“I came to hear about science, not the Bible!”1
Published: 21 July 2016 (GMT+10)
When I give my talks I welcome feedback as this has enabled me to make many improvements. Recently, however, I had to disagree with a critic. I had given two presentations at a church meeting which had included a fairly mixed audience—those who would have been staunch believers in six day creation, some with leanings towards theistic evolution and others who were from outside the church and would, no doubt, have entertained a variety of views about origins. In both I had presented a biblical view of history, from Creation to Babel, and had shown how the scientific evidence supports rather than undermines the account given in Genesis. This, I was told, was a poor choice of material. What I should have done, my critic said, was major on the scientific evidence against evolution. Indeed, she went so far as to argue that the audience did “not need to hear what the Bible says—either about creation, nor what the Gospel is”.
My critic was, no doubt, aware of the considerable scientific evidence challenging the secular account of origins. As more and more facts are discovered about the universe and the biological world, the atheists’ creation story is increasingly collapsing. They cannot explain where the universe came from because, quite simply, the big bang model doesn’t work; the idea that a chemical soup could produce life by the random shuffling of molecules is utterly baseless; even the hallowed Darwinian theory is imploding beneath their feet.2 Why, then, did I not just ‘go for it’ and demolish the evolution myth with an hour or so of unanswerable scientific arguments?
Beginning with the Bible
As a ministry we are, like atheists, ‘presuppositional’. In our thinking we ‘presuppose’ the Bible to be true and accept it as providing a true account of origins. We have come to put our trust in Christ and follow Him wherever He leads; since He understood the book of Genesis to be history, so do we. Similarly, atheists ‘presuppose’ that the world around us, including all its plant and animal life, arose entirely by natural processes. Hence, for them, evolution must be true. This is why so many of the top professors in our universities continue to believe in evolution despite there being such strong evidence against it. The more I talk to people about these issues, the clearer it becomes to me: the creation/evolution debate is not principally about science; it is about one worldview versus another. This vital point is kept from the public because the media tend to report only evidence that appears to support evolutionary beliefs—a practice which they believe is justified because, in their view, “evolution is a fact”.
It is a serious mistake for Christians to base their beliefs about origins on so-called ‘science’, primarily because this results in the Bible being placed under man’s reasoning. Unfortunately, many do this, which is why we have so many different interpretations of Genesis. For example, some say there must be a gap of millions of years between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2; others that the days of creation were not really days (despite the fact that each included a morning and evening) but very long periods of time. Why do they do this? It is because they have accepted that ‘science says’ the earth is billions of years old, so great age must somehow be fitted into the Bible. However, once ‘science’ is accepted as the interpreter of Scripture then God’s word becomes subject, in every respect, to ‘human wisdom’. Given that the “heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick” (Jeremiah 17:9), this would seem, to say the least, a precarious path to follow. For many ‘science says’ that virgins don’t conceive, dead men don’t rise and sexual promiscuity is natural; it’s then only a matter time before the Bible is reinterpreted in these matters too.
‘Scripture under science’ or ‘Science under Scripture’?
Christians who, in their beliefs about origins, follow the latest ‘scientific thinking’ find themselves on a roller coaster. Their confidence rises and falls according to the latest ‘evidence’, because ‘scientific opinion’ in these matters is constantly changing. In the end nothing is certain and they’re left with no real basis upon which to grow in faith and become fruitful in God’s service. Instead they become “tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes” (Ephesians 4:14). This is why it’s so important to establish the Bible as one’s final authority; and to do this, it is necessary to start with Scripture rather than science, as I did in my talk.
One of the great principles embraced by the Reformers was Sola Scriptura, meaning ‘By Scripture alone’. They were determined to bring all beliefs and opinions into conformity with the Bible. This was a necessary emphasis for their time because many were claiming that there were other authorities to which the scriptures should be subject. The same is true for us today, except that the new authority which seeks to usurp the word of God is so-called ‘science’.
In Creation magazine, we place ‘Science under Scripture’ in contrast to evolutionists who place ‘Science under materialism’. Moreover we demonstrate, in article after article, that the ‘science’ that seeks to usurp the Bible is not really science at all, but an atheistic worldview masquerading as science. At the same time, we seek to build faith in God’s word by showing how scientific observations fit the biblical account of creation and Earth history far, far better than the evolution story. And since the Bible is true, this is hardly surprising!