Monday, February 18, 2008

Understanding Science and the Bible

Today I want to recommend some videos on the internet that deal with the subject of how science and Bible relate. These are found on Gordon J. Glover's blog, BEYOND THE FIRMAMENT.

In three video slide presentations (found here), Glover deals with:
  1. What is Science? What is the Bible?—Understanding the differences between these two ways of knowing lays an important foundation for maintaining a proper, intelligent perspective on both science and biblical religion.
  2. What "Science" does the Bible teach?—Tracing the history of astronomy, Glover shows that the Bible tells its story in terms of the Ancient Near East model of cosmology, and that its point is not to teach this model as unchanging scientific truth, but to communicate God's timeless theological message to its first readers in terms of a worldview they would understand.
  3. How should Christians relate to the natural sciences?—Modern science is at odds with the teachings of the Bible. Of course it is, since the Bible tells its story in terms of a 6000-year old cosmology! But it does so for certain theological purposes, not scientific ones. The key for a proper Christian view is to learn to distinguish between the timeless truths of Scripture and the time-bound models of language and science God used to deliver those truths to humankind.
Highly recommended.

2 comments:

Jeff Sievertson said...

Howdy Mike....Jeff here,
From my years of investigating the two primary models (creationism and evolutionism), I have found that the Bible is accurate in its reporting of the age of the earth (6000 years). Not only is the Bible theologically correct; but it is also historically, cosmologically, genealogically, and anthropologically correct.

There are two broad categories for the sciences; observational and historical. Observational sciences deal with the here and now (medicine, chemistry, space exploration, genetics, etc.); and these typically don’t have any correlation with Scripture, except maybe in the area of moral implications (i.e. trans-humanism, genetic manipulation, etc.).

Observational sciences deal with the things you can test and observe in the present. Historical sciences deal with processes that occurred in the past which we are not able to directly observe and test.

We can use observational science to theorize how things might have occurred in the past, but they are only theories. The only trustworthy record we have of the beginning of the universe is the Bible. It is interesting to note that the more we observe, in the here and now, the more we discover that these observations corroborate the accounts in Scripture (6000 years of earth history, a world wide flood, etc.).

So-called modern science (which is usually evolutionary science; which is a historical science) is at odds with the Bible, only because it is wrong in its beginning assumptions. The assumption is that all things have come about by time, chance, and the inherent properties of matter without the intervention of a divine being. We as Christian don’t have to incorporate these evolutionary concepts into the Bible because, for one, true science is on our side, and two, they contradict the Word of God. Think about it, who created the laws that govern the universe? Who was there when it began? Who was there that created space, matter, and time? We weren’t.

The Word of God is timeless. Its truth’s are accurate for all people at all times. Its statements were not just for those who immediately received it, but reflect absolute truth; which is not bound by time. The prophets may have used their language to describe what they saw or heard, but that doesn’t mean it was told to them in their understanding of the world. Many of the prophets didn’t always understand what they were seeing, or being told.

For example, if I was to show an Amazonian tribesman a picture of a city and asked him to describe it, he might say that it was a metal forest with thick branchless trees that people lived in. Just because he can’t describe the city in modern terms doesn’t mean that it isn’t a modern city.

Besides, some ancient cultures did think the earth to be millions of years old; which shows that they could fathom eons of time. The Bible, which was inspired by God, describes the earth to be only about 6000 years because…it is only about 6000 years.

For God to claim something that would be contradicted a few thousand years later would show Himself to be fallible and not omniscient. For God to describe the earth to be only 6000 years old, but in reality that weren’t true, then what does that say about God? This is the argument that many apostate Christians have used for turning their backs on Christ. If the Bible is wrong about that, then what else is it wrong about?

But, the Bible isn’t wrong on any matter it touches. It is accurate in everyway. I would recommend the book; Refuting Compromise by Jonathan Sarfati. He covers many of these topics where the church has compromised with the world and incorporates evolutionary concepts into the Bible.

God Bless,
Jeff

Anonymous said...

Howdy Mike,

I was incorrect when I said:

Observational sciences deal with the here and now...and these typically don’t have any correlation with Scripture...

I forgot about the Bible's mentioning of things like meteorology, hydrologic cycle, oceanic currents, etc.; which are mentioned in Job and other places in the Bible.

Just wanted to clarify.

Jeff