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Relationship between Christian Faith and Science Essay

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Updated: Mar 25th, 2019

Christian faith and science seem to have no relationships because the foundation of faith is a belief while the basis of science is empirical evidence.

Religious beliefs are the foundation of faith that science can neither prove nor disapprove in a laboratory. While science deals with the physical environment, faith entails spiritual matters that are unseen. In spite of the inherent differences that exist between faith and science, Albl argues that, the two are mutually dependent, for they coexist harmoniously (73).

Scientists, at times, use theological knowledge in answering scientific questions, and likewise, theologians employ scientific knowledge in answering theological questions. For this reason, science and faith are integral fields of knowledge that enhance understanding of the universe and human existence in the society; thus, theology should allow faith to correlate with science and seek understanding of scientific matters.

Given that there are four principles for approaching faith and science, the most relevant principles are those that seek to integrate science and faith as integral fields of knowledge. The first principle is allowing science and faith to correlate because; each has different spheres, which they affect humanity.

Miller argues that, science is a multicultural field of knowledge that allows diverse cultures and religions to interact effectively without any bias, hence promoting expansion of knowledge (9). Since neither science nor faith alone can answer the complex questions that humanity is grappling with, correlating the two fields of knowledge is essential.

DeWolf and Meyer suggest that, religious communities need to adopt scientific vocations because they are essential in making wise, ethical, and stewardship decisions (98). Hence, both science and faith are critical in explaining and resolving issues that affect human existence.

The second most relevant principle for approaching science and faith is by beginning with faith and seeking understanding through science. Faith is an essential component of knowledge because it gives theoretical perspective of life for science to approve or disapprove.

This approach is consistent with scientific investigation where one formulates a theory and subsequently tests its validity in a real-life situation. The approach is relevant because it guards theologians against deviating from Christians beliefs and adopting scientific knowledge as the foundation of Christianity.

Clayton and Simpson recommend that, the integral approach of faith and science enables understanding of various facets of life, which is crucial in development of human knowledge (524).

To understand humanity, theologians should not only seek to understand faith, but also science so that they could have a comprehensive view of life and teach people according to real-life experiences. Thus, faith and science are critical fields of knowledge that should coexist in society.

The work of Teilhard contradicts the concept of Nonoverlapping Magisteria (NOMA). While Teilhard is advocating for a common point where science and faith integrates, the concept of NOMA asserts that faith and science are not overlapping and thus any attempt to integrate them is futile. According to Gould, science and faith do not conflict because they occupy different spheres of knowledge that are utterly unrelated (1).

Thus, the concept of NOMA requires that there should be a clear-cut difference between science and faith. In contrast, Teilhard sought to demonstrate that faith and science interfaces each other. Hence, Teilhard is not a brilliant example of a proponent of the NOMA concept, for he believes that science and faith have common knowledge that is indispensable in enhancing human consciousness of spiritual and physical environment.

Works Cited

Albl, Martin. Reason, Faith, and Tradition: Explorations in Catholic Theology. Winona: Saint Mary’s Press, 2009.

Clayton, Philip, and Simpson, Zachary. The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

DeWolf, David, and Meyer, Stephen. “Teaching the Origins Controversy: Science, Or Religion, Or Speech?” Utah Law Review, 39, (2000): 40-80.

Gould, Stephen. “Nonoverlapping Magisteria.” Natural History, 1997: 1-9.

Miller, Keith. “Ending the ‘Warfare’ of Science and Faith.” Kansa State University, (2009):1-37.

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