During our pandemic, a number of television spokespersons have used “science” as a noun which is the equivalent of “proof.”
I believe a little clarification is in order.
What are the facts? Another phrase we hear is “fact checked.” That expression intends to convey reliable information that can be depended on by the hearer or reader. Occasionally, a person may say, “these are the facts, when that is not the truth.”
The issue is dependability. What can we say is true and therefore act on that fact. Sometimes in our discussions it is said, “That is your truth, but not mine.” Here another assumption comes into play – the idea that truth may be in conflict with itself!
Let’s examine some of the facts, the truth, the science and faith. First, my assertion will be that truth is never different wherever it is discovered. Geographical truth, philosophical truth, and psychological truth are the same reality, just viewed and described from different perspectives. When speaking of theological truth, the focus changes to a person, Jesus, Who said, “I am the truth…”
Faith is a different matter. Faith believes in reality which cannot always be seen. That does not mean that it is not real. One can believe in love when it cannot be seen. I can experience the warmth of the sun when I can’t fully explain its components. I can believe in God and worship Him, even when I cannot see Him or touch Him physically. The heart, too, has its reasons.
We must be careful to choose wisely the foundation from which we describe truth. Science is a basic form of knowledge based on testing and demonstrating the dependability of certain realities we often call facts. We must be careful not to limit what we call facts to the realities that science can demonstrate.
Faith, too, can be demonstrated through the actions of people who have made a commitment to a fact, an unseen relationship. Biblical faith holds that reality to be evidence of the unseen world called eternity, the existence that is beyond space and time.
Someone may ask, if science and faith see reality differently, who is right? Blaise Paschal, the French mathematician and philosopher argued that if he believed in God and it turned out in eternity he was wrong, he would have enjoyed a decent life. If the atheist is wrong, he will have lost on all counts.
To believe in an unproven theorem may require more “faith” than the believer has. Science attempts to establish facts by testing theories.
Faith looks beyond the material and the natural and trusts in the eternal. I think Paschal got it right. Living by faith wins in this life and in the life to come. Think about that!