There is no war. Yes, you heard me right. There is no war between science and religion. Yes, I know that the media loves to report that there is. Yes, there are scientists who insist that there is a war – people like Richard Dawkins. Yes, there are religious people who insist that there is a war – people like Ken Hamm. But think about this for a moment – Which would say gains more attention and is more likely to be reported:
1 – Ken Ham and Bill Nye have a heated debate over how the universe came into existence. Ham takes the literal biblical interpretation and argues that God did it in seven 24 hour days. Nye says there is no God and it happened by accident over a period of billions of years and there is no purpose to it.
2 – Scientists and theologians get together, talk about things like evolutionary science to see how they are compatible and can assist one another in the pursuit of truth. Science tends to be very objective and lives in the world of facts, but has trouble looking at purpose, while theology’s strength is looking at where nature is heading and talking about purpose.
Of course option 1 is going to get coverage – that’s what “news” is about now.
Today started a seminary course on theology and science. Ted Peters is the professor. We’re looking at different models that exist to examine the relationship between science and theology. Yes, there are some ways of looking at these two in combative ways. Yet, there are plenty of people who don’t see science and theology as in conflict. And that’s an important thing to look at.
It’s important for this future pastor because there are going to be people in whatever congregation I serve that will have questions about evolution, medicine, cancer, pre-natal disease, etc. My goal is sit with people, listen to them, have an understanding of the science of what is going on, and see that through the lens of theology so I can offer appropriate pastoral care.
There are going to be scientists in the congregation I serve – I hope. Church should be a welcome environment for them as well – not a hostile place.
For most the last several hundreds of years, theologians were the scientists. It’s only in the 1800’s that a supposed war erupted. It’s time to end the war that never really existed. Religion has much to learn from science. And science has much to learn from theology too. Let’s walk together to gain insight in God’s creation.