Scientific ‘fact’, the Word of God and understanding
Published: 2 November 2014 (GMT+10)
In response to our article, How evolution is driving the clergy to atheism, a reader suggested we were confused in our interpretation of the Bible and scientific facts. His comment was:
There is something that all atheists and creationists miss. It is the simple fact that we confuse our interpretation of scientific fact and the Word of God with what God actually wants us to understand. I believe evolution is the way God created all life on this planet. That is what science tells me. I accept it as such. I do not subscribe to Dawkins’ interpretations about it, because it is my job to ‘color’ the findings. To be quiet and not behave as we have all the answers make a lot of problems go away. But to try and reinforce prejudices will harden the heart and extinguish the freedom Jesus gave us. The Bible tells me the Who of Creation, Science tells me the How. In any case, arguing with atheists never ever convinced a single one to repent. Why didn’t Jesus, who had all the knowledge and insight, never, even once debated scientific issues, politics or different believe systems? What did Jesus do with all His knowledge? He spent His time with lost people, healing them, talking to them, He spent Himself … What is having a bigger impact is our attitude and having God’s wisdom in our heart 24/7. That only comes from spending time with Him. Nothing more is needed.
Mauritz V, South Africa
CMI’s Carl Wieland responds:
Thank you for your comment about the article How evolution is driving the clergy to atheism. There is little sign that you have followed the feedback rules and searched our site, or else you would have seen many instances where this position you put has been explained carefully as very inadequate, to put it mildly. I would urge you to check out some of the key articles at our Q and A section, especially those under the Bible and theology.
You will find that it is not so simple (putting it very mildly indeed) that one can simply say ‘science tells us how, the Bible tells us who (or why)’. It is the credibility of the Bible and Jesus Himself that is at stake, as there are Gospel–critical issues particularly the sin–death causality, at stake. You are right that one should not be argumentative, but wrong to suggest that we should not engage the arguments. See 2 Cor. 10:5 for instance. Paul continually engaged these anti–God arguments in the marketplace. His writings are permeated with the ‘Gospel Big Picture’ of a good world, ruined by sin, to be restored in the future. This makes no sense in a long–age (let alone an evolutionary) framework. We find that our engaging these arguments causes many to think again and of these many have become believers (the reality is that while some people can be Christians and believe in evolution, seemingly oblivious to the huge inconsistencies and contradictions evolution poses to NT Christianity, many if not most can’t).
Also, I’m not sure how you can ‘spend time with Jesus’, yet ignore what He Himself so clearly taught and believed. Jesus did not engage in those issues, as his main opponents, the Pharisees, had that part right, but He certainly tackled their errors and unbelief head–on. Also, He said that if they would not believe what Moses wrote, they would not believe even if someone should rise from the dead. Who is Jesus, anyway, absent a context of Bible history? Whatever your answer, it would have to depend on some propositional statement about Jesus in the Bible being true, and you believing it. Then the next question would be, so why not believe the other things in the Bible? The global Flood, for instance, which Jesus accepted, and which destroys any possibility of long geological ages being the reason for the sedimentary layers and the fossils in them.
Finally, the evidence matters, and it is particularly tragic to contemplate that you would just blithely accept evolutionism when such a giant of genetics as John Sanford—pioneer of genetic engineering and former Cornell University Professor—calls it utterly falsified by real–world data and all realistic modelling. See this interview with him.
UPDATE 28 January 2019: Mauritz wrote to Dr Carl Wieland saying that he has changed his mind. See his letter here.