I see that the forces that have opposed God are up to their usual tricks again. It’s just too bad that so many of God’s people are so ill-equipped to defend their faith as they are commanded to do by the apostles and disciples. Let me explain by starting with the story that motivated me to write this post:
I have no desire or intention to go too deeply into this issue because it would cause too much dissention among believers who squabble over silly disputes of interpretation which are most often brought on by shallow or incomplete understanding of scripture. It would also invite attack from the wholly ignorant collection of skeptics who read a couple verses from the Bible and assume this gives them enough understanding to proclaim it “superstitious myth.” How much better off the world would be if Christians would only learn their scripture? Still, I will hit on a few points.
First, and this will open me up to attack from those “literalists” among Christians, the Bible does NOT say the world was created in 6 24 hour days. If you read Genesis by itself, you are missing as much about creation in the Bible as Genesis describes. Did you know Job, the oldest book of the Bible, describes the same creation story? And did you know the original Hebrew in Job does not describe 6 24 hour days, but 6 periods of indeterminate length? And do you not know that the bible is very clear in telling us that God is not limited by our understanding of time? A day to God can be as a thousand years, and a thousand years as a day. Yet, here again, we should be cautious to take this literally as it does not say a day is a thousand years, but rather, it says like a thousand years. The intent is to tell us that God’s concept of time is much different from ours. Thus it is possible for the universe to be 13.7 billion years old and still be the work of only 6 days to God.
I would like to introduce those who might have some interest in this discussion to a man named Hugh Ross. He is an astrophysicist who heads up the Reasons to Believe project. As with most people who have tried to explain that science cannot discredit but actually affirms the Bible, Ross is a controversial figure – with both Christians and atheists alike. As for me, I have done what few will bother to do before attacking him: I took the time to read his books. I have read:
Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job: How the Oldest Book in the Bible Answers Today’s Scientific Questions (Reasons to Believe)
Needless to say, I have read, understood and carefully considered Ross’s arguments, as well as the major objections to them, and I have concluded that Ross is offering a great deal to the Christian apologist – if only the Christian apologist would do as I did and read Ross’s work before dismissing it. IN addition to the Christian apologist, the Atheist would also be well served to read what Ross has to say because Ross has used science and philosophy, as well as scripture, to explain why a loving God would allow sin; why death in this life is a blessing; how God can be three-in-one; how He can hear all our prayers at one time; how we can have total free will and yet, God’s will still governs; even why hell is an act of God’s ultimate love for us. ALL of this and more are fully explained and easily understood, you just need to read his books.
But then, I am sure the skeptic will dismiss all of this as superstition. The skeptic will point to science and his supposed knowledge gained from science and claim that science can explain all of this without the need for God. Setting aside that this is a false assertion based on unsupportable, pseudo-scientific conclusions; I would remind the haughty skeptic who shares this opinion about faith that Sir Francis Bacon, the father of the modern scientific method, was a devout Christian. Sir Isaac Newton was a Christian, and wrote more in defense of Christianity than he did about science. Lewis Pasteur, John Locke, Galileo, Copernicus… The list goes on, and they were all devout Christians. In fact, they would tell you that science does not undermine the Bible, it affirms it. To be truthful, if one studies Western Civilization, one will find that science actually owes its very existence to the Bible and Biblical teachings – NOT the enlightenment. In fact, the enlightenment was another direct result of the Biblical teaching that tells us the universe operates by set laws and that we are to question them, test them and learn about God through them. The vaunted Greeks did not teach this sort of thing: they held that the universe was governed by fickle gods and, therefore, could not be known. The same applies to all other cultures and civilizations until that of the Hebrews.
So, believe as you will, but maybe – just maybe – you will first take the time to consider the best arguments on all sides before you decide what that will be?