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 | By Fr. Bill Ashbaugh

The Bible is Not a Science Book, It Isn’t a History Book Either, Then What is It?

Faith and science are two different realities that, for some reason or another, often get put on opposite sides of the scale. How do we balance scientific knowledge with the knowledge that comes from the gift of faith? Some Christian fundamentalists seem to lose their spiritual balance by reacting too much against science. Others look upon the Bible as an ancient science book. It is not. The Bible tells us why things are. It reveals God and God’s plan for us and the whole universe.

“All creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God.” (Romans 8:19)

The Bible does not answer many questions about how God created. It simply says that God created all things through His Word! That Word became flesh and pitched His tent among us. The Bible tells us that the One who is responsible for creating all things loved us so much that He became flesh and blood and died on the cross for us. That is Jesus! The Bible tells us that there is more than the visible world seen and measured by science. The Bible tells us that in Christ we will live forever and that we will experience a resurrection as Jesus did.

Science cannot answer questions of meaning, but can answer questions of observable fact to some degree. One of the things that I truly appreciate about science is that the more we learn and discover, the more we realize how much we do not know! Science can be a beautiful door to humility and a deep reverence and even awe of the magnitude and scope of the universe and living creatures. Some can get carried away with science and put too much weight on its findings – almost creating scientific myths that require a kind of faith.

Science is not opposed to faith, nor faith to science. Science helps us to more clearly see the world as a macrosacrament of God. It helps us peer more clearly at ordinary realities and see the beauty, intelligence, complexity, and interconnectedness of all things. It can move us to deep awe and raise our minds beyond the created realities to that which is uncreated and eternal – Almighty God.

So, if you feel you know little about science, pick up a book and dive in. Some science books are very readable such as “A Brief History of Time” by Stephen Hawking, or “God and the Astronomers” by Robert Jastrow. If you are more of the scientific mind, pick up the Bible. There you will meet the One who created the world which you have grown to respect and appreciate through science.