That’s just not scientific!

That’s just not scientific!

In a world where ‘science’ is trusted implicitly, where actors in white coats sell us shampoo or convince us of the improvements in the latest vacuum cleaner, it can seem odd for someone to say that the Bible is true. Many just assume that science is reliable and true, and the Bible falls into some other category: that of ‘faith’. Some would go further and call the Bible ‘myth’ or ‘unscientific’, the kind of thing people believe but which better educated, scientifically-astute people cannot possibly hold to be true.

Not so fast. Let’s pause and think about that for a moment.

Science is observing the world and drawing conclusions about it. So it is based on evidence from which conclusions are drawn. As we become better at building scientific equipment, we can observe more, and as our understanding of the world increases, you would hope our conclusions are better too.

The Bible doesn’t claim to be a science textbook. But if it is true, what we read in the Bible should be consistent with what we see in the world. And when it claims to record historical facts, these should actually be things that happened.

Let me give you some reasons why the Bible can indeed be trusted in our modern scientific world.

  1. The Bible records accurate history

The events in the Bible actually happened. There are places you can see this clearly. Luke, who wrote the books of Luke and Acts, claims to be a historian who carefully spoke to witnesses as he was compiling his accounts (Luke 1:1-4). These books are full of references that can be checked, such as the names and titles of Roman governors, the boundaries of ancient provinces, and the viewpoints of Greek philosophical schools. And when these things can be checked against external sources, they line up well.

Archaeology is an inexact science as many things simply do not survive the ravages of time, and ancient cities often get built over with modern ones. However, discoveries made in recent decades have confirmed various assertions made in the Old Testament as well. You can see many of these, for example, in the Babylonian and Assyrian exhibitions in the British Museum.

  1. The Bible’s worldview lines up with what we see in the world

The Bible consistently describes a worldview which includes a world designed and made by God, where people are dignified yet fundamentally evil rather than good. All of these things are disputed in modern scientific thought. However, this does not mean they are wrong. Evolution cannot explain the world the way we have it today; it is part of the answer, but clearly not all of it. The existence of an intelligent Creator can be seen in the intricacy of the world, including the detail is something as small as a single cell. The existence of beauty and the need for purpose in the world also point to something greater than just blind survival of the fittest and infinite time plus chance.

As for people being fundamentally evil instead of good, this is an unpopular view among many who would like to think they are really good people at heart. However, the increase in education in recent centuries has not led to utopia in the world but simply cleverer evil. The depth of suffering and evil in the world cannot be explained away by reference to a few ‘bad eggs’. The worldview of the Bible makes sense of this; we have a broken world that needs a Saviour.

  1. Scientific understandings change over time

The Bible is a constant. We have had the Bible in its current form now for almost 2000 years, and the Old Testament longer than that. The message of the Bible has been applied to many cultures and explained by many people. We need to grow in our understanding of it, sure, but the foundation remains the same.

Science, by its nature, changes. We grow and change in our understanding of the world and the conclusions we draw from our observations. Once everyone in the world was convinced that the sun rotated around the earth; now everyone knows it is the other way around. The way we understand that atoms interact and their makeup also changes. What we are convinced of today may well be different tomorrow. We need a firmer foundation to base our lives on.

Don’t write off the Bible as unscientific too quickly. There is more truth there than you know.