One of my chemist co-workers at Thermo-Fisher Scientific once made the observation, “All I know is that everything evolved… and then Jesus came.” The comment has forever embedded itself in my consciousness because it so aptly illustrates the struggle the scientific community has with what I call “The Jesus Problem”. Evolution is not regarded as a matter of belief among most scientists, but rather a matter of observed fact. This deep rooted view of the world however stands in stark contrast to what also is regarded as the historical fact of Jesus. The historical person of Jesus is hopelessly entangled with supernatural accounts – miracles, resurrection, and claims that shake the common thinking among scientists that matter is the ultimate reality. I would venture to say that most scientists deal with the issue in one of two ways – either ignoring Jesus altogether or ‘compartmentalizing’ – where spiritual or religious matters occupy an entirely different region of their thinking than ‘real life’.
None of these solutions however address the problem in a truly satisfactory way. How can you ‘ignore’ established historical fact and also claim that ‘facts’ are the only reliable guide to understand reality? Or, how can you accept something as ‘truth’ that doesn’t extend to all of reality? Ultimately it only makes sense that ‘the truth’ must encompass and explain all established observations – both ‘natural’ and ‘supernatural’. Facts themselves are unbiased and impartial, it is unfortunate however that they are too often segregated and categorized for the sake of maintaining a certain view of the world.
Anyone who claims to be both a Christian and a Scientist must accept that both Christianity and Science represent ‘truth’. If there is no compartmentalization in their thinking, the facts that underlay their understanding of Science must be completely compatible with the facts that underlay their understanding of Christianity. A Christian Scientist must therefore hold the view that the 'facts' regarding evolution are not incompatible with the 'facts' regarding Christianity. Different facts lend themselves to different theories, but the best theories explain and account for the most facts…
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