You have heard of the White and Draper “conflict thesis” about the historical relationship between religion and science, right? It is a myth historians have debunked, but recent scholarship suggests that in debunking it they have missed some fascinating complexity.
Does history show a conflict between religion and science? According to Peter Harrison, a careful study of history finds a very different narrative.
Philosopher Alvin Plantinga’s 2011 book, Where the Conflict Really Lies, makes a case for the reasonableness of religious belief. As the publisher summary says, “The theme of this short book is that the conflict between science and theistic religion is actually superficial, and that at a deeper level they are in concord.”
Of course, history reminds us that for every abolitionist like cousin Emily, there is at least one story of a slave owner who was also motivated by faith. The history of Christianity, like any family history, is terribly complex with examples that make us proud and others that remind us of the need for confession and forgiveness. This, of course, is also true of the history of Christianity and science.
Disciple Science is an organization dedicated to creating quality videos that would “reach those who feel forced to choose between science and Christianity and invite them to follow Jesus, know creation, and grow in faith.”
While faith and science debates—such as the Intelligent Design paradigm, an old vs. young Earth, or a literal Adam and Eve—seem peripheral to our political division, the experience of having those conversations offer us tools that translate to our current predicament.
The narrative of science and faith in conflict has become embedded in our culture. But is the story true? Have science and faith always been viewed as conflicting?
Quite a few myths perpetuate the idea that science and religion have long been in conflict with one another. In this book, historian of science Ron Numbers take on this hearsay.
Relationships between ministry leaders and science professionals are a powerful way to engage faith and science. That fellowship often already exists—it is just a matter of acknowledging it and intentionally leveraging it. And then what happens?
These are all activities churches have done. Science is not just a domain of knowledge that churches occasionally put into conversation with Scripture and theology. You can literally bring science to church… Science can inform the praxis of ministry, especially when we invite scientists to become partners in ministry.