Should Christians confront “scientific illiteracy”? Well, that all depends on what is meant by “science,” but according to Charles J. Reid, Jr., a professing Roman Catholic and a professor of law at the University of St. Thomas (a Roman Catholic university), Christians should “call out” fellow believers who do not hold to evolution and millions of years.
In a Huffington Post article titled “Christians Must Confront Scientific Illiteracy,” Reid takes a swipe at biblical creationists, particularly the ministry of the Creation Museum and Answers in Genesis. He writes that Christians don’t need to worry so much about persecution as they do about a lack of belief in evolution:
For the greatest danger Christianity confronts at the present moment is not incipient persecution, but increasing marginalization and irrelevance. If Christians cannot engage reasonably and responsibly with science, there will be no place for them in the public life of advanced societies.
But Reid is mistaken—Christians absolutely do engage with science. In fact, the Christians at AiG love science, as I’ve written before on my blog. Reid is confusing operational (or observational) and historical (or origins) science.
Now, I’ve talked about this problem of confusing the types of sciences many times on my blog before, especially in reference to the fact that biblical creationists can perform good operational science. Operational science is the kind of science that leads to advances in technology, medicine, and so on. Good operational science can be performed without holding a belief in evolutionary ideas. We have a number of PhD-level scientists on staff at Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum who are all biblical creationists. They would all say that evolution has nothing to do with operational science—in fact, evolutionary bias hinders such science!
Actually, Reid recently wrote another article where he revealed that he is in favor of same-sex marriage (after having been opposed to it for some time), saying that “History . . . can serve as our steady and certain teacher,” and that same-sex marriage is all about love. The Word of God was clearly not his authority in that piece, and it doesn’t seem to be when it comes to origins either.
After describing biblical creation, Reid writes very negatively about Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum:
It is easy to dismiss this stuff, but there is real danger in treating it lightly. In the secular imagination, this fantasy view of the world is fast becoming the public face of Christianity. Certainly, Ken Ham is a respected figure in his own community. He recently received an honorary degree from Liberty University. His website promotes a mix of pseudo-science and survivalism. . . . Christians have not always been such enemies of science.
Christians are not enemies of science now—but we are enemies of ideas that conflict with the clear Word of God. Specifically, biblical creationists are enemies of ideas that conflict with the Genesis account of creation. However, a belief in creation doesn’t hinder a Christian from being a scientist.
Furthermore, it’s sad that Reid would resort to accusing AiG and the Creation Museum of teaching “pseudo-science” and “survivalism,” simply because we show people how the evidence found in the world only makes sense from the biblical perspective. When the Bible is the foundation of one’s belief system, being a scientist becomes easier because the starting point is consistent and correct.
Many people in this world will try to lift up man’s word over God’s, such as Reid has done by making history his guide, but as believers we can trust the Bible for the answers to life’s questions. And we don’t need to “call out” fellow believers who hold to the literal truth of God’s Word—no, we should lovingly expose error among Christian leaders and academics in the hope that they will change their minds and take God at His Word as they should.
And really, the gospel is at the heart of this issue. The first eleven chapters of Genesis are the foundation for the rest of God’s Word—for all doctrines and the gospel. So when we choose to make anything other than God’s Word our absolute authority in life—such as Reid has done with history and evolutionary ideas—we undermine the foundation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I sincerely urge you to pray for Reid and others like him, that they would trust God’s Word as their ultimate authority, from the very first verse.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,