Why should I believe the Bible? (pt 6)

“Why should I believe the Bible?” This might sound crazy to a lot of people but you should believe the Bible because it is…

Scientific

The Bible is not a scientific textbook. Yet it is accurate scientifically. The Bible concurs with all sorts of scientific discoveries. The Bible also lays the groundwork for scientific research to be carried out.

“Belief in the rationality of God not only led to the inductive method but also led to the conclusion that the universe is governed rationally by discoverable laws. This assumption is vitally important to scientific research, because in a pagan or polytheistic world, which saw its gods often engaged in jealous, irrational behavior in a world that was nonrational, any systematic investigation of such a world would seem futile. ”[1]

The Bible is accurate or predictive in connection with science. For example, the Bible clearly says that the universe came into being at a finite time.[2] If we reverse the accelerating expansion of the universe we see that there was a point at which it did not exist. That is, the universe came into being—ex nihilo—out of nothing, as the Bible says.[3] The “big bang” demonstrates empirically what the Bible has said for hundreds of years.[4]

So, although people ridicule the Genesis creation account, the Bible’s accuracy actually predates many scientific discoveries. It’s almost like the Bible had access to special information. There is currently debate regarding the days of creation. I do not currently have a dogmatic answer to that question, however, there are various plausible explanations.[5] 

God certainly could have created all things in 6 literal days. There are, however, other plausible interpretations of the creation account. This is because “day” (Hebrew yom) can mean various things (e.g. a period of 24 hours;  a vague amount of time; a year; long age) and the Genesis creation account is poetic.[6] So, people interpret the Genesis account in different ways and believe different things regarding how old the earth is. I personally believe we should hold our beliefs regarding the creation of the world with charity. 

Astrophysicist Hugh Ross has said,

“The Bible accurately and uniquely described the major features of the origin, structure, and history of the universe thousands of years before any scientist discovered them… The predictive success of biblical cosmology affirms the reliability of Scripture’s message about why the universe exhibits the characters it does.”[7]

The Bible also talks about the expanding universe. It doesn’t quite say “the universe is expanding” but that’s the picture we get. The Bible says that God “stretched out the heavens” (Job 9:8; Ps. 104:2; Is. 40:22; 42:5; 44:24; 45:12; 48:13; 51:13; Jer. 10:12; 51:15; Zech. 12:1). The Bible talks about what we know as the “laws of nature,” it refers to the “fixed order of heaven and earth” (Jer. 33:25 see also Ps. 74:16-17; 104:19). We now know, as the informed modern people that we are, that the world is actually made up of a bunch of tiny things that we cannot see (atoms). The Bible does not contradict that truth but states in a nonchalant way that “the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Heb. 11:3).

The Bible explains the “happenstance” that trillions upon trillions of electrons have the identical electrical charge as one another. It explains the many “goldilocks,” just right, factors that are necessary for life; such as, the earth position in relation to the sun.[8]

The Bible, far from being out of line with science, fell in line with scientific discoveries before they were discovered. Further, the biblical worldview provides a framework for the pursuit of scientific knowledge. So, when we consider the Bible’s relationship to science it actually lends credibility to the trustworthiness of the Bible.

____________________

[1] Alvin J. Schmidt, How Christianity Changed the World, 222. See also Frank Turek, Stealing from God. 

[2] “Not until the twentieth century did any other book—whether science, theology, or philosophy—even hint at the universe’s continuous expansion” (Why the Universe Is the way It Is, 133).

[3] So, we see “The universe was brought into existence by a causal agent… with the capacity to operate before, beyond, unlimited by, and transcendent to all cosmic matter, energy, space, and time” (Ross, Why the Universe Is the way It Is, 131). “The Cause responsible for bringing the universe into existence is not constrained by cosmic time. In creating our time dimension, that Agent demonstrated an existence above, or independent of, cosmic time… In the context of cosmic time, the casual Agent would have no beginning and no ending and would not be created… Scripture refers to God as having no beginning or ending, as being uncreated (see Deut. 33:27; Job 36:26; Pss. 41:13; 90:2; Isa. 44:6; Dan. 4:34; John 1:1-3; Col. 1:15-17; Heb. 7:3, 24; Rev. 10:6)” (Why the Universe Is the way It Is, 132).

[4] “There are only three possible explanations for the existence of matter in the Universe. Either it spontaneously generated, it is eternal, or it was created. Atheists use the theory of evolution in an attempt to explain the existence and state of the Universe today. In order for the theory of evolution to be true, thereby accounting for the existence of mankind, either all of the mass/matter/energy of the Universe spontaneously generated (i.e., it popped into existence out of nothing), or it has always existed (i.e., it is eternal.). Without an outside force (a transcendent, omnipotent, eternal, superior Being), no other options for the existence of the Universe are available. However, as the Laws of Thermodynamics prove, the spontaneous generation and the eternality of matter are logically and scientifically impossible. One possible option remains: the Universe was created by the Creator” (Jeff Miller, “God and the Laws of Thermodynamics: A Mechanical Engineer’s Perspective).

[5] “Whether [God] completed the job in six literal twenty-four hour days or over a longer period does not really matter (Christian opinions differ over how we should interpret Genesis 1). What is important is the fact that God is the creator of all things” (Vaughan Roberts, God’s Big Picture, 27).

[6] I found John C. Lennox’s book Seven Days That Divide the World helpful on this subject. 

[7] Hugh Ross, Why the Universe Is the way It Is, 15.

[8] “On whatever volume scale researchers make their observations—the universe, galaxy cluster, galaxy, planetary system, planet, planetary surface, cell, atom, fundamental particle, or string—the evidence for extreme fine-tuning for life’s sake, and in particular for humanity’s benefit, persists” (Why the Universe Is the way It Is, 124). “The fundamental claim of intelligent design is straightforward and easily intelligible: namely, there are natural systems that cannot be adequately explained in terms of undirected natural forces and that exhibit features which in any other circumstance we would attribute to intelligence” (William A. Dembski, The Design Revolution).

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About Paul O'Brien

I am a lot of things; saint and sinner. I struggle and I strive. I am a husband and father of three. I have been in pastoral ministry for 9 years. I went to school at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary but most of my schooling has been at the School of Hard Knocks. I have worked various jobs, including pheasant farmer, toilet maker, construction worker, and I served in the military. My wife and I enjoy reading at coffee shops, taking walks, hanging out with friends and family, and watching our three kid's antics. :)

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