Science and the Bible

If God is God, can’t He do what appears to us to be impossible? It seems to me, any thinking person who believes God is all powerful and raised Jesus from the dead, would have no problem believing He also allowed Jesus to walk on water before He was resurrected to His glorified body. And that He fed five thousand men plus an un-numbered sum of women with a few loaves of bread and a couple fish. That He stopped a raging storm with a word. That He restored a blind man’s eyesight and raised a dead man to life.

Some might say, well, that was Jesus. Of course He could do those things. But the Old Testament stuff—you know, the miracle bread feeding six hundred thousand people for forty years or the non-flying version of Superman named Samson or the tall tale about an angel closing the mouth of hungry lions or brave young believers withstanding a fiery furnace when they wouldn’t bow to an idol or the sun standing still for a day. All that stuff is, well, not possible.

Not possible. Unless God, who can do the impossible, decided He wanted to do it. That’s all it takes to believe in the miraculous—a realization that God is Who He says He is: almighty. All might resides in Him. All power. That means He is not limited by anything outside Himself. That means He is not limited by His own creation.

So looking at creation and declaring, That could never happen, says nothing about God because He transcends creation. He, in fact, is the one who sustains creation:

In these last days [God] has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.
– Heb. 1:2-31 (emphasis mine)

For He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
– Col. 1:17 (emphasis mine)

The idea that He set things in motion, then stepped back and let it unfold, may be how we perceive things, but there is no Scriptural indication this is the way the world works. Science claims it is so, but in order to get there, many scientists discount the walking on water, sun standing still, and raging river stopping in midstream.

It’s much easier to say science is the best evidence of the way things work if at first you declare that contradictory Bible stories are myth. But to get to that place, a person also has to discount God’s omnipotence.

For a particularly interesting series on evolution, see novelist and one-time biology major Karen Hancock’s posts, starting with this one (and for her personal testimony, read Evolution and Me).

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Published in: on May 6, 2009 at 12:09 pm  Comments (7)  
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7 Comments

  1. But to get to that place, a person also has to discount God’s omnipotence.

    Actually, all you have to do is start off from a neutral starting point and follow the evidence. There is no testable evidence for the existence of any sort of deity. On the other hand, science can be and is repeatedly tested and verified every single day.

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  2. Becky,
    There is a website Nest Entertainment – Louis Giglio -DVD (I looked it up on Google) that has the most amazing videos. We have seen two in Sunday School. The last one was on the fact the the protein that holds everything together looks just like the cross. I saw the pictures from the microscope several months ago, but did not understand how important that was until I saw this man’s talk. He explains it beautifully, and proves it with the Col. 1:17 verse.
    Rae

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  3. I’ve been following some discussion recently that turns this discussion on its side–well, I think it does [smile].

    The Bible clearly says that God knits us together in our mother’s womb. And yet, we have no problems accepting the scientific explanations of sexual reproduction. Why? Because we know God is still involved.

    My dad wrote an interesting post about this as part of a series he did several months back. I think it’s fascinating.

    ~Luke

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  4. The tricky thing as a writer is to acknowledge God’s miraculous power and yet not indulge in deus ex machina solutions to our character’s dilemmas. Gratuitous miracles spell death to any coherent plot. (Hey, this is a blog about fiction, right?)

    I tried to resolve this issue by having my character having to struggle mightily with himself to reach the place where he could put his trust entirely in God and his power, much like the young men in the fiery furnace. They believed God could deliver them, but never thought for a moment that He was obliged to. He was worthy of their commitment no matter what the outcome. Even in the Biblical account, the miracle is a very satisfying conclusion because the young men had shown themselves worthy of it.

    How about you, Rebecca? Do you put miracles in your plot, and how do you prevent them from being an easy out for your characters?

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  5. […] Miller @ 9:35 am Tags: Atheism, God I wrote a response to Matt who commented to my post about Science and the Bible but then, not knowing if Matt would ever return to A Christian Worldview of Fiction, and read what […]

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  6. Luke, thanks for sharing that article of your dad’s. Great thoughts. I especially liked his summary points and close. I’ve also thought about God’s governance over this world as I’ve been reading the prophets. Time and again, He mentions things like withholding rain—stuff that has a perfectly good scientific reason behind it. But God, who is, before time, ordains it all. That’s an amazing and difficult thing to come to.

    Rae, I’ve seen those pictures too, but I can imagine that someone with scientific knowledge could make more sense of the significance. It really is interesting, in light of the magi of old, who studied the stars and knew a king was born in Judea. Huh? How … ? I suspect God’s fingerprints are everywhere if we would but have eyes to see.

    Becky

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  7. Janet, GREAT question, and one I should post on, if I haven’t already. I think it is extremely hard to depict God in fiction and not make the ending come off as if victory was pulled out of a magic top hat.

    You asked how I handle miracles in my fiction. Well, one way is by writing fantasy. 😀

    Seriously, I can include the miraculous and supernatural evil power without it being questioned. Plus I put God into the story—not by name, but He’s there the same way Aslan is in Narnia. Not allegorically but representatively. I’ve written some short stories that do the same thing. I’ve written others that don’t and they haven’t met with much success. Hmmm.

    In the end, I think you’ve found a great way of dealing with the issue because we do struggle, and we stop trusting Him from time to time and have to learn all over again. The struggle, I think, shows a part of the Christian life that we can understand and identify with.

    Becky

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