Science VS, Faith


(Cindy) #1

Do you not think that by trying to explain the Bible and give it a scientific backing that it makes Faith impossible?

And also do you think that these kinds of Theistic Evolution Views, turn people away from God and having Faith? Because I would ask what happens when you can’t explain something like Jesus feeding five thousand, or the virgin birth or the resurrection?

I would also question that if God wanted us to know, do we not think He would have included it in Scripture, as so that all would understand? And my last question would be, why does this matter? It has NO Salvation value- if anything I think it is just causing more people to stumble.


(Shawn T Murphy) #2

Hello Cindy,
I have written much on all these subjects, here and in my books Torn Between Two Worlds. The basic question is: Why create intellect when blind faith is required? The faith that Jesus asks for is based in proof, it is not blind. He challenged people’s intellect with His parables.

If you are stuck in a religion that cannot stimulate your intellect, then it is wasting God’s gift.

I have faith in myself because I have proof. I have faith in my wife because I have years of proof. I have faith in God because of all the evidence He has left in His creation. I have Faith in our King, Jesus, and not in the forces that opposed Him - politics and church.


(Cindy) #3

I appreciate your response however, I would ask why have faith if you can have intellectual proof? I am not suggesting that God does not want us to use our brains I believe He wants us to know Him. However I do not believe that He wants us posing questions that have no salvation value, but are in fact causing people to stumble, I do not believe that is what He wants us to do. When we as believers have created opposing categories that cause people to turn away from Christ, that is not the message of Christ. And your right Jesus did challenge people with His intellect, however, He is Jesus, and even He did not offer proof that He was who He said He was. When He was being crucified and mocked, He could have proved that HE was the Son of God. But He didn’t. So why now should we start trying to use methods to make at best educated guess to scratch the itching ear? There is not kingdom value in it. And if it is not pointing people to the cross, It is taking them away from it.


(Mitchell W McKain) #4

What you describe is impossible. You cannot give the Bible a scientific backing. What you can do is read the Bible with eyes opened by the finding of science and thus have a more rational and realistic understanding of what the book is telling us.

No. Just the opposite. It is insisting on reading the Bible in a way contrary to the findings of science that will render the Bible meaningless and of no value so that people will throw it in the garbage can. Not only that but hiding in fear of reality, like the servant who buries the talent given him, will never be any kind of faith. Only those bold enough to reach out for truth wherever it can be found will have the faith it takes to understand the fullness of what God has done.

Why in the world do you need to explain such things? The Bible never has.

Now that is way of thinking from the dark ages.
If God wanted us to fly then He would have told us how to make airplanes in the Bible.
If God wanted us to protect our children from diseases then He would have told us how to cure them in the Bible.
If God wanted us to use computers then He would have explained those in the Bible.
If God wanted children to go to school then He would have ordered this in the Bible.
If God wanted people to brush their teeth or take a bath then he would have said so in the Bible.
… and on and on this goes until we are back in the dark ages… where ignorance reigns supreme.
So the question is… are you just being hypocrite, and using this argument just for the things you personally don’t want to do?

No, the real question is… If God DIDN’T want people to believe what all the evidence from the Earth, sky and in our own DNA is telling us then why has God sent us all this information telling us in every different way imaginable the same story about how things happened?

I doesn’t matter at all to anyone who has no interest in the truth.

LOL! Nothing from man has any salvation value.
Matthew 19 “Who then can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Incorrect. It is people teaching an anti-science understanding of the Bible which is causing people to stumble. I wasn’t raised Christian and I ONLY believe in the Bible BECAUSE of evolution. The fact is that people didn’t stop believing in the Bible because of evolution. That is an outright lie. People didn’t believe in the Bible long before the theory of evolution. The most effective argument against the existence of God is from Epicurus in 300 BC. And the most effective counter to that argument comes from the theory of evolution.


(Shawn T Murphy) #5

Dear Cindy,
Jesus offered miracles as proof, although people mock them today as you say. Salvation is a long, slow process of learning and reconciliation. So, people rejecting illogical religious doctrine is a good thing, in my view. God gives everyone an equal chance to know Him, in this life or the next.


(Randy) #6

Thank you for your note. Welcome to the forum! I believe you have good intent in your question.

For me, I would have a hard time believing in Christianity any more if I thought it really required me to disbelieve my own ears or eyes. There is no orthodoxy like the truth. Biologos helps me keep my faith, not lose it.

Christians aren’t the only ones with faith presumptions. How can we talk with people of other religions if we don’t have a common standard of truth, such as science? Otherwise, we could only have a morass of presumptions, shouting at each other, who refuse to take objective truth seriously.

Thanks.


(Matthew Pevarnik) #7

I think most people here might not try to give the Bible a scientific backing. That is something that various Concordist positions do where one tries to find things from modern science that sound like bits and phrases from various Scriptures. Then after the science is sufficient, one proclaims the Bible had it there all along (I.e. never a prediction but always a postdiction). However, I do think that this question touches upon the limits of scientific inquiry. You simply cannot test certain claims, especially claims that involve supernatural beings.

What specifically do you think the Bible should have included/said?


(Christy Hemphill) #8

Welcome to the forum Cindy, thanks for your questions.

The task is not to back the Bible up with science. As a Christian, my faith that the Bible is the inspired revelation of the one true God is an a priori commitment. I believe the Bible is true because I have encountered the God who gave us the Bible and I know he is truth. I know a lot of people talk about putting their faith in the Bible or building their faith on the word of God. If people mean having faith in the message and accepting God’s truth, great. But it seems a lot of people mean that they have subjected the Bible to some kind of rigorous fact-checking test and determined based on their imposed criteria that the Bible is trustworthy, and therefore, they can believe what it says about Christ. This seems backward to me. I believe in Christ, and because the Holy Spirit restores my relationship with God, I can understand and be shaped by the wisdom and truth of his revelation in Scripture. So in other words, I don’t think knowing the Bible is true leads to faith, I think faith leads to knowing the Bible is true.

I think the scientific evidence for evolution can indeed turn people away from faith if they have been taught their whole lives that there is only one way to understand Genesis and if you let go of that understanding, all the truth in the Bible comes crashing down. But I also think that is an unfortunate false choices that many people have been indoctrinated into and it doesn’t have to be that way.

Since the physical origins of the universe and life on earth don’t have any salvation value, why would God have put it in the Bible? Science answers “how” questions well. The Bible answers “why” questions. When science answers “why” questions, it can only say “because…” and give an explanation. When the Bible answers “why” questions, it gives “so that” answers. It addresses meaning and purpose, which is something science doesn’t really handle. In Genesis God answers humanity’s most pressing why questions with answers that tell us why we are here, who is ruling this world, and how we are supposed to live under that rule.


(Amanda F) #9

I’m curious what you’re referring to here!


Welcome to the forum, Cindy!

No, because faith is…

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. - Hebrews 11:1, ESV

Faith is the assurance that what we hope for (salvation and eternal life) is true. It is the conviction of the things NOT seen (God, heaven, hell, etc.). Science deals with things which ARE seen, or can otherwise be perceived with the senses.

I still need to have faith that God is who the Bible says He is, I still need to have faith that Jesus’ sacrifice was truly enough to save me, etc. Science doesn’t have anything to say about that, so it’s not removing the need for faith. :slight_smile:

No. I think naturalism turns people away from God and having faith. Naturalism is the ideology that the natural world is all there is. I think it’s very important for people to know that God could’ve formed the world through the process of evolution, that way they don’t lose their faith (or so they can find it in the first place).

I think it’s debatable whether or not the question has “salvation value.” But someone very wise once told me there are three categories of “issues” in the Christian faith (and in all of life, really): Fuss, fight, or funeral. Where you classify each issue is the hard part, and it might be different for different people. Seems like you consider the issue of creation a “fuss” issue–why bother quibbling about it. For me, this is a “fight” issue (worth seriously looking into and worth discussing), but not a “funeral” (be-all end-all, worth going to the grave fighting for).

I’m not sure what you mean by causing people to stumble. Could you provide an example?


(Wookin Panub) #10

We ALL have faith. The scientist has the problem of induction “Testable repeatable” which requires predicting the future by looking at the past, and in a universe of random processes, constantly changing, in motion. The scientist must have faith that the future will always be like the past.

And my last question would be, why does this matter? It has NO Salvation value- if anything I think it is just causing more people to stumble.

That is true, that this is not a salvation issue, but this is an important issue nonetheless. Believers should glorify God by being consistent in their thinking, with no contradictions, since God is consistent and does not contradict Himself.


#11

Welcome to the forum, Cindy!

I think that God reveals himself to us through his words (the Bible) and his words (nature). These are complementary ways of knowing that properly understood should not contradict each other, even if at first they may seem to. I do not think God tried to hide secret things about the natural world in the pages of scripture that would only be discovered thousands of years later by scientists. The Bible was never intended to be a science textbook.

No, I think evolutionary creationism (the preferred term around here) frees people to behold the truth and beauty of God’s creation using the tools of science. All truth is God’s truth, even if understood through science. By definition, the miracles in the Bible cannot be explained by science. These are apprehended through the eyes of faith.

Could this not be asked about any extrabiblical knowledge? He does not tell us in the Bible about antibiotics, but surely these are good gifts of God that he revealed through the tools of science to help treat infections. We would be wrong to assume that God intends for Scripture to answer all of our questions about his material universe.

This matters because truth matters. We should want to have harmony between our understanding of God’s word in scripture and his works in nature. It has no salvation value–unless you consider the ways that deceptive interpretations of nature (in the pseudoscience of Young Earth Creationism, for example) have already deterred many from faith.


(Shawn T Murphy) #12

What you find out eventually is that it takes an equal weight of Love and Wisdom to inherit the Kingdom of God. This message is hidden the words of Jesus, but it was taught in early Christianity. A naturalist can discover wisdom through God’s nature and, therefore, become closer to God. There are two paths tho a true faith is God. One is through wisdom and the other through love. I discovered the requirement of love through wisdom while many others find God’s wisdom through their love of Him.


(Mitchell W McKain) #13

The Problem of Evil and Suffering dealt with in the area of theology known as theodicy.

It was first stated by Epicurus.

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

— The Epicurean paradox, ~300 BCE

This is the number one reason why people do not believe in God and why those who do believe end up losing their faith – more as an experience of life, to be sure, rather than just a logical argument.

Free will answers much of this in so far as things which human beings are responsible for, but there is so much pointless suffering of the completely innocent which human being are not responsible for that it has often left people feeling that any God must be cruel, callous, and even evil. But that all depends on the idea that God is responsible for whatever man is not responsible for. And evolution changes all that to show that life and living things are not a product of design but of self-organization and by extension this seems to be the pattern of how the whole universe operates by the operation of natural laws which allows freedom for things to happen by themselves for their own reasons rather than by some kind of divine intent. Why make the universe like this? Because that is what life is all about. If things are not happening by themselves for their own reason then there is no life at all – its all just a big machine concocted by a diabolical watchmaker.


(Wookin Panub) #14

This is the number one reason why people do not believe in God and why those who do believe end up losing their faith – more as an experience of life, to be sure, rather than just a logical argument.

Maybe…just maybe that God uses evil to glorify Himself? That there is no purposeless evil in our universe. Everything has a purpose, as God predetermines/decrees evil. Jut sayin’ :slight_smile:


(Mitchell W McKain) #15

I don’t believe in a glory-hog god. And I don’t think that evil glorifies anyone but the devil. I think some so called Xtians have these two entities confused, slapping the name of one on the other.

Definitely have the two confused. God is the source of goodness not evil. The one who decrees evil is the other guy. Sure evil has a foolish and short-sighted purposes, but since this parasite upon goodness can only end in destruction, these purposes are ultimately meaningless.

God decreed the possibility of evil and allows it, which is not the same thing. This is built into God’s choice for love and freedom over power and control in the creation of life and the universe.


(Wookin Panub) #16

I was just exposing you to reformed teaching. We do have a reason for evil in the world. Anyway. God bless! :slight_smile:


(Mitchell W McKain) #17

I have some limited familiarity with reformed teaching. I reject all 5 points of TULIP Calvinism. And Arminianism doesn’t go far enough for me. I am an incompatibilist libertarian open theist.


(Christy Hemphill) #18

The newly published Common Question article on Evolutionary Creationism does a nice job explaining what evolutionary creationism does and doesn’t claim and how it is incorporates important Christian affirmations.

https://biologos.org/common-questions/what-is-evolutionary-creation/


(Mitchell W McKain) #19

I was particularly interested in the distinction made between Evolutionary Creationism and Theistic Evolution and why Biologos prefers the former.

  1. The affirmation of being creationists in the sense of believing that God created all things.
  2. Don’t like using “theistic” as an adjective modifying a scientific theory.
  3. Don’t like the common association of “theistic evolution” with Deism and particularly want to make clear the belief in Biblical miracles and God’s answers to prayer, working through natural processes and not just by supernatural intervention.

#20

I get the impression that TE is not about trying to justify religion with science so much as attempting to accommodate faith with other knowledge about the world. In contrast, it seems to me that Creationist organizations like Reasons to Believe and Young Earth Creation Science groups are trying to prove their beliefs via science.