Christ-Centered Biology

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Hannah White
Christ-Centered Biology
The natural world is teeming with life, from the smallest single-cell organism to the most complex mammals in existence. Life science takes on the awe-inspiring task of studying the origins and current population of the living portion of the known world, seeking to continually discover and understand more. However, a scientist’s basic worldview has a drastic impact on his or her approach to life science. Scientists’ varied opinions on the origins of life, their resulting opinions on modern biology, and the manner in which they believe they should approach their studies have incited passionate disagreements and spread confusion among all parties involved, including the general public. Many non-Christians and Christians everywhere believe that modern science cannot be reconciled with the Bible; while some scientists, such as Lawrence T. McHargue, have compiled evidence for the contrary. In light of the Christian’s call to worship God by developing the mind as well as the heart and soul, a biblically-based Christian worldview can be logically coupled with the study of life. The reasoning for developing a Christian worldview toward life science is rooted in some of the oldest and deepest truths in the Bible. Although God had no inherent need to enlarge the realm of being, He chose to create an entire world of plants, insects, mountains, galaxies, and countless variations on each major classification of creation, and the introduction of life was the pinnacle of His creation. He made the world, then filled it with inhabitants. The act of bringing living things into being and giving them goodness gives God joy, as illustrated in the book of Job.[1] He enjoys His creation, talks to His creation, plays with His creation, and takes care of it diligently. And although humans represent the most advanced life on earth, chosen to be in direct relationship with the Father, God takes great pleasure in the other kinds of life He created. The Psalmist declares that “the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it,” and the covenant promise God made to never again flood the earth was made to “every living creature.”[2] Still more biblical evidence, from Matthew 10:29, shows that God cares about even the small, insignificant sparrow. If God is so enthralled with His creation, should not humans be as well? In addition, the study of a creation God cares about so deeply is an exercise of the mind. Christian scholarship is an endeavor that should not be ignored; rather, it is a chance to use the gifts of knowledge and learning God has given us. God endowed humans with the ability to think and study the creation He loves in depth, an endowment that practically necessitates action. Not everyone is called to the career of biological study; but considering Jesus’ command to love God with our entire heart, soul, strength, and mind, the importance of such study emerges with more clarity than ever. Surely, the least a Christian should do is formulate a Christ-centered view toward the modern study of life.

Requisite for a study of biblically grounded life science is brief knowledge of the history of biology and the origin of life as they relate to religion. By far the largest impact made on the pairing of Christianity and science came from Charles Darwin’s book formulating the theory of evolution, entitled On the Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (or simply The Origin of Species). Before 1859 – the year Darwin published his book – science and Christianity were inseparable. Common practice in scientific publications included frequent and respectful reference to God, and scientists were often biblically trained. It was not uncommon for clergy of the church to also study science.[3] However, science in modern years has become a breeding ground for beliefs totally against any divine intervention in the beginning of life,...
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