Science in Christian Perspective




Joseph Spradley

From: JASA 16 (December 1964):

Pascal has much to say to moderns who are grappling with the problems of a scientific culture that has lost contact with God. His assertion of the inadequacies of scientific methodology and the existence of a higher order of reality is as relevant today as it ever was. His example of piety, humility and Biblical priority in spite of unquestioned scientific genius is a challenge to Christians with scientific aspirations.

However, Pascal proves to be somewhat disappointing in his failure to provide adequate explanation or encouragement of how science can be a Christian calling. His renunciation of scientific activity during the last few years of his short life was only interrupted during periods of illness when he solved mathematical problems as a distraction from pain. Much of his thinking seems to suggest a dichotomy between science and Christianity that is disturbing in the light of the teaching of such of his spiritual ancestors as St. Augustine. His divorce of reason and inuition suggests to some an easy transition to skepticism. Perhaps the greatest value of Pascal's ideas is their shock effect in forcing men to a re-evaluation of basic assumptions and narrow viewpoints and a consideration of Christian truth as a valid option.

Assistant Professor of Physics Wheaton College