I have a family member that asserts that faith and science don’t mix or match. That faith being preached is “alien” to any subject of science, including that of scripture.

Yet, the Scripture is our Sword (Matt 4, Ephesians 6).

Q: How do we as Protestants proclaim the scripture and also relate it to science?

There is a Christian philosopher who’s name is Alvin Plantinga who wrote a book on this, defending theistic belief and it’s compatibility with science: https://www.amazon.com/Where-Conflict-Really-Lies-Naturalism/dp/0199812098/ref=mp_s_a_1_fkmr1_1?crid=2CISSNS15SVE8&keywords=Where+the+problem+lies+science+naturalism&qid=1654307406&sprefix=where+the+problem+lies+science+naturalism%2Caps%2C181&sr=8-1-fkmr1

Paul also mentioned:

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”

Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness,” ‭‭I Corinthians‬ ‭1:18-23‬

If Jews request a sign and the Greeks, wisdom, and the modern Atheist requests “proof”, don’t we just proclaim Christ crucified either way?

2 Answers 2


My response is to mention that I have a book here called, "Inventing the Universe - Why we can't stop talking about science, faith and God" by Alister McGrath. The blurb on this books says he is (amongst other things) the Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion at Oxford University. He initially did academic work in the natural sciences, and one of the many academic and theological works he has authored is called "The Dawkins Delusion". He deals with origins, the burden of proof, the meaning of life, the existence of God and our place in the universe. This particular book deals with the complex yet fascinating relationship between science and faith.

Now, I've read this book, and although I don't agree with everything Professor McGrath says, here's a quote that deals with one problem with this question. It is based on the supposition that science can be compared with religious faith, as if both 'things' were the same sort of 'thing'. They are not. Although a degree of faith can, at times be needed to hold on to some scientific theories in the face of apparently contradictory facts, that is not the faith needed for belief in some of the claims of God and Christ (which cannot be proven in the same way that scientific tests can be applied.) Apples and oranges are both fruits, but you cannot compare one with the other. Science and Christian faith are both seeking truth, but one deals with material elements while the other deals with spiritual elements.

"Science is on a journey, seeking the best way of explaining and representing reality. Science is primarily about a method and secondarily about the outcomes of the application of the method. What one generation regards as secure and reliable may be abandoned by the next. Scientific theories are provisional. That does not mean that they are arbitrary. It just means that they are not - and never can be the last word on anything. Richard Dawkins rightly points out that Darwinism is just as provisional as any other scientific theory. 'We must acknowledge the possibility that new facts may come to light which will force our successors of the twenty-first century to abandon Darwinism or modify it beyond recognition.'

"...Now, some people believe that science is about what can be proved. Yet, to say it again, it is just not that simple. Science often proposes the existence of invisible (and often undetectable) things - such as 'dark matter' - to explain what can be seen... The reason why the Higgs boson is taken so seriously by particle physicists is that it makes so much sense of scientific observations that its existence seems assured. In other words, its power to explain is seen as an indicator of its truth.

"There is an obvious and important parallel with the way religious believers think about God." Inventing the Universe, Alister McGrath pp 56, 58 (Hodder & Stoughton 2015)

The book goes on to explain where similarities end and the uniqueness of faith in God and Christ in no way rules out the worth of science. They are both disciplines that are needed, but it's not a competition between them. Only those who hate the idea of God try to promote a false dichotomy between their beloved, material science, and the intangible nature of much that is spiritual.

That point is particularly borne out in another book, also written by a scientist with Christian faith, Tom McLeish, Prof. of Physics at Durham University, who applies physics to biology. His book deals with this idea, that there is:

“a competition between science and theology in terms of their explanatory power of the phenomena we experience in nature. Many people make an appeal, that we should sign up to one sphere of activity or the other, but never to both... [but] historically speaking, the claims that scientists make are also ‘usually false’. Good science is arguably about being false in a constructive way that takes us nearer to truth, rather than capturing truth in some timeless way. Seen in the light of Einstein’s relativity, Newton was ‘wrong’ but we do not discard his achievement for that reason. Science also requires rhetoric, advocacy in the face of apparent initial refutation, defending a weak conclusion or partially developed understanding in its early life... New ideas in science would die at birth without these social instruments to keep them in circulation until they gather strength of their own.

The battle between Religion and Science only arises when people don't distinguish between theory / theology, and practice.

We need to treat those two disciplines as distinct in their remit and capabilities (for Science can say nothing about that which is immaterial). It's only when Scientists and supporters of scientism start spouting on about metaphysics that the clash arises on their side. And it's only when Religionists swallow the bait, wrongly supposing that Scientific theories are some kind of threat to their beliefs about God that the clash arises on their side. Faith & Wisdom in Science, Tom McLeish, p 167 (Oxford University Press 2014)

Again, I don't agree with everything Tom McLeish proposes, but at least, by reading such books written by men of faith, who are also highly accredited scientists, Protestants can proclaim the scriptures without seeing science as some kind of threat. It isn't. Our job, as Christians, is to point to the risen Christ, who also "made everything that was made" and sustains the universe by the power of his word. We don't argue with those who ridicule such matters of faith. We certainly don't argue with atheists. The same power that created the universe is the same power that brings spiritually dead people to spiritual life. We just proclaim the gospel of Christ, in faith, and praise God for the wonders of his creation.

  • "a degree of faith can, at times be needed to hold on to some scientific theories in the face of apparently contradictory facts". Of course, we're talking about blind faith, not Biblical faith, but this is quite true. Alas, I don't have that kind of faith, or at least an insufficient quantity of it. That's why I'm a Creationist.
    – Matthew
    Jun 5, 2022 at 14:26
  • @Matthew What I meant was faith based on scientific calculations/theories that leads to a prediction as to what can be expected on the basis of the already established facts: faith to state what should result given further investigations. It's not so much 'blind faith' as stating your scientific ideas as to where scientific understanding should logically lead - before proof has been found. But holding on to theories that are replaced with new discoveries is, indeed, 'blind'. I believe God created everything; so do many scientists!
    – Anne
    Jun 5, 2022 at 14:37

Q: How do we as Protestants proclaim the scripture and also relate it to science?

Well... it's a fallacy that Christianity and (real) science don't mix. First off, Christians started science. More recently, however, "science" has been hijacked to mean "philosophical naturalism" i.e. "materialism", which, in a nutshell, is a (vain) search for "knowledge" with the a priori dogma that God does not exist.

You might start with the historical argument for Christ. Most scholars, even atheists, agree that:

  • Jesus existed
  • He was crucified by Pontius Pilate
  • Hundreds claim to have seen Him resurrected
  • Early Christians faced significant persecution for their beliefs
  • At least several witnesses were brutally tortured and killed

Many have expanded on these arguments (e.g. in this video, although they don't prove Christianity in and of themselves. It's inconclusive but worthy of pause that no opponent could simply produce a body. Further, the inability of opponents to silence early Christians despite the most brutal methods speaks to the confidence of those martyrs, who certainly ought to have known if their stories were fabricated. This presents a strong, if not bullet-proof case for a genuine resurrection... and that just doesn't happen according to natural law. This makes the event "very special" and suggests that we ought to perhaps listen to the other claims surrounding the event.

Then there's the scientific approach. Evolutionism (specifically, the ideas that life arose from non-life, or that humans somehow descended from single-celled organisms) is chock full of circular reasoning and unresolved problems, as a reading of the primary literature will easily reveal. A great many scientists, even many who are not Christian, reject Evolutionism. Uniformitarian claims of an Earth that is billions of years old are not without problem, either, and there are many lines of evidence that Earth and/or the solar system as a whole are in fact much younger (often, ~10ky or less). There are many Christian organizations, including some of a highly scientific nature that are actively engaged in conducting research and experiments, that reject Evolutionism and Uniformitarianism entirely and uphold a plain reading of Genesis.

In my experience, however, most atheists are so thoroughly entrenched in their hatred of God that nothing short of divine intervention will get through to them. Pray for God's intervention, but He will do as He wills.

You might find this video helpful. I would suggest, however, that there is no single approach. What works on one person may not work on another, and many, sadly, may simply not be reachable.

  • Interesting points, +1 I just finished Dr. Habermas’ book “The Historical Christ” recently.
    – Cork88
    Jun 4, 2022 at 15:37

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