Originally published Thursday, 01 February 2018.
Page one of Genesis describes the sky with the Hebew word raqiya. (Genesis 1:14)
A raqiya is a dome. And, it’s solid. Also, it was thought to hold water at bay behind it.
The good news is the Bible wasn’t unique. This was a way people of ancient times were describing the sky. The bad news is, God didn’t say He wrote that other stuff. He does say He wrote the Bible. (2 Tim 3:16)
How can we Christians glean understanding through science without abandoning our allegiance to the Scriptures? Here are four ideas.
- Stop acting like science success is Scripture’s demise. Harboring bad feelings for science doesn’t show loyalty to God. He’s the One who created it all anyway, so why does unwrapping its truths throw us into a panic? Conservative preacher, RC Sproul, warns us, “Both Calvin and Luther rejected Copernicus as a heretic in the 16th century. I don’t know anybody in orthodox Christianity today who is pleading we teach [that the earth is the center of the universe]. Do you?”
- Know the history of the problem, especially the late 19th century science boon. “Steam engines, electricity…inoculations, surgery under an anesthetic…preached irresistibly the gospel of science,” wroteBernard Ramm in The Christian View of Science and Scripture. Back then, church leaders, who’d been largely trained in the classics, not in how to give proficient, measured responses about the physical world, reacted to the situation by giving oversimplified religious answers to science questions. We’ve been fighting that script ever since.
- Know the latest information. Philosopher of science Dr. Stephen C. Meyer said that the “…discovery of information embedded in digital form along the spine of the DNA molecule is a compelling indicator of prior intelligent activity.” In other words, it looks like things got started by a designer with a purpose. That’s not what Darwin said. He said it’s by chance. Several top scientists today are making the case that that’s not likely.
- Know what theologians said. Even Martin Luther said the writers of the Bible “describe physical phenomena from their own observational standpoint and not in absolute terms.”
All that may be interesting, but let’s get back to the matter of trust. Should Christians trust science or Scripture?
The answer is, Christians should trust God. To do that, we Christians must defy pressures that pit the spiritual realness of God (Scripture) against physical realness of His creation (science). We need to investigate and ask questions and be honest, even when it’s uncomfortable. It might be showing our confidence in Him. Because what kind of God can withstand investigation?
One that’s real.
Want to know more? Join the conversation with Alberts here.