The Bible, or Science...OR...BOTH ?
There’s an age-old debate about truth, and it usually centers around is it Biblically based or Scientifically based. Meaning, for some odd reason, these two things must be differing or opposing viewpoints, and in essence, contradictory “facts.” However, I wish to make the point, that these two don’t have to be at odds, and in fact in more cases than not, science continues to prove that the “facts” of the Bible, are indeed the only facts that we can rely upon. Renown and esteemed theologian Erwin Lutzer, whom I will dedicate a message to next week, writes an entire chapter on this in his book “Seven Reasons Why You Can Trust the Bible.” In which he says; “The Biblical account of creation is eminently scientific. Creation shouts “Behold your God, to all who will listen!!!”
As I reflect on history, one truth becomes quite obvious to me. That the more science “knows” the more they don’t know! I know that seems wrong but just look at scientific facts, of their time. The earth is flat. The sun is a god that appears ONLY when he wants to, when we have been good and not angered him…and…the sun revolves around the earth. Fire is the tool of evil or bad gods. Leaches must be used to cure, by drawing out bad germs and diseases from our bodies. Buildings and other structures must be heavy and strong to withstand the forces of nature. Finally, people who had strikingly different, and/or possessed great and unusual, talents were possessed and evil and must be killed or cast out of our towns/lives to protect us. There are a thousand more examples of what science knew to be true at one point in history that are agreed to be no longer true today, i.e., the Atom, DNA, stability and need/use for minerals and elements, etc.
So where do the contradictions come from. The first big one is “supposed” carbon and/or radiometric dating. I call this the big one as it is the foundation for our environment, our world, and life itself. But there are many many more examples one could site. Anyway, if you believe carbon dating to be factual, it says the earth is 4.54 billion with a “B” old, plus or minus 50 million years. Fifty million years is a large error factor but when you’re talking billions, I guess not so much. Carbon dating puts the Grand Canyon at 1.8 billion years old. As for radiometric data, it says the earth is older at 4.6 billion and the Grand Canyon is 55 million years old. So, carbon dating seems to align with radiometric dating on the age of the earth, but varies by 327 percent on the age of the Grand Canyon. While I understand these methods are measuring different things, mineral/rock age versus radioactivity, the fact that their conclusion is so vastly different proves at least one, and likely both, methods are not quite correct.
But the Bible says God created the earth roughly 6300 years ago, so obviously this does not match the results from these accepted scientific methods. Which is right? This question alone is the reason for the debate and years of human misunderstanding and mistrust.
Why do we waffle so much with this question? I believe it is because we are beings of intelligence, thought, and reason; God purposely made us this way to grow, thrive, and accomplish many wonderful things. But life has evolved, more with a worldly influence than a God Based evolution. The basis for this evolution (not the Darwin type) is that God taught us right from wrong and thus we feel everything is black in white. But then Satan enters into it and like the serpent in the garden, influences us to think ‘did God really mean it,’ and we start following the worlds view and wander further away from God’s commands. It makes sense; we are surrounded by the world’s views, every moment of every day. But God, by our own doing by the way, is not surrounding us, every moment of every day, like the world is. Thus, for us humans, we feel we have to deal in factual data, and for us factual means black in white. Then we find or learn something slightly “gray,” and it benefits us, and makes us feel good or more right, and thus we adopt those ways, continuing our path toward the world’s ways, and further away from God. However, it is our own free will that let’s us decide which influence we wish to adopt or pursue, the world or the one true God.
Back to which is right, because we feel we have to know, right? Well, honestly, we don’t have to know, but to truly understand the working of life, history, and this beautiful earth God has provided, we seek to know anyway. But what if I were to tell you both science and the Bible are correct; you would say ‘not possible’! I would say anything is possible with God, and the accounts of what we read and the science of today are all human based. Even the writings of the Bible are reported to be God’s words told through humans. So, what if the humans erred? What if the periods of time many many years ago were somewhat different than they are today? What if there are huge gaps in the Bible amounting to numerous years. But most importantly, what if the techniques and tools science has developed are not quite right. As I said, one thing history has proven is that the more science believes it knows, they less they actually do know!
We know God created the heavens and the earth in 7 days. Moses tells us this in the Bible’s book of Genesis, written approximately 5000 years after creation actually occurred, according to most theologians. According to Moses account of creation, Genesis 1:3, “And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.” God told Moses that this was how a day was defined. But man had not yet began to measure time, as calendars and sun dials/watches did not yet exist. Was one period of light and one period of darkness equivalent to 24 hours, a man-made measurement? God only said this was His first day of creation, but no where does it say how many hours, months, or years, that first “day” of God’s took. So, when God created the heavens and the earth, could one such sequence have been 100, 1,000, or even one million years? We don’t know, nothing actually defines this – we assume that first day of creation was how man has defined it over the years, but exactly how long a first day was it???
For me I give credit to science as they continue to evolve and try to define what is right. But as we know, what they often to believe is their “constant,” continues to evolve and thus change – However, God does not change. Thus, I know I can rely solely on God, and stand back and observe science continuing to try to do, or understand, what God has already done, and provided for us. I believe somewhere in the translation of the Bible’s time frame, depicted by Moses’ account, and the scientific data, the two will eventually come together and prove God’s creation was, and is, exactly what God intended, and promised, it to be. Everything else God has stated and/or promised has been true, why would I doubt His Word on anything else!
The Grand Canyon, to me, further illustrates this point. If you have seen it, in person, you know of what I am saying, but nearly everyone has seen pictures. This massive and beautiful place was witness to an incredible event in history. Science will tell you that the ice age was so huge in its consumption of water through the atmosphere, that it formed huge glaciers that covered the land. Apparently, glaciers big enough to fill and overflow the Grand Canyon, up to two miles or more above the earths surface – seems a bit far fetched to me. I do believe that we had glaciers that formed our lands, but not to this extent. However, doesn’t this all, when you look back on the Bible and geological history, yes defined by science, seem to better align with the Bible than the glacier version of science?
Look at the vast plains of the US, with striking peaks and other formations. To fill all of those voids would have taken a layer of trillions of tons of water rising over a mile above the earths surface. To me, it makes more sense that the incredible amount of water it would take to form MOST formations of this type, would have to have been from one of two occurrences, both depicted in the Bible. Either creation itself, when Moses tells us in Genesis 1:2 “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” This clearly would have been enough water to do the things we see today. Or the second obvious occurrence could have been the great flood, which Moses tells us about in Genesis 7 versus 11, 12, and 24: “11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. 12 And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.” Verse 24: “The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.”
Here again we see numerous references to time and the days and years this happened. Clearly this event could have and would have created the Grand Canyon and the various massive water event creations that exists on the earth. Thus, one of these two Biblical events, is far more likely to be the cause. I know many in science believe the giant asteroid or meteor theory put the earth in darkness and created the GREAT ice age, but why since man has been walking the earth and recording history, has nothing like this, or even closely resembling this, occurred since this supposed event?
I have just scratched the surface on this age-old debate. Personally, I believe in God and His most prized creation Man. Thus, man has created science to understand and explain God’s creations. Therefore, In my opinion, man’s depiction of God’s word, the Bible, and science are in essence the same. Yes, they don’t often seem to share the same conclusions but that is the fallacy of the world talking and Satan trying to draw us away from God. But the more science discovers, the more God’s creation is validated – just remember that Satan’s mission is to draw us to him and away from God – therefore the truths of God, and the occasions when science seems to prove God’s Word, are not articles you will often read about nor hear on the news. Trusting in God, requires faith and commitment, two attributes that Satan hates. We need to have this faith and commitment, because God is one thing above all else and that is love. He created this marvelous, beautiful, incredible world for us, and it is full of amazing wonders. We need only to see these things through God’s love for us, and not through the lens of Satan’s recruited communicators, man.
Only God knows how he created the world and man. Only he knows how long it took for the world to reach its current state. The God who created the universe and brought forth life is the same person who inspired the Bible writers. Because He is the one constant we can site and rely upon, this consistency shows us that there is more than one version of world history through Scripture and a conflicting version through science.
We can, therefore, conclude that the Bible and science are ultimately aligned. God knew the Bible would be read for thousands of years with varying degrees of scientific knowledge. God’s primary purpose for the Bible was to reveal himself, present his plan and desires for us, explain the state of the world, and map out the future. His simple descriptions of the creation time line, and events, were sufficient for this purpose, as He had no need to explain the science of it all.
I believe we will finally and fully understand the compatibility of the Bible and science once we enter heaven. Until then, God has deemed the Biblical descriptions of creation sufficient to justify our faith in him, which is his top priority, and should too be ours. If God knew we truly needed more details about the creation events to trust him, I believe the Bible would have been more explicit. But, our love and obedience to God lies solely in our faith and commitment. I don’t know the exact amount of time it took for these wonders to form…NOR DO I NEED TO Know. Because I have the faith and commitment to both trust and love God, and I know above all else, God loves me and all of you!!!