A lot of skeptics believe faith and science are incompatible. But if you examine the evidence, you’ll find that faith in Jesus Christ played a leading role throughout the Scientific Revolution in the 1500s and 1600s that still impact our lives today. In his book "Jesus Skeptic" by John Dickerson, we discover a social apologetics approach to Christianity that asks this question: "Is Christianity good for humanity?" When it comes to the sciences, we find that world-renowned scientists such as Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler and Blaise Pascal all had passionate faith in Jesus Christ, among many others who transformed the world with their scientific discoveries.
First, let's examine the life of Isaac Newton. Newton is credited with the discovery of gravity and defining the Laws of Motion. During the time of the Scientific Revolution, Newton was a physicist, astronomer, inventor and mathematician. One cool fact: Newton didn't do calculus homework... because he invented the subject!
Isaac Newton is likely the most influential scientist in human history, and he viewed his scientific discoveries through the lens of his faith in God, specifically Jesus Christ. In "Principia," Newton wrote "This beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful being... This being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as the Lord over all, and on account of his dominion, he is wont to be called 'Lord, God'..."
Newton inferred the existence of God from the solar system - and his discoveries in science led him to an even greater passion for Christ! In fact, Isaac Newton wrote more about God and Jesus than he did about science and mathematics over the course of his lifetime.
Like Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler was a key figure during the Scientific Revolution. Kepler discovered the Laws of Planetary Motion, which describes how the Earth orbits around the sun, the moon around the Earth, and so on. If you wear eyeglasses, you can thank Kepler - he invented them, as well as the telescope and the pinhole camera.
Johannes Kepler actually began his studies as a Theology student. He wanted to become a pastor or priest, but his professors urged him to make the switch to studying mathematics because he was so talented. Kepler continued to live as a devout follower of Jesus Christ as he made his world-changing scientific discoveries. On the topic, Kepler said, "I wanted to become a theologian; for a long time I was restless. Now, however, behold how through my effort God is being celebrated in astronomy."
Last but not least, let's look at the life and discoveries of Blaise Pascal, a world-famous mathematician, physicist and inventor. Pascal invented the first ever mechanical calculator - the first computer in history! Also, following Pascal's conversion to Christianity, he wrote a passionate poem about his faith that he sewed into his coat, so it would be close to his heart. From his writings, it's clear that Pascal deeply believed that Jesus Christ is God and has the power to give peace, purpose and eternal life to those that profess faith in him.
Whether or not you personally believe the claims of Jesus to be true like Newton, Kepler and Pascal, it's important to know that you don't need to check your brain at the door to become a Christian. Out of the Scientific Revolution, God brought light and understanding where there was intellectual darkness (John 8:12). If you’re a Jesus Skeptic, consider this question: Is it possible that there actually is an eternal life with God, as these revolutionary scientists believed?
You’re invited to join a long line of brilliant men and women who have examined faith under the microscope and found Christ to be the "light of the world" at the heart of creation. We pray that as you examine the evidence, you'll join the movement of devoted Christ followers changing the world for good!
To continue learning, check out the below related content and resources from Liquid Church:
- MESSAGE: To learn more from Liquid Church's Jesus Skeptic series, check out the impact of Jesus' teachings on Justice and Racial Equality. Click here to watch or listen.
- ARTICLE: As we ask the question "Is Christianity good for humanity?" check out the intro to the series on The Liquid Blog. Click here to read on.