Doubtless every reader of this and similar websites will agree that there is something like a Christian view of science and the scientific endeavor. Readers may even consider that they hold to such a view.
But of what does a Christian view of science consist? Beyond that, and more to my present interest, is there anything like a Christian approach to doing science, to participating in this endeavor at any of its levels or in any of its arenas?
A good many books, most of them well-written and informative, are available which take a stab at explaining the relationship between faith and science, religion and science, or Christianity and science. Most of these present aspects of what we might call a Christian view of science. Or, at least, a Christian view of the relationship between Christianity and science.
None of them, however – at least that I’ve seen – outline anything like a Christian approach to doing the work of science. One finds enticing suggestions here and there, but nothing like a template or paradigm for all Christians working in the various scientific fields.
Perhaps no such distinctive approach exists? Perhaps a Christian “does” science the way any practitioner does?
But if so, if a Christian view of the sciences does not produce a distinctly Christian approach to doing science, then what difference does a Christian view of science make?
Science being what it is there will necessarily be a good bit of overlap between what Christians do who work in the sciences with what their secular and unbelieving colleagues do. But it seems to me that a Christian view of science should be expected to yield certain priorities and protocols for doing science that would differ from those of a secular scientist.
If so, just what might those priorities and protocols be? And, if such priorities and protocols can be identified, do they have the potential to create something like a Christian – let’s call it a Kingdom – space within the sciences, across every discipline, and in every field of study? And if such a Kingdom template or paradigm can be identified, and Christians working in the sciences can be persuaded to embrace it, would this facilitate collaboration among Christians in particular projects and specific kinds of research? Would the outcomes of such projects and research be likely to be more or less beneficial to humankind? Does the possibility of a Christian approach to doing science hold transformative potential for the entire scientific enterprise?
Let us suppose the answer to the above questions is, “Yes.” Or at least, “We believe so.” Then what might be some parameters, benchmarks, or defining features of a Christian approach to doing the work of science?
I plan to unpack some thoughts on this in subsequent installments; for now, I welcome your thoughts and suggestions.