Christianity, Science, and Scientism
by Tim Chaffey
There is a lot of confusion in our society over some extremely important concepts. Many people have been led to believe that science has shown that God does not exist, or if He does exist, He is irrelevant. But what exactly is the nature of science? Can science show us that God does not exist?
First, science is based upon testable and repeatable phenomena in our material world. By its very definition, science does not and cannot observe and test the spiritual realm – if it exists. The first Russian cosmonaut mistakenly believed that he proved God did not exist because he did not see God when he left earth’s atmosphere.
The problem for this man was that he had a materialistic worldview. He would have likely agreed with the late Carl Sagan’s comment that “The cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be.” This statement is clearly not a scientific statement. Sagan would have needed to be omniscient in order to make such a statement, which of course, he was not.
What these men call science is actually better defined as scientism. Scientism is an “ideology based on an anti-religious bias which presumes, without proof, that human rationality and the empirical method of science are the sole means for determining what is true about reality.”[i] One should notice that there is no way to empirically test this statement so, according to their rules of the game, it is impossible to know whether or not their view is true. In short, scientism is an anti-God religion.
Many of the claims made by modern scientists actually betray their religious beliefs. When a scientist claims that God does not exist he is making a religious statement. The religion of scientism is vehemently opposed to Christianity. This is why so many evolutionists are dead set against any critique of the evolutionary theory.
True scientists welcome any and all challenges to an hypothesis or theory. This is not true with most evolutionists. They threaten and/or file lawsuits if a teacher attempts to mention some of the difficulties with evolution – even if the teacher makes no comments about creation or intelligent design. Any critique of evolution is an attack on their religious convictions.
How sad it is that so many Christian leaders have bought the lie that evolution and its billions of years have been proven scientifically. They do not understand that these claims are based on numerous unverifiable assumptions. Those who zealously promote these beliefs as true are following the religion of scientism. As a result, when Christianity was kicked out of public schools the schools were not suddenly free of religion. Instead, Christianity was replaced with scientism and it has free reign in our public schools today.Christians need to understand that the best way to understand what happened in the past is to ask someone who was there. The Bible claims to be a record of the One who has always existed. He told us how and when He made all things. In other words, God was the eyewitness of creation and He told us all about it in Genesis. It is sheer folly to accept the words of fallible men who were not there over the words of the One who is responsible for the creation.
Sadly, as I was writing this article for the December 2006 newsletter, I received an email from a pastor stating that Genesis just tells us that God made the universe but doesn't say how. He went on to say that one will have trouble if he tries to make the Bible a 21st century science book. He also said that the Bible is a faith book although it does speak truthfully and accurately on all areas of knowledge.
I have to wonder if this man sees the inconsistency of his view. First of all, the Bible does tell us "how" God made the universe. He spoke it into existence. It also tells us the order of events. These directly contradict the order of events proposed by the big bang theory. It is true that the Bible is not a science textbook and that it speaks truthfully and accurately on all areas that it covers. This pastor needs to realize that the Bible speaks about astronomy and cosmology (Gen. 1: 1, 14 - 19), geology (Gen. 6 - 8), biology (Gen. 1: 20 - 30), anthropology (Gen. 1: 26 - 30; 5: 1 - 32; 10: 1 - 32), etc. Since the Bible cannot be wrong about any of these then what the Bible records in these passages must be true. As such, the logical conclusion is that God made everything during a span of six ordinary days approximately 6,000 years ago. To deny this one must start with ideas contrary to Scripture and attempt to read those ideas into the Bible.
Unfortunately, this man's approach is very typical of Christian leaders today. Although the rest of his doctrine may be sound and his faith strong, his views will cause others to doubt Scripture and will open the door for the doubting of God's Word in other areas, including the resurrection of Jesus Christ. After all, if "science" has shown that Genesis cannot be trusted, and it has also shown that dead men stay dead, then the Gospel accounts of the resurrection should also be reinterpreted, ignored, or denied.
Charles Spurgeon was "spot on" when he described biblical truth as being like the pinnacle of a high, steep mountain. One step away from it and a person is immediately placed on the slippery slope of error. This may eventually lead to unbelief. Christian leaders need to wake up and start believing the plain words of Scripture or else we will see even more unbelief in this country than we have ever seen.
[i] Barry L. Whitney, “Has Science Disproved God?” in John Ashton and Michael Westacott, The Big Argument: Does God Exist? p. 15.
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