One thing I am never short of are Facebook posts that denounce Christianity for various reasons. Some posts slam the Christian God calling Him an unforgiving, genocidal, jealous, racist, bully, echoing Richard Dawkins in his book, The God Delusion.1

Others target scripture suggesting it was written hundreds of years after the life of Christ and is full of errors and contradictions. Again quoting Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion, “To be fair, much of the Bible is not systematically evil but just plain weird, as you would expect of a chaotically cobbled-together anthology of disjointed documents, composed, revised, translated, distorted and ‘improved’ by hundreds of anonymous authors, editors and copyists, unknown to us and mostly unknown to each other, spanning nine centuries”. 2

Some even question if Christ was a real person, and many believe He was not an authentic historical figure. Frank Zindler former director of the American Atheists gives us a glimpse at this, “So much for the evidence purporting to prove that Jesus was an historical figure. We have not, of course, proved that Jesus did not exist. We have only showed that all evidence alleged to support such a claim is without substance…” 3

Then you have those who target the hypocritical behavior of Christians. Some who think they are quoting Gandhi write, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” which is not an actual quote from Gandi, but it was taken from another Indian philosopher. Nevertheless, the point is well made, Christians often don’t act like Christ despite wanting to and being told to be imitators of Him in scripture. 1 Corinthians 11:1 I certainly can relate to that and most believers, if they are honest, will say the same.

Finally, others take a much broader path and paint most, if not all religions as foolishness and the cause of countless wars and misery.

These claims can each be addressed and have been, but my focus in this post is the assertion, science depends on reason and evidence while Christianity doesn’t.

Is the claim true that Christianity is void or reason and evidence? Are Christians wishing on a star, following their heart, taking leaps of faith, or is their faith simply blind?

Let’s take a look at some examples in scripture. Luke states that his sources were ‘eye-witnesses’, and he claims to have carefully investigated everything and is sharing them with Theophilus so he would be certain of the claims of the new Christians. Luke 1:1-4

In 1 Cor. 15:6 Paul practically dares anyone to check out his story. In I Corinthians 15 Paul lists six groups or specific individuals who were eyewitnesses of the resurrected Christ. Peter, The twelve, the 500, James (younger brother of Jesus), all the apostles, and finally Paul himself.

Most of these eyewitnesses endured persecution, imprisonment, torture, and finally death. Martyrdom is unusual, but not something that would necessarily compel others to sacrifice their own livelihood or life for what they profess. No matter what they do, it does not validate their belief. Yet what is so remarkable about the early Christian martyrs is many claimed to have seen Christ alive and well, after his crucifixion.

A story shared by Lee Strobel may help illustrate my point. In 1963 Addie Mae Collins was one of four African-American girls murdered in a church bombing by racists. She was buried in Birmingham Alabama and for years her family returned to visit her gravesite and leave flowers. In 1998 they made the decision to exhume Addie Mae so she could be reburied at another cemetery. However when the workers began to dig they discovered the grave was empty. The family was understandably shocked and several possible explanations were considered as officials began to investigate what happened, but no one ever suggested was that Addie Mae was resurrected. Why? Because an empty grave does not constitute a resurrection. Eyewitnesses do that.

Other religions begin by someone having a private encounter or vision which they share with others. Not so with Christianity. We find another example in 2 Peter 1:16, where Peter explains they were eyewitnesses to Jesus Christ and His majesty. In addition, at the end of John, he explains the signs done by Christ in front of witnesses was so they might believe that he was the Son of God. John 20:30-31. Scripture is full of examples that rule out the impression that our faith requires giant leaps or blind loyalty. Neither does Christ Himself expect that of us.

For example, when John the Baptist was in prison and struggling with doubts he sent his disciples to Jesus to ask Him if He was the one they were waiting for. How did Jesus respond? He promptly healed the lame and cured the blind. He then told them to go back to John and report what they were witnesses to. Luke 7:19-22 In fact, you will find that the Gospel of Luke holds most of the eyewitness details found in the New Testament.

Classical scholar Colin Hemer fact-checked the book of Acts, (written by Luke) and found 84 facts that have been confirmed by historical and archaeological research. 4 Believing without evidence is what we call blind faith and nowhere in scripture are believers called to that kind of faith. John 14:9-11

The above examples are from scripture, but Christians are not limited to those examples to build their faith. Believers can find substantial evidence within the sciences. Just don’t expect science to answer all your questions. The fact is, science cannot answer all our questions and never will be able to.

Suppose my daughter-in-law Annie baked a cake. If we were to ship it to a lab for analysis we would learn a lot about the cake. The biochemists could tell us what elements were used to make the cake. Mathematicians will spell out the weight, volume, and detailed dimensions of the cake. Physicists can break down the fundamental particles and possibly explain what temperatures it was baked at. But not one of them, or anyone in the scientific community could tell us why the cake was made, only Annie could answer that question. Natural sciences will answer questions about the structure and elements of the cake, but they could never answer any ‘why’ questions.

When you think about it, the laws of nature help us describe the universe, but they explain nothing. The fact that we have laws that govern our universe is one of those why questions that can’t be answered except by the one who made the laws. One of the first questions of the year I would ask my algebra students in Jr. High was, “Is mathematics invented or discovered?” I would leave them to ponder that throughout the year.

Richard Feynman a Nobel Laureate in physics wrote, “…the fact that there are rules at all to be checked is a kind of miracle; that it is possible to find a rule, like the inverse-square law of gravitation, is some sort of miracle.” 5

Often those most critical of the Christian faith don’t ever set foot in a church let alone read or examine scripture. They don’t study the words of Jesus and try to apply the teaching to themselves, if anything it is how His words apply to neighbors, friends, family, etc. It is so much easier to point out the faults and shortcomings of others than to take a hard look at ourselves and compare how we live our life to the words of Jesus. The operative word is ‘try’ because we all fall short. Someone once said the church is a hospital for sinners, not a sanctuary for saints. We are all more comfortable playing the armchair general; pointing out the mistakes of those in the trenches and how they are delinquent in living a life like Jesus than applying His teachings to our own conduct.

Anthony Flew was a lifetime philosopher and atheist. Then in 2003, late in his life, he converted to a belief in God. He said he had to go where the evidence leads and it was the complexity of DNA that was the deciding factor for Flew. John Lennox wrote concerning the idea of following evidence where it leads, “…there are situations where we shouldn’t just give up if explanations in terms of natural processes don’t work; we should be prepared to follow the evidence where it leads, even if that involves a supernatural dimension.”6 But not all scientists adhere to that because of their prejudice’s to a concept of a being beyond the natural.

Richard Lewontin who is a geneticist from Harvard displays this attitude perfectly when he wrote, “Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs…in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment…to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute for we cannot allow a Divine foot in the door.” 7

Christians should never be afraid of science and what we can learn from it. The things that we do learn about our universe, from the microscopic to the immense is often confirmed by the Bible when researched carefully. Science cannot answer all the questions we might have, but neither should the Bible be used as a science book. As we investigate our world, both science and theology should be used to complement and confirm how best we should live.

The Bible tells us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go. – Galileo



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Is it True that Science Depends on Reason and Evidence while Christianity Doesn’t? by James Glazier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

  1. Dawkins, Richard. The God Delusion. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006, Print.
  2. Dawkins, Richard. The God Delusion. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006, Print.
  3. Zindler, Frank. “Did Jesus Exist?” American Atheists, ND, https://www.atheists.org/activism/resources/did-jesus-exist/
  4. Geisler, Norman. Turek, Frank. I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist. Wheaton: Crossway, 2004, Print.
  5. Lennox, John. Can Science Explain Everything? Oxford: The Good Book Company, 2019, Print.
  6. Lennox, John. Can Science Explain Everything? Oxford: The Good Book Company, 2019, Print.
  7. Lennox, John. Can Science Explain Everything? Oxford: The Good Book Company, 2019, Print.
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