Does Science Disprove Christianity?
At their 16 September 2023 youth session, Joshua led the youths to think about this topic. It is a relevant one as our youths are students and may wrestle with this issue. Through this talk, the youths were encouraged to consider how science and Christianity are not at odds, and the pursuit of science may also help us to worship God.
Everyone in school has to study science. It’s one of the core curriculum subjects at least until you finish secondary school.
Over the years, the debate between science and Christianity has been a hot topic. Many well-known scientists often claim that science has disproved the existence of God.
I remember in 2006, I was a youth and Richard Dawkins had just published his book titled “The God Delusion”. The premise of this book was that science has disproved God and that belief in God was a delusion. He concluded that people should be Atheists, in other words believe there is no God.
I was raised in a Christian household so I had always been taught that God existed, and now atheists were claiming that science proved that there was no God. At school, most people knew that I was a Christian and my classmates would often present me with arguments to state that God didn’t exist.
These conversations were challenging for me, many of these arguments seemed very convincing. If I believe in God am I crazy? Am I deluded? What is the truth about life?
This may have been a little while ago, but the same questions remain: Is God real? Does science disprove Christianity?
I hope that this talk will show how science does not disprove Christianity. In fact, science and belief in God can live in harmony and it is reasonable to believe in God and the Bible.
Now I can’t say that I have a lot of expertise in this area, but I did studied engineering in university so even though I’m not an expert in the scientific field, I do have some understanding of science and the scientific method. And I am a Christian, so I do believe in God.
With that in mind, let's see if science and religion can live in harmony, which is our first section.
Science and Religion
There is a worldview that states that science and religion are inherently at odds and entirely separate. You have science and you have religion. These don’t intersect at all. You have to choose between one or the other and you can’t have both. This is a misconception because both science and religion can live in harmony.
In fact, throughout history there have been many scientists who had a religion and belief in God. Some of these scientists include:
- Robert Boyle, known for Boyle's law in Chemistry: P1V1=P2V2
- Michael Faraday, known for his work on electricity and electrochemistry, faraday cage
- Isaac Newton, known for Newton's three laws of motion.
Science is definitely not bad and there is a lot to learn about science. Science is fundamentally a method. These scientists understood science as a tool which helped them understand the world around them. A good mechanical engineer understands how a Ferrari is made and admires the designer. A good painter understands the techniques used in a good painting and admires the artist. The more you understand about some beautiful or complicated, the more you admire the creator who made it.
Good scientists can similarly admire and appreciate the world God designed and created. They could use science to understand the world better knowing that there was an ultimate creator and designer: God. Science harmoniously fits into their religious worldview.
So there are examples of how science and belief in God have lived in harmony throughout history. This shows that scientific thought is completely compatible with religious belief.
This is because of what science is. Science was originally known as natural philosophy. It was a way of understanding the world around us. Science is a way of thinking about our natural world.
Science is amazing as it helps us better understand the world around us and make sense of things. owever science cannot explain and give us answers for everything and doesn't answer all our questions. Science merely describes what is going on. It cannot tell us why things happen.
For example, when you see water boiling, Science can tell you that water boils at 100 degrees celsius. Science can tell you that the heat energy is agitating the molecules of the water changing it from liquid into gas.
But science can’t tell you why you boiled water. You could have boiled the water to cook instant noodles, or to make a cup of tea or coffee. Or you could have boiled it to make sure it’s clean to drink.
Ultimately science can’t give you answers to the bigger question of purpose or meaning in this world. Science could describe how the world operates, but it can’t answer the fundamental question of why are we here or what is the purpose of living.
That is where we need to look outside the realm of science. We'll unpack this a bit later, but please keep this in mind that science has its limitations.
Science does not conflict with religion or belief in God, rather science gives a different kind of explanation. Science does not necessarily mean that there is no God, and at the same time, believing in God also doesn't mean you can't accept science or some assertions about science.
It is completely reasonable to believe that there is a God.
Science loves evidence and faith in God is also based on evidence, so my challenge to you as you listen to this next section is to follow the evidence wherever it leads. It may actually lead us to the right conclusion and explanation.
Evidence for God
So is God real? I would say there is lots of evidence that God exists, but let me just address three key ones: creation, morality, Jesus Christ
While science is limited, some of its observations can be helpful to find evidence of God and this corresponds to scripture. Creation itself is evidence for God. Let's look at what the Bible says about God and creation in Psalm 19:1-6 and Romans 1:18-20.
These verses tell us that creation itself testifies that there is a creator. When we look at the world around us we must conclude that it comes from somewhere, these verses tell us that creation comes from God, the creator of everything.
Romans also tell us why outside of God's grace none of us would want to believe God is real. Romans 1:18 tells us that by nature we suppress the truth about God, because we don’t want God to rule over our lives, we want to be our own God and decide what's best for ourselves.
Since God is the creator of everything, creation is not designed randomly. It operates in a certain way as God intended. There is immense detail and thought put into how the world is created, this can be referred to as intelligent design.
One example of intelligent design is that the universe is so specifically created that if any of the constants in the laws of science were off by a little bit, the universe would cease to exist. For example, the law of gravity is perfectly set in our universe. If the strength of gravity was off, even by the tiniest smallest difference, we wouldn’t be here. The earth would be too close to the sun and we would burn up. Or we would be too far from the sun and freeze. The law of gravity is such that the earth is perfectly set in its place for us to survive and live.
The reason the universe is the way it is, is because it is designed to be, we are not here by chance. When you look at a mechanical watch, an amazing sports car or a well made dress, because of its beauty and complication, you can’t possibly think that it assembled itself. As complicated as these things are, things that are well designed have a designer. A designed universe must have come from a designer.
The morality of the universe is another evidence for the existence of God. Morality are the principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong, good and bad. Even if we would say there is no objective right and wrong, we feel it, especially when we experience evil.
When we hear about wrongs, injustice, and evil in this world, we can’t help but feel disgust, sadness and even anger knowing that things are wrong and evil. What makes us feel like that? It is because God created us with a conscience that feels the pain of experiencing wrong.
When we say there is wrong and evil in this world, there must also be right and good. Therefore there must be a moral law to distinguish between what is right and wrong and there must also be someone who sets that moral law. Our desire for this evil to be punished and for justice to be carried out is a desire for a God who can make all things right again. There is a God shaped hole in all of us.
Blaise Pascal a French mathematician, physicist, and religious philosopher says this: “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.”
Which brings us to our third piece of evidence for God: Jesus Christ
One of the strongest pieces of evidence of the existence of God is Jesus Christ. If there’s sufficient evidence for the existence of God, the bible tells us we can know who God is because he came as a person.
Jesus is key evidence to the reasonableness of believing in God because Jesus claimed that he was God and He demonstrated his divinity during his three year ministry on earth.
This is what the Bible says about Jesus. In John 1:1-3, John writes:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made."
And in John 1:14, he continues:
"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth."
In Colossians 1:15-19, Paul says this of Jesus:
"Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together."
Jesus Christ is God in the flesh, Jesus is the one who created all things. We can know God by knowing Jesus!
Jesus proved He was God through the miracles that he performed during his ministry on earth. Jesus did things only God could do, demonstrating that He was God. Jesus's divinity was ultimately proven by his greatest miracle: his death and resurrection. In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul would say that if Jesus did not resurrect from the dead, then Jesus wasn’t divine and that Christianity is not worth believing. That's how important Jesus's resurrection was. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the most important piece of evidence to prove that Jesus was God.
So is there sufficient evidence to show that Jesus did indeed die and resurrect? This is something that science cannot verify. Since science can’t verify history, we need to look for other means of investigating.
Now if we are investigating a court case, eyewitness accounts are considered a powerful piece of evidence. Imagine with me a trial investigating a person who had committed a crime. Now in this trial if there was only a single witness testifying to the crime, it probably wouldn't be reliable. But what if there were three or four others who witnessed it? If all the witnesses testified to the same crime, there is more evidence building towards understanding the true events. What if 500 people witnessed the crime and had similar testimonies? The evidence supporting what really happened starts to be more certain. Now what if the people had recorded the events that took place soon after it happened? There is even more evidence that the events happened.
This is the evidence that we have for Jesus's death and resurrection. People didn’t have cameras to record videos back then, but what they did have is the ability to record their experience writing. That is what is recorded in the New Testament that we have today. Paul wrote these verses in 1 Corinthians 15:3-5:
"For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep."
There is sufficient evidence that not only Jesus rose from the dead, but that His claims to be God were valid and the biblical record of His life, death and resurrection is indeed true.
So after all that I’ve said, let me conclude with some things I would like you to consider the following application.
1. Ask good questions and follow the evidence wherever it leads
Ask bigger and deeper questions about life and do the research, seriously consider the evidence about God and Jesus and follow it wherever it may lead, even if it leads you somewhere you don’t expect or seems unbelievable.
Do thorough research, be a good scientist and draw conclusions with what you discover. Don’t immediately discount the existence of God before you start, search with an open heart and mind and especially consider Jesus. There are suitable and reasonable answers to the questions that we have.
Ask our leaders and people at church questions about God and life, maybe we will have some answers, but if we don’t, we will be able to work together with you to answer.
2. Read God’s word for yourself
Explore the testimonies of Jesus for yourself. Read through the book of John in this next week. Read it carefully and slowly because John is specifically written to show you that Jesus is God:
"Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:30-31)"
Read and believe the testimony of Jesus. There is sufficient evidence to believe in Jesus as God.
3. End with the Gospel
If you come to the conclusion like myself and our leaders that Jesus is God, then we have to pay close attention to what He said. If the God of the universe speaks, we better pay attention!
This is what Jesus says. Jesus refers to Himself as the son and tells us that “for God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." (John 3:16-18)
Jesus teaches us that we are in a dire condition if we don’t believe in Him. If we don’t repent and believe in him, we are condemned and destined to face God’s wrath, a terrible and dreadful fate.
However, Jesus loved and cared for us so much that He took the punishment we deserve. He died on the cross to pay for our sins so that we could have eternal life with God.
What you think about Jesus is the difference between life and death, spending eternal life with God in heaven or standing condemned suffering God’s wrath for eternity.
We could argue all day about science and religion and we can read endlessly trying to know all the facts about science but faith is a final step in belief that comes from the heart. It is a choice we all have to make.
Through this, I hope you can see that there is sufficient evidence to believe in God and Jesus, and to consider the evidence and determine what you believe, and who you believe in.
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