Are Faith & Religion Compatible with Science?


[Questioner] So the next question I think is to do
with what a reasonable faith. The Bible says that blessed are those who
have not seen and yet have believed. So why then the need to show religion is
not at odds with science? [Craig] What did Jesus mean when he says that? That is a saying
that appears in one of the resurrection appearance stories where so-called
doubting Thomas says that I will not believe what his other disciples have
told him that they have seen the Lord. He says, “I’m not going to believe unless i
can put my finger into the wounds on his hands and my hand into the wound on his
side.” And Jesus then appears to the 12 including Thomas in the upper room and
it’s very interesting Thomas does not in fact touch his wounds or put his hand in his side. Thomas just falls to the floor and says “My Lord and my God” when he sees him. And it’s at that point thatJjesus said to him “Thomas do you now believe because
you have seen, blessed are those who believe but have not seen.” And what Jesus
is indicting Thomas for is that he failed to believe the apostolic testimony to
the resurrection of Jesus. He was skeptical of what these disciples had
testified to what they had seen and heard. And in the same way the author of
the Gospel of John is saying to us, us later readers, we too need to believe the
apostolic testimony. And we shouldn’t demand that Jesus appear to us in our bedroom
at night but rather we should believe what these original apostles have
testified to and I think, now this is a totally different topic, I think that
historically this testimony is extremely credible. We have very good historical
grounds for thinking that the tomb was found
empty as the narrative say that these disciples did experience resurrection
appearances of Jesus that changed their lives. And so I do believe the apostolic
testimony and I think that’s what Jesus is saying. He’s not asking you to put
your brains on the shelf and believe something that is contrary to science
and to the evidence. He’s saying believe the apostolic witness to my resurrection
rather than demanding that Jesus appear to every person in every
generation in the in the ages to come. [Questioner] I think the question also is asking
whether it’s really compatible. Do you really need to do this thing with
faith and science? Aren’t they sort of separate modes of knowledge and kind of mixes things together. [Craig] I would refer folks to a dialogue that I had yesterday at the
Polytechnic with a Buddhist faculty professor on science and religion and I
gave a Christian perspective on science and religion and she gave a Buddhist
perspective on science and religion and what I emphasized is that Christianity
and science have areas of overlap where they speak to the same issue. And we’ve
seen one tonight. The notion that the universe had a beginning, that the
universe is not eternal. That view was rejected by ancient Greek materialism
and modern atheism – the Judeo-Christian faith dug in its heels on the temporal
finitude of the past and the creation of the universe, despite the materialistic views that opposed it. And now science has
verified this prediction. So this is one area of overlap where
science can either verify or falsify religion or religious claims. And so I do
think that while these are markedly different in their aims nevertheless there is areas of overlap
where science can verify or falsify religious claims and also, I would say,
where theology can actually aid science in dealing with metaphysical problems
that science confronts that science isn’t itself equipped to answer.




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