What in the World! selections, no. 1

I’m planning to provide select excerpts from the What in the World! (WITW) newsletter as a regular feature of this blog. The newsletter is available free from Bob Jones University. It’s been coming out for a good 20 years as a service to local churches.

So here’s my first selection, this one from the latest issue. I consider it especially powerful when a non-Christian attacks the faulty thinking of his own, like in the following:

Science is science. Religion is religion. Each should stay on its own side of the back seat. This is the thinking of many in America.

“The problem with this neat separation,” says physicist Paul Davies in a New York Times op-ed piece, “is that science has its own faith-based belief system. All science proceeds on the assumption that nature is ordered in a rational and intelligible way. You couldn’t be a scientist if you thought the universe was a meaningless jumble of odds and ends haphazardly juxtaposed. When physicists probe to a deeper level of subatomic structure, or astronomers extend the reach of their instruments, they expect to encounter additional elegant mathematical order. And so far this faith has been justified.”

Davies says he has often asked other physicists “why the laws of physics are what they are.” Some reply, “That’s not a scientific question.” Others say, “Nobody knows.” Davies finds that the most common response is, “There is no reason they are what they are—they just are.” But, Davies says, that’s faith!

Both science and religion have to believe “in the existence of something outside the universe, like an unexplained God or an unexplained set of physical laws.” Davies doesn’t accept religion’s claims. But science cannot claim the high ground: “Until science comes up with a testable theory of the laws of the universe, its claim to be free of faith is manifestly bogus.” (New York Times, 11/24/07)

For a free subscription to What in the World!, e-mail witw@bju.edu.

Author: Mark Ward

PhD in NT; theological writer for Faithlife; former high school Bible textbook author for BJU Press; husband; father; ultimate frisbee player; member of the body of Christ.

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