Biblical history and the role of science
A major function of our ministry is showing that the Bible can be trusted in all areas. This is not only in its theology and morality, but also in the real history of the world that largely underpins this. We show (on p.18) of this issue, how some vital doctrines were taught by appeal to this real history. This also shows that a surprising amount of chronological information can be logically deduced from the explicit biblical statements. In particular, the Bible teaches:
- The heavens, Earth and everything in them were created in six consecutive normal days, the same as those of our working week (Exodus 20:8–11).
- Earth is about 6,000 years old, since Jesus said mankind was there from the ‘beginning of creation’, not billions of years later (Mark 10:6).
- Adam sinned and brought physical death to mankind (Romans 5:12–19; 1 Corinthians 15:21–22).
- Since man was the federal head of creation, the whole creation was cursed (Romans 8:20–22), which included death to animals, with the end of the original vegetarian diet for both humans and animals (Genesis 1:29–30).
- God judged the world by a globe-covering Flood, which Jesus and Peter compared with the coming Judgment (Luke 17:26–27; 2 Peter 3:3–7). This destroyed all land vertebrate animals and people not on the ocean-liner-sized Ark.
- God then judged the people by confusing their language at Babel—after they had refused to spread out and repopulate the Earth after the Flood (Genesis 10:25; 11:1–9).
But some would ask, “What’s the point of science if we have the Bible?” or “Aren’t many of our problems due to placing science above God’s Word?” And a common corollary, “Why should our church host CMI ministry?”
1. Elaborating, elucidating, and explaining Scripture
The solution is understanding the difference between the ‘ministerial’ and ‘magisterial’ uses of science.1 The ‘problems’ are due to the latter approach, where ‘science’ is placed as a ‘master’ (Latin magister) over Scripture. So where there is a conflict between (alleged) science and the biblical facts above, the Bible suffers from ‘re-interpretation’.
The ministerial approach accepts the above biblical history as not-negotiable, so science must submit to this. But we also realize that there is a lot of information not revealed in the above, so science can minister to the Bible in elaborating where the latter is silent. This includes developing models that help us to understand this history, or provide a plausible explanation for events. We see this in the articles on trial balloons (p. 47) and the Ark replica (p. 32). But these models must never be given the same status as Scripture itself, regardless of how successful they are, or how easily they apparently handle objections.2,3
2. Defending Scripture
Certainly many people in the Church believe the Bible. But do they know why they believe it, and how to defend it? While some have claimed, “The Bible is a like a lion; it can defend itself”, the Bible disagrees.4 It commands us both to present a positive case for Christianity (1 Peter 3:15, Jude 3) and to demolish arguments against it (2 Corinthians 10:4–5), and provides plenty of examples, such as Paul on Mars Hill (Acts 17) and in the synagogues (Acts 19).
In our sphere of ministry, there are two main areas, which we cover in every issue:
- Is Genesis creation true?
- Does it matter?
For (1), we present evidence for the young solar system (p. 38); we show that tomcod adaptation to poison has nothing to do with goo-to-you evolution (p. 22); interview a leading agricultural Ph.D. scientist (p. 35); and feature yet another example of human designers copying God’s—modelling robotic airplanes on the superb aerodynamics of locust wings (back page).
For (2), we have a shocking example of liberal theologians in Nazi Germany re-inventing Christianity to appease the evolution-driven Hitler, by removing everything Jewish about Jesus and more (p. 14–17). Another article (p. 54) documents the appalling treatment of a Christian Inuit—exhibiting him as a ‘primitive’ human in a zoo.
That helps explain why we persevere in producing this magazine that goes to over 100 countries, and why we speak extensively in churches across the globe, seeking to equip people with answers.
References and notes
- See Sarfati, J., Refuting Compromise, ch. 1, 2004, 2011. Return to text.
- Wieland, C., ‘Hanging Loose’, Editorial, Creation 11(2):4, 1989; creation.com/hanging_loose. Return to text.
- For more information, and special application to Flood models, see Sarfati, J., Flood models and biblical realism, J. Creation 24(3):46–53, 2010. This includes the ‘canopy theory’, air pressure higher before the Flood, catastrophic plate tectonics. Return to text.
- See Wieland, C., Caged lions … , 13 May 2005; creation.com/caged-lions,. Return to text.