This sermon covers the problem of science vs. faith and the supposed division between the two that often drives away people from the church. Dan Kent proposes a solution to resolve the differences, showing us how the two can work together and complement one another.
Science and faith are often viewed as antithetical, which can forces people to adopt one and stand against the other. This perspective often leads people who embrace the findings of science to walk away from the faith because they have not been taught how to reconcile the two. This sermon seeks to heal this great divide and show how faith and science actually complement each other.
After Dan introduces the problem, he explains how this divorce between faith and science developed. He explains how science seeks to find answers from the bottom up while theology seeks to address top-down questions. In other words, science is dealing with the data that we find in the physical world, while theology deals with questions that cannot be answered from that data. The problem was, that during the Middle Ages, the church sought to control the answers to the bottom-up, scientific questions. The philosopher, Francis Bacon challenged this notion and proposed that we do not actually need top-down ideas. Instead, we only need to deal with the data of the physical world. Evidence would be the authority, not the church and its theology. As a result, the two realms became hostile toward one another.
Dan challenges the church to take a different approach, one where we can celebrate science. As the focus scripture states above, nature serves as a means for seeing and embracing the glory of God. Instead of feeling threatened by science, we can seek the truth that is part of God’s creation.
Dan also challenges those who fully embrace science to remain scientific, as opposed to embracing scientism. We need to look at the data of the world to try to understand it, but we should avoid turning the scientific method into a worldview. The reality of the world is much larger than what can be measured scientifically. For instance, science cannot deal with things like meaning, beauty, love, life and consciousness.
Dan then explores how consciousness cannot be fully understood from a scientific perspective. Certain aspects of the world cannot be analyzed scientifically, and he leads us through an exercise to demonstrate how our consciousness works from a top-down perspective. Science can answer a lot of questions, but matter alone cannot provide an understanding of our consciousness. This expands our view of reality, and of our personhood. The world is more than what science can tell us and we, as humans, are more than what scientific data can show us.
Hide Extended Summary