able understand, and recognize: the need to mimic, what it means to mimic, what is gained from mimicing, the threat from the butterfly, and the butterfly larva, colour, contour, and size; now that is an awful lot of knowledge that this plant has to have isn’t it, and to top it off, the plant then needs to know how to recreate itself, and so recreate itself, so that it can within it’s stems, mimic the colour, size, and shape, of the butterfly eggs that it wishes to fool the butterfly into thinking are already laid upon the plant, that it might move to a different plant, the very purpose for which it is said to mimic in the first place.
    I know of no plant that has such conscious awareness, or knowledge; but I know a God and Creator Who does.

    The problem with so many scientists today, is that they try to attribute a conscious awareness, knowledge, and ability to understand, to cells, and to life forms, and they just do not have this consciousness, awareness, knowledge, or understanding – but God does.

    Does it matter about the exact age of the Earth? No, to me it does not, for two reasons: we are told in Scripture that to God, a day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as a day, this means time is of no great significance in itself.
    But also, we are told in scripture, that the Earth/World was covered in water, well before the days of Noah – another flood perhaps, at the culmination of a period in Earth’s history that we know nothing of, and are told nothing about, I think so.
    We are also told that there will be a new earth, and a new heaven – we are not told there will be a new World, just a new heaven, and a new earth. Has the Earth, this World, been brought into a situation of order, out of disorder, by way of a recreated earth(land), and recreated heaven (sky/atmosphere), upon an existing World that was flooded for reasons known only to God, in a period of history we are not told about in Scripture – I think so; and I think the new earth, and the new heaven yet to come, will be another recreation of this World we know today; a time when deserts will bloom again, upon this same land, upon this same World.

    I believe the history of this World, goes way way back in history from the point in Genesis where we are told “The earth was without form, and void…”

    When we are told that the water subsided after the flood in Noah’s day, where did the water subside to – Noah was not allowed to witness what took place, but could God have created mountains and valleys, that the water might be able to subside into those valleys, I think that could be possible; Everest is the highest of the mountains, and yet it is made up of rocks formed on the ocean floor.
    It would be interesting to know what the ocean level would be, if all mountains were reduced to no more than around 1000 metres.

    Scripture says “there were giants in the land in those days,” there is much that we do not perhaps yet understand, but we need not fear that, and it need not detract from what we do know.

    Since I was baptized with The Holy Spirit, and having recieved the God given gift of tongues, many of those spiritual things that were once hard to understand, have become clearer. Since feeling the physical presence of The Holy Spirit within/upon my own body, the virgin birth is now easy to understand, there is no difficulty at all.
    Since the gift of tongues, visions, and knowledge, it has become easier to understand what is happening, but it has made life harder.

    I have spent years warning people about the false signs and wonders of the Toronto Blessing, and the false deliverance ministry, though I too was once a part of such activities; I know that our thinking is our spiritual, and Spiritual hearing, and I know that we must be baptized in both water (not christening), and with The Holy Spirit, and that it is The Holy Spirit coming upon us at baptism, which is always attested to with the gift of tongues, that identifies us as Christians, meaning anointed ones, just as it was The Baptism of The Holy Spirit coming upon Jesus, that revealed Jesus to be The Christ, meaning The Anointed One. We must all be baptized, as commanded to by Jesus.

    Before I finish, I was reading this week, that almost no one ever thought the World was flat, but to discredit the church, a Mr White, and Mr Dunlop, introduced a lie about the church believing the World to be flat, just to make the church look foolish at a time when Darwin was introducing his theory.

    Also, I believe the book of Leviticus, is the first example of God teaching us about bacteria, virus, and spores; He didn’t name them for us, as we were to name things, and until we could see them, and so became truely aware of them, we could not name them, but I believe “clean,” and “unclean,” was teaching us about disease, and toxins, thousands of years before science was able to see for themselves those things they later called viruses, bacteria, spores, and toxins.

  12. James Frederick, Professor, Clemson University says:

    Like many, for years I struggled trying to see, at a glance, where science and Christianity support one another. And like most, I always found it easier to keep the two separate in my life. But at the challenge of my son, I took almost a 3-year personal study of where do science and Christianity meet, taking the approach that both science and the Bible are 100% correct. Yes, evolution had a purpose in God’s plan but so did Adam and Eve (and all the other the other chosen ones in the Bible). But they were different purposes. I recently published my discoveries in a book entitle To Adam about Adam, Where Science and Christianity Meet ( I would welcome your comments on the conclusions and thoughts in the book. Seeing how science and Christianity embrace another has helped me significantly with my faith.

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Kevin DeYoung

Kevin DeYoung is the senior pastor at Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, North Carolina. He is chairman of the board of The Gospel Coalition, assistant professor of systematic theology at Reformed Theological Seminary (Charlotte), and a PhD candidate at the University of Leicester. Kevin and his wife, Trisha, have seven children. You can follow him on Twitter.

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