One of the most interesting things I have found in apologetics is the amount of discussion about science. I have been a Catholic since my baptism in 1971 and although I have not gone to mass every Sunday I have gone to mass quite often sometimes even when it is not Sunday. Yet I can not remember a single homily (More or less the Catholic term for Sermon) about Science or how we should understand science. When I read the Gospel I do not find Jesus talking about science. Sundays and major feasts cover about 60% of the Gospels. Considering many events are repeated in the 4 gospels I pretty much have covered Jesus’s teachings several times over in attending mass as well as reading the gospels straight through. Add that to the amount of time I have read various Gospel passages of interest I think it is fair to say I know the messages of the Gospels fairly well. And science has nothing to do with it.
So why when we talk about reasons to be Christian is there so much discussion of science? It is like saying “I try to keep in good shape because I think Rembrandt is the best painter.” It is not that you couldn’t find some way to make a connection, but it would be odd to find discussions about why we should stay fit spending considerable time discussing the merits of The Night Watch.
Christ focused on what we should do during our lives. Fields that have little or nothing to do with how we should act during our lives have very little bearing on Christ’s teaching and thus little bearing on Christianity. Science can help us prolong our lives but it doesn’t address what we should do with the extra time. Christ focused not on how to prolong our lives but what we should do with whatever time we have.
So why is it that when I read articles of why people decided not to be Christian “science” comes up so often? You decided to stop exercising because you no longer like Rembrandts? I think that is indeed how many church going Christians view these issues. I think this is at times bewildering to many atheists who believe Christians are irrational for not adopting their views. But it takes two to tango and there are plenty of Christians that want to dance. For example I enjoy the podcast “unbelievable” but I do think it has a warped focus on “science” discussions.
One thing I have found is that people who stopped being Christians hate it when Christians suggest perhaps they never really understood Christianity. But then what can we do? Argue that Rembrandt is actually great therefore you should exercise? Well as it turns out there seems to be a real cottage industry there. The cottage industry has grown so much, that many times when I visit websites that argue for atheism they seem to *assume* I want to argue about science. Not only that but when I want to discuss issues about why we should live one way or another they act as though that is beside the point. I just have to wonder, what Gospel are they getting this from.