Correcting a Commonplace Error
It is a commonplace statement among evangelicals to say that the Bible is not a scientific textbook. There is, of course a sense in which this is true, but it should be disturbing to us to hear it stated so often and so dogmatically when it needs to be significantly qualified. It is certainly true that the Bible is not a textbook on any of the particular sciences such as biology, physics or astronomy, but it is not true that it is unrelated to those sciences or any other science. We should want to insist that the Bible is the basic scientific textbook in this world.
It is my opinion (warning: an Alexandrine opinion approacheth) that the HUMANISTIC-ATHEISTIC consensus that rules most of Academia today is guilty of making this opinion commonplace. Learned professors representing the academic establishment have simply repeated this idea so frequently that even Evangelicals have adopted it.
To the contrary, we should be outraged.
We should be insisting that the Bible is the basic scientific textbook in our world. This is the fact because it deals with the basic science of human existence. That basic science is the science of God’s relationship to mankind, other persons and all reality. It is a fact that the humanist-atheist culture in which we live does not even regard God’s relationship to man or to other persons or things as having any scientific standing at all. That dreadful opinion, however, is a most unscientific idea, deserving of our pity if not our contempt. This dreadful idea is having the effect of denying real hope to our whole society. It is wrong for Bible believing Christians to tolerate such a misleading and hurtful idea, allowing it to go unchallenged, even repeating it themselves as if it were some kind of undeniable axiom.
While we may concede validity to the idea that the Bible is not a text-book about any of the particular sciences – biology, physics, astronomy, – we should hurry on to insist that the Bible fully deserves status as a text-book about the most important science of all – the science of God’s relationship to persons and things. The universities of the middle ages were built on this idea. That was the key idea in the syllable “Uni” in the word “University”. “Uni” represented the idea that everything in the universe was united around one central reality. That central reality was God. Furthermore, that God was identifiable. He was the God of the Bible. This is why it is so wrong to call that period in history “the dark ages”. People in those so-called “dark ages” saw the rise of the University Movement as a beam of light shining into their world, revealing the Trinitarian God the Bible as a wonderfully unifying reality which held all of the world together and gave meaning to their lives.
And of course the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ was at the heart of the whole “University” idea. Our Savior’s resurrection from the grave was a historic fact. It was not just a religious idea or a piece of philosophical speculation. It stood firmly established within the scientific framework of human history so that it was utter foolishness to deny it. If He “appeared to above 500 brothers at one time” (I Cor. 15:6) you would have to be a blindly prejudiced fool to deny it.
Because Jesus had risen from the dead, triumphant over the Devil, death and sin, those who believed in Him could build their lives on this grand reality. The church began to rise in that Caesar-dominated world. Christ was now LORD in the fullest and most glorious sense, liberating believers from the Caesars and other pretenders to lordship over man and all of life. There has been a long succession of such “pretenders to the throne”. They all fall one after the other. Their political systems, their psychological theories, their religious inventions all turn out to be mere human speculation. This succession of historical phonies succeed in creating a political correctness that protects their empty guesses for a time. Then it all comes crashing down around them and those they have deceived by their “charm” and coercion. This is the sad story of the anti-Christ systems of the past, and a story that will repeat itself interminably until the Savior returns in final triumph and glorious liberation of all who have believed His word and followed in His way.
So let’s throw out this offensive phrase, suggesting that the Bible is not a scientific textbook. Let’s insist that it is THE ONE DEPENDABLE SCIENTIFIC TEXTBOOK ON THE SCIENCE OF GOD’S RELATIONSHIP TO ALL PERSONS AND THINGS IN OUR UNIVERSE.
Our RESURRECTED LORD AND SAVIOR has conclusively demonstrated this grand truth.