Bible vs. science?
Rebuilding the Foundation
“Bible vs. science” was the headline in a recent Canadian newspaper featuring a report about the creation/evolution controversy in public schools in America. As you read the plethora of articles that have recently appeared in newspapers, on webpages and in magazines, and as you listen to the numerous interviews on various secular radio and television programs, the creation/evolution debate is portrayed over and over again as “science vs. faith” (or “religion vs. science”). Secular reporters and evolutionists (and even evolutionist clergy) have emphasized that creation has no place in science classes, because religion has nothing to do with science.
I believe much of the church has been responsible (sometimes unwittingly) for fostering this view within the church and general public. Sadly, the majority of church leaders in America have compromised with millions of years and evolutionary ideas in geology, astronomy and biology, and thus have allowed generations of churchgoers to accept such beliefs and reject the literal history of Genesis 1–11.
Not only this, but even many theologically conservative churches have avoided dealing with the millions of years/evolutionary ideas (even though they, by and large, have accepted a literal Genesis and a six-day creation). Instead, they have mainly taught the Gospel, Christian doctrine, relationships, Christian morality, etc. Now, this is all great, of course, but too many churches have been ignoring an attack on the foundational book of the Bible, Genesis, upon which our Christian doctrine is based.
Even though the Genesis accounts of Adam and Eve and Noah’s Flood have been taught in Sunday school lessons and other places, churches have not dealt with areas like geology, biology, anthropology and so on. For instance, though the pastors and their congregations basically believe Genesis to be true, the Genesis accounts are presented as just “stories” that are not related at all to fossils, the age of the earth, dinosaurs, etc. As a result, if you asked the average churchgoer (or even Christian leader) today, “Is geology, biology, astronomy, anthropology and so on taught in your church?” the answer is usually, “no.” If you then ask, “Where do we go, then, to learn about geology, biology, astronomy and anthropology?” the answer is typically “to school.”
The account of origins in Genesis has been relegated to “religion,” but what has been taught at school concerning origins has been labeled as “science.” What has happened is that the church has handed over the teaching of geology, biology, astronomy, anthropology, etc., to the secular public school systems. Now, keep in mind that the majority of students from church homes go to public schools, where by and large they are taught that “science” has “proved” a history of the world that is millions of years old and full of evolutionary progress.
Because church leaders don’t know how to deal with millions of years and evolutionary issues (or compromise with them), they teach topics that mostly relate just to spiritual things. No wonder the world (and sadly many Christians) think the creation/evolution battle is the “Bible (or religion) vs. science.”
The Bible gives the foundation for the right approach in geology, astronomy, biology, anthropology—in fact, for all areas of reality. The church needs to take this all back (“to rebuild foundations,” as our 2005 theme declares) and teach people the true foundation of science based on the Bible. And if this is done, perhaps the public will begin to see that the battle is not “the Bible vs. science,” but actually the “Bible vs. secular beliefs.”