Saturday, March 7, 2009

Popular Opinion, Scientific "Facts," and the Word of God

by Ron Livesay, 1998

Bernard Ramm wrote "The Christian View of Science and Scripture" in 1954. This was during an era in which there was a general consensus among Christians, even intelligent and learned scholars, that science had “proven” the earth to be millions or even billions of years old and that humanity was likewise very old, at least several hundred thousand years. Christians, fearful of being branded as foolishly standing against proven scientific facts, came up with several different methods of trying to make the Bible fit with science. The gap theory, theistic evolution, the age-day theory, an old earth, a local flood, etc. were accepted as in harmony with science, regardless of the clear statements of Scripture. Even such intelligent men as Ramm succumbed to this way of thinking, thereby elevating the words of mere men to a status of far greater importance than the Word of the Living God, the Creator of the universe. Intelligence does not always equate to wisdom.

Since Ramm’s time, the work of such organizations as the Institute for Creation Research and the Creation Research Society have done mountains of research, much of which literally blows holes in the scientific “facts” which reigned from the time of Darwin and Lyell through the time of Ramm. For example, Ken Ham, a prominent creationist speaker, demonstrates in easy to understand language and logic how the flood far better explains the presence of fossils than any type of uniformitarian geology. He frequently says, “If the universal flood of Noah really happened, what would we expect to find? Billions of dead things, buried in rock layers, laid down by water, all over the earth. And what do we find? Billions of dead things, buried in rock layers, laid down by water, all over the earth.” He also freely admits that creationists are biased, as are evolutionists. It is simply a matter of which bias is better to be biased with. Scientific “truth” is often dogma rather than fact, and it is frequently believed by faith, just as any other belief system is believed by faith. A scientist tipped his hand and illustrated graphically that science is not always very scientific, or even interested in observed data, when he said, “I don’t care if they find a big boat on top of Mount Ararat and parade it down Main Street. I still won’t believe there was a flood.” This aptly demonstrates the truth of Scripture, which instructs us to avoid “profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called” (I Timothy 6:20, KJV).

It is very encouraging to Christians, and it is very disconcerting to unbelievers, especially evolutionists, that the work of the ICR, the CRS, and other creationist organizations has so graphically illustrated the plausibility of the creation model and the utter bankruptcy of the evolution model. However, it is extremely urgent that Christians stand firm on the truthfulness of God’s Word, including a literal Genesis, lest their faith be undermined by human reasoning. There is no reason to fear that any discovery of science will ever contradict the Word of God. He is the author of all truth, including scientific facts. He does not contradict Himself, He does not lie, and He does not deceive us. He will not reveal one thing through His Word and another through what we call “nature.” While we should praise the Lord for the great work being done by the creationist organizations, it is imperative that we take God at His Word and believe Him, no matter what any scientist claims to have discovered. If any scientific “fact” does not square with Scripture, then it is not a fact at all, because, according to God the Son, God’s Word is truth. (See John 17:17) We believe He created the world in six days because He said He did. We believe there was no death before Adam’s sin because God tells us that death came about as the penalty for sin. We believe in Noah’s flood because God tells us about it.

We do not believe in creation because the ICR says so, but because God says so. Unbelievers will not come to the Lord simply because someone somehow “proves” that creation is true. The scientist who said Noah’s ark would not impress him illustrates that point. “By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible” (Hebrews 11:3, NASB).

The very crux of the matter is that we have no right to deny any part of God’s Word. There is a reason that the first eleven chapters of Genesis are under constant attack. Satan is not ignorant of the fact that if the foundational truths of the Gospel are destroyed, then the Gospel falls. “If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3, NASB). If there was death before Adam sinned, then death is not a penalty for sin, and the creation is not under the curse. If there is no penalty for sin, there is no need for a Savior. Man is off the hook. He answers to no one. Evolution is no more and no less than a silly story made up by those who want to rid themselves of God. The very first evolutionist was Satan Himself, who said, “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:14).

It is obvious that Bernard Ramm was a very intelligent and scholarly man. However, he allowed himself to be drawn into the popular thinking of his day rather than standing firm on the solid rock of God’s Holy Word.

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