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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: Does the God of the Bible Exist?

Don Stewart :: Haven't the Discoveries Made by Modern Science Disproved the Existence of the God of the Bible?

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Haven’t the Discoveries Made by Modern Science Disproved the Existence of the God of the Bible?

Does the God of the Bible Exist? – Question 20

Many people assume that the discoveries of modern science have proved that God of the Bible does not exist. They think that ever since Galileo showed that the earth revolved around the sun, science has continually been demonstrating that the Bible is in error.

Indeed, scientists no longer accept the idea that the universe was created in only six days a few thousand years ago. The scientific community also rejects the idea that a great flood covered the earth in Noah’s day. Furthermore, modern humanity no longer has a mythical view of the world with heaven above and hell below.

It is argued that since the time of Charles Darwin, and his theory of evolution, we now understand that all life, including human life, evolved, it was not created. Science, not the Bible, has given us the explanation as to how all life came to be in its present form. Consequently, the Bible and its God are to be rejected.

The Accusation: Belief in God Was Necessary in the Past but Not Today

It is argued that in the ancient world, the idea of God was necessary because superstition abounded. However, with our great accumulation of scientific knowledge, we now understand that achievements once attributed to God are merely the products of natural forces.

Since we now have a scientific understanding of how the universe functions, we do not need to resort to believing in God to explain unexplainable events. Science and reason have prevailed; superstition has not. Thus, there is no need for any thinking person to believe in the God of the Bible.

Response

There are a number of observations that need to be made about this issue of science and the Bible. They are as follows.

1. There Are Misconceptions about the Bible and Science

The idea that science has shown the Bible to be wrong and the God of Scripture non-existent is incorrect. The problem lies with misconceptions about what the Bible really says, and what science has proven. Science has not removed the existence of the biblical God. There are indeed scientific theories that attempt to explain all reality apart from God, yet these are merely theories, not incontrovertible scientific fact. To the contrary, recent scientific evidence only bolsters the case for the existence for a Creator.

Furthermore, a correct understanding of what the Bible actually says will remove some of these misconceptions about what Scripture teaches (We have dealt with many of these issues in our book on The Bible and Science).

2. There Is No Ultimate Conflict between the Bible and Science

There is no ultimate conflict between the God revealed in Scripture, and the findings of modern science. God’s existence is not refuted by any discovery that science has ever made. To the contrary, the more we know about how our universe works, the more evidence we have of a Creator.

Indeed, it could not be otherwise. If the same God who created the universe also divinely inspired the Bible, He would not place one message in nature while placing a different message in Scripture. The message of Scripture and the message of nature would be in complete harmony. This is what we expect from the God of truth.

3. The Bible Was Not Written to Give Technical Scientific Explanations

It is important to understand that the Bible was not written to give a technical scientific explanation of nature and creation. The purpose of the creation account is to explain, in simple terms, how the earth and the human race were created and why creation is no longer perfect.

Since the Bible does not claim to give a detailed scientific account of the origin of the universe, it is wrong to criticize it for something it is not attempting to do. Instead of a technical scientific account, God put the story of creation in a timeless form that every generation could understand.

The Bible tells us God Himself created the universe as well as the first human beings; Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve were placed in a perfect environment in the perfect world which God had created. They were told they could eat of the fruit of every tree except one. When they disobeyed God and ate from that tree the perfect environment which God had created became corrupted. Everything, including human race, has fallen from the position of original perfection. This is why we find humanity in the state we are in today. The story of the creation and fall is brief and to the point. It was written to explain why the world is no longer perfect and why the human race needs a Savior. This is the message the Bible is attempting to communicate in the creation story.

Therefore, we find the Genesis account of creation, as well as the rest of the Scripture, written in non-technical scientific language from the viewpoint of an observer here upon the earth. Thus, we will find common expressions such as “the sun rising,” and “the sun going down.” These statements rather than attempting to teach technical scientific truths about the nature of our solar system, are relating events as how they look to an observer here upon the earth. Again, it is important the purpose of the biblical writers must be understood.

Furthermore, if the Book of Genesis had been written in scientific terminology to explain the intricate details of creation, nobody would have been able to understand it until now. And, judging by how scientific knowledge is increasing, the scientific explanation would be out of date about twenty years from now! Therefore, it is wrong to try to make the Bible be something that it did not intend to be.

4. There Is Nothing Scientifically Absurd in Scripture

While the Bible was not specifically written in scientific language or to teach scientific truth, one of the fascinating things we discover when we study the Bible is that there is nothing in Scripture that is scientifically absurd. This is not true of other sacred books written at the same time as the Bible. Only the Bible, and the God who divinely inspired it, have an accurate scientific view of nature and the universe. There is an unfathomable difference between the Scripture, and all other so-called sacred books. Some explanation needs to be given for this. If the Bible was a mere product of human thought or human genius then why is it so different from these other books?

5. The Bible Has Anticipated Modern Science

There is one final thing we should note. While the Bible is not attempting to teach technical scientific truths, an examination of the Bible and science will yield some interesting results. When the Scripture is studied carefully we find that some of the discoveries of modern science are actually anticipated in Scripture. This includes laws of sanitation and regulations regarding the non-eating of certain foods. Before these truths were discovered by modern science, the Bible commanded its followers to put them into practice.

Therefore, no one, in this age of unparalleled scientific advancement, needs to be ashamed for placing his or her faith in the God of the Bible. To the contrary, the biblical view of the world of nature is consistent with the evidence.

Summary – Question 20
Haven’t the Discoveries Made by Modern Science Disproved the Existence of the God of the Bible?

Although much of modern humanity rejects the God of the Bible because of so-called scientific evidence that has been discovered in the past one hundred and fifty years, the scientific case against God’s existence is getting weaker by the day. Contrary to popular opinion, modern science has not ruled out the existence of the God of Scripture. To the contrary, the evidence makes it clearer that we are here upon the earth as a result of God’s special creation, rather than by some chance of evolution.

While the Bible is scientifically accurate in what it teaches, it should be remembered that the purpose of Scripture. It is to explain in non-scientific terms how the earth and the human race were created and why we are in imperfect state which we presently find ourselves. The Bible tells us that God did not initially create the world in this manner.

The world is in this state because of the entrance of sin brought about by the disobedience of the first two humans, Adam and Eve. This is the message that the Bible presents. Consequently, the scientific references are always given in a wider context; they are presented to explain why we find ourselves today in a sinful world full of imperfections.

Thus, the Scripture, while not emphasizing areas of science and nature, is always accurate in its non-scientific explanations of things. Indeed, the God of the Bible never has us believe anything scientifically absurd. The references to science and nature, given by the God of the Bible or through His prophets, when properly understood, do not conflict with what we know about the world around us.

Yet it must be recognized that the scientific and nature references are given from the viewpoint of an observer here upon the earth. They are related in the same way which we speak about these things in our everyday speech. Therefore, the language is non-technical and non-scientific but it certainly is not unscientific.

The Bible itself not only contains nothing scientifically absurd, it actually anticipates some of the discoveries of modern science. Certain laws and prohibitions which the Lord gave to ancient Israel are just as valid today as when first given.

Therefore, the truths about God and His creation that are revealed in Scripture can still stand up to the most rigorous scientific questioning. Consequently, the believer has nothing to be ashamed of.

What Should Our Conclusion Be regarding All of the Arguments Which Are Given for God's Existence? ← Prior Section
Can an Intelligent Person in the 21st Century Really Believe in the God of the Bible? Next Section →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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