What Does the Bible Say About Science?

What Does the Bible Say About Science?

What Does the Bible Say About Science?

We need to cross-examine everything. Only the lazy and naïve acquiesce to “The science says…” without fact-checking, and as believers, we need to consult the Holy Spirit in pursuit of discernment. 

Is anyone besides me tired of hearing people say, “The science says…” to “prove” their positions on masks, vaccines, global warming or a thousand other subjects about which smart people disagree?

In a media-saturated age, where blizzards of factoids are blowing in from every direction on every issue in life, whom should we believe?

Which “science says…” statement is right?

In dealing with our children and grandkids, who are too often being seduced by the lies of this corrupt age, we have two weapons that are more powerful than all the forces of evil arrayed against them: love and truth. The Bible tells us how to love others and how to connect with Jesus. The Bible also gives us the truth that will set ourselves and those we love free from the destructive power of lies. 

In trying to discern which of “the science says” statements are true, we can begin by looking at what the Bible says about science.

The Bible is pro-science.

The word science comes from the Latin word Scientia, which means “knowledge.” The Bible supports having a thirst for knowledge. Proverbs 15:14 says, “The heart of the one who has understanding seeks knowledge…” Proverbs 18:15 says, “An intelligent heart acquires knowledge.”

As followers God, we should all be seekers of truth. Jesus said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free” [John 8:32]. Scientific discoveries of truth have also set us free from hunger, disease, ignorance and even death. We should praise Him for allowing scientists to uncover and mine the rich treasures he has hidden in his incomparable universe.    

The Bible calls us to be sanctified skeptics.

John warns us, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” [1John 4:1]. We must beware of deception, whether it be spiritual or scientific pronouncements. 

We need to cross-examine everything. Only the lazy and naïve acquiesce to “The science says…” without fact-checking, and as believers, we need to consult the Holy Spirit in pursuit of discernment.

Furthermore, we should be leery of the “echo chamber effect.” Paul warned young Timothy about this very thing almost 2,000 years ago: “…to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear” [2 Timothy 4:3].

This verse doesn’t only speak to religious doctrines. It can be applied to all issues of truth. We know what we want to believe, so we find like-minded cable news channels, social media news feeds and YouTube teachers to say what our itching ears want to hear. We find the scientists who agree with our view about vaccines or masks or climate change. 

We aren’t always looking for the truth as much as we are looking for data that confirms our biases. If we’re willing to listen to those with other viewpoints as well, we might discover that truth can come from them too, just as deception can come from those we hold in high esteem.

The Bible rebukes the opinionated.

Solomon warns his son, “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion” [Proverbs 18:2]. These opinionated fools already have their minds made up. They neither want nor feel the need for facts that don’t match their opinions. 

We live in an age of firmly held opinions. People seek out those who share their opinions, and fastidiously avoid those who might make them feel uncomfortable with another point of view.

Opinionated people also enjoy shoving their views down the throats of other people. During this pandemic, there has been no lack of opinionated people, but Christians should be willing to listen to other evidence. They should seek knowledge, even if a new understanding might bring discomfort or change their views. Science is a continual process of learning and new discovery, as is the process of Christian growth. 

The Bible and science are not equal authorities

Our postmodern society wants to believe that the authority of science is absolute, while the Bible is a relic of a bygone era. In dealing with our Millennial and Gen Z children and grandchildren, one of our biggest challenges is a belief that the Bible and science are in conflict and science is, in fact, the final authority on all matters.

I have studied the Bible and science for years and I have yet to find where real science and Scriptures are in conflict. I know this: the Bible is the very word of God. By contrast, science is a human endeavor. It constantly changes, while God’s Word remains the same. Once believed theories and scientific conclusions have been proven false, whereas the words of the Bible remain constant and trustworthy.  Science has done good and evil; the Bible, rightly interpreted, has only done good.  

A true scientist always goes with empirical evidence. The empirical evidence of history is overwhelmingly on the side of Scripture, and not the pronouncements of scientists. Bottom line: The science says, “Go with the Bible!”

Dr. Robert “Bob” Petterson is an author, speaker, former pastor and founder of the Legacy Imperative, a ministry devoted to inspiring and mobilizing grandparents, parents and other advocates for Millennials and Generation Z to evangelize and disciple their loved ones who are far from the Christian faith. He has earned a Doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary and has served as East Coast president of Mastermedia International, but considers his most vital role as that of grandfather.

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