This week we begin our series You Asked For It, where we’ll look at the top questions asked by people outside the church. To kick off the series, we’re looking at the fundamental question of God’s existence, as well as the questions that come from the relationship between faith and science.
In today’s culture, it can often seem like science and faith are in opposition to one another; those who are scientifically minded value truth and evidence, while those who are faith minded are simplistic and naïve. However, there are a few challenges to the notion that science and faith exist in opposition.
1. Historically speaking, science and faith have not been opposed.
2. It was the Christian worldview that gave birth to modern science.
Christianity affirms that the physical universe isn’t an illusion, but a reality to be studied. It also holds that there is an order to the universe, worthy of investigating and understanding. Finally, rather than being at the mercy of the “gods,” as was common throughout ancient religions, Christianity says people should cultivate and rule over the earth.
3, Science actually can’t be opposed to faith.
Faith and science deal with different domains of life. By definition, science deals with the physical—what can be observed, touched, and measured. In contrast, faith deals with the meta-physical—that which can’t be touched or measured. It’s a mistake to think that science can disprove faith when it’s unable to even measure the things of the faith dimension. Just because we can’t measure something doesn’t mean we can deny it.
Another reason faith and science cannot be opposed is that a purely naturalistic worldview—the conviction that we can only believe what can be scientifically proven—is itself a faith conviction. Even a belief in science is an expression of a faith that cannot be proven. The ultimate principles of any worldview require faith.
But even if faith and science are not in opposition to each other, how can we be confident that God really exists? Here are a few arguments for God’s existence:
1. A universal sense of moral law points to a law giver. (Romans 2.14–15)
Nearly every person believes certain actions are wrong, while other actions are right. Few people experience no sense of injustice when someone cuts to the front of a long line, while others wait patiently for their turn. Even more extreme is the outrage we feel at senseless violence and the killing of innocent people. And to claim that this sense of right and wrong is the result of evolution and self-preservation struggles to explain why “good” people are willing to risk their own lives and safety to help others.
Science claims that the universe is ever expanding from a moment in history, the “Big Bang.” But anything that begins, or exists at the beginning, speaks to a Creator who transcends its existence.
3. The intricate design of the universe points to an incredible designer. (Romans 1.20–22)
From the vast amount of data contained in some of life’s simplest cells, to the unfathomable precision that exists in the spacing and movement of the stars and planets, all creation points to the existence of an infinitely wise and capable creator, God.
- Have you ever felt that science and faith were at odds with one another? Why?
- Consider some of today’s common worldviews. How do they require faith?
- In what circumstances have you observed a mutual sense of right and wrong? Can these be explained by “survival of the fittest?”
- What are some of the greatest human creations you have observed? If you didn’t see them being created, were you ever tempted to believe that their creator didn’t exist?
- Read John 1.1–5, 9–14. What are the personal implications of knowing that you have a Creator and that He came to live among us, and die for us?