If the existence of God was scientifically proven today then how would your life be different tomorrow?


(Terry Powell) #1

If the existence of God was scientifically proven today then how would your life be different tomorrow? What would you do differently?


(Christy Hemphill) #2

I don’t think I’d do anything differently. Which is probably why I’m not all that interested in scientifically proving the existence of God. And I don’t think it would make much difference on the average person who doesn’t believe already. People believe what they want to believe, despite evidence or lack thereof. You only need to survey the average person’s thoughts on climate change, alternative medicine, or weight loss to find some examples of beliefs that are either ignorant of or outright rejections of scientific evidence.


(Larry Bunce) #3

Some people think that God is scientifically provable, and that they have the proof. I have seen advertisements for booklets giving these proofs so that “you can send your child off to college without fear that campus atheists will harm their faith.”

I think a world where religion is as cut-and-dried as mathematics would be as barren and uninspiring as a world where God could be proven not to exist.


(GJDS) #4

Scientific proof requires a specific method which includes experimental verification - to put it simply, a scientist will need to “put God in a test tube” and prove He is God. This means that such a test-tube god cannot be God, (or the scientist is greater then that god) so we end up with an absurd situation.

Christ was before people who could see and hear Him, yet many did not believe - this matter is an act of grace by God, and not a matter for science.


(Dcscccc) #5

i think its already have ben proved. do you want do see how?


(Andrew M. Wolfe) #6

Well said. Speaking of which, you know I think we may have one such person lurking among us… :slight_smile:


(Casper Hesp) #7

@tpowe

I think as Christians who have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, we would be expected to declare confidently:

“My life would not change a single bit if I had seen God with my own eyes. I would make my decisions in exactly the same way.”

My faith is not always as strong as that, but I certainly strive for it (with God’s help of course).

By the way, I think your question makes much more sense without the specification “scientifically”. Did unbelieving Thomas ask for some kind of proof that qualifies as “scientific”? No, he merely asked to see the wounds of Jesus after His Resurrection. In John 20:25-29, we read:

25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”
27 Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.

God values and nourishes in our hearts the kind of faith which allows us to believe in Him without having seen Him with our own eyes.


(Terry Powell) #8

I find it interesting that people want to change my question or ignore it altogether. Also, it appears that only believers replied.

The question is about scientific evidence producing a change in behavior. Evidence of environmental impact causes behavior changes - even legislation!

The consensus appears to be that if science could produce evidence that evidence would add nothing. So, why even talk about science in relation to scripture? It would appear to be mere lip service.


(Christy Hemphill) #9

Because many people have been raised to believe they must choose between accepting scientific facts or believing the Bible. It is this false choice that is the focus of the discussion here (ideally), not the idea that science proves something about God or the Bible or that the Bible reveals science.


(Terry Powell) #10

‘False choice’ implies ‘both’ and not ‘either or’, so in fact science facts are being taken as proof to validate scripture. Many post about science revealing the Bible and argue that the Bible is to be read in agreement with science. So, science facts provide part of the ‘lens’.

Therefore, one should believe that science facts should lead to a change in behavior and people should ascribe that change to those facts. Unless science isn’t relevant to scripture in fact and people are merely claiming it is.

For truth to have value, it must be reflected in behavior. Otherwise, it is the same as opinion.


(Christy Hemphill) #11

I don’t see how the second part of your sentence follows from the first. The “both” is that one can accept scientific facts and believe the Bible. It doesn’t have anything to do with science proving the Bible.

Arguing that the Bible is to be read in agreement with science is not the same thing as arguing that science reveals the Bible. Could you point to a BioLogos post that you think argues that science reveals the Bible? I honestly don’t know what this would even look like.

Maybe so, but I don’t know that changing behavior based on scientific facts (using less fossil fuels, or eating less processed sugar, or installing soaker sprinklers) has anything to do with Scripture. What is an example of a scientific fact that informs how one obeys the Bible?


(Terry Powell) #12

We believe that the diversity and interrelation of all life on earth are best explained by the God-ordained process of evolution with common descent. Thus, evolution is not in opposition to God, but a means by which God providentially achieves his purposes. Therefore, we reject ideologies that claim that evolution is a purposeless process or that evolution replaces God’

I supposed by calling it God-ordained it moves it from science revealing ( I guess, I should have used ‘informs’) to ‘in agreement with’. I would take ‘best explained’ as science used to describe what the Bible is saying. Thus, science reveals ( informs or add detail to the Bible ). ‘In agreement with’ implies that both must agree, so where they appear at odds with each other then one must take priority of the other. When does the Bible trump science? When does science trump the Bible?


(Casper Hesp) #13

Let’s compare it with a marriage bond… Having absolute evidence of the trustworthiness of one’s spouse does not add anything to the marriage relationship, which already presupposes trustworthiness to begin with. However, evidence that completely contradicts this presumption of trustworthiness would severely harm the marriage covenant.

Therefore, we talk about science with relation to Scripture not in order to “gain” evidence for our faith. We talk about science because:

  1. We love science as part of exploring God’s Creation.
  2. Some people claim science is in irremediable conflict with the Scriptures.

Both of these reasons are completely sufficient.

As an aside, just providing dry information about scientific evidence has been shown to be a very ineffective strategy for changing behaviour. For example, many smokers completely ignore the messages on cigarette packages signifying that these have been proven to cause cancer, infertility, harm.


(George Brooks) #14

@GJDS,

Please explain this to @deliberateresult. Very well said.


(Christy Hemphill) #15

You might be interested in this thread from a while ago. Brad addressed this same question.

Saying the process of evolution is God-ordained follows from Scriptural truth claims, it is not something revealed by science. The Bible doesn’t talk about evolution.


(George Brooks) #16

@Christy

This was my favorite quote from you in that thread!

Found within this larger posting …


(Terry Powell) #17

“Jonah portrays a man eaten by a large fish and surviving. … The Gospels portray a man being reconciled to his prodigal son. … Revelation portrays a cosmic battle involving dragons and swords coming out of people’s mouths. … There’s a big difference between the Bible portraying something, and it dogmatically teaching the literal reality of something. … The idea that the Bible’s authority is tied inextricably to the most literal/historical reading possible is what other perspectives believe, not us.”

Revelation is literature. The prodigal son is part of a parable. They are not the same as Jonah. Of, course if you don’t believe in miracles then Jonah is just a story. But, then why believe in the Virgin Birth, raising of Lazarus, feeding of the five thousand, the resurrection of Jesus, the Spirit given on the day of Pentecost, or many other supernatural events? Saying the process of evolution is God-ordained does not necessarily follow from Scriptural truth claims. It relies on a specific interpretation - and one that will change as science changes. The idea that science’s interpretation of the natural world is or has been fixed is not true. Science continues to shuffle things about as new theories are proposed to explain observations. When did science become science? Luke was a physician and he wrote: ‘With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus’. Was he a scientist - or did science only begin in the Age of Enlightenment?


(Christy Hemphill) #18

So is the rest of the Bible. What kind of literature is the question.

I do believe in miracles. I have experienced them. Whether or not I think Jonah is a story is not determined by whether I can intellectually stomach miracles. It is more about genre analysis and trying to figure out what we are supposed to take away from reading it. Designating something “just a story” implies that important or true things can only be communicated in objective historical records. I don’t really believe that. What is the difference in your mind between a parable and a story that was meant to teach truth? How do you decide that Jonah can’t be a story meant to teach truth, and it must be taken as unembellished, objective history?

I can only speak for myself, but I put tremendous interpretive weight on what is considered part of the apostolic message, the “kerygma” of the New Testament, which is also further testified in the historic creeds of the church and the writing of early church fathers. I think giving appropriate gravity and primacy to what the apostles and the early church taught as essential doctrines of the faith is of utmost importance to interpreting the New Testament well. The virgin birth is found in the earliest creeds and confessions. The fact that Jesus performed signs and wonders in fulfillment of OT prophesy was one of the major bases of the early church’s apologetic that Jesus was the Messiah. The Christian church doesn’t even exist without the atoning death of Christ, the resurrection, and Pentecost. These events are at the heart and center of everything that Luke, Paul, Peter, John, James, and the author of Hebrews were trying to communicate.

It follows from the truth claim that God is the creator and sustainer of the universe and that nothing happens without his knowledge and will. That is the a priori, not the scientific model. If a new scientific model emerges that replaces the evolutionary model, the truth claim that God is the creator and sustainer of the universe and that nothing happens without his knowledge and will will still be the a priori belief for Christians.

I’m confident that God’s grace is big enough to cover whatever misconceptions we have about ultimate reality, and I’m sure we are wrong about many things, just like every other human being is and has been wrong about many things since the beginning of time. We are accountable for what we do with the knowledge we have and whether or not we respond to the gospel.

I don’t think there is any such thing as a single, normative “biblical worldview.” There is the worldview you start with given your time and culture, and it is challenged and reshaped by the gospel and God’s revelation and it is brought into closer alignment with God’s ideals as you are conformed to the image of Christ. The gospel is not more or less effective for modern people with their view of modern science than it was for people throughout the centuries who believed the earth was flat, or the body was controlled by the balance of humors, or any other pre-modern scientific concept.

I haven’t learned a single thing about evolution from the Bible. I learned what I know about evolution from science books and science teachers. I learned what I know about God from the Bible, and from the Holy Spirit speaking through other Christians and personally illuminating my own mind.


(Terry Powell) #19

If you believe Jesus then Jonah is historical, because Jesus said "The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here” (Matthew 12:41). Of course, maybe Jesus’ audience were just not up to understanding that parts of Jonah where metaphorical so He accommodated them by allowing them to believe it was historical. Possibly, we have some testimony of those at that time saying it was partly metaphorical.


(Christy Hemphill) #20

I don’t think Jonah was metaphorical, I think it was mythologized history. So even though there may have been a historical prophet named Jonah who preached to Nineveh, that doesn’t mean everything recorded about him is an objective fact. That is how the ancients wrote their histories. No one has ever given me a good reason why Jesus can’t be referring to mythologized history to make a true point. If I make a comparison between a modern historical event and the return of Odysseus to Ithaca, 1) you don’t know whether or not I believe Odysseus “was a real person” 2) you don’t know whether or not I believe the mythological event I’m alluding to is a “fact,” 3) you don’t know what people listening to me assume about the historicity of Odysseus, and 3) the point I’m making doesn’t stand or fall on the historicity of the literary allusion.