Love Your Atheist Neighbor Part 7: Science and Faith 2

Rick Mattson Apologetics, Atheism 1 Comment


In my last post I noted that atheists tend to set faith and science against each other by characterizing faith as subjective and feelings-based, and the Bible and its miracle claims as issuing from a pre-scientific era prone to superstition and myth-making.

Science, by contrast, is based on facts, on objective observation of repeatable phenomenon. It excludes the miraculous.

My own response when I encounter these characterizations is to ask which is better, to be in possession of science by itself in one hand, or science and God in the other.

 It seems to me the thoughtful Christian has in hand both science and God because science is actually a gift of God, given to humanity as a method for studying his glorious creation.

But, says the atheist, science can’t be given by God because science by definition excludes anything supernatural, including God.

Here is where a subtle distinction must be made.

Technically speaking, science specializes only in the natural world. It’s not equipped to comment on a possible supernatural realm.

It’s like a deep-water fish that swims exclusively in its own universe and can’t imagine an outside world of dry land.

And yet the dry land is there, observable by methods other than just swimming around.

So when the atheist says that the job of science is to study nature, I heartily agree.

But when he goes a step further and insists that “nature is all there is,” I think of the deep-water fish and its myopic belief that “water is all there is.”

And just as water and dry land are compatible ideas, so are science and God.

* * *

At the end of the day I ask my atheist friends, Why I should give up God for science when I can have both?



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  1. Pingback: Love Your Atheist Neighbor Part 6: Science and Faith 1 | Rick Mattson Outreach Ministry

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