Doesn’t science show that the scriptures are stupid and inaccurate?
Doesn’t science show that the scriptures are stupid and inaccurate?
Scripture is in line with science in various important ways.
Science has found Scripture to be correct in various regards way before its time. The Bible is not a scientific textbook. Yet it is accurate scientifically. That is, it concurs with all sorts of scientific discoveries. The Bible also, as we have seen, lays the groundwork for scientific research to be carried out.
The Bible is also accurate or predictive in connection with science. For example, the Bible clearly says that the universe came into being at a finite time. “Not until the twentieth century did any other book—whether science, theology, or philosophy—even hint at” this reality. We now know that the universe is accelerating at ever faster speeds. If we were to reverse the accelerating expansion of the universe we would 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. The “big bang” demonstrates empirically what the Bible has said for hundreds of years.
So, although many people ridicule the Genesis creation account, the Bible’s accuracy in fact 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, as we have seen, there are various plausible explanations.
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.”
Also, the Bible 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.” The Bible talks about what we know as the “laws of nature,” it refers to the “fixed order of heaven and earth.” We now know, as the informed modern people that we are, that the world is made up of a bunch of tiny things that we cannot see (atoms). The Bible does not contradict that truth but states nonchalantly that “the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Hebrews 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’s position in relation to the sun.
Therefore, 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 ends up lending credibility to the trustworthiness of the Bible.
Christianity and Scientists
We should also understand that there have been many good scientists who are Christians, and they didn’t see a contradiction between their science and Christianity. If anything, many of them believe the two are complementary.
Christianity far from being filled with hacks has had a history of cultural contributions. Sophisticated calculations, diatribes on causation, and beautiful cathedrals are part of the Christian legacy. Christianity is based on the word made flesh and the words of the Bible, so, not surprisingly, it is a life philosophy with a rich history of books. Christianity even talks about two main books known as general and special revelation. That is, Christians believe that God reveals Himself and His will through both His word and His world. Christians have a long history of believing both matter and both are good. Christians have a long history of supporting literacy, scholarship, and science.
Here are some scientists that have had a massive impact that seemed to have believed in at least part of the Christian view of the world. Or “Christians of various stripes,” as Eric L. Johnson put it.
- Blaise Pascal was a mathematician, physicist, inventor, and philosopher. He is behind Pascal’s principle, the syringe, and the hydraulic press.
- Robert Boyle is “the father of chemistry.”
- Isaac Newton is one of the greatest and most influential physicists and scientists of all time.
- Andre Ampere is where “amp” and our language of electrical measurement comes from.
- Michael Faraday discovered electromagnetic induction.
- Gregor Johann Mendel was an Augustinian monk whose work led to the concept of genes.
- Louis Pasteur was a chemist and microbiologist famous for pasteurization, principles of vaccination, and research that led to greater understanding as to the causes of and prevention of diseases.
- Lord Kelvin is where we get the Kelvin scale of absolute zero and why we say the sun is 6000° Kelvin.
- George Washington Carver was born into slavery and yet became one of America’s greatest scientists.
- Francis S. Collins recently led the Human Genome Project.
Thus, we can see Christians have a rich history of thought and scientific discovery. Of course, that does not at all mean that Christianity is true. But, I do believe it means that it deserves thoughtful and honest consideration.
And no. Science does not show that the scriptures are stupid and inaccurate.
 Hugh Ross, Why the Universe Is the way It Is, 133.
 The phrase “big bang” makes it sound as if the beginning was just a disordered explosion. That is wrong. Instead, “there must be an incredibly precise amount of order at the Big Bang. We know that the universe is moving from a state of order to a state of increasing disorder (this is the Second Law of Thermodynamics), and it is the case that you needed a lot of order at the beginning for the universe to be able to produce… the ordered structures we see” (Rodney D. Holder, “Is the Universe Designed?” Faraday Paper number 10).
If I’m shooting pool and I want one ball in the pocket, there is some complexity. I must hit the ball at roughly the precise spot for it to be knocked into the pocket. With every additional ball the complexity and thus precision is more crucial. If I was breaking up all the balls and wanting all the stripes to go in and none of the solids it would take a phenomenal amount of both calculation and precision. And it would be the initial hit that set a chain of cause-and-effect reactions into place.
 Ross, Why the Universe Is the way It Is, 15.
 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.
 Jer. 33:25 see also Ps. 74:16-17; 104:19.
 Eric L. Johnson, Foundations for Soul Care, 63.
Photo by Kitera Dent
C. S. Lewis on Longing
You can trace the theme of longing through most of Lewis’ writings. In some places, it is explicit in other places it is implicit. For example, Perelandra does not so much make an argument as much as make you desire and long to experience something of what Lewis wrote. When reading some of Lewis, we often find ourselves hoping what he writes about is true. Lewis’ argument is not really cognitive and logical as much as it is “kardialogical,” that is, reasoned from the heart. As Blaise Pascal said, “The heart has its reasons, which reason does not know.”
It is also important here to look at what Lewis meant by longing or desire. Lewis himself said, “From the age of six, romantic longing—Sehnsucht—had played an unusually central part in my experience.” Sehnsucht is a German term that communicates the longing that all of humanity has. It means “longing,” “yearning,” or “craving.” It is a way of saying, “something is intensely missing, there must be more.” Joe Puckett defines Sehnsucht this way:
The aching, and yet pleasurable, intense longing for a life that we cannot yet have but naturally and universally crave. It is the feeling of having lost something that we once had—giving us a sense of homesickness and discontentment with the less-than-ideal world we currently find ourselves in.
Lewis was specially equipped to discuss longing since from a very young age he had experienced such longing and had the ability to write about it with apologetic force in both narrative and essay form. My thesis is that Lewis is correct, our longing does point us beyond this world. Our longing ultimately points us to the Lord and His coming Kingdom.