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Keralabrethren.net: General Forum: The Bible vs Science

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# 07713 :  The Bible vs Science

Darkness stands not just in opposition to the light but is also engaged in a constant struggle to overcome the light. Darkness strives to eliminate the light and make everything like itself. It is for this reason that God says that darkness attempted to "overcome" the true light of the world, but it could not (John 1:5). This struggle between darkness and light is an ongoing struggle in which the children of God are constantly engaged in. We should be on our guard and keep constant vigil (Mark 13:35) since we do not know from where darkness will creep in. Darkness has this insidious ability to creep in and make men accustomed to the darkness and once they have been in darkness long enough they begin to think of darkness as light. As a man who is keep in a dark room, after groping for a while, will gradually have his eyes adjust to the darkness and very soon he will be able to move around without much trouble. Brethren, do not be deceived!

 

A common way in which the darkness attempts to overcome the light and enslave men is by corrupting the inerrant and infallible truth of God's word. And the most successful strategy in our times is to couch lies in the name of science and parade it as truth. We need not look too far to see this. The theory of Evolution and Big Bang are two of the most obvious lies that are vociferously defended as truth in the name of science. The extent of the malady is clearly visible when so-called "Christians" see no error in these lies and begin to distort God's holy words to make the Bible support science. There is only a small minority of Bible scholars who continue to be faithful to the word of God and believe in the truth of the Bible that the earth and all the universe was created by God in six literal 24-hour days. But while they are valiant in their opposition to anything unscriptural, they often do not realize that they too are denying the authority of the scripture by not faithfully upholding to the full truth revealed through the Bible. 

 

Let me elaborate. I firmly believe in a young earth created about 6000 years ago in an un-mediated act of creation by God. I believe and it is quite self-evident that Genesis 1 ought to be read literally. Further, if a literal reading of scripture contradicts with any of the theories of science then it is science that needs to be questioned not the eternal and inerrant word of God.  However, I think we need to go further as the true problem is not Evolution or Big Bang. While these abominable theories are entirely wrong and incompatible with anything that the Bible says, they are just the manifestation of the malady which has its roots in something much deeper and more fundamental. Jesus said that a bad tree cannot bear good fruits and a good tree cannot produce bad fruits (Matt. 7:18). If so then if current science produces theories that dishonors or even denies God then we need to check the roots of the scientific tree. The real problem is not with the fruits (Evolution and Big Bang) but with the root.

 

The root of the problem is in the fundamental assumption of science that the earth, instead of being an immovable and fixed entity created by God, is an object that rotates on its own axis and revolves around the sun too. It is inevitable that science which starts with the negation of the most fundamental truth in scripture, namely that the earth is immovable and fixed, comes up with absolutely preposterous theories like Evolution and Big Bang. Once this compromise was made, it was but inevitable that as science "progressed" it would come up with more and more corrupt theories till it reached its fullness in Evolution and the Big Bang which takes away God from his most majestic work, namely that of creation!

 

So let us first look what the Bible has to say about the Earth and its alleged rotation and revolution. But before we do so it would do well to remember that the Bible needs to be interpreted literally and factually. A literal interpretation of scripture is essential not just to Genesis 1 but to every part of scripture as they are all equally the word of God. 

 

The idea that the earth is motionless and fixed is also a clear and consistent biblical truth. In 1 Chr. 16:30 we read that the "word is established; it shall never be moved." Over and over in scripture we see the consistent truth that the earth is a stable place which cannot be moved (Psalms 93:1, 96:10, 104:5;  2 Sam. 22:16). It does not take much to see that the earth cannot be rotating or revolving (as science claims) and be still (as the Bible says) at the same time. By the laws of non-contradiction and the law of the excluded middle, one of these propositions ought to be wrong. So, if there is a contest between science and Bible, as men of God, what should we believe? I have no hesitation in saying that if the Bible says that the earth is fixed and not moving, then its fine with me!

 

This does not end here. The Bible goes on to say that the earth is established on a firm foundation, and this explains the fixity of the earth. In Isaiah 48:13 God himself says that he with his own hands laid the foundations of the earth. Then in Jon 17:24, we have Jesus himself repeating the same truth that God laid the foundation of the earth. Here we have an astounding statement by God, confirmed and reiterated by the Son, Jesus Christ himself. I wonder how anyone can hold on to the authority of the scripture and deny this plain truth!  At this point the more scientifically inclined will respond by saying that the claim about the earth having foundations is wrong because we have no scientific evidence for such foundations. Well the Bible has an answer to that too. The Bible clearly says that while the earth has foundations, it is not possible to explore or search for them because that is how God in his wisdom created it (Jer. 31:37). 

 

Coming to Genesis 1 we find more support for the fixity of the earth. According to the current scientific view the earth goes round the sun. But Moses tells us in Genesis that the earth was created first (Gen. 1:1). There were only two things - the heavens and the earth. The sun was not created until day 4. This is clearly unacceptable to the scientific community, for how can the earth rotate around a non existent sun for the first three days? However, if you accept God's word literally this is not a problem because the earth is still and when the sun was created on the fourth day it was created in such a manner that it, rather than the earth, moved.

 

In fact we can search through the entire Bible and there is not a single shred of evidence to support the fact that the earth moves. The only places there is a mention of the earth moving or shaking is when God comes in judgment (e.g. Isa. 24:18). The only instances where the earth is depicted as moving is during cataclysmic events of judgment which clearly suggests that the natural state of the earth is fixed and immovable.

 

If we accept what the Bible says about the above matters then the statement about the sun revolving round the earth is in the book of Joshua chapter 10 does not create any problems at all for a believer. According to science, which even school children are taught, day and night happens because the earth rotates on its axis. Going by scientific theories an extended day is only possible if the earth's rotational velocity is reduced or if it stops spinning completely. However, according to the Bible to extend a day the sun stood still. "The sun stopped in the midst of heaven" (Josh. 10:14). Further, it was not just the sun but the moon also that stood still (Josh. 10:13). Now, what is the most natural way in which we can interpret these words? First, it tells us that both the sun and the moon are moving bodies, which is corroborated by scripture in other places. Second, it tells us that the sun and moon control day and night and finally, it tells us that they stopped moving. Absolutely nothing is mentioned here about the need for the earth to stop, as science would make us to believe! 

 

Of course, the so-called "Christians" resort to all sorts of unnatural interpretations to fit God's words with science. Some of the ways in which do this is (a) by saying that in reality the sun did not stop but it only "appeared" that the sun stopped, or (b) argue that since people in those times believed in a geocentric universe and hence God accommodated himself to their limited understanding. Both these views does serious violence to the word of God and undermines the authority of the Bible. Whatever the Bible says IS true, it does not make claims that only "appear" to be true. In response to the accommodation view, the Bible itself says that it is the word of God and hence timeless (Isa. 40:8). 

 

This is not the only place where the Bible informs us about the movement of the sun relative to the earth. Ps. 19:4-6 clearly that the sun rises at one end of the heaven and goes to the other end. Eccl. 1:5 repeats these same ideas about the sun rising and the sun going down. There is absolutely no reason why these clear and simple words of God ought not to be taken literally. If the Bible says that the sun rises and that it goes down, then it is true, irrespective of what science says!

 

In Revelation where we see the end of all things, it is clear that the sun is a relatively unimportant entity since it is not there at all (Rev. 22:5). There is a new heaven and a new earth, but no new sun (Rev. 21:1-2). This is how it was at the beginning of creation and this is how it will be in the end.

 

It is probably not surprising that a fixed and immovable earth has been the singular view that was held by all people, not just Christians, but every single human being from the creation of the world till the late 18th century. None of the church fathers, Bible scholars, or for that matters even the Reformers had a problem with a fixed earth. All of them read the Bible as God's words and interpreted it literally. God's truth was so self-evident that even unbeliever too believed in a fixed earth. It was only in the later part of the 18th century that such erroneous ideas as a rotating and revolving earth were propagated and then scripture was mis-interpreted to support these ill-founded ideas. 

For these reasons I am not only a committed believer in a young earth that was created by God about 6000 years ago without the need for any kind of evolution or big bang, but also a firm believer in a fixed and immovable earth!

In Christ & for His Glory

T Kurian

 

Post by : thomaskurian1  View Profile    since : 28 Jan 2015


Reply by : moses2006   View Profile   Since : 28 Jan 2015 5:34:20 PM Close

Dear Mr. Kurian,

The earth does move - it rotates around an axis and it moves elliptically around the sun. The rotation of the earth can be physically proved using a Faucault Pendulum. Rotation can also be physically proved using a time lapse camera aimed at Polaris, the North Star. The fact that the earth revolves around the sun is easily proved by the simple fact that we see differences in the night sky as the seasons change through out the year.

Or, just stay in Mars for a year and you can photo document both the rotation and revolution of the earth.

Please do not use the Word of God as a science textbook - which is what you are doing when you said, "that the Bible needs to be interpreted literally and factually". The Word of God needs to be interpreted correctly, and nowhere does the Word of God ask us to replace our power of observation with blind faith. If we do that then we will see that what we observe and what we read in the Word of God are not in conflict.

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Reply by : George P. Koshy   View Profile   Since : 29 Jan 2015 4:38:33 PM Close

Dear Thomas Kurian,

I appreciate your zeal for the Lord God and His Word, that is evident in your posting of 28 Jan 2015. I am writing this to encourage you to continue to write, as a believer in Christ, for the glory of God.

I find certain difficulties in what you wrote. Let me try to explain my difficulties.  They are:

You started by mentioning of a struggle between darkness and light. Could you explain Genesis 1:1-5? There we find that the darkness was already on the face of the earth and God said “Let there be light,” and the light appeared. It is the light that overcame the darkness. You wrote that there is a continual struggle by the darkness to “overcome” the light.  You referred to John 1:5.  In John 1:5, the Greek word used by the inspiration of God is κτελαβεν (KATELABEN = overtake).  Three Greek words are used for ‘overcome’ in the New Testament. They are: ητταομαι (ETTAOMAI = to be inferior). In 2 Peter 2:19, 20, it is used to indicate about making a man inferior. Another Greek word is κτακυριευω (KATAKURIEUO = have full power; to domineer). We read this in Acts 19:16.  Another Greek word of interest is νικαω (NIKAO = to gain the victory). We read this in Luke 11:22; John 16:33; Romans 3:4, 12:21; 1 John 2:13, 4:4, 5:4, 5:5, Revelation 2:7, 11, 26, 3:5, 12, 21, 11:7, 12:11, 13:7, 17:14, 21:7. Different variations of the Greek word κτελαβεν (KATELABEN = overtake) appears in the New Testament. Two of them are in 1 Thessalonians 5:4 and Galatians 6:1. In John 1:5 we read that when the light appeared in darkness the darkness did not overtake that light. When you want to read what is written as they are written, please take some time to search the Scriptures with a good concordance that will give you the Greek words.

Mark 13:35 is about the coming of the master and not of darkness. It appears that you make the darkness to be the master.

You wrote about an immovable and fixed earth. You also wrote about the necessity of a literal interpretation of Scripture. In order to provide a literal interpretation of the Scriptures, we must look into the original languages in which they are written. If we do the interpretation from one or more translations, our explanations are about what we read in those translations. That does not mean that we should be experts in those languages, but we should use the tools that are available to us.  One of them is a good concordance that provides the corresponding Greek and Hebrew words for the English words of our interest. If we do that, we could come closer to a ‘literal interpretation’ of what we read in the Word of God.

You quoted 2 Samuel 22:16, 1 Chronicles 16:30, Psalms 93:1, 96:10, 104:5 to show that the earth is “motionless and fixed.” I ask you to search the Scriptures further, and then you will read about the ordinances for the created things.  Job 38:33 is one of them. It is what Jehovah told Job. In Jeremiah 33:25, we read about the ordinances of heaven and earth. What are these ordinances?

Please remember that there is no contest between science and the Bible. Science slowly tells the scientists who refuse to believe the Bible that they should have believed the Word of God, many years ago. It is the scientists who do not believe in God and His Word.  Science is the knowledge of the ordinances of God and we read references to the ordinances in Job, Jeremiah, etc.  The searching for those ordinances is given as a “grievous occupation” to man by God. We read this in Ecclesiastes 1:12-18.

There are places in the Bible that tell that the earth is moving and not fixed. It is part of my ‘Empirical Evidences’ and I will be presenting them in the future in that thread.

You wrote about the foundation of the earth.  Could you study about the meaning of the words that is translated as ‘foundation?’ 

You raised an interesting question from Genesis 1. You wrote, “…But Moses tells us in Genesis that the earth was created first (Gen. 1:1). There were only two things - the heavens and the earth. The sun was not created until day 4. This is clearly unacceptable to the scientific community, for how can the earth rotate around a non existent sun for the first three days? However, if you accept God's word literally this is not a problem because the earth is still and when the sun was created on the fourth day it was created in such a manner that it, rather than the earth, moved.” Could you explain what is your understanding of Genesis 1:14-19 is? I am asking about verses 16 through 18.

Isaiah 24:18 tells us about the shaking of the foundations of the earth. It has nothing to do with the revolution and rotation of the earth. That is true as you observed.

You also referred to Joshua 10:13-14. The earth need not stop its rotation and revolution for the sun and moon to stop their movements, because they have their own motions.  Have you considered what would have happened, if the earth stopped its rotation on that day in Joshua 10? Joshua asked the sun and moon to stop and they stopped. Joshua did not ask the earth to stop, because he was guided by God from asking for a catastrophe.

We should not confound the rising of the sun and the setting of it with the rotation and revolution of the earth or any other bodies. Sun rises in the east and sets in the west are a generally accepted thing, and they may be the effect of the rotation of the earth on its axis.

At the closing of the Revelation, we read that the earth and heaven passed away. In their place a new heaven and new earth is placed. A literal interpretation is that the earth, as we know, is removed along with the current heaven and they were replaced with a new heaven and a new earth.

When you say that your belief in a fixed and immovable earth is based on Bible scholars and Church fathers, then you may not be interpreting the Bible, but you believe what they wrote.

You wrote about your belief in a young earth. Could you elaborate that belief? I am interested in finding your reasoning on this subject.

Shalom Malekim!!!

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Reply by : deepucvarghese   View Profile   Since : 4 Feb 2015 10:02:49 AM Close

Dear Brother Kurian,

Bible uses human language to convey to us like in Joshua 10:12-14 "Then Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, "O sun, stand still at Gibeon, And O moon in the valley of Aijalon." 13 So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, Until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies. Is it not written in the book of Jashar? And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day 14 There was no day like that before it or after it, when the LORD listened to the voice of a man; for the LORD fought for Israel

Even now everyone still uses in our daily vocabulary that Sun rises and sets. Joshua is not a student of science to say exact words of science to God nor God expects us to use and further God uses human language to communicate.

Do we decide who is a Christian based on whether he believes in fixed or moving earth? Since you used the so called Christians phrase.

-- Deepu

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