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Why Must the Church Engage in Scientific Discourse?

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March 3, 2010 Tags: Christian Unity

Today's video features Os Guinness. Please note the views expressed here are those of the author, not necessarily of BioLogos. You can read more about what we believe here.

In this video conversation, Os Guinness addresses the question of why it is essential for Christians to engage in scientific discourse. He points out that science is “at the very heart of the modernizing world” and as such, it is all around us.

We cannot ignore it.

Resistance, skepticism, and hostility to science, however, are not biblical precepts. Such a myopic ideology originates from Christian movements that emerged in the 19th century, and they are just that, movements—they are not scriptural.

In the scriptures, science is a source of worship and praise, not argument and controversy.

Also, these movements are driven by fear, which as Guinness points out runs counter to the message of “do not fear” that permeates the scriptures.

The current antipathy by some Christians towards science is not productive and Guinness even characterizes it as “sub-Christian”. In regard to this trend, Guinness remarks, “I hope in the next generation we will overcome it.”

Commentary written by the BioLogos editorial team.

Os Guinness is an author, social critic, and founder of the Trinity Forum. He has been a guest scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Studies and a guest scholar and visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution. He is a frequent speaker at political and business conferences around the world and has written or edited more than 25 books.

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Glen Davidson - #5751

March 3rd 2010

It’s interesting that the Christian viewpoint’s facultative role in the development of modern science is often turned against science, in some mistaken idea that Christians may simply abandon important principles when they are inconvenient for their beliefs.

Essentially, Darwin merely brought biology into line with Newtonian physics.  As most of Christianity had no problem with the latter, I believe that Darwin genuinely did not see any problem for Christianity in principle coming out of evolution, although he clearly knew that it would bother many people’s religious beliefs.

The fact is, we either have to accept the evidence of relatedness across the board if we lack evidence of some other causes which would be expected to produce similar effects, or we have to deny such evidence in “microevolution” (whatever a particular creationist means by that) and in paternity suits.  That’s if we’re consistent, but any science which is not consistent in its treatment of evidence is not worthy of being called “science.”

Glen Davidson

Daniel Mann - #5754

March 3rd 2010

I’m not sure who Os is arguing against. If science is about systematic observation and measurement, of course it can be a source of “worship and praise” (Psalm 19). Likewise, I don’t know anyone who’s afraid of science. That’s like suggesting that there are people out there who are afraid of what their ears hear and their eyes see!?!?

Furthermore, Os is correct that we shouldn’t fear this world. However, there are many admonitions to beware of false teaching (Matthew 7:15; Mark 8:15). Paul even teaches that through false teaching we can be deprived of Christ (Col. 2:8; 18-20; Titus 1:7-11; Gal. 1:9).

In regards to this, I have observed how evolution provides one of the slipperiest slopes. It starts by simply regarding Genesis 1 and 2 as entirely figurative. Then the genealogies must be regarded as figurative. Then the NT endorsements of the historicity of Gen. 1-11 must also be regarded as indulgence of the ignorant NT people who wrongly regarded it as historical.

Ted M. Gossard - #6146

March 8th 2010

I linked this both on my blog and on my facebook. I much appreciate Os Guinness and think he is making an excellent point here, in an excellent way.

dopderbeck - #6165

March 8th 2010

Please include the embed links in these posts!

Indian - #10708

April 21st 2010

Wref Daniel Mann who asks who’s afraid of Science? Simple, those who are afraid of evolution are afaraid of Science!

Daniel, do some research urself to find out how come before Darwin some of the early Church fathers were interpreting Genesis in a manner opposite to yours!

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