Modern Paganism vs. The Bible

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, May 20, 2014 0 comments

by Bill Seng

The question frequently comes up regarding whether or not science and the Bible contradict one another. The answer to this question depends on who you ask. Some people would say, “No. Science and the Bible cannot be reconciled.” This might be an answer from an atheist or a super-liberal theologian. Some Christians might say, “No, but that’s because Genesis is not meant to be read literally.” It is interesting to me that when science is mentioned, what is really being talked about most of the time is Genesis because that is the story of origins (but that’s another story). Other Christians would say, “Science and the Bible are consistent but you have to know enough about the Bible in order to understand what it is really saying.” And then the most conservative of Christians will say, “Science and the Bible are totally consistent, so long as you understand science through the interpretation of the Bible.” This is under the assumption that science is defined the same in every field of study. Frankly, if we are talking about science in relation to what we would call modern science, we might as well be asking whether or not paganism and Christianity contradict one another. Do you doubt this assertion?

First, let us understand that Christianity, when it was established, was a counter-culture. A lot of people thought that Christians were crazy. Upon the establishment of the Church, the people weren’t even known as Christians. They were a sect of Judaism known as the Nazarenes which called themselves The Way (Acts 9:2). They did not regard the Law of Moses as a means of salvation, which the Jews claimed you had to follow in order to be saved (Acts 15:5). They believed in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which the Greeks thought was just plain lunacy (1 Corinthians 1:23). And they regarded one another as brothers and sisters in Christ, which everyone considered to be totally bonkers. The early Christians, however, did not care because they knew Jesus Christ. The Bible clearly says, “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). It was a difference in worldview that painted one’s perception of what was normal and what was nuts.

Let’s fast-forward approximately 2000 years and look at some of our cultural stances, in regards to science versus what the Bible has to say. Certain groups of people have referred to unborn babies (fetuses) as parasites. The Bible clearly states that children are a blessing from God and several passages/stories express the absolute joy that certain individuals experienced when they discovered that they were pregnant. Many people today are fearful that man-made environmental situations will lead to the end of the world. The Bible clearly states that it will be God’s judgment that will bring a close to history. So, is science really the determining factor as to whether something is morally justifiable or not?

The answer is clearly no because science deals with knowledge, not moral absolutes. Does the Bible contradict science? Absolutely not! But what the Bible does contradict is the majority of the modern world’s understanding of science. If this were not true then why would people like Richard Dawkins need to be assigned positions such as professor of the public understanding of science? If science were simply left up to knowing the facts, the facts would refute any contradictory argument in a fairly satisfactory manner on their own. There truly would be no debate. But because facts need interpreted, somebody needs to explain how the facts should be understood. This is where agendas come into play and conspiracy theories are born. “Facts can be used to prove anything that’s even remotely true” (Homer Simpson of The Simpsons).

The understanding of modern science today is about as different from a Biblical worldview as what Christianity is from paganism. “Certainly there are many gods. A king cannot be the brother of a peasant or a foreigner. And don’t try to tell me that anyone is raised from the dead.” The understanding of modern science today has popularized the ideas that there is no God, there are no miracles, and there is no life after death. In relation to matters of worldview, should I really put my trust in the public understanding of science?

As I stated earlier, the Bible and science do not contradict one another, but one’s understanding of the world in which we live shapes how we interpret scientific data. For instance, I believe in God, Jesus, salvation, miracles, judgment, and the resurrection of the dead not because the modern understanding of science tells me so, but because the Bible says so. Science as we understand it today only deals in terms of the material world. Therefore, understanding the supernatural is outside of the realm of modern science. It does not contradict science. In relation to the material world, anyone who openly and honestly approaches the subject will quickly learn that the Bible and scientific facts are perfectly consistent with one another.