Scientists, Naturalists & Inventors

A lot of Christians these days are increasingly uncomfortable with the word scientist. It isn't just the anti-intellectuals, either: in our man-centered society, the materialist idea that science can explain everything has led to a virtual naturalist priesthood for whom divine revelation is an old-fashioned pre-enlightened myth held onto by the weak and ignorant.

In one way, the naturalists are right. Paul said explicitly that Christ came to shame the wise and weaken the strong, that the Gospel is foolishness to those who are perishing. Christianity is for the weak and ignorant. What the naturalists don't realize is that, compared to God, we are all weak and ignorant and foolish, dependant on the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob for salvation.

Since we believe God created the world, we also believe it is our duty to understand and study that world as humans. Everything we learn about the universe He made is a little more we understand about Him, and to abandon that task just because some godless men and women with Ph.D.s do science for the wrong reasons is to claim defeat in a battle in whichGod has already awarded Himself victory.

Not every scientist or inventor is anti-Christian, either. Plenty of the greats from the earliest times until now have been earnest believers, motivated by their love of God and His works to try to understand the Earth and improve our lives upon it. One of the greatest inventors of all time, Johannes Gutenberg (whose printing press in many ways led to the explosion of humanist thinking), created his machine in order to print Bibles for the masses.

We aren't saying that only Christian scientists are worthy of our study. Insofar as secular scientists operate within reasonable limitsand limit themselves to what can be seen and felt and observed (not claimingEvolution as a field of scientific study, for instance), they are just as capable as God-fearing scientists to learn, discover and help us understandmore about our world.

Of course, knowing whether a given individual was a Christian or not can help us understand his studies and conclusions. It would be naive to think that one's faith had no influence over theideas they propounded, or even of theway they conducted research. We hope theselife storiesguide you not only to a deeper appreciation of science and scientists, but to a renewed sense of wonderfor God and what He has created.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur.Read more of his reviews here.

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