Andy Bannister at The Ministry of Defence

At the Ministry of Defence there is a large Christian group who meet together and also host series of evangelistic events across lunchtimes. I was invited, along with several other Christian apologists to take part and help them with this. I was hoping to travel down to their MOD site in Bristol to deliver the talk in person, but Covid prevented that so we did it online instead.

The topic they asked me to address was “Has Science made God irrelevant”. An unexpected benefit of Covid was that as the meeting wasn’t restricted to the Bristol site, people from lots of other MOD sites joined us online. The audience was significantly larger than it would have been in normal times!

Speaking on the topic of science to that community was especially interesting – as it has some connections with their professional lives. So for instance when showing that science has not displaced God, I demonstrated that science actually raises religious, philosophical and moral questions, which it fails to answer. One example I gave was Louis Frederick Fieser (April 7, 1899 – July 25, 1977) one of the most famous chemists of the 20th C. He invented two things. Firstly he achieved the first artificial synthesis of Vitamin K – and saved hundreds of thousands of lives; but he was also the lead scientist for developing Napalm – which took hundreds of thousands of lives. So how then do you assess one man’s work? How do you say that one of those things is good and is bad? Science alone just produces results and develops technology, it doesn’t let you decide which outcomes are right. In fact if anything, science opens up more questions than it answers.

The same thing occurs at the highest scientific levels too. When physicists explore the origins of the universe; it opens up massive questions which I think point us in the direction of a creator.

After my talk we had a particularly good Q&A sessions. Sometimes when you open the floor for questions – not many come in. Then there are times when you get hostile questions because there are some aggressive atheists in the room! However, the questions that came in on this session was remarkable. They were obviously from people who were not Christians, but were genuinely interested and searching for answers and wanting to think things through.

I will be speaking for them again later in the year on “The Pursuit of Happiness”. That might be in person in Bristol in the MOD’s high-security premises, but more likely to be online again! It’s a great partnership to have and one we at Solas hope will continue to grow and develop.