Science in Christian Perspective


Where it's At

Richard H. Bube
Stanford University,
Stanford CA 94305

From: JASA 21 (June 1969): 33.
The greatest challenge to Christian faith on the interface of science and Christianity today can be summed up in the single sentence, "Man is Only a Complex Machine." And in that sentence, the challenge resides in a single word, "Only."

This is where the action's at. Even evolution, long regarded as the major threat to Christian faith from science, pales into insignificance by comparison. If modern science can maintain that man is only a complex machine, it really doesn't matter how he got that way.

Much of modem culture in its desperation and its excesses derives from the acceptance of the thesis that man is only a complex machine, an acceptance viewed as final because it is presumed endowed with the authority of science. Attempts to break through this "inevitable" rational conclusion by some type of irrational self-authentication multiply.

Does modern science require us to accept that man is only a complex machine? That all of life and personality is reducible only to the laws of physics? That's where it's at. We ought to be in there. 

man is only a complex machine