Science in Christian Perspective



Thinkers Thought on Religion and Science

From; PSCF 20 (December 1968): 119-120.

Since there is "nothing new under the sun" and since we all attain our philosophy of life by means of our senses, it would seem appropriate to quote what others have said about various aspects of concern to the members of our group. Because some prominent figure has expressed an opinion upon some topic, it should not be automatically assumed that the speaker or writer has exactly the right idea. We naturally will gladly accept those opinions which coincide with ours but one should read adverse opinions slowly to see if something useful is not offered.*

"The great minds of science know physics deeply enough to perceive the need for metaphysics. But the great minds of science are few and they are reticent people. Meanwhile the air is vocal with the noise of the hangers-on, the laboratory technicians, the merely engineers and the cocky young instructors." Bernard I. Bell in Beyond Agnosticism.

"Religion, like science, should accept the fact that it is necessarily imperfect, yet perfectible. The conflicts are not between science and religion but between science and theology." George Sarton in Science, Religion and Reality.

"There are many, and in all lands, who insist upon maintaining a reasonable faith and in challenging both the omnicompetence of scientific materialism and the inerrancy of religious authorities." Charles Raven in Natural Religion and Christian Theology.

"Science will never renounce the attempt to bring everything under a single system of laws. Science must be monistic, for under any other dispensation science could not exist. The dualism of nature and super-nature is intolerable to science." Dean Inge in Dingle's Science and Human Experience.

"Science and religion cannot be separated because:

1) scientists are sometimes Christians and vice versa, and (2) it invites science to discover new things and gradually take over the field of religion. God is in and through science-science must be a religious activity science is one aspect of God's presence. It is a mistake to say that science has no presuppositions and Christianity is loaded with them. Some presuppositions in science are honesty, integrity, hope, enthusiasm, humility, singleness of mind, co-operation, patience and judgment. The splendour and power of science reveals the splendour and power of God." C, A. Coulson in Science and Christian Belief.

"Just as religious leaders omit to tell their adherents about the difficult points of the Bible, so evolutionists omit the difficulties of the theory." Irving W. Knoblach.

"It is a fact, the significance of which cannot be exaggerated, that the measure of the civilization which any nation has attained is the extent to which it has curtailed the power of institutionalized religion. Those people who are wholly under the sway of the priesthood such as the Tibetans, Koreans, Siamese and Caribbeans, are peoples among whom the intellectual life does not exist." Upton Sinclair in The Profits of Religion.
"Lutherans have run away from intellectual issues, fearing a loss of their faith. The parochial system (school) takes our children out of life and prepares them for the next, another run away attitude. Those sects who have parochial schools have (or should) lose their influence in public instruction." Carl H. Gross in Our Church in the Academic Community.

"We have described scientific knowledge as dependent on rational, empirical confirmation in contrast to the existential validity of religious truth. We have suggested that while scientific truth deals with things and is therefore relatively certain, it is also relatively lacking in significance and is highly partial in nature. Religious truth, on the other hand, is relatively uncertain but it is of the greatest significance to man for it deals with his ultimate concerns or values-it attempts to come to grips with the totality of life." Joseph H. Royce in The Scorch for Meaning. (Amer. Sci, 47:515535,1959.)

"What we need is not so much an open mind but an attitude of distrust toward our own ideas. Rudolph Flesch in The Art of Clear Thinking.

"Opinion, even if wrong, may stimulate thought."
John S. Mill in On the Liberty of Thought and Discussion .

"The absolute miracle of God's providential care nevertheless remains, though the evidence against it is overwhelming; for every instance of providential care, there is a negative one." Martin Heinecken in God in the Space Age.

*Some passages have been slightly paraphrased.