I remember a sermon in church, when I was a boy. I don’t remember the whole sermon, but I clearly remember a dignified and stern preacher telling us about the “fool-osophers” in our universities. I felt sorry for any philosopher in the building.
I have also met educated people, who believe in science and think religion is for idiots. When I was a student in a university, I learned that one of my favorite profs was a Christian and a leader in a well-known religious denomination. One day, I was in his office talking about my course work, and I told him the name of the church that I attended. I expected him to be friendly, but he didn’t smile. I could see anger in his face and he said “Oh, so you’re a literalist.” I didn’t know what that word “literalist” meant, but I felt the sneer; like someone was swearing at me. That conversation ended quickly, and I avoided him and his classes after that.
So, is there any way that science and religion can agree, about anything? I’m a Christian, so do I have to live with the sneers of intelligent people? Yes. Years after meeting with that professor I got a job in that university, and I learned that Christian employees have to watch what they say, if they want to be promoted, and not fired. Many of us believers knew each other, and we knew how to be discrete.
Jesus had strong language when he talked about aggressive unbelievers; “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” (Matthew 7:6) When a Jewish rabbi says ‘dogs and pigs’ he is being severe.
So, do most scientists despise Christianity, or any other religion? You might be surprised, but no. Someone researched the personal beliefs of scientists who won Nobel prizes, the elite among scientists. Did you know that about ninety percent are religious and most identified themselves as Christian?
Tell that to my angry professor.
Also, there is an interesting video where a scientist explains why he believes in the God of the Bible. He believes that science shows us God:
This was my experience: I avoided that sneering professor always, after that conversation, and probably some other believers did the same. We didn’t want a rude put-down.
The home of most scientists is a university; that’s how they pay their bills, to support their families. If students stay away, they have a financial crisis. And students are staying away, and the crisis is growing. Years ago, my university cost the taxpayers more than a billion dollars a year, and probably more now. Colleges and on-line schools are taking in more students, and the future does not look bright for the tenured scientists in the big-name schools.
One of my important jobs, in university and college, was to apply for external funding to support programs. I was good at it, and I remember no-one put down my religion. The goose was laying too many golden eggs.
Every Christian should know that the world is changing around us, like sand shifting under our feet. The old picture of a dignified scientists, with a brilliant mind, and a sneering attitude to religious people, is fiction. That sneering critic is like a character in a bad movie, from the sixties.
I learned, that Christians might “fear their faces” but there really isn’t much to fear. God’s eternal truth is still with us, and we might be surprised by the highly educated people who also believe.
Long ago, a man named Jeremiah was afraid to speak for God, and he was corrected. This is one of my favorite places in the Bible:
Then said I: “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.” But the Lord said to me: “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you,” says the Lord. Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me: “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant.” (Jeremiah 1: 6 to 10)