This Easter weekend, I answer one of the more disparaging questions I’m asked by secularists. That is: “How can a true scientist believe in the gospel message of Christ?” The answer begins with a proper definition of science.
Science is the study of nature through empirical evidence. A truly scientific theory, by definition, must be testable by repeatable observations or experiments. Yet there are many observations in nature that cannot be scientifically tested. Take the creation of the natural world.
As explained by the big-bang theory, all the matter and energy of the universe was compressed into a cosmic egg that inexplicably exploded. But nobody knows where the cosmic egg came from, or how it arrived. Neither has a single important prediction of this theory been confirmed. Even worse, it contradicts multiple principles, including the first and second laws of thermodynamics and the law of conservation of mass.
That means the big-bang theory is largely a faith-based idea. That somehow does not deter a great many scientists from accepting the theory as true. Obviously, their conclusions are based on corroborating observations that are directly testable, such as the expanding universe.
Similarly, the gospel message is a faith-based belief characterized by precepts that challenge the laws of physics. Still, there are scientific principles corroborating the biblical text including the gospel message. For example the gospel message states:
- God created man and man sinned;
- As descendants of Adam, we all have his sin nature, i.e., we have all sinned;
- The penalty of sin is death;
- Christ was born of a virgin, i.e., without the sin nature of Adam;
- He lived a sinless life, died and rose again;
- By conquering death and the grave, He paid the price for all sin so that anyone who accepts and believes on Him might live.
Now, without debating the message itself, consider two corroborating scientific principles.
“In the beginning” God commanded Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply – populating the earth. According to the Bible and science, the power to create life resides in the “seed” or sperm of man. The sperm fertilizes the egg and creates a new life.
Scientifically speaking, the ability to reproduce is characterized by replication of the genetic code, which is how our heredity is passed down from generation to generation. Therefore, since we are all descendant from Adam, his sin nature would be passed to all men based on the principle of heredity.
Now consider the birth of Christ.
After it is revealed that Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit God said, “I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed.”
Here the “seed of woman” can only be an allusion to a future descendant of Eve who would not have a human father. Biologically, a woman produces no seed or sperm, and Biblical usage almost always speaks of the seed of men. This promised Seed would have to be miraculously implanted in the womb. In this way, He would not inherit the sin nature, which would disqualify every descendant of Adam as the perfect sacrifice for sin.
That means this prophecy not only anticipates the future virgin birth of Christ, it reflects an understanding of genetic technology that mere man did not possess until thousands of years later.
One other important point – no blood passes from the mother to the child during development. Rather, the child’s circulatory system is formed and works independently of the mother. That means the blood of Mary that would have been marred by sin did not mix with the perfect blood of Christ shed on the cross.
Not impressed? Then I ask you, “Who among us today could write a ‘story’ on the creation and sin nature of man as well as a plan for salvation consistent with scientific theories we won’t discover for thousands of years?”
Bottom line: Secular scientists and their followers regard themselves as unilateral guardians of logic and scientific thought no matter how far-fetched and unsupported their theories. Christians on the other hand are lampooned as dim-witted and bent on impeding science with irrational bias. But it was Kepler who said the study of science was “thinking God’s thought after Him.” And it was Newton that concluded “Atheism is so senseless.”
Truth is we all have our biases. But no one has to check their brains at the door of the gospel or the biblical text. The Bible makes reference directly or indirectly to countless scientific principles, including the second law of thermodynamics, the expanding universe, rare medical conditions and more. Its accuracy and insight is unparalleled as a document written years before these concepts were understood by man. That’s scientific integrity.