We hear this statement on a daily basis, though perhaps not in so many words. My question, though, is not whether or not science and Christianity contradict one another. My question is whether or not this scientific stance against religion is a relatively new stance for people to take. For years we have been taught that religion has always been the backbone of human civilization. From ancient cave paintings to the development of written language to bronze idols and to even a more contemporary setting.We have heard that men and women choose religion in order to make sense of the world, and that the more we can explain without the existence of some all powerful deity, the less we need to invoke such a mystical existence in order to make sense of the world. Allow me to point out for us all a brief history of some world movements.

  • In 509 B.C. Romans revolted against their king in order to establish a republic, giving more power to the Roman citizen.[1]
  • In 460 B.C. Cleisthenes enacts reforms that make Athens a democratic Greek City-State, giving more power to Athenians.[2]
  • In 230 B.C., Shihuangdi, who was the self-proclaimed first emperor of China, standardized writing and units of measure.[3]
  • In 49 B.C. Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon, starting a Roman civil war in order to keep his army and seek political gain.[4]
  • In 313 A.D. Constantine made Christianity Rome’s official religion in recognition of the power he perceived it granting him in combat.[5]
  • In 800 A.D. Catholicism took political power through Charlemagne creating the Holy Roman Empire.[6]

More Recently

  • Enlightenment (18th Century)- Man begins seeking his own power through his rational facilities relying more on his own reason than through the instruction  of others (particularly in the religious community).[7]
  • Scientific Revolution (18th Century- present day) began as a part of the enlightenment movement and provided science as an autonomous practice even furthering the proclaimed power of the individual mind and of the individual person.[8]
  • Civil Rights movements throughout all of time (e.g. African American right to vote, Women’s right to vote, abolition of slavery, right to keep and bear arms and homosexual freedom in ‘marriage’) consisted and consist of people fighting for more individual power.

 

Consider the notion that every human movement in the history of the world revolved and currently revolves around a notion of power. People yearn for power and they will fight to have that power. Some of those fights I believe a worthwhile, but nevertheless revolve around a human yearning for power. As such, many of these movements carry along a sense of selfishness as they pertain to the individual. Now, let us consider the statement initially posed, “When science encroaches, God is driven away.”

It is nothing new that mankind would be involved in some sort of revolution that seemingly grants more power to the individual. Just a few examples have been listed. Materialism and atheism are not new or revolutionary ideas. In fact, to include one’s self in this type of revolution at all, when it is not necessary, is only a way the individual tries to gain power over his or her own life. According to Christian scripture, it is this type of revolution than mankind has been involved in since mankind first accepted the disease known as sin.[9] Science does not have the ability or the power to drive God away. It is only an excuse some use to ignore a holy God. People will always try to rely on self, even if it means denying a God who calls each to give his or her life up.

In partaking in this sort of revolution, the atheist lifestyle lends credence to the Biblical narrative. Atheism, relativism and individualism all portray the selfishness of mankind and the want mankind has to rule over his own life. Will we conform to this sort of thinking in order to gain power or acceptance? I certainly hope not. We must make honest inquiries to discover any truth. If any truth exists, it must exist outside of the human mind and we, therefore, must rely on more than our own cognitive volition or our self-contained reason.

Do I think science and faith contradict one another? I think it depends on one’s faith and one’s interpretation of scientific data and whether or not that faith and that scientific interpretation are true to reality.

Do I think those who believe in God should use reason and science? Yes, but as a tool, not as a god in itself.

So I believe Christians are just as guilty as non-Christians when it comes to seeking power? Yes, and I think they need to trust in the God they claim, for He is real and He is powerful!

 

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