Neil Shenvi - Apologetics

Science and Religion: is it either/or or both/and?

The relationship between science and religion is a very important subject in today's culture, both for Christians and non-Christians. For Christians, especially those studying at universities, science is often considered to be in opposition to religion. Science, it is claimed, can answer all the questions which were once answered by religion. Conversely, for non-Christians, science is sometimes advanced as an insurmountable obstacle to the Christian faith: if we believe firmly in the validity and truth of science, then we don't need to bother considering the claims of Jesus. In this essay, I want to speak to both Christians and non-Christians. My goal is to clear away whatever difficulties are preventing us from taking the Christian faith seriously or from living it out confidently. I believe not only that science and religion are compatible, but that science can give us good reasons to believe that God exists.

I understand that this claim strikes many of you as quite audacious; you are probably thinking: "One does not simply reconcile science and religion." But if I don't answer all of your questions, I hope I'll be able to convince you that such reconciliation is at least possible. Below, I'll attempt to answer important questions like "What is faith?", "Does science show us that Nature is all that exists?", "Is there scientific evidence for God's existence?" and "If God exists, why isn't there more evidence?"

Click on any page below to get started. A video version of this talk can be found here.

  1. Definitions
    1. What is science?
    2. What is religion?
  2. Areas of purported conflict
    1. Definitional
    2. Metaphysical
    3. Epistemological
    4. Evolutionary
  3. Evidence for God from science
    1. The unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics
    2. The beginning of the universe
    3. The fine-tuning of the universe
    4. The surprising implications of quantum mechanics
    5. The intrinsic goodness of truth
  4. The hiddenness of God

Top: Science and religion

Next: Definitions

If anyone reading this essay has questions about it or about Christianity in general, feel free to e-mail me at Neil -AT- I also highly recommend the book The Reason for God by Tim Keller. It is phenomenal. Free sermons treating many of the topics covered by this book can be found here.

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