Great Theologian Quotes on Science

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

From the pulpit of University Presbyterian Church in Seattle, the now-retired Rev. Earl Palmeronce said, “We have nothing to fear from science.” It was one of the many times I knew that I had found the right church for me.

Rev. Palmer is not alone in his embrace of science. Indeed, theologians past and present have found science to be illuminating rather than threatening, undermining the widespread notion of a “war” between science and religion. Just as many prominent scientists have spoken kindly of religion, many theologians have spoken highly of science. We have compiled some of the best quotes below:

“Men…have a moral responsibility to be intelligent. Must we not admit that the church has often overlooked this moral demand for enlightenment? At times it has talked as though ignorance were a virtue and intelligence a crime.”
–Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Strength to Love)

“Art along with science is the highest gift God has given [man].”
Pope Benedict XVI

“No doubt those who really founded modern science were usually those whose love of truth exceeded their love of power.”
–C.S. Lewis (The Abolition of Man)

“Science can purify religion from error and superstition; religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes.”
–Pope John Paul II (Letter to Director of the Vatican Observatory)

“Even the other sciences and their development help the church in its growth in understanding… The thinking of the church must recover genius and better understand how human beings understand themselves today, in order to develop and deepen the church’s teaching.”
–Pope Francis (Interview with America magazine)

“I don’t think that there’s any conflict at all between science today and the Scriptures. I think we have misinterpreted the Scriptures many times and we’ve tried to make the Scriptures say things that they weren’t meant to say, and I think we have made a mistake by thinking the Bible is a scientific book. The Bible is not a book of science.”
Rev. Billy Graham

“Those theologians who are beginning to take the doctrine of creation very seriously should pay some attention to science’s story.”
Rev. Dr. John Polkinghorne