Lies Christians Believe (Part 6): Blind Faith

Selected Scriptures

Tom Pennington  •  August 14, 2011
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Well today I want to return again to the theme this summer for us in the morning, which has been "Lies Christians Believe." Lies Christians believe. I've entitled this morning's message "'Blind Faith." I think all of us are aware of the event that brought about the greatest number of American civilians' death in a non-natural disaster in American history. Of course, that was the event that we're coming up on the 10th anniversary of, September 11, 2001.

But let me ask you, do you know the second largest loss of American civilian life that wasn't a part of a natural disaster? It occurred on November 18, 1978. Although American citizens were involved, the event itself actually happened outside of the United States in Jonestown, Guyana. An avowed Communist created a church, falsely so called, entitled The People's Temple, first in Indiana, and then he moved it to San Francisco. And when the scrutiny became too great even there, eventually he moved himself and all of his followers in this organization called People's Temple to Guyana. Eventually, the cult leader, and it was a cult and not a church, a man by the name of Jim Jones, commanded 909 of his committed followers to commit mass suicide. On one day, November 18, 1978, 909 of them committed suicide, including over 300 children. If you're familiar with that circumstance at all, you know how it was carried out. They filled a large tub with grape flavored Kool-Aid. And then they laced it with cyanide and added a sedative to calm the nerves of those who would drink it. The poisoned Kool-Aid cost almost a thousand people their lives.

From that tragic event, we have seen born a cultural cliché. To say it a negative way that people have drunk the Kool-Aid is to say like his followers did that day, that people have gone along with some powerful influence in their lives, and they've done so completely without thinking, without stopping to consider what it is they're really doing. They just went along, and as a result of that, there are serious consequences.

Sadly, that is exactly what has happened with many Christians in the contemporary church today. They have unthinkingly drunk the Kool-Aid offered to them by the world around. They have bought into the powerful influence and lies of the culture in a way that threatens to destroy their spiritual health and even to threaten their souls. That's why we're studying this series "Lies Christians Believe," because I want to warn myself and you to stop drinking the cultural Kool-Aid because it's absolutely deadly.

We began our study in Romans 12:1-2. There, after Paul has laid out the amazing reality of our justification by faith alone in the first 11 chapters, he begins the practical application of that truth. And in verse 1 of chapter 12, he begins it by saying that in light of the mercies of God shown to us in Christ, we are to present our bodies a living sacrifice. In light of what God has done for you in Christ, you owe God your life. You should live as if you don't live anymore for yourself, but you live for someone else. That's what Christ calls us to. If you're a Christian, that's what you owe Him.

The second verse gets more specific in terms of our thinking, our minds. Because in verse 2 of Romans 12, Paul writes "and do not be conformed [or shaped by] this age." He's talking about our thinking, "but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." Instead of allowing our minds to be shaped and molded by the thinking of the age in which we live, we are to be transformed. We are to experience a radical inward change of character. We must allow the Spirit of God to change our minds, to renew our minds, and He does so with the Word of God. And the rest of verse 2 spells that out, the will of God that has been revealed to us in His Word.

So, in light of that command, in light of the reality that that happens, we have been examining some of the dangerous ideas that enslave our culture, some of the kinds of Kool-Aid if you will our culture has drunk, and that could threaten us spiritually if we are shaped by them, if we imbibe them as well. So, we're looking first at the dangerous idea that's a part of the culture, starting there, and then we look at what the Scripture teaches so that our minds can be renewed with the truth rather than enslaved by the lie around us. Now, so far, just to remind you, we've examined five of these dangerous lies.

First lie, "Truth Is Relative." In response and basically if you can think of the opposite of each of these lies, that's what we've discovered the truth is from the Scripture. So the lie is truth is relative. God's Word says truth is forever eternally anchored to the person of God, and it never changes.

Number two, "There Are No Moral Absolutes." The Bible says in response there are moral absolutes that are unchanging because they reflect the unchanging character of a holy and righteous God.

Number three, "Life Is Random." Instead, the Bible says life is directed moment by moment, detail by detail, by the good hand of a sovereign God.

Number four, "The Goal of Life Is Personal Happiness. We discovered that in fact as the Catechism says, we exist instead for the glory of God.

Last week, we looked at a fifth lie, "Possessions Will Make Me Happy." The truth is, as we discovered, the only thing that will truly make your soul happy is to find its joy in God, your Creator. That's it, nothing else will satisfy.

Now today, let's look at a sixth dangerous lie. And this lie frankly may be more pervasive in Christian circles than the other five are if that's possible. To do it justice, we're going to look at this this morning, and then next Sunday is a communion, we're going to celebrate communion together, and I've had a message that's been growing in my heart over the last few weeks that I want to do next Sunday on communion Sunday. And then the following Sunday, we'll come back to this lie and look at it again, because this lie is essentially in two parts. So today, we're going to look at the first part of it, and two weeks from today, Lord willing, we'll look at the second part of this lie.

The sixth lie is this, "Science Is Fact, Christianity Is Blind Faith." Science is fact, and Christianity is blind faith. Now as we have done with each of these lies, let me start by giving you a basic definition of it. We need to start with understanding how I'm using science in this statement.

So, let me give you the Shorter Oxford Dictionary's definition of this particular sense of the word science. It defines it like this, "the intellectual and practical activity encompassing those branches of study that apply objective scientific method to the physical universe, that is the natural sciences," so those branches of study that apply the scientific method to the natural sciences, the physical universe. That's what we're talking about here, and our culture says science in that sense is fact. And the Christian faith is blind faith.

Now understand that Postmodernism, the idea that there is no absolute truth in any area, in any field, in any sphere, that idea has permeated American academics. It's made significant inroads in our age, even into the disciplines of math and science. I don't know if you realize this or not. Take math for example. Most teachers of math would still say that two plus two equals four in normal circumstances. But there is a public school math curriculum that is actually very common, very popular across the United States for middle school students that tells teachers students should learn this, "Mathematics is man-made, it is arbitrary, and good solutions are arrived at by a consensus among those who are considered expert."

In Minnesota, teachers are told to be tolerant toward, I love this, multiple mathematical world views. That was my problem in math class. The teacher didn't understand that there are multiple mathematical world views. She was being prejudiced against me. In her excellent book, Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey, she relates that in an interaction with a high school student in New Mexico, are you ready for this, the math teacher labeled this high school student a bigot. And the reason he was labeled a bigot is because he actually thought it was important to get the right answer. I'm not making that up.

Even though that kind of Postmodernism has begun to invade the academy and the laboratory, there are still many, perhaps we could even say most, in the natural sciences and the study of the physical world who argue that there are objective, knowable, universally true, scientific facts. And their influence, the influence of those priests of science on the American culture and on the church is palpable.

This lie really makes two related but separate assertions. Let's break it apart. The first assertion this lie makes is this. All the postulates of modern science are empirically proven, they are universally accepted, and they are certifiable objective reality. All the postulates of science are like that, now think about what those phrases mean. "Empirically proven," they mean that by using only the strictest standards of the scientific method and human reason, they have arrived at these conclusions. "Universally accepted," they mean that all experts who are rational and faithful to the scientific method have arrived at these conclusions. "Certifiable objective reality," they mean that these ideas and theories in science are known for certain to have occurred or to be true. To them, it is as certain as the fact that the sun rose this morning. And no rational person would ever conclude otherwise. That's the first assertion of this lie, "Science Is Fact."

The second assertion this lie makes is that the faith required in Christianity on the other hand is an irrational leap of "Blind Faith." It is either without evidence, you put your confidence in something that has no evidence, or some would say you even put your confidence in Christianity in something that is contrary to the evidence. That's what this lie teaches, and both halves of the lie are patently untrue. All the postulates of modern science are not empirically proven, universally accepted, and certifiable objective reality. And the Christian faith is not an irrational leap of faith either without evidence or in contradiction to the evidence. So there's the lie. "Science Is Fact, Christianity Is Blind Faith."

Now what does that look like in everyday life? How does it express itself in everyday life? Let me give you just a few examples. This is the kind of juxtaposition you'll hear people talk about.

Here's one, "there are the facts of science, and there are the beliefs of religion." Do you see what immediately they've done? They've categorized them as two totally different things. There are facts, certifiable, and there are beliefs which are more personal and unverifiable.

Number two, "science is provable, religion is a leap of faith." In other words, there's no basis for what Christians believe, there's no rational basis for it whereas with science, there is a rational provable basis.

Number three, (I hate this one) "the heart is for religion, and the brain is for science." You'll hear Christians talk like this. You'll hear Christians describe, you know you just need to believe this with your heart.

Number four, "science is a public matter of factual knowledge, one's faith is a private matter of personal experience." Another, "science is objective," that is it's outside of you, it's there, it's men in little white trench coats can verify it, it's outside of you whereas "faith is subjective." The Christian faith is subjective and is all inside of you and what you feel and think and believe. And a final expression is "science is rational, faith is non-rational or even irrational."

Now where do these ideas come from? What is the philosophical background that has birthed these ideas? Well, from creation through the times of the ancient Greek philosophers until really about 500 years ago, there was widespread, not universal, but widespread agreement that human knowledge depended on divine revelation. That revelation most often was conceived to be in nature, in the world around us. The god, or in the case of the pagans, gods, had manifested something about themselves in the world they'd made. And, of course, for the Jewish people and for Christians, that divine revelation came in the Bible.

But near the beginning of the 17th century, the tide started turning. An increasing number of intellectuals rejected the idea of authority and revelation being the source of knowledge, that is God's revelation being the source of knowledge. And so, they instead begin in the early 1600s, at the beginning of what historians call the Age of Enlightenment, several philosophers began to develop a different philosophy for how we know what it is true, or for what really conforms to reality.

The first one was a man whose name you've probably heard, Rene Descartes. He was the father of what is called rationalism. He argued that what is true can only be known by beginning with a few self-evident truths, and then by using the laws of logic to build on those foundational truths. This is rationalism, we get to truth by the use of human logic.

John Locke also grappled with this question of how do we know what is true. And John Locke argued that the human mind is originally a blank slate, and that we can only acquire knowledge of what is true purely and only by the use of our own senses, the five senses that you have, primarily obviously, what you can see and touch and experience. Locke's view became known as empiricism. I can only know the truth by my senses and what they observe.

Following those two men was a really important figure in the history of philosophy. His name was Immanuel Kant, a German philosopher. Kant argued that both of their views were on the right track, but they didn't quite get there. He taught that neither rationalism nor empiricism alone could lead to a knowledge of the truth. Instead you had to combine them. To arrive at the truth, you needed to use both your senses and your reason. And with those two tools, you could arrive at what is really true. Although other academic disciplines have kind of moved on from Kant to various forms of irrationalism, most of those in the physical sciences today, most scientists still embrace the views of Kant. If I have my reason, and if I have my senses, I can arrive at truth.

Now, there is some truth to that because of what God has built into the human race. Next time, Lord willing, we'll look at Jesus' affirmation of the basic reliability of your senses. I don't have to wonder if I'm actually looking out on a group of people at Countryside Bible Church this morning, or whether it's all happening in my mind. There's a basic reliability of the senses, and Jesus affirms that. He calls on us to respond in that way. In the same way, Jesus also affirms the foundational laws of logic. So, those are true, and they do work. And because of those things God has given us, there have been discoveries that are apparently true and accurate descriptions of reality. It's been helpful, there have been advances, but, and here's the big issue, because man's logic is fallen, and because his senses are biased, he often starts with flawed presuppositions and ends up with wrong conclusions.

So, rationalism and empiricism have produced wonderful advances, but they've also made many mistakes including giving birth to things like naturalism, that says matter is eternal, there's no supernatural, only we're existing, and we're only existing for now. So, what bad fruit have these ideas that science is fact, and the Christian faith is blind faith produced in the church? Let me give you some lethal consequences, four of them.

First of all, "it's caused the downplaying of the mind and the overemphasis on the emotions, a downplaying of the mind, and an overemphasis on the emotions, because you don't need to understand it, you just need to believe!" Just have faith! Listen folks, biblical faith as we will discover is rooted in knowing something and understanding, certainly not all that can be understood because we can't understand all that's true of God, but understanding enough to say I get it. It's not irrational. Unfortunately, that's what we've been taught.

J. Gresham Machen, in his excellent book What Is Faith, writes this, "We believe that Christianity flourishes not in the darkness, but in the light. One of the means which the Spirit will use to bring revival is an awakening of the intellect."

Bertrand Russell was right when he said, "The one thing that most Christians will not do is think." And yet Christ tells us we are to love God with our minds. Christian faith will withstand the scrutiny, but this is what we've been told. Downplay the mind, emphasize the emotions.

Number two, another lethal consequence is "the Christian church has been systematically adopting the views of science on any issue where science and the Bible appear to contradict each other." They've just been embracing it wholeheartedly. You can see this in Christian colleges. You know there are almost no Christian colleges today in America that still embrace and believe six-day creationism as it's taught in Genesis 1 and 2? Almost universally, they are theistic evolution, that is, they say that God started the evolutionary process, and then it played out just like science tells us it did.

Faculty at even evangelical seminaries are rejecting now the historical nature of Genesis 1 through 11. They look at all those things in Genesis 1 through 11 – creation, fall, flood, table of the nations. They say, "hmm, can't go there. Science won't let me go there, so we're just going to spiritualize it, we're going to allegorize it. We're going to interpret it through some other grid." And they simply take the views of science and lay it over the Bible and say the Bible must agree with science. Why? Because science is fact and Christianity is "Blind Faith."

A third lethal consequence is, "our youth and college students are having their faith stolen." Our youth and college students are having their faith stolen at schools and universities, sometimes even Christian ones, because of this false dichotomy between the factual nature of science and the irrational Christianity. Parents, you'd better know what your students are being taught. It may be your alma mater, but I'm telling you it's changed since you were there. And you better arm your students to defend their faith with solid Biblical and intellectual arguments.

Number four, another lethal consequence is, "it's made the Christian faith about personally held values rather than objective factual truth." Let me give you an example. You ask most Christians to defend the Christian faith. You know what they're going to say? This is their apologetic to the Christian faith. Well, I believed, and it changed my life. Well joining the Hare Krishnas has changed some people's lives. Ok? Being a Buddhist has changed some people's lives. That's not the point, the point is "what is true?" Is Jesus Christ who He claimed to be, and does that stand in history as a claim that is either verified or denied? It's made it all private, and because of that, it's marginalized the Christian faith to a private belief that has no or little ramification on how Christians live.

You know, most Christians think God lives in this box. You know, they think this is where God lives, He's right here in this box. And you know, it's really wonderful to come here, and He's helpful, He's given me salvation, He encourages me, but when we leave here, He stays here, and we go out and live our lives, and there's very little connection between the two. Many Christians live like this. Christian businessmen who will stand here and worship God on Sundays, sit here and listen to His Word on Sunday, are comfortable being dishonest in their businesses. Many teachers will teach things in their classrooms that they would never say they agree to here in the box.

Through the lie, Christians begin to believe that the Christian faith doesn't live out in the real public world. It's a private spiritual activity. Listen, do you understand the Bible doesn't allow this? Christianity is not a truth for one part of your life, it is total truth that permeates everything from how you do your job to what you believe about science. No part of your life can be separate from the lordship of Jesus Christ. But sadly, that's what's happened through this lie that has insidiously found its way into the church. Those are the lethal consequences, let's turn now to the biblical teaching.

Now today, I want to address only the biblical response to the first half of the lie, "Science Is Fact." And, Lord willing, two weeks from today, we'll look at the biblical response to the second half of the lie, and that is "Christianity Is Blind Faith." So, let's look at, what does the Bible say in response to the assertion that science is fact in the way I defined it for you earlier. Well, again I'm going to break it down into a few propositions. So, look at them with me together.

Proposition number one, "all truth comes from God." All truth comes from God. There are only two original sources of ideas in the universe. Do you understand that, only two original sources of ideas, either God or Satan. I've taken you to this text before when we were in Ephesians 6, but turn with me to John 8. This is such a foundational seminal passage in understanding the nature of the world we live in. John 8, Jesus is talking here to Jewish people who do not believe in Him, and He's telling them, listen, you're trying to kill me, verse 40, a man who's told you the truth, truth which I heard from God.

Ok, so you have God, who knows the truth telling Jesus, who of course is the Son of God, but Jesus is only speaking the things His Father told Him. He was sent by the Father to do this. Verse 42, if God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God. I didn't come on my own initiative, but He sent Me. Why? To bring the truth. But why do you not understand the truth that I am saying? It's because you cannot, you are not capable of hearing my Word. You don't have the capacity to hear my Word. Why? Verse 44, it's because you are of your father, the devil.

You understand that every unregenerate person, this was true of you before you came to Christ, it's true of every unbeliever around you today, have Satan as their spiritual father. And you want to do the desires of your father. Now notice his character, he was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is, and notice this is an amazing description, he is a liar, and he's the father of all lies. But, notice the contrast, verse 45, "but because I speak the truth, [the truth I heard from God], you do not believe Me." Now notice what Jesus is describing here. He's describing two sources, God on the one hand, Satan on the other. And then he's describing the streams that come from them. In the case of God, the stream is what? Truth. In the case of Satan, the stream is what? Lies, that's it. That's the bottom line, that means everything that is false, deceptive, and a lie, every idea that stands in contradiction of the truth has its origin in Satan. On the other hand, every idea that is true can be traced back to God.

In the past, this idea has been, I think, phrased in a very unhelpful way. In the past, Christians have said something like this, "all truth is God's truth." Now that's true as far as it goes. That's saying if it's true, it came from God. Here's the problem. Well-meaning Christians have taken that phrase, and they've looked out on the culture, and they have made the conclusion that's truth. And then they said so that means it must be God's truth, that means we can embrace it. That's how secular psychology got into the church. Secular psychologists have discovered the truth. That's a massive assumption there. How do you know it's true? That brings us to a crucial flaw, one that brings us to a second proposition.

Proposition number two, "the unregenerate mind is neither completely objective nor completely rational." The unregenerate mind is neither completely objective nor completely rational. Sin, you understand this, sin is a kind of insanity flying in the face of the evidence God has given. Look at Ephesians 4. Ephesians 4, now Paul here is talking about the reality that we should no longer live like pagans live because we're not pagans anymore. But remember, when I go through this passage, he's talking about the height of ancient civilization – the Roman Empire, the Greek culture, that's where the people in Ephesus lived. They lived in the context of the Roman and Greek culture.

Notice what he says about it, beginning in verse 17 of Ephesians 4. "So, this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you" [Christians] "walk no longer" [don't live any longer] "just as the" [pagans live] … [and then he's going to describe how they live], "in the futility of their mind" [that is, they have worthless world views.] The word "futile" means "empty, worthless." They have worthless world views, the word "mind" can be used in that sense, and I think is here.

Why? Why do they have worthless world views? Because they are darkened, verse 18, in their understanding, "being darkened in their understanding." [They have a darkened mind. Why do they have a darkened mind? Because they're] "excluded from the life of God," [They have a lifeless soul that has no connection to God. Why is that?] "Because of the ignorance that is in them," [a willful ignorance, as the next phrase shows us. They are ignorant not because God hasn't made it known to them, but] "because of the hardness of their heart." [They have a hard heart.]

As the prophet puts it, they have a heart of stone that will not bow the knee to God. And as a result of that, notice their sinful lifestyle in verse 19, they have "become callous," that hard heart has made them have a calloused conscience. So, they've given themselves over to sensuality, that is, behavior that flies in the face of all decency, even in secular society, parading the pursuit of your appetites even when it's out of step with the culture, "for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness."

But I want you to see the progression in verses 17 and 18. Notice, Paul begins at the widest point, the world views they have, and he keeps going down and down and down until he comes to the real issue at the end of verse 18. The progression really starts with a hard heart, and that hard heart leads to a willful ignorance which leads to a lifeless soul which leads to a dark mind which leads to a worthless world view. A self-imposed insanity that looks at the clear evidence, and according to Romans 1, suppresses that evidence, and then intentionally comes to an irrational conclusion, that's Romans 1.

If you doubt this is true in our culture, let me encourage you to read a book by Paul Johnson entitled The Intellectuals. In that book, he traces the moral histories of the greatest modern philosophers. And what you will discover is that they ended at their philosophy not because that's where their unbiased scientific minds took them, but because of moral reasons. They wanted to justify their lives and behaviors.

Now, what this means practically is this. All regenerate men and women, listen carefully to me, all unregenerate men and women, regardless of their degrees, regardless of how many degrees are behind their name, always approach their study with a bias, a bias against God, and a certain degree of irrationality because they cut God out of the picture. What that means is that only God's Word, if you don't get anything else I say today, get this. Only God's Word is certain truth. Other things may be true. Human beings may have under the good providence of God discovered things that are true, but we can't be absolutely certain of those things in the same way we are absolutely certain of what is in God's Word.

Psalm 119:160 says "the sum (the totality) of your Word is truth, and every one of your righteous ordinances is everlasting." The whole is true, and every individual one is true. Jesus affirms this in John 17 when He says Your Word is certifiably true. It's truth. So, only God's Word is certain truth, and that leads to the other side of it. Every idea or fact that is not contained in the Bible, that claims to be truth is potentially suspect. Truth is, science and the use of the scientific method has a very mixed track record.

Let me just take one area and illustrate this for you. Let's take medical science. Medical science, I picked that one because it is in a sense the most carefully outlined and defined. There are a lot of tests done because human beings' safety and well-being are the result of it or there are damage and injuring them in some way. And so there's a lot more tests done, it's a lot more attempt to reproduce the tests, etc. Let's take that one. The Atlantic Magazine in November of 2010 published an article entitled "Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science." The article is about the work of Dr. John Ioannidis. Dr. John Ioannidis' work has appeared in the most prestigious scientific journals, but he has a most interesting job description. He has set out to show how badly the scientific community does its research and validate its research.

The article explains that in his research, Ioannidis has found "much of what medical researchers conclude in their studies is misleading, exaggerated, or flat out wrong." The article goes on to quantify that. Eighty percent of non-randomized studies, by far the most common type, turn out to be wrong. Eighty percent, as do 25% of supposedly gold standard randomized trials, and as much as 10% of the platinum standard large randomized trials." He says, "The studies were biased. At every step in the process there is room to distort results, a way to make a stronger claim, or to select what is being concluded. There is an intellectual conflict of interest that pressures researchers to find whatever it is most likely to get them funded. To get funding," he goes on to say, "and tenured positions and often merely to stay afloat, researches have to get their work published in well-regarded journals, where rejection rates can climb above 90%. Not surprisingly," he adds, "the studies that tend to make the grade are those with eye-catching findings."

What I want you to see is here's a man within the medical community investigating the medical community, now respected and scientists and doctors are beginning to see that what he's saying is true. Eighty percent of non-randomized studies turn out to be wrong. Twenty-five percent of the gold standard randomized studies. What I want you to see is that science is not inherently fact because it's approached by people who have agendas, people who have biases, people who are looking for their own advancement.

Well, this same problem of bias and distortion becomes even a greater problem when you're dealing with fields that aren't as easy to test and reproduce. For example, consider the issue of the origins of the universe. Consider cosmologists, scientists. Naturalism teaches that the universe began with the Big Bang. But if you press them to what came before the Big Bang, what they will say existed before, secular cosmologists will tell you, that in some form matter existed before the Big Bang. Okay, what they're saying in other words is that matter is eternal. Matter has always been there, that is the eternally existent thing out of which the Big Bang came.

Now how did scientists, how did those cosmologists, those empirically driven scientists come to that conclusion? Was it by observing and testing and reproducing and reverifying their conclusions in randomized tests? Well of course not, because there's no way to do that. So, how did they get there? Well folks, there are only two possible options. Either God created everything out of nothing, or matter is eternal. That's it, those are the only two options. So, something is eternal, it's either God or matter. And guess what? They chose matter.

Why? Because that's the thing that makes the most sense, because that's the thing the data support? No, they chose it because its moral implications are more acceptable, and its practical implications because if they say God did this, guess what? They're not going to reach tenure, they're not going to be funded, they're not going to be published. So, don't for a moment buy in to the idea that the unregenerate mind is unbiased and careful, completely objective, completely rational.

Number three, "true scientific advances are merely the result of common grace directed through providence, and flowing through that residual image of God in man." When there are true advances, and frankly it's hard to tell when there are. Only time in a sense tells that, because we can't be as sure of that as we can of what's in the Scripture. But when there are true advances, they're merely the result of God's common grace.

Acts 14, Paul told the crowd of pagans there, God didn't leave Himself without a witness to you in that He did good to you. He provided things that did you good, and He gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness. You say, does that include advances in science that benefit us that we benefit from? Absolutely, listen to James 1:17. "Every good gift given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights." Everything that benefits us as His creatures ultimately comes from the hand of God. So, when you benefit from that test or that drug and there's some benefit to you, understand that that is ultimately traceable through the image of God in that man who was created or woman who was created to come up with that is traced back to God and His goodness, who allowed it to be discovered.

Number four and finally, "the Bible must always judge science, and never science the Bible." The Bible doesn't deal exhaustively with all the areas of scientific study. It's not a physics textbook for example. But when it does speak about areas that science studies, it is completely without error. You say how do we know that? Because Jesus Himself argued that down to the words and letters and even the serif marks on letters, it was absolute truth.

Look at Matthew 5. We'll get to this passage when we get to the Sermon on the Mount this fall. But look at Matthew 5:17. Jesus in context is saying listen, I didn't come to do away with the Old Testament, I came to complete it, to complement it, to fulfill it. And in that context He makes this statement. Verse 18, "For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter [the Greek word is 'iota,' it's the Hebrew letter "yodh" which is the smallest Hebrew letter, looks like a little apostrophe.]. Then He adds "or stroke," that is the little mark of a letter that distinguishes it from another letter.

Think in English the difference between a capital "O" and a capital "Q." How do you know? That tiny little squiggle at the bottom of the "Q." That's what He's talking about. Jesus says not the smallest letter in the Old Testament, not the smallest stroke added to distinguish a letter shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Paul affirms this same thing in 1 Corinthians 2:13 when he says when I write, understand that the Spirit not only gives me the ideas, the thoughts, but He even gives me the words in which to communicate it.

The Bible is God's truth down to the squiggles of a letter. Now understand, that as in all literature, there are figures of speech in the Bible. For example, the Bible speaks of the four corners of the earth. You know, critics as well as some uninformed Christians look at that and go oh, well that must mean the world is flat. No, of course not, there are figures of speech in all of literature. But listen to when the Bible does speak about the world directly.

Job 26:7, remember Job was in the patriarchal period, this is way back there. Abraham lived around 2,166 B.C. Job lived in that same timeframe and in Job 26:7, Job says, "God stretches out the north over empty space, and He hangs the earth on nothing." Isaiah 40:22, "it is God who sits above the circle of the earth." Does that sound like a simple uninformed cosmology? When the Bible speaks to science, it speaks definitively and accurately.

Now the logical outcome of all of this is this. When the definitive teaching of the Bible, listen carefully, when the definitive teaching of the Bible and the assertions of science disagree, the Bible is what? Always right. It's always right because God is true and every man a liar. It's possible that we misinterpreted the Bible, and we need to look at that. But that doesn't mean that we should violate the basic principles of interpretation in order to make science fit the Bible. That's what people do with Genesis 1 and 2 when they try to read theistic evolution in there. I'm sorry, but you violate the basic rules of interpretation when you do that.

You wouldn't approach any other piece of literature the way they have to do cartwheels around Genesis 1 and 2, so don't go there. What I want you to know is this. Don't be intimidated. Don't be cowed into thinking that the conclusions of all the sciences are facts. As Albert Einstein said, "No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right, but a single experiment can prove me wrong." Don't believe the lie that all science is fact, don't drink the Kool-Aid of the culture.

Very briefly, how should you respond as a Christian?

Number one, don't ever forget that God made and sustains and controls everything in His universe. More specifically, Jesus does. We sing "This Is My Father's world" and that's right. But the Father mediates that rule through the Son. John 1:3 says Christ made everything. Colossians 1:16-17, Hebrews 1:2-3 says Christ sustains and directs everything, it all belongs to Him. Don't ever forget who's in charge.

Secondly, don't be cowered by supposed experts into questioning the Scripture. Listen, they are not objective, and they are not fully rational. Their minds are biased against the truth, biased against God. The Bible can stand up to their arguments. Let me talk to you students, high school, junior high, even down to elementary, certainly college. Let me just address you guys, I want you to listen.

If you're a student, understand this. Just because that professor is winsome, because he has his doctorate or her doctorate, because they've been set in front of you as an expert, don't you imagine for a moment that his approach to the issue is unbiased and disinterested, that his conclusions have to be correct, that his assertions about the Christian faith of the world can't be answered. You may not be able to answer at that exact moment, but that doesn't mean there isn't a really good overwhelming answer. Far greater minds than your professor have wrestled with the objections he raises and have answered them, overwhelmingly. If you don't have a response or answer, commit yourself to study, commit to learn.

Read Josh McDowell's book Evidence that Demands a Verdict, read Nathan Busenitz's book Fifty Reasons We Believe Read Greg Bahnsen's book Always Ready,, read Nancy Pearcey's book Total Truth.. She was a disciple of Francis Schaeffer and brings some of those things to bear. Read, study, use the resources at ICR on the evolutionary front. Learn what you need to learn, but understand there's an answer, a good intelligent answer. In fact, Christianity is the only world view that is internally consistent.

You better decide who it is you're going to trust. Is it going to be the priests of modern science or is it going to be Jesus Christ and God's revelation? Let God be true and every man a liar. Finally, understand that true wisdom is found only in Jesus Christ.

If you're here this morning, and you're not a believer, do you understand you're living in step with Satan's lies? You have embraced them, you are drinking his Kool-Aid. You're believing the lie, and the only place you will find the truth is when you're willing to come to Jesus Christ. He Himself said that, He said I am the truth, no one comes to the Father but by Me. You have to be willing to turn entirely to Him, away from your sin, and embrace Him.

For you Christians that are here, most of you, understand what Paul says in Colossians 2:3 when he says in Christ are all the treasures of what? Wisdom and knowledge. He's where you need to study, He's where you need to go for the answers because He understands the world as it is. He brought truth to us from outside of this biased, confused, irrational world. Science is not fact, and Christianity is not a blind leap of faith.

Let's pray together.

Father, thank you for this time together. Help us to think oh God. Help us to have minds that love you and not just hearts that do.

Father, I pray that you would work in the lives of those who may be here this morning who are living in Satan's lie. Open their eyes O God, help them to see their sinfulness and the beauty of Jesus Christ, the glory of the good news that He died and was raised in order to purchase the capacity for them to have a right relationship with You.

Father, I pray for us as believers. Oh God, don't let us believe the lie. Don't let us drink the Kool-Aid of the culture. Father, may our minds be shaped and renewed instead by Your Word, for Your glory, for the glory of Your Son, we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.