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Science and Christianity are not Enemies March 27, 2015

Posted by Daniel Benjamin Smith (dsmith77) in Favorite Verses, Science.
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Historic Christianity birthed modern science.

This is a fact attested to by many modern researchers and historians yet almost no one alive today is aware of it. Today, Science and Christianity (almost always stated as ‘science and religion’ but there’s really only one religion in this debate) are seen as opposites. Worse, people with a scientific background erroneously believe that science has somehow disproven the existence of God and many Christians are afraid to study science for fear they will lose their faith.

Neither position is accurate. Christians who have a weak foundation for their faith may indeed lose it but this is hardly a foregone conclusion. And how can science disprove something that has no tangible parts? I mean it’s not like you can bottle faith in a test tube and subject it to tests.

So how did historic Christianity birth modern science?

It goes back to an issue of worldview. In the ancient world, many cultures had the potential for birthing science. The ancient Chinese knew about magnetism, the ancient Arabs gave us number systems, the ancient Egyptians knew about astronomy, etc. Every major culture of the past had a something to contribute yet modern science was always “stillborn”. It did not arise in its modern form of “test everything” until the middle ages of Western Europe.

Why?

The answer lies in Christianity and in no small part to the following verse:

Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. – 1 Thessalonians 5:21 (KJV)

The differences between Christianity and all the other religions before it are many. It was a combination of several of these that led to modern science. Christianity posits a single Creator God that is personal and all-powerful. (The topic of the Trinity is another conversation.) Most all ancient religions had a pantheon of gods that usually did things arbitrarily. So there was never any cultural push to understand how the world worked. If there was a lightning storm, then Zeus/Jupiter/Thor was simply angry. But in the Christian worldview, followers were taught:

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28 (KJV)

So there must always be a purpose in everything. Thus, curious people poked about and prodded the natural world until it revealed its secrets.

And because God was personal and had created all things. And because we were made in His image as the following verse states:

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. – Genesis 1:27 (KJV)

Then our creative capacities and tendencies derive from God as well. Just as God must derive great pleasure from creating, so too do we. And modern science as we know it was birthed. All this came about because of the particular worldview that Christianity had instilled into the people living in western Europe during the middle ages.

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