|Why consider science and the Bible?
E. Norbert Smith, Ph.D.
SUMMARY. Conflicts between modern science and the Bible abound in science education today. Due to the importance of science and technology such conflict leads many students to doubt in the truth of the Bible. Many argue, “The Bible is not a science book,” or “Little was known of science when the Bible was written.” Neither argument has merit for the Bible was, “Breathed by the Spirit of God” and claims Divine Authorship and warns of scientific error in these last days. Morality is at the heart of the debate. The reason for the denial of Biblical Truth is, “Willful ignorance” for men love darkness rather than light.
INTRODUCTION. Anyone failing to see the conflicts between modern science and the Bible is deceived or has recently arrived from another planet. Contradictions between science and the Bible are blatantly presented in secular schools. I had professors tell me there is more evidence supporting evolution than there is supporting gravity. Peer pressure and the willingness to become immersed in their chosen area pushes students toward conformity with their professors and their beliefs. Yet, I am convinced many believers begin doubting their faith because they were not properly grounded in the Word or had not been prepared to think through the persuasive arguments given by their professors and seen in college textbooks. As the classroom attacks continue many begin doubting larger and larger portions of God’s Word. Sadly some end up no longer believing in the God of the Bible. It is my prayer believers reading these essays will find spiritual and intellectual strength for such battles. Let me provide a bit more background as we begin.
IMPORTANCE OF SCIENCE. We live in an advanced scientific and technological society. Stop and consider recent advances in communication, computers, even the Internet that makes these very essays available to a global population, medicine, genetics and modern weaponry to mention a few. Science touches everyone. Science has given us many good things. To many, science has become a god. To doubt science or scientists is akin to sacrilege. Many of my professors in graduate school worshiped at the altar of science. They honestly believed given enough research funding science could solve any problem; could cure any illness. They need but visit a children’s hospital! Professors openly laugh at students embracing Biblical Truths. Students espousing a Biblical viewpoint of Creation of the Flood are frequently ridiculed in classes. Sadly, this even occurs in the Science Departments of some leading Christian universities. They are forcibly taught that in order become “educated” they must abandon such myths as a Creator-God, sin and life after death or any literal teachings of the outdated Bible. To make matters worse our society is increasingly accepting relativism. Absolute truth, morals and “right” and “wrong” are rejected and even ridiculed. The temptation for students is to side with the godless view of science they hear forcing many to reject Christian Truth forever.
EXCUSES. Two commonly heard excuses for rejecting Biblical teachings come to mind. These are even taught at some seminaries! “The Bible was not intended to be a science book.” Or, “The ancient people in Bible time knew nothing of modern science.” Nonsense! If the Bible is the Word of the Living God then there can be no error where it touches on science or history or anything else. For the Living God is Author of both true science and his Word. What the ancient people knew of science is irrelevant for God is Author of his Word. It was Spirit breathed. The primary purpose of these essays is to look head on at some of the conflicts between modern science and God’s Word and consider a logical defensible resolution. If we are to trust the Bible regarding the weighty matters of heaven and hell and judgment for all eternity, then it must be without error on the less important matters of history and science. If the Bible is indeed the infallible Word of the Living God, there can be but two possible explanations for conflicts between the Bible and science: error in Biblical interpretation or error in the interpretation of science. Sadly most higher education institutions and many liberal seminaries dismiss Holy Scripture as mere myth. Our emphasis in this study will be to look critically at some of the fact of science and relate them to Scripture. Two clear pictures will emerge. Modern science is filled with firmly held dogma and false evidence for godless evolution is widely presented in high school and college textbooks. As we shall see hard evidence supporting evolution is sparse indeed.
There are two more reasons such a discussion is important. Many, even in our churches, feel science has disproved Genesis. This raises doubts regarding the entire Word of God and such doubts cause people not to get into the Word, as they should. This is particularly troublesome with educated adults. We see a systemic growth of such doubts in individuals as well as denominations. First aspects of the account of Creation are doubted, then some of the miracles are thought to be myth until finally they are left doubting the entire Bible and even the existence of God or the need for a Savior or that Christianity is any different from other world religions. Doubts weaken and destroy. Doubts resolved strengthen and build. The Apostle Thomas doubted in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus did not criticize him for doubting, but helped him resolve his doubts (John 20:24-28). Because his doubts were removed he went farther geographically than did any of the other Apostles. He traveled to India and started The Church of the Martyr that remains to this day sending missionaries throughout the world. My prayer is these essays will help the Body of Christ resolve doubts regarding the truth of God’s Word even as it relates to science. The stakes could not be higher for the time is short.
The other reason relates directly to evangelism. Many today see God-the-Creator as myth and thus will not accept God-the-Savior. In personal spiritual growth and in witnessing to others, especially those interested in science, we must have confidence in the Word of God. We are to, Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. (1 Pet 3:15, NIV) This means intellectual arguments are important in winning souls.
CAN THE BIBLE BE TRUSTED? I am aware one cannot use the Bible to prove Biblical inerrancy. There are many excellent scholarly works on Biblical inerrancy and such apologetics are beyond the scope of this brief discussion. Yet as Christians we must understand that God's Word claims to be true. If we trust it for our salvation can we not trust it for history and science? Here are a few passages to ponder.
All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness: that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Tim 3:16-17)
But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. (2 Pet 1:20-21)
Every word of God is tested: He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. (Proverbs 30:5)
Consider Psalms 118:8...the middle verse in the Bible. Our whole relationship to God and His Word truly pivots upon our acceptance of this verse. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. Where there is conflict between man’s science and God’s Word I choose to accept the Word of God and try to discover where science has run amuck.
BIBLICAL WARNINGS. This is perhaps the most important portion of this essay. Some will not want to hear it. Let me make it very clear I am NOT anti-science. I have spent most of my professional life working in science and have published over 200 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals. Science was part of man’s God given dominion over Creation, but science, like other blessings of God has become perverted by the Enemy. God's Word clearly warns us about science in these last days.
O Timothy guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and opposing arguments of what is falsely called "science"- which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith. (1 Tim 6:20-21)
Paul warns us in 2 Tim 3:7 that in these last days difficult times will come when men will be...Always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Could there be a clearer word picture of our society? We live in a time where knowledge is exploding, yet our world has never been farther from the truth.
We are warned to beware of false philosophies: See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world. (Colossians 2:8). And we are to warn others. And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness; but instead even expose them. (Ephesians 5:11). One of my motivations for these essays is to warn others of some of the errors in modern science, especially regarding moral implications of godless evolution. For those of you who see no moral implications in evolution please wait until we hear from some of the world’s evolutionists as to why they accepted evolution. Many admit it was not the preponderance of scientific fact (in spite of what is taught in college), but instead was a moral issue. Their lifestyle demanded the removal of God from their own consciousness. Stay tuned!
Finally we are to know why we believe what we believe and must be able to defend our beliefs. Far too many Christian young people only mimic their parent’s morals and beliefs without understand why. Such individuals are not prepared for the attacks that will occur in college. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear. (1 Pet 3:15)
It sickens me to watch nature programs on educational TV. I love God's Creation, but educational TV about nature defines Nature intelligent and creative, but ignores the Living Creator-God. Evolution is thought to be the “Master Creator.” Nature is given credit for the beauty and diversity of our living world; credit that should go to God-the-Creator. Evolution is thought to be creative by obeying the laws of nature. God created those laws of nature. Thus an acceptance of evolution as creative is a modern form of idolatry for the creature (Natural Law) is worshiped instead of the Creator. Yet we should not be surprised for the apostle Peter not only predicts the acceptance of evolution by ungodly men in these last days, but also gives the reason. Consider 2 Pet 3:3-6: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the creation." For this they WILLINGLY ARE IGNORANT OF, that by the WORD OF GOD the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water by which the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished.
What Peter is saying is that in these last days ungodly men will mock God and say they see no evidence of Him for all things continue without miracles. He goes on to say in verse 5 that these ungodly men will be willing ignorant of the Creation and the Flood. Ungodly men reject God without excuse for God's Word declares that God has revealed Himself to man through nature. As we shall soon see it is not scientific evidence that persuades scientists to accept evolution, but at the heart of it all is a moral issue; rebellion from the God of Creation and fear of the God of Judgment.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them: for God has made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks: but they became futile in their speculations and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore, God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity that their bodies might be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. (Romans 1:18-25)
Many have heard the oft quoted the expression, "If God said it, I believe it and that settles it." That statement has a major flaw. If God said it the issue is settled whether I believe it or not! Let us all prayerfully and with an open mind allow the Holy Spirit to teach us…to quicken the Living Word of God. If you have comments or questions let me hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org