A leading argument put forward by many of those who openly declare to have no belief in God is simple — science is the enemy of faith. But is that really true? Is science in direct contradiction to faith?
Well, Glen Scrivener, the Director of the gospel-sharing ministry “Speak Life,” thinks not. Talking to Premier Christianity, Scrivener delved into a brilliant illustration in order to effectively demonstrate his point.
“Imagine the scene: Betty the Botanist is in the lab, and she says to Gareth, her lab technician, ‘thanks so much for that botanical specimen you brough in last week. I’ve run tests on it, I’ve discovered new ecosystems on the leaves, I’ve even found pharmacological properties that will help us in the fight against Alzeimers. Thanks so much!'”
“And Gareth, says, ‘specimen? Betty I gave it to you on February 14th, Valentines Day.. it was a long-stem rose. Do you understand what I gave to you??'”
Clearly, Betty doesn’t understand the gesture of this gift, does she? “Well, in one sense, she understands it more than anyone ever has,” Glen noted, “but in another sense, she is totally ignorant of the meaning of the rose, because there are linguistic and cultural and interpersonal and romantic meanings going on that simply do not show up under a microscope.”
That interpretation of the rose, Scrivener said, is similar to how many people see the world — as valuable and intelligible, but lacking in underlying meaning.
Scrivener, however, suggests that we all engage in a new way of studying the planet on which we live, with the firm assurance that it has been made by a higher being, and bestowed to us as a gift.
“What if it’s a gift from someone who loves us?” he asked. “Well, then we can run into the laboratory and we can study it all we can. Christians love to do this — the church basically invented the modern scientific method. We’ve always believed in a God of order and world that reflects that order.”
Indeed, it is good to want to know everything we possibly can about the God-given gift of the universe in which we find ourselves — after all, it is God’s creation! However, we must also grasp the fact that the world is more than just scientific matter to be studied, just as the rose is “more than its botanical properties,” Glen explained.
“Because the world is a specimen, let’s do science, and because it is a communication of love, let’s listen. We ought to do both,” he said, “that’s why science and faith are the best of friends.”
Oxford Professor John Lennox asked the same searching question in his book, “God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God?,” noting that, “to the majority of those who have reflected deeply and written about the origin and nature of the universe, it has seemed that it points beyond itself to a source which is non-physical and of great intelligence and power.”
Lennox goes on to declare that the “very success of science” is that it shows us “how deeply ordered the natural world is,” providing us with “strong grounds for believing that there is an even deeper cause for that order.”