There is a question I have had for many years based upon my 30 years of studying, writing, working and teaching in the science field. Are those who have a science degree and have rejected Christ going to be held more accountable before God based upon Romans 1:20?
“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made [my emphasis], even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” We know, as Pastor John MacArthur points out regarding this verse, that “creation delivers a clear, unmistakable message about God’s person.”
The holder of a science degree has had a high level of exposure to irreducible complexity, information science and special design, clearly illustrating the existence of God and His attributes. How will this impact judgment before God, if one has been exposed extensively to these realities and still rejects Him? Do the parables provide an answer to this question? Additionally, how does this rejection impact one’s science discernment and judgment, and is this one of the reasons for so much junk-science?
In the Gospels, Jesus began using parables to explain truths to his disciples while concealing it from non-believers, due to what MacArthur stated as “their willful, hardhearted unbelief.” MacArthur points out in his sermon “The Purpose of Parables” that if Jesus continued to speak the plain truth to those who were so hardhearted and refused to believe, their culpability or liability would increase. Out of mercy for what Jesus knew would be used against them, He discontinued His candid approach of salvation and put a limit on unbeliever’s exposure to the truth.
But this is not the case for anyone with a science degree. They spend years, if not a lifetime, being exposed to an unlimited amount of detail of special design, and many still reject it. As a result, will their condemnation be greater? I believe so.
Many will respond that what they see is death, dying and decay and that this does not present a valid picture of an omniscient God. But considering Genesis 3, it does, and understanding what Genesis 3 has done to the original orderliness of creation will assist the scientific understanding of the things around us as well as ourselves, not hinder it. On the other hand, rejecting creation hinders or misdirects our abilities to understand the things around us as well as ourselves. I will use a simple illustration as an example.
When I first attended college in the 1970s, I recall sitting in a physiology course where the professor was explaining the purported association between dietary cholesterol and heart disease and why dietary cholesterol should be avoided or limited. Of course, this was an assault on my morning ritual of several fried eggs in butter, toast and orange juice, so I took this personally. I did not have the time to fry up the bacon she also demonized.
Now, I had become a Christian in 1974 while playing college water polo, through a variety of circumstances and friends, so I had been a Christian for several years prior to taking this course. I had already rejected the theory of evolution many years prior to becoming a Christian due to simple logic, so it was not Christianity that opened my eyes to God; it was all the irreducibly complex things around me. Embracing Christ and what He did for me came later.
As I sat there in class and listened to the professor’s perspective for her anti-egg and bacon position, I tried to understand her reasoning. It went like this:
- Cholesterol was believed at the time to be the main culprit in the development of arteriole plaque;
- since eggs and bacon contain cholesterol, avoid them; and
- we have not evolved the appropriate metabolic systems to handle the dietary cholesterol appropriately.
Even though she had a Ph.D., as well as being a tenured professor at university, my discernment warning lights were letting me know this teacher’s contention smelled rather fishy. Going through my head were two simple thoughts:
- Her worldview of evolution was a foolish philosophy to base any reasoning on. I had just taken a biochemistry course that had clearly demonstrated how cholesterol is readily metabolized, so her evolutionary reasoning was a contradiction to what was already known of cholesterol’s metabolism.
- Since her restrictions were completely contrary to what I can eat based upon Scripture, I knew it was her source of information, “man’s wisdom,” that was wrong and not mine. I also assumed time would tell, and I continued with the eggs – and when possible, the bacon as well.
So how did all this play out? We are all aware now that the 2015 U.S. dietary guidelines no longer demonize cholesterol, and there is a growing body of evidence illustrating saturated fat is not as problematic as once thought either. As usual, it is always just a matter of time before science catches up to Scripture. If decades ago, researchers used more discernment, which is the ability to think biblically, these long-standing food restrictions would not have been imposed. As Romans 1 :22 illustrates, “professing to be wise, they became fools.” When man relies on his own philosophies about the universe (evolution), God, or himself, it can only misdirect him.
As Pastor MacArthur points out, “unfortunately, discernment is an area where most Christians stumble. They exhibit little ability to measure the things they are taught against the infallible standard of God’s Word, and they unwittingly engage in all kinds of unbiblical decision-making and behavior. In short, they are not armed to take a decidedly biblical stand against the onslaught of unbiblical thinking and attitudes that face them throughout their day.”