… and my own Declaration of Independence!
For most of my life I have been reading the Bible through science-tinted spectacles. I pondered things such as the possibility that creation took place over many, many years – not the six days mentioned in the Bible. Of course, Scripture can back that premise, as we are clearly told that a day is as a thousand years for the Lord, and a thousand years as a day (2 Peter 3:8 and Psalm 90:4). So perhaps the Bible actually means longer than a 24-hour day. After all, scientists have demonstrated that the earth is billions of years old. And scientists are pretty clever people.
Then came Stephen Hawking and his String Theory, and my worldview altered. We all know how clever he is (Sheldon Cooper says he is, and I will never argue with Sheldon Cooper). But his fellow scientists found a significant hole (black?) in his theory, and eventually Hawking conceded that he was wrong.
This got me thinking. Hawking can get it wrong, which basically means that anyone can get something wrong. One scientist proposes a worldview, and the next one comes along and trashes it. Science has been trashing worldviews since it emerged as a discipline. Galileo, for instance, shouted some pretty heretical stuff from the rooftops: “Hey, everyone, the earth is NOT the center of the universe.” Some people were infuriated by this, especially the Roman Catholic Church, and he was grounded for the rest of his life.
Anyway, I think I may be approaching the point I’m trying to make.
Those of us who are not mathematically minded always bow to those who are. I’ll jump right in and correct the grammar of a scientific paper, but I glaze over when the page is filled with formulas and equations. You’re clever, so I trust that you know what you’re talking about. Because I don’t have a clue what those letters and squiggles mean.
Most of us have that problem: we leave the thinking to others because we can’t think in that scientific space. Give me Shakespeare, any day. That makes sense. He writes of love and envy and hatred and ambition and honor. These are understandable things.
Quarks, quantum, quasars? That’s Greek science to me.
At some point, we even let others decide what we will believe. If a clever scientist says evolution is a fact, then who am I – a distracted metaphor lover – to say they are wrong? If the battle is between the Bible and science, guess who wins. Usually it’s the clever men with their scientific calculators and oversized neuronal networks. So, those of us who profess to believe the Bible have to put on our funny-looking science specs and try and squeeze our Bibles into odd-shaped holes. We start reading it with a generous helping of d-o-u-b-t.
And we wonder why the Word of God loses its power.
Well, with Independence Day right behind us (Seriously? I live in South Africa!), I feel the urge to declare my own independence. My declaration reads something like this:
- I am not dumb, I just don’t get science. Most scientists don’t get grammar, so we’re even.
- Just because a scientist says something, doesn’t mean it’s true. And FYI, Sheldon Cooper does not even exist. (Hurts, doesn’t it?)
- When the Bible says something, it is forever true.
- If you want to dispute something that is written in the Bible, you better offer a good explanation ALSO from the Bible – unless you can get God to send a fax. (So yeah, you better start reading your Bible).
- In cases of debate over any of the above points, number 3 is the final deciding factor.
Now that should alienate a few friends and family members. Which is probably a good thing, as I’m quite tired of trying to explain that it’s okay to believe what God says in His Word.
Do you believe what the Bible says? Really believe it is the Word of God?
(Next time… weird things in Genesis 1).