On Sunday mornings this summer, Heritage is exploring different myths commonly believed within Christianity during a “Mythbusters” teaching series. The week after each topic is taught from a biblical perspective, this blog will further dive into the issue at hand. We pray that this teaching series and the blog article that accompanies it will serve to be a resource as you reach your world for Christ.
By: Brent Cisson
Photo: Heather Templeton
Spiritual warfare. It is a subject that tends to be overlooked and underestimated in the American church. Author and professor, Tim Muehlhoff, studied the role of spiritual warfare in everyday life. His book, Defending Your Marriage, addresses how spiritual warfare impacts our marriages and homes. He was astonished at how the American church views spiritual warfare.
Muehlhoff noticed that spiritual warfare, in general, tends to be one of the last things we think of when any destructive situation occurs. However, in many third world countries, spiritual warfare is often one of the first things that is considered. He says that churches in these countries tend to be “lightyears ahead of us in recognizing the power of spiritual forces.”
You may have thought that you were reading this blog to further explore the myth that Christianity and science oppose one another. Don’t worry! That is the nature of this particular blog article. However, it is important to first recognize the spiritual forces of the evil one and his desire to influence this arena.
So, how do spiritual warfare and science correlate?
To state something that is probably rather obvious, I believe God, through Jesus Christ, created everything and everything exists to point glory to the triune God. Paul states it this way, “He is the image of the invisible God, the Firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:15-17).
For a moment, think big picture about this topic of Christianity and science. Remove yourself from the weeds that we tend to entangle ourselves in when discussing the topic (good weeds like the origin of the universe, the age of the earth, radiocarbon dating, macro-evolution, etc.) and let’s ask a valid question.
Making the assumption that God made everything, as Paul proclaims in Colossians, would it not make sense that Satan (yes, I do firmly believe he exists) would use every resource in his power to make us question the all-powerful and deeply personal fingerprint that God has on all of creation?
In fact, the New Testament is chock full of passages warning believers against the warfare of evil, satanic forces. We are told that we are living in enemy territory in Ephesians 2:2. The entire book of Ephesians gives a beautiful description of who we are in Christ, how to live for Christ, and how our homes and marriages should look following Jesus. Yet, Paul ends the book telling Christ-followers that they have an enemy and to put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20).
In many circles of science, (and often the loudest voices) faith of any type is seen with much chagrin. As an example, here is a quote from Physics Nobel Prize winner, Stephen Weinberg:
The world needs to wake up from the long nightmare of religion. Anything we scientists can do to weaken the hold of religion should be done and may in fact be our greatest contribution to civilization.
Obviously, his heart is to eliminate every faith-based belief system in the world, which includes the gospel of grace through Christ that we hold dearly. Essentially, he would like to eradicate God. Doesn’t that match up pretty well with the descriptor that we have of the evil one in John 10:10, whose job is to steal, kill, and destroy?
So, I first ask you to recognize that spiritual warfare is alive and well in the sciences and the battle for the minds of the people in our world, which dictates their hearts and receptiveness to the gospel. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
Is Christianity Opposed to Science?
In short, no, the Christian, biblical worldview is not in opposition to science. In fact, I believe that a biblical worldview adds much value and explanation in a way that science has no ability to.
Over the past year, I have grown fond of one particular podcast from Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) called Just Thinking, in which different speakers from the RZIM team travel to various places, mostly universities, to speak about Christianity. Using the Bible, philosophy, and science, the speakers present how the Christian faith is a highly tenable belief system.
Ravi Zacharias points out four questions that must be answered in any belief system (science is a particular belief system as well). The four questions that must be answered are questions of origin, meaning, morality, and destiny. I will briefly address how science addresses each question and how the Bible addresses it as well:
Origin: Where did we come from?In atheist science (no God), the most accepted thought is focused around the Big Bang Theory (the actual theory, not the show). At some point, billions of years ago, everything began, ex nihilo (out of nothing), without explainable reason.The Bible teaches that God spoke and everything came into being (whether the Earth is billions of years or only thousands of years is a question secondary to the account of Genesis 1:1-5).
Meaning: What am I here for?In general, atheist science posits that we are here for no other reason than to succumb to the laws of the universe.The Bible clearly argues that we are here on Earth to live for the glory of God (Isaiah 43:7).
Morality: What governs how I live?Morality tends to be the area that atheist scientists have the most difficulty explaining. Ravi Zacharias often explains, “When one asserts that there is such a thing as evil, one must assume there is such a thing as good. When one assumes there is such a thing as good, he or she must also assume there is an objective moral law by which to distinguish between good and evil. When you assume an objective moral law, you must posit a moral lawgiver—the source of the moral law.” And that forces an atheist to deal with a subject they are trying to disprove.The Bible teaches that we are made in the image of perfectly moral and loving God (Genesis 1:27) and that God has written His laws on our hearts (Romans 2:15).
Destiny: Where am I going?Atheist science is clear that once someone dies, there is nothing.The Bible is clear that heaven (for those saved by Christ) and hell (for those not saved by Christ) are the destinies of all (Hebrews 9:27).
Is Christianity in opposition to science? Not at all. A biblical worldview adds great value and explanation in a way that science has no ability to. Do remember, though, that the enemy is at work in every area of life, including the sciences. “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm” (Ephesians 6:13).