Colossians 1:15-20 (New International Version)
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Sometimes the question is put: Jesus and Science – are they in conflict? One way to approach such questions is in terms of the cosmic drama in which we all play a role.
ACT 1: Creation
Jesus is the firstborn over all creation (verse 15). In Jesus, all things were created; all things have been created through him and for him (verse 16). Jesus sustains all things (verse 17). The order and reliability of the physical universe is the basis of the scientific enterprise.
ACT 2: Fall
The fall brought death. Science and technology are not inherently evil, but can be used to bring death, and on a large scale. Yet Jesus is firstborn from among the dead (verse 18). So Jesus has reversed the fall, wringing birth from death. Imperfect as it is, science also may be an agent for good, preserving and improving life.
ACT 3: Israel
All kingdoms – such as Israel – all thrones and powers and rulers and authorities, are under Jesus (verse 16). Within pre-modern societies, science is almost non-existent. Within modern societies, science is valued. Research and innovation are recognised as important ways through which living standards are raised and prosperity and wellbeing increased.
ACT 4: Jesus on earth
Jesus lived in the material world; he shed real blood when he died on a cross (verse 20). Then, amazingly, he became alive again; and not as a ghost, but with a real body. The incarnation demonstrates the physical world matters to God and will continue to matter as our own bodies are resurrected.
ACT 5: Here and now
We should live acknowledging Jesus as the leader of his followers (the church) ( verse 18). We need not fear science, as in Jesus all things hold together (verse 17). If our reading of the Bible is in conflict with our reading of the natural world, we should not despair, but work to see exactly where the difficulty lies and how in might be resolved. All truth is God’s truth.
ACT 6: The finale
Jesus was born in human flesh to reconcile to himself all things (verse 21). Everything, in earth and heaven, finds its final reconciliation in Jesus.
Jesus and Science – are they in conflict? No.