How Does the Bible Stack Up with Science?
Science is one way of understanding our world. It draws conclusions about reality based on observation and experimentation.
We know that not all knowledge can be scientifically ascertained. For, not everything we experience can be proven by what we can see or physically test.
Since science can’t give us the final word on everything, we need more to shape our worldview than science. There are valid elements of our experience like love, morality, and meaning that we want to understand, but that science cannot address.
Science is a wonderful means of understanding the mechanics of our world, but we long for more.
We long to know their meaning.
We may observe how a blender works and be able to name its parts and explain their functions, but until we can see that it’s intended to make delicious smoothies or milkshakes for human enjoyment, we’ve totally misunderstood the blender.
In the same way, though we may observe our world and ourselves, we sense a deep need for interpretive commentary on these things.
That’s exactly what we find in the Bible.
The Bible’s aim is not to tell us about the natural universe, primarily. It’s concerned first and foremost with revealing God to humanity, and showing us how to have a relationship with God.
It tells us about our Creator’s purpose and plan for his creation, as well as the part we play in his story.
Are the Bible and science are at odds? No! Just the opposite is true. They are compatible companions:
The book of nature and the book of Scripture were both written by the same Author, and they will not be in conflict when properly read and understood. (Augustine)
Because the Bible is God’s Word and without error, it is truthful about all that it reports, including the natural universe.
The God who made the world and the God who wrote the Bible are one and the same. We must seek him to understand why he made the world, and us, the way that he did.
There’s so much more to life than what we can see and test.
So, when science leaves our souls empty, we run to the Word of God to flood meaning into our lives. But when we read in the Bible that “he determines the numbers of the stars and calls them each by name” (Psalm 147:4), we go find an Astronomer and ask him or her to tell us just how many stars there are.
Many have said that God has given us two books: the book of Scripture and the book of nature. He gave us both that we may know God and understand our world. Reading either in isolation will leave us with a missing piece of what God intends for us to know and experience. Read together, we have a complete revelation from the Creator.