Science And Christian Faith

Science and Christian Faith - Conceptions and Misconceptions
Allan J Day, January 2000



Allan John Day is Emeritus Professor (Physiology) University of Melbourne, Australia, a Senior Academic Fellow, Ridley College, Melbourne and a Fellow of ISCAST (Institue for the Study of Christianity in an Age of Science and Technology.


It is widely believed, by many in the secular world and not a few in the church, that science and Christian belief represent mutually incompatible views of reality; that they are strange bedfellows. The inappropriateness of this approach to science and Christian faith is considered in this paper. It is asserted that science and faith are complementary approaches to reality, representing two sides of the same coin; asking different questions.

A brief history of the apparent conflict is traced and set against the background of the history of science and its development. In examining these issues the nature of science and its intrinsic limitations are looked at; concerned as it is with "how" questions rather than "why" questions. In considering the relationship between science and faith, some of the implications of the new physics, and the new natural theology that arise from it, are raised, as are the changed patterns of scientific determinacy and quantum physics. These have implications for understanding something of God's activity in the world.

It is concluded that, science and faith not only complement each other, but need each other to give a full view of reality. One can therefore be both a scientist and a Christian believer, without any need for compromise of either intellect or integrity.

Key words

Science-faith relationship, complementarity, natural theology, limitations of science, theology and reason.

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