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Christian Evidences Series: Science and the Bible

18 Sep

Studies in Christian Evidences by Waymon D. Miller

(This little booklet was developed in 1961 but is now out of print. For that reason, it is provided here for your use and edification in hopes that one more soul will come to believe today)

Introduction:
1. Through many years there has been a bitter conflict between religion
and science.
(a) Extremists on both sides contended that this conflict was
inevitable; that a Christian could not accept the finds of modern
science, and a scientist could not be a true Christian.
(b) Many Christians have viewed science with extreme skepticism,
believing its objective was to undermine religion, and many scientists
believe religion tends to oppose and retard scientific progress.
(c) It is true that many scientists are unbelievers, agnostics,
atheists, and infidels, but this is likewise true of many men of all
professions.
(d) Radical Christians have viewed science as the work of the devil, and
radical scientists have viewed religion as a relic of medieval
superstition.
(e) The mere fact that one is a scientist does not necessarily mean his
findings are untrue and antichristian, any more than the fact that one is
a professed Christian means his views of the Bible are correct.

2. There are some common sense matters to be recognized in whatever
issues may exist between science and the Bible.
(a) We need to recognize that the Bible is not a scientific book. It is
not designed to provide a technical discussion of scientific matters, but
rather to reveal God’s will.
(b) Since the Bible is not a scientific text, it should not be expected
to discuss scientific matters in detail, or its expressions (especially
obscure ones) be interpreted as scientific expositions.
(c) Science is an area of knowledge of human origin. The Bible is not
always concerned with intricate details of human wisdom, but it is our
conviction that all true knowledge is god-centered knowledge.

I. CAN THERE BE HARMONY BETWEEN SCIENCE AND THE BIBLE?
1. In order to determine if modern science denies the Bible we must
first determine what science is.
(a) In the absolute sense, “science” means “knowledge,” but this
definition is a narrow one, for many matters in scientific area are not
absolutely finalized.
(b) Science involves experiment, observation, deduction, conclusions,
conjecture, experience, fixed natural laws, hypotheses, speculation, and
theory. From these is derived both established truth and assumption.
(c) Herbert Spencer spoke of science as being “partially unified
knowledge.”

2. Does science destroy belief in God and the Bible beyond any dispute?
(a) If this were true, then in our wonderfully scientific age we could
not have the present sensational interest in the Bible and religion.
(b) The reason for the faith-destroying influence of scientific
knowledge lies deeper than science itself, since many good scientists
believe in God and the Bible.
(c) There is really no basic disagreement with any matter of scientific
knowledge and the Bible, when science is received reverently and the
Bible is rightly understood.
(d) Sir Oliver Lodge, noted scientist, said, “The region of religion and
the region of a completed science are one.”
(e) F. Hugh Capron correctly stated: “The fundamental truths of
religion are the fundamental truths of science.”
(f) Bernard Ramm wrote: “Ideally in their mutual pursuits the scientist
and the theologian should supplement each other.”

3. What is responsible for the conflict between scientists and the
Bible?
(a) There are both dogmatic scientists and dogmatic religionist who have
little sympathy for one another.
(b) Scientists have presumed to speak in the field of religion in which
they are not competent, and religionists have presumed to speak in the
field of science in which they are not qualified.
(c) Religionists have erred in seeking to make the Bible speak too
specifically about scientific matters, and scientists have erred in
seeking some conflict between science and the Bible.
(d) J.H. Pratt wrote: “The Book of Nature and the Word of God emanate
from the same infallible Author, and therefore cannot be at variance. 
But man is a fallible interpreter, and by mistaking one or both of these
Divine Records, he forces them too often into unnatural conflict.”
(e) In attempts to reconcile the Bible with various aspects of science,
over-zealous defenders of the Bible have frequently erred in seeking to
read many modern scientific discoveries back into the Scriptures
(f) Bible expositors have been guilty of superficial and untenable
interpretations of passages in effort to harmonize the Bible with
scientific matters. (cf. Heb. 11:3)
(g) Bible students have frequently confused their interpretation of
Biblical statements with inspired declarations, thus affirming that their
understanding of a passage is what inspiration declared about some
scientific matter.

4. We should understand some simple principles about what the Bible
teaches about the universe.
(a) the Bible declares that the universe and its in habitants were
brought into existence by creation by the infinite power of God, the
Creator.
(b) The Bible teaches that the universe is sustained by the unfailing
providence of God.
(c) The Bible maintains that the laws governing the universe are natural
laws, which are God’s laws.
(d) The Bible affirms the temporal nature of everything in the universe;
that all things are subject to decay.
(e) Observe the broad and general nature of these divine truths. The
Bible does not concern itself with infinitely technical details of these
matters.

II. SUPPOSED AREAS OF CONFLICT BETWEEN THE BIBLE AND SCIENCE:
1. The age of the world.
(a) Some have imagined that there is a contradiction between the
Biblical account of the age of the world and the affirmation of science.
(b) It is cited that scientists have estimated the age of the earth to
be between 4 and 5 billion years, while “the Bible teaches” it is only
6,000 years old.
(c) This is a conflict rising out of false assumptions, since the Bible
nowhere informs us of the earth’s age. It simply informs us that “in
the beginning” God created it. As to when “the beginning” was, we do
not know.
(d) Bible chronology was the work of Archbishop James Ussher of Ireland
(1581-1656), who worked out the elaborate time table of Biblical events
now found in many Bibles.
(e) John Lightfoot, English Bible scholar (1602-1675), working from
Ussher’s table, fixed creation during the week of October 18-24, 4004
B.C., and affirmed that Adam was created on October 23 9:00 a.m.,
forty-fifth meridian time!
(f) Since the Bible does not state in what year the creation occurred,
then such efforts are as much human speculation as the time estimates of
science.
(g) With modern radioactive dating procedures, if science can prove
beyond doubt that the world began five billions of years ago, this would
not contradict the Bible.

2. The origin of the world.
(a) The Bible accounts for the origin of the world in the simple
statement: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” 
(Genesis 1:1)
(b) It has been thought that belief in creation and belief in modern
science is incompatible, in that science rejects the Biblical idea of
creation.
(c) It would, in fact, be difficult to state what modern science accepts
about the origin of the universe, in that some ten theories have been
propounded to account for the origin of the earth, none of which is
confirmed.
(d) It is true that no believer would accept a theory of science
regarding the origin of the earth that would rule God out, but it is not
necessary to believe any skeptical to accept modern science.
(e) Even the divergent views of science concerning the origin of the
world start with an origin and require a cause.
(f) The fact is that some very distinguished scientist maintain firm
belief in the fact that God created the world, among whom are Johannes
Kepler, astronomer; Michael Faraday, distinguished English scientist;
John Ray, “the father of natural history” in Great Britain; Louis J. R.
Agassiz, famous geologist; James Dwight Dana, brilliant American
scientist; Charles Augustus Young, American astronomer; Lord Kelvin,
eminent English scientists; Arthur H. Compton, physicist, and others.

3. The origin of man.
(a) As to man’s origin, the Bible declares that “the Lord God formed man
out of the dust of the earth.
(Gen. 2:7)
(b) It has been shown that “modern chemical analysis detects at least
fourteen elements in the human body identical with “dust”-such as oxygen,
hydrogen, magnesium, silicon, sodium, phosphorus, and carbon.”
(c) While scientists have advanced numerous theories as to the origin of
life, they confess that science is incapable of definitely knowing this.
(d) Julian Huxley stated: “A scientifically based philosophy enables us
in the first place to cease tormenting ourselves with questions that
ought not to be asked, because they cannot be answered-such questions
about the Cause or Creation or Ultimate or Reality.
(e) The agnostic, Ernst Haeekel, stated: “The process of creation as
the coming into existence of matter is completely beyond human
comprehension and can therefore never become a subject of scientific
inquiry.”
(f) Lord Kelvin state, “I cannot admit that, with regard to the origin
of life, science neither affirms nor denies Creative Power. Science
positively affirms Creative Power.”

4. The creative days of Genesis.
(a) It has been argued that there cannot be harmony between science and
the Bible because the Bible teaches that the earth was created in 4004
B.C., while science argues that it is five billion years old.
(b) But the Bible makes no statement, as already seen, about when
creation was, and the date 4004 B.C. is purely speculative.
(c) Some contend, further, that if the earth is only 6,000 years old,
and creation lasted only six days, then the earth could not possibly be
as old as geologists insist.
(d) This argument is based upon two assumptions: (1) that the Bible
teaches creation occurred in 4004 B.C., which it does not, and (2) that
the “days” of creation must have been solar days-24 hours days like we
now have.
(e) The Bible does not, however, suggest the length of the days of
creation, and our contention that these days had to be solar days is pure
assumption.
(f) To accept the Biblical account of creation, it is not necessary to
believe in an immediate creation. It does not reflect upon God’s
omnipotence to believe that He used periods longer than 24 hours for each
creative step.
(g) The Bible frequently uses the word “day” to represent a period of
time much longer than 24 hours. (Gen. 2:4, 17; Duet. 9:1; Psalms 95:8;
137:7; Matt. 24:50; Luke 17:24; John 8:56; 9:4; Rom. 13:12; 2 Cor. 6:2; I
Thess. 5:2; Heb. 3:15; 4:7-8)
(h) The Genesis record indicates that God did not create the solar
system until the fourth day, and logically there could not have been
solar days before then.
(i) God rested on the seventh day of creation. (Gen 2:2-3) If God’s
“Sabbath of creation: continues to the present, and involves thousands of
years, whey could no the other creative days involve thousands of years
also?

CONCLUSION
1. Space does not permit a detailed consideration of every issue
existing between skeptical scientists and the Bible.
(a) Many other areas of scientific endeavor have confirmed the truths of
the Bible-findings in such areas as geology, archaeology, anthropology,
biology and astronomy.
(b) There is no discovery of modern science that would destroy faith in
the Bible, or our faith in God as the Creator. 
(c) Much of the controversy between science and religion has been
produced by skeptical scientists or dogmatic religionists who
deliberately oppose each other.
(d) Science is not naturally opposed to religion, and we must not
presume there is an inherent conflict between them.
(e) Because one is a scientist does not necessarily mean that he is a
skeptic, atheist, or infidel, for a great host of the most gifted of
scientists have been believers in God.
(f) Michael Faraday firmly believed the Bible to be the basis of all
truth. One day while ill, his friend, Sir Henry Ackland found Faraday
resting his head upon a table upon which also lay an open Bible. Ackland
remarked, “I fear you are worse today.” Faraday replied, “No, it is not
that. But why will people go astray when they have this blessed book to
guide them?”
(g) Professor Francis Bowen, a professor of philosophy at Harvard
University for over thirty years, stated with deep conviction: “I accept
with unhesitating conviction the doctrine of the being of one personal
God, the Creator and Governor of the world, and of one Lord Jesus Christ,
in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and I have found
nothing whatever in the literature of modern infidelity, which, to my
mind, cast even the slightest doubt upon that belief.”

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2017 in Bible

 

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