The development of science accompanied by a powerful technology has given man great opportunities for enriching life, and hopes for a better tomorrow. One need only mention the great technological advances of our Twentieth Century to verify that this truly is a scientific age. At the beginning of the century men spoke of the horseless carriage as a luxury only enjoyed by the rich; today even the residents of the ghettos are privileged to cruise about. Air travel was but a dream of two enterprising brothers; the planes of today would dwarf the length of their first flight. Our homes are lit ultimately from the breakdown of atoms, once imaginary particles of a theoretical construct. The survivorship charts have increased the life expectancy to over eighty years of age, more than even the “three score and ten” of which the psalmist spoke. Life has indeed been revolutionized with the predominating influence of science.
To some, the quoted advancements will appear to be beneficial if not humanitarian, although the consequential hazards may loom far greater. Science has also been used for destructive purposes as well. Those living during the last world war will remember the ghastly, warped utilizations of the Nazis, who had considered themselves as a super race of brilliant scientists. Even our advanced “Christian” nation employed its nuclear physicists to create an atomic bomb which destroyed literally millions, those living in the Japanese cities as well as their untold progenies never born. The stockpiles of nuclear warheads, the arsenals stored with biologically devastating nerve gases and bacteria, and the super-sensitive spying satellites are all called to mind. But those looking at achievements of science as detrimental are few.
The far greater predominating philosophy of our age is that science is the midwife of tomorrow’s hopes. The fact that there exist many problems today is accepted, but these problems can and will be attacked using the scientific method. The problem must be carefully analyzed to seek a precise objective. The methods are developed and research into the problem begins. The results will be technologically applied. Thus the pollution of our natural resources and the filthy effluent draining into man’s environment may be cleaned up. The ecologists are busy at work, aided by the government’s legislating more stringent measures to insure a supply of fresh water. The doctors are receiving headline publicity for transplants of many vital organs in the humans, and their list of capabilities is growing longer. Disease is being beaten back. The burgeoning birth rate of the underdeveloped countries of the world is being retarded by the implementation of birth control devices.
All this scientism has had a pronounced effect on the thoughts of our age. Many men and women become skeptical and uneasy about whatever cannot be proved in the laboratory. Science is elevated to the status of a cult. It can readily be seen that a conflict has of necessity ensued between the traditional doctrines of faith in God, our Lord, and the scientific tenets. The world is full of those who would contend with Thomas Huxley, a popularizer of the theories of Darwin, that for the advocate of science “Skepticism is the highest of duties, blind faith the unpardonable sin.” Only empirical evidence counts; things must be verifiable. To base something on faith is to place one’s trust in the hypothetical, for this is now the period of great confidence in the method of science.
The Christian can now understand why his Bible, the Word of the Creator, comes under such barrages, even from those on the ecclesiastical scene close to him. For it is now vogue to de-mythologize the Bible and undertake the quest for the historical veracity of the Scriptures. To invoke God in the explanation of any historical occurrence in Scripture is to fail to adequately explain the story in a verifiable and reasonable manner. The first eleven chapters of Genesis are discarded as ancient myths of the Israelites to explain the origin of the world and the beginnings of their nation. Ignorant and unscientific peoples have always relegated the unexplainable to the supernatural. The serfs of the Middle Ages considered thunder to be the actual voice of God and it filled them with fear. Hence, the expression—“thunder-struck” has come down to us. Dr. Hugh Schonfield, a Jewish professor from England, has written two books, Passover Plot and Those Incredible Christians, in his “quest for the historical Jesus”. In them he produces “historically verifiable proof” that Christ was only an imposter in the Jewish worship and certainly not the Son of Almighty God.
The reader might consider men such as Schonfield to be one of the extreme, liberal advocators of this philosophy, but it must be pointed out that their number is growing.
The upshot of all this is important. We as Christian young people should not be on the defensive when encountering “evidence” brought up by rational investigators. In the final analysis, our beliefs show everyone where our ultimate loyalty lies. God has given us grace to trust and faith to believe in Him. The ultimate trust of the philosopher is, of course, in his brilliant use of logic and reason. The loyalty of the scientist who completely rejects God is in his observations through his senses. For him, seeing is believing. Our trust lies in the Creator of all things and the Sustainer of the present universe. Though the scientist may never analyze faith under a microscope, though the philosopher may not be capable of logically verifying the love of God, nevertheless, our faith in God and His love for us is a very real experience. Just ask us!
Originally Published in:
Vol. 29 No. 9 January 1970