Are science and faith contradictory? Michael Strauss doesn’t think so. Strauss, Experimental Particle Physics Professor at the University of Oklahoma, is both a Christian and a scientist.
In a recent lecture at Southeastern Seminary, Strauss explained how he integrates faith and science. Afterwards, Ken Keathley sat down with Strauss to talk further about faith, science and his academic and scientific journey.
Watch the Q&A above. Below are a handful of excerpts, edited for clarity. (For more perspectives on these topics, watch the recordings of our Historical Adam Conference and Noah’s Flood and the Age of the Earth Conference.)
You don’t have to exaggerate, brow-beat or demean if what you’re talking about is true.
If you speak truth, you don’t need to exaggerate.
“Regardless of where I go, a contingent of people want to give me a hard time. I firmly believe if what you’re speaking is truth, then truth is ultimately going to win out. You don’t have to exaggerate, you don’t have to brow-beat, you don’t have to demean if what you’re talking about is true. I really believe that the things I’m sharing about how science and Christianity mesh, how God has shown himself in nature, is true.”
Why the age of the earth is a nonessential issue.
“As far as the age of the earth, the church I go to this is a nonessential issue, as it should be. We believe God is the creator. The how of creation is discussed and debated. I always joke that if a third of Christians are Young Earth creationists and a third are Old Earth creationists and a third are evolutionary creationists, when we get to heaven two thirds of us are going to be wrong. We need to learn to live with each other, love each other, and admit that even if our convictions are strong, we could be wrong as well.”
On Dr. Strauss’ evangelistic opportunities.
“I often have someone come up to me and say, ‘You don’t know me. But three years ago you spoke at such and such university on science and faith. I was an atheist, and that talk started me on a journey to become a Christian.’ I’ve actually heard that multiple times from people. God is gracious; he’s used this night ministry of mine to effect people’s lives.”
How does Old Earth creationism deal with a historical Adam and Eve?
“The hardest thing is exactly who were Adam and Eve, and when did they live? I think that a historical couple, a real Adam and Eve who were historical people, is the most likely explanation from Scripture, and it’s certainly viable within the scientific realm.
“By the way… the issue of the age of the universe is entirely separate from the issue of evolution. There are many old-earth creationists who are not evolutionary creationists, who don’t believe God used evolution. A lot of times… Old Earth creationist critics try to lump those two together, to say if you believe the universe is 14 billion years old, they call it the evolutionary paradigm. But it’s not; evolution is a separate issue….
“I think a literal Adam and Eve is the most likely explanation both biblically and scientifically for what’s out there.”