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Can you be a scientist and a Christian?
Thanks for your question about whether Christians can be scientists – as a science graduate and a Christian I know it’s one that often comes up in discussions.
I don’t believe that the Bible and science are mutually exclusive. The Oxford English Dictionary defines science as ‘The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment’, and defines a scientist as ‘A person who is studying or has expert knowledge of one or more of the natural or physical sciences’.
Neither of these definitions make any reference to the structure within which this should take place. Christians approach the subject from a different angle than evolutionists – but it’s a myth that Christians are biased and other scientists are impartial. Good scientists try to be as objective as they can when doing research, but with all the best will in the world, I do not think it’s possible for any human to be 100% impartial – we all bring our ideas, our world views to a situation, and science is no different.
Right from the start of the bible, we are told that God created the world.
Genesis 1:1 says in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and goes on to tell us that He made the light (v3-5), the sky (v6-8), the land and the seas (v9-10), plants (v11-13), the sun, moon and stars (v14-19), sea creatures and birds (v20-23), land creatures (v24-25), and finally, humans (v26-27).
His invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made (Romans 1:20). The Bible also points to the involvement of all the Persons of the Trinity in creation, and in the context of being a Christian underlines how Jesus Christ was central to creation and in sustaining the ongoing creation - For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible, and invisible...all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:16-17). As a Christian one can actively worship God as a scientist exploring this creation, in all its aspects, and making it better understood.
For those who believe what is written in the Bible, science is simply the awe-inspiring discoveries of how God made the world, all the intricacies of the processes and the wonders and the joys which God is sharing with us. We do this when we admire an architect or engineer’s designs – how much more so with God’s masterpieces, the one who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20)?
There are many prominent scientists who also have a personal Christian faith, and a search on the internet will find many of these who are willing to talk about their personal connection with science and faith in Jesus.
In summary, I think it’s possible (and a source of great joy) to be a Christian and a scientist – we can learn so much about God and His love through our discoveries!
I hope this answer helps you to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video
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*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
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