What is faith and how does it relate to science? We will explore some reasons for trusting the Bible, and we will compare and then relate the two most common positions or worldviews on how to understand the Bible. One of these approaches is described as a naturalistic perspective, comparable to naturalism in science. This approach considers the Bible as essentially human myths and legends, with no divine input or authority. Science is considered to be our most reliable source for the understanding of religious views as well as nature.
The other primary perspective is the Judeo-Christian view that accepts the Bible as an inspired and trustworthy document, which considered reliable even for understanding the history of life on earth. Since these two ideas lead in very different directions, the choices we make are important. If the second viewpoint is accepted, there is a need to develop a realistic, practical working relationship between science and religion. Such a relationship should be described and designed so that seeming conflicts between the two will encourage careful study of both science and Scripture. It is proposed that such study can even utilize biblical insights to suggest testable scientific hypotheses and lead to improved scientific explanations. All this matters only as it helps us know and trust God better.
What is the relationship between faith and science? It is said science is based on evidence, while religion is based on faith. Just what is faith? How does it differ from scientific evidence? One definition of faith is confidence or belief that is not based on evidence or proof (Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary). However, should not faith have some evidence to support it? Would we want to build our philosophy of life upon something for which we had no supporting evidence?
Some see faith as a leap in the dark, and perhaps that is a valid way to define the type of faith that is not based on any evidence. How much better it seems to have some evidence to give us confidence in an idea before we put our faith in it. A Christian’s faith includes confidence in unobservable events from the past and a future life eternal: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Heb. 11: 1, NIV). Faith is exercised in all endeavors of life, including in our pursuit of knowledge through science, where we never have all the evidence. If we know and understand God, we learn that He is trustworthy, and worthy of our faith, even in issues for which we have only partial evidence. Several types of evidence can help us evaluate whether we should have faith in the reliability of the Bible.