“3 Reasons for Christians to Engage in Science”
Thoughts on Christianity Today's article
Ed Stetzer is an author, speaker, and writer for Christianity Today Magazine. His latest article is titled “3 reasons for Christians to Engage in Science.” The reasons are as follows.
Creation Speaks to a Creator
As articulated by Paul in Romans 1, “what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made”
Christians then have a uniquely compelling reason to study “what has been made.” I would add that, engaging in science to reverse engineer creation for Christians ought to be act of worship. There is good evidence to suggest that God created the world in such a way that it is amenable to scientific investigation and understanding (and in fact, under Robin Collins, Eugene Wigner, and others, this fortuitous coincidence is developing into one of the hottest new arguments for God’s existence.)
Dismissing Science Undermines Witness
Ed writes, “In a society driven by scientific achievement, it is unwise and counterproductive to our mission for Christians to embrace an antiscience label.” Truly, the enemy is not science, but “metaphysical naturalism.”
Metaphysical naturalism is the view, loosely, that only the natural stuff, stuff studied and knowable by science exists. Moreover, it usually implies that “mind” is not fundamental to nature; nature is fundamentally impersonal. The problem is that while science is not “metaphysically naturalistic,” it is “methodologically naturalistic,” and that causes confusion. Methodological naturalism is the view that science ought to only seek natural explanations; supernatural explanations are barred from consideration. Many Christians endorse this approach, because it can be a fruitful investigative principle (preventing us from ever concluding “God did it” too quickly). But, such Christians are quick to point out that in methodologically excluding supernatural explanations, science can no longer don the garb of being strictly “a quest for truth.” After all, strict truth quests don’t exclude options by fiat, and while there may be philosophical arguments for excluding the supernatural, philosophical arguments do not fall under the domain of science. There are no arguments for metaphysical naturalism is science journals. They are in philosophy journals, and in the words of prominent atheist philosopher Quentin Smith:
“the vast majority of naturalist philosophers have come to hold (since the late 1960s) an unjustified belief in naturalism. Their justifications have been defeated by arguments developed by theistic philosophers, and now naturalist philosophers, for the most part, live in darkness about the justification for naturalism” [Philo: A Journal of Philosophy, Volume 4, Number 2]
Science Can Better Society
Finally, Ed notes that bettering society is “an entirely Christian thing to do,” and science is highly effective at this. Through technology and medical advances, life is both easier and safer, and we have more opportunities than other to help ourselves and others.
I think some additional reasons could have been added, but Ed’s three are a good start.