The Bible Teaches a Predictable World - But Not Naturalism
Note: Creation Moments exists to provide Biblically sound materials to the Church in the area of Bible and science relationships. This Bible study may be reproduced for group use.
Modern science rests on a number of unprovable assumptions about the nature of the world. The fact that these assumptions are drawn from the biblical world view is usually neglected by those who claim that creationists cannot be scientists. One of the most important of these assumptions for the development of modern science is that the world is a predictable, orderly place. It is this assumption which has been perverted by fundamentalist evolutionists into the idea that God, if there is a God, is totally separated from the world which science studies - naturalism.
Naturalism is neither science nor biblical, as we shall see in this Bible study.
1. The idea that the creation is a logical, orderly place is woven into the very fabric of Scripture. But we should not tale this fundamental fact for granted, since many religious systems on the world, notably in the East, have never figured even this basic principle out. Nor has this obvious assumption been accepted throughout much of the world's history. In addition, some evolutionary-oriented scientists are now starting to question this fundamental assumption because their evolutionary ideas are not working out in an ordered universe.
2. Specific Scriptural statements about the orderliness, and therefore the "knowableness" of the world abound, beginning in the very earliest verses of Scripture. Genesis 1:11 explains that the plants were to reproduce after their kind. What scientific predictions can we make on the basis of this Scriptural statement?
3. Moving up to verse 14 we read that the lights in the sky were to be for signs and for seasons, and to separate day from night. What predictions can we base on this statement?
4. Further statements in Genesis 1 also reveal that the animals, too, are designed to reproduce "after their kind." (verses 21, 24, and 25). What scientific discipline is built upon the orderliness spoken of here?
Genesis 8:22 offers statements touching meteorology and climatology. How does this verse actually offer what we today would call scientific prediction?
5. The miracles of the Old and New Testaments are also built upon the orderliness of the creation! Each miracle which is recorded in Scripture is really very meaningless if the world operates in willy-nilly disorder. Why was the burning bush, described in Exodus 3:2-4, worthy of closer inspection?
There is nothing unusual about a bush burning and being consumed, but Moses, knowing that the world is an orderly, predictable place had to turn aside and see this unpredictable event. God's people have always known what many cultures still have not figured out - the world is orderly and predictable. How does this apply to specific New Testament miracles?
6. It is only in a predictable world which science can study that miracles have any meaning! There can be no miracles in a world where there is no order. How is this state of affairs exactly the opposite of what is claimed by naturalists?
In what way is the very reason which many use to reject the miracles of the Bible the only reason the logical mind has to accept those miracles?
7. The scientific accomplishments of our age are built on this Scriptural base! Even non-Christian philosophers of science have noted this fact. The scientific method, assuming that the world is a knowable, orderly place, therefore also includes prediction to test scientific claims. So, contrary to the claims of skeptics, science itself gives us reason to accept the miracles of the Bible. True science does not evict God from the creation.
8. Scripture reveals that the planning and design of the creation runs deeper than this, however, to include things which cannot be known apart from the Scriptural revelation. The order and design of the creation which also runs through all of Scripture is God's personal involvement in individual human lives through His grace. As soon as sin entered the world, separating man from God, God was present to offer the promise of a Savior (Genesis 3:15).
This order (predictable since it was prophesied by God) continues to run throughout the Scriptures. This design part of the warp and woof of history. See Ephesians 1:4. How does Colossians 1:12-18 tie the Person, and work of Christ to creation?
9. True science, as defined by its founders, is unable to say that God is separated from the world because science is unable to deal with all of reality. In fact, science, done under the Lordship of Christ rules out the propositions of atheist as well as religious liberals that God, if He is, is separated from activity in the world.
The fact that evolutionary thinking represents a step backwards from modern science can be seen in modern evolutionary proposals that the world may not be knowable, orderly and predictable after all!
Copyright Â© 1990 Bible Science Newsletter, Pastor Paul A. Bartz. Creation Moments, Inc. PO Box 839 Foley, MN 56329