Big Questions: Does Science Disprove the Bible?
Increasingly, atheists are more evangelistic than Christians. Often, they seem both prouder and better informed of their position. And, brothers and sisters, I say that not to shame you, but so that the Spirit of God might awaken you. You do not, in fact, you must not check your brains and your ability to reason at the door when it comes to your faith in Jesus Christ. We do not come merely to worship some mythical, emotional, abstract thing. We are demanded by God to love him with all of our minds and the survival of our church, our families, and our witness in our communities demands nothing less. So, in a day in which it is trendy to go shallower so that more people will come to your church, I say we go deeper so that in a generation our church still stands. Because we aren’t the only ones evangelizing our communities and our children now. So, are the atheists.\cx
Richard Dawkins is considered one of the four horsemen of the New Atheists. He says this: “Religion is capable of driving people to such dangerous folly that faith seems to me to qualify as a kind of mental illness.” Dawkins is a evolutionary biologists with a Ph.D. from the University of Oxford, and you may dismiss him outright. But, your children and their children aren’t. You see, I know that because I’m one of them, and I’m the type that asks big questions. I grew up in this church and graduated from White Plains High School, and yet still, while receiving my undergraduate from JSU, I struggled in ways that nobody knew about, not my family, not Megan, not anyone. You see, I sat in a geology class with Dr. Kelly Gregg, who was a kind man and not the ruthless professor I had heard about, and had my whole worldview brought into question. And, the science and data seemed so rock solid (forgive the geology joke) and my faith was at the same time very soft. And so, I was left paralyzed. It seemed like I would have to choose between being a thinking person and a person of faith, between science and everything that I believed in. And so, it brought a big question into my life, and it’s the same big question that I want to bring to us this morning: Does science disprove the Bible? Can you be both a person of faith and a thinking person
Men Love Their Reason
Men Love Their Reason
“Claiming to be wise, they became fools” Mankind has always been more comfortable with what we can see and touch and know than what we can’t. We like what is right in front of us. We like clarity and explanation. We like answers. You know, in our house, I’m "Answer Man.” Gracie Kate, she’s “Question Girl.” But, I’m “Answer Man,” and I’m honest, I like being “Answer Man.” I like knowing what the weather’s going to do tomorrow and why flowers need sun and why David killed Goliath. And, I think that is indicative of something else. We don’t just like answers; we like to feel like we have all of the answers. We like to believe that we are wise. And, very often, it’s in this pursuit of proving our wisdom and explaining what we don’t know by our own reason that we become fools so that verse 22 describes us: “claiming to be wise, the became fools.
“So they are without excuse” What we find, not just by reading , but by reading all of the Bible, is that the issues that people have struggled with really haven’t changed in the big picture. Some of the details of changed, but in the big picture, it’s the same sins, the same struggles, the same deceptions repackaged for a new generation the believes itself to be more sophisticated or more scientific. Paul appeals to all that God has made. We call this the general revelation. That is, that God has revealed himself in a way generally that every man and woman, regardless of language or region can know that He exists. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or what language you speak or what you’re background is, everyone looks up at the same stars at night with awe and everyone watches the same sun set in all of its majesty and wonder. And, everyone, even if they don’t know why, has a conscience within them, that tells them that some things are good and some things are bad and that awakens them to these realities. We call this the natural or general revelation of God, and Paul says that it’s available to every man or woman so that they are all accountable to God and without excuse
“they became futile in their thinking” But, you see, there is a problem. On one hand, God has made himself known in the universe around us. Every star, every sunset, every rolling wave proclaims the wonders, the powers, the faithfulness of God. But, sin has darkened our hearts, and we have become “futile in (our) thinking.” That means, literally, that our ability to reason has been fatally damaged so that, even when truth is right in front of us we can’t see it clearly and know it perfectly and love it fully. We still have the ability to reason, but, in our reason, we can see the truth, and yet ‘suppress the truth.’ And so, to our detriment, we are able to come to completely unreasonable conclusions all while believing them to be reasonable, and that, brothers and sisters, is the fatal flaw of the New Atheism movement. Because, you see, men love their reason. If you don’t believe me, go and ask any number of people this morning who claim to believe in the Jesus of the Bible who died for the church why they aren’t committed to the church, and they will make an argument from their reason that is totally unreasonable that they totally love
Naturalism is a Wooden gOD
Naturalism is a Wooden gOD
“exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man” Throughout the history of mankind, we have always been more likely to worship the creature than the Creator. A people might see the sun and know that it was far greater than them, and they didn’t worship the creator of the Sun, but the sun itself. Or, they might see a cobra, and know that the cobra was a lethal creature for which they had particular reverence, and so they would deify it, and carve them out of wood, and worship them. They found these things that seemed greater than themselves or mightier than themselves that they could see and that struck fear into their hearts, and they worshipped them. This is what Paul is talking about in verse 23. And, people today, all around the world are still worshipping things like this. John, Aaron, and Mike just got back from a trip to Mexico where they were helping someone with a Catholic background bury idols. In Swaziland, they are still worshiping the ancestors and trying to please them with all sorts of witchcraft and debauchery. And, have you ever wondered why people have worshipped this way? It’s because it’s what made sense to them! This is what fit their reason! And, this seems crazy to us
But, we do it, too. Science has become our wooden statue. Naturalism is a wooden god with a holy trinity of matter, chance, and time. They say that with enough time what seems impossible becomes improbable and what seems improbable becomes likely so that over billions and billions of years, mutation after mutation after mutation nothing turns to something and something turns to everything. You see, naturalism is a faith system seeking to propose that every law and every force is natural and not moral, not spiritual, and certainly not supernatural. It’s nothing plus time plus luck equals everything. But, it is nothing more than exactly what Paul was describing It is to take the creation and to put it into the very place of the Creator!
The Origin of Life is Not Science
The Origin of Life is Not Science
And, here’s where I found myself being trapped so long ago, and where I think many others are also: As Dr. John Lennox, a mathematician at the University of Oxford, says, “Statements by scientists are not necessarily statements of science.” For instance, the origin of life, by definition, is not science. “Science deals with what can be observed and reproduced through experimentation.” (MacArthur) And, I don’t know anyone who is capable of pulling that off. But, what often happens is we hear a man who is brilliant in his field, perhaps a physicists or a biologist, and then we give them the universal ability to speak about everything! In our minds, if they know a lot about one thing, they must know everything! But, this just isn’t true! Something absurd said by someone brilliant is still absurd! And, just because a scientist says it, doesn’t mean that it’s science. In fact, did you know that 65% of the Nobel prize winners since 1900 have believed that God is the origin of life? That’s the majority! The majority!
Lennox warns: “It is dangerous to believe that science doesn’t require faith!” I think many people are being drawn, not to real science, but to an illusion of science. They see all of these beautiful illustrations of evolution for example. And, they’re so lifelike. They’re emphasized, and you have to memorize them and label them. But, what’s not emphasized is that they’re fantasy! There is no fossil record to back them up. It’s a religious system that has been created by evolutionary biologists like Dawkins. Dawkins says: “You can’t even begin to understand biology, you can’t understand life, unless you understand what it’s all there for, how it arose — and that means evolution.” And, that’s interesting way that he phrases it, isn’t it? ‘What it’s all there for.’ That’s not a question of science. Science describes things. Science tests things. Science performs experiments. Science doesn’t assign meaning. That’s religion. But, for Dawkins, for the naturalist, for the New Atheist, for your neighbor, for your son, this is religion
Is Evolution Worthy of Faith?
Is Evolution Worthy of Faith?
So, let’s talk about evolution for just a second. Virtually, every millennial or younger who has grown up in the public education system has learned this, and you’ve perhaps heard it called the theory of evolution though it was taught more like the law of evolution. Evolution definition: Non-living substances gave rise to the first living material, which through billions of years of mutation and reproduction eventually leads to everything that is extinct or alive today. materials + chance + time = everything. Championed by Charles Darwin in 1859 through his book “Origin of the Species.” Humans have been trying for 130 years to create something similar with greatest technology in the history of the world to no success. The odds of the smallest living organism being randomly formed by the alignment of the right molecules is 10 to the 340,000 power. I read that the odds of a single-celled amoeba evolving into a tapeworm would be the same the same as placing a monkey in a room with a computer and allowing him to randomly type until he accidentally produced a perfectly spelled and perfectly punctuated manuscript of Hamlet’s soliloquy.
Maybe, you’d wonder, why does it matter? Could we not just say that God made evolution and move on? Of course, God could do any way He wants, but the issue comes in with our understanding of the Gospel, and if evolution is true, then we have some significant issue with how we are to understand the gospel. When did humans take on the image of God? When did humans gain a soul? Adam as the Father of all. . Completely throws off the trajectory and storyline of Scripture, and the critically important genealogy of Christ.
A man named Phillip E. Johnson has written one of the most devastating argument against evolution to date. He is a law professor who specializes in analyzing the logic of arguments.
A man named Phillip E. Johnson has written the most devastating argument against evolution to date. He is a law professor who specializes in analyzing the logic of arguments.After 130 years of experimental breeding of various kinds of animals and plants, the amount of variation that can be produced (even with intentional, not random breeding) is extremely limited, due to the limited range of genetic variation.Regardless of breeding, dogs are still dogs, squirrels are still squirrels, mongooses are still mongooses.When the specialized breeds are released into the wild they die, and the breed always revert back to the original wild type.In current evolutionary arguments, the idea of survival of the fittest (natural selection) is popularly thought to mean that those animals whose different characteristics give them a comparative advantage that will survive, and others will die out. But, in actual practice almost any characteristic can be argued as an advantage or disadvantage.How do we know then which mutations are the strongest genes? The ones who survive.Fittest animals are in reality the ones who produce the most offspring. This proves in reality nothing about supposed mutations to produce more fit offspring.The vast and complex mutations required to produce complex organs such as an eye or a bird’s wing could not have occurred in a series of tiny mutations accumulating over thousands of generations b/c the individual parts of the organ are useless if they are incomplete.Illustration: a rifle is powerless unless it is complete.Incomplete organisms would have no ability to survive.A wasp couldn’t sting, a heart couldn’t beat, a bird couldn’t fly, and an ear couldn’t hear.The greatest problem of evolutionary science is the fossil record. It was true in Darwin’s time, and even more true in our time.After 130 years of intense archeology, scientists have failed to find one, single , credible intermediate type fossil, which shows the characteristics of one species evolving into another.THEY CAN ONLY SAY, “IT MUST’VE HAPPENED B/C IT HAPPENED."
After 130 years of experimental breeding of various kinds of animals and plants, the amount of variation that can be produced (even with intentional, not random breeding) is extremely limited, due to the limited range of genetic variation. Regardless of breeding, dogs are still dogs, squirrels are still squirrels, mongooses are still mongooses. When the specialized breeds are released into the wild they die, and the breed always revert back to the original wild type.
In current evolutionary arguments, the idea of survival of the fittest (natural selection) is popularly thought to mean that those animals whose different characteristics give them a comparative advantage that will survive, and others will die out. But, in actual practice almost any characteristic can be argued as an advantage or disadvantage. How do we know then which mutations are the strongest genes? The ones who survive. Fittest animals are in reality the ones who produce the most offspring. This proves in reality nothing about supposed mutations to produce more fit offspring.
The vast and complex mutations required to produce complex organs such as an eye or a bird’s wing could not have occurred in a series of tiny mutations accumulating over thousands of generations b/c the individual parts of the organ are useless if they are incomplete. Illustration: a rifle is powerless unless it is complete. Incomplete organisms would have no ability to survive. A wasp couldn’t sting, a heart couldn’t beat, a bird couldn’t fly, and an ear couldn’t hear.
The greatest problem of evolutionary science is the fossil record. It was true in Darwin’s time, and even more true in our time. After 130 years of intense archeology, scientists have failed to find one, single , credible intermediate type fossil, which shows the characteristics of one species evolving into another. THEY CAN ONLY SAY, “IT MUST’VE HAPPENED B/C IT HAPPENED."
Science Is Commissioned By the Bible
Science Is Commissioned By the Bible
“fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion” So, I want to go back to our original question. Does science disprove the Bible? And, here’s what I want you to see: It’s actually the Bible that commissions science! You see, God has given us two books. The book of nature and the book of the Scriptures. And, God did not give us opposing books, but harmonizing books. We often have interpreter problems, but these books go together! The natural revelation and special revelation harmonize to proclaim the glories of God and to elevate in our own hearts who He is. And, God brought this to bear in my heart this week in . In , we see both types of revelation. God speaks to man for the very first time directly. That’s special revelation. God says to man, “Look at the world that I have made. Look at the creatures that I have designed! Look at the flowers that I have painted the fields. Look at the fruits that you can eat! Look at the animals that are climbing and crawling and swimming and flying! Look at the mountain peaks and the majestic trees! Look at the stars above you and faithful sun! Look at all! Take it in, and subdue it! Reign over it!” Brothers and sisters, how can we see this as anything less than a commissioning by Almighty God to mankind to study and learn and research and build and create and engineer and cultivate? This is a commissioning to science!
CS Lewis said, "Men became scientific because they expected law in nature and they expected law in nature because they believed in a lawgiver." Christianity has not been a stumbling block to science; it has been the very soil in which science has been cultivated! Virtually, every great scientific discovery has happened since the spread of Christianity because it was the Christian that said that there is an absolute God with absolute authority establishing absolute order. He is the Creator who would order in such a way that nature would not be just chaos, but could actually be measured. He is a law giver to his people and to his creation. Because there is a constant in God, there is someone that assures the scientist that his measurements can be trusted!
APPLICATION: Naturalism erases human dignity. Science describes. The Bible explains. The universe - comprehensible, yet incomprehensible. Did you get to the gospel? Human dignity may be the key. Meaningless life.