Scripture and Science

The Bible

By way of introduction to the topic of creation, I would like you to stop and consider the following; one hundred years ago it is likely that you were not yet born, you did not exist. You had not yet formed any opinions about life, science, sport, history or anything else for that matter.

And yet, today, at the age of 18, 25, 40 or perhaps even 70 or more, you will have formed some quite strong opinions about many things. Whilst it is important for us to develop opinions, the discovery of truth should remain our primary focus and objective.

Ask the former generations and find out what their fathers learned, for we were born only yesterday and know nothing, and our days on earth are but a shadow.

The point I want to consider is this; God is eternal - his creation, the universe and this earth on which we live, have existed and survived for six millennia without you and I and before we came into being. In other words; we have had no influence on the past 6000 + years.

I don't know about you, but this gives me a growing sense of humility as I come to appreciate how insignificant I am in comparison with God's great creation.

In the beginning - God

This tells us that in the beginning - God was.

God precedes everything else that we know and He exists independent of time, space and matter.

In the beginning - God created

This tells us simply that God created and initiated everything that exists.

The bible was written between 1400 BC and AD 100. Many of the authors and the key figures that are featured in the bible appear to have accepted creation as fact.

Faith and Intellect

The key to understanding creation is not by intellect alone, it involves faith. Why? Because God Almighty is involved and he is eternal, supreme and beyond human understanding.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

Light Bulb 3

By faith we understand!

This is an unusual and interesting concept; we are encouraged to understand by FAITH and not by intellect alone.

It is a point of interest here that when a person becomes a Christian, they are described as coming from darkness to light. They now see things that previously they did not see. They now understand things which previously they did not understand.

The origin and the age of the universe are subjects of much discussion and debate. But the Christian's world view should be based on Holy Scripture, regardless of any tension stemming from such debate.

I would suggest that the above quotation from Hebrews 11 v 1-3 is fundamental to our understanding of the origin and age of the universe. 

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said let there be light and there was light.

God spoke creation into existence by the power of his Word. This is beyond human understanding. God is God, He is eternal, but we are mere human beings who are bound by time and space.

Genesis chapter one clearly outlines the fact that God spoke the universe into existence by the power of his 'WORD'. This is an expression of his infinite wisdom.

This being the case; far from the misleading modern tendency to glibly promote the idea that God ‘is my mate’; the only reasonable conclusion and response from mankind should be unconditional gratitude, wonder and worship, expressed in a life of unconditional obedience to the supreme and only wise God.  

In The Beginning Was The Word

Let's think about this expression for a moment - "In the beginning was the 'WORD'."

God spoke creation into being - He used 'words'. The Lord Jesus is described as 'the Word'.... i.e. He communicates to us who God is and what God is like.

Professor John C Lennox offers some fascinating insight into 'the concept of information' in his book - God's undertaker. In chapter 8 - The genetic code and its origin, page 135 we read the following:

Information in the cell:

Start quote; "In order to grasp even more clearly the issues involved in thinking about the origin of life, we must now move beyond the level of proteins to the molecular level beneath which we find another fundamental building block of life that is much more complex than the protein, the DNA-molecule. One of the greatest scientific discoveries of all time has been the nature and significance of this information-bearing macro-molecule. For a living cell is not merely matter. It is matter replete with information." End quote.

He also points out on page 137:

What is DNA?

Start quote; "The genome consists of a complete set of genes. Genomes, or rather the DNA that encodes them, are generally very large: the DNA of an E. coli bacterium is about four million letters long and would fill 1,000 pages in a book, whereas the human genome is over 3.5 billion letters long and would fill a whole library. As a matter of interest the actual length of the DNA tightly coiled in a single cell of the human body is roughly 2 metres. Since there are about 10 trillion (= 10 to the power of 13) cells in the human body the total length of DNA is a mind-boggling 20 trillion metres." End quote.

Dna 2

What insight Professor Lennox gives us into the complexity of life. There is a hidden molecular world behind everything that we see.

Here's the thing;

Science didn't create DNA. Science is merely discovering what was there from the very beginning. These discoveries are wonderful and help us to understand something of the complexity of life. But the fact remains - God designed atoms, molecules, proteins and DNA.

He not only designed their structure, he also designed their function, connectivity and purpose and wonderful as all this is; I would stress the point that although scripture does not use the language or vocabulary of modern science, science must be kept in submission to scripture. 

In the beginning was the WORD. This WORD contained all the information that was required to create the vastness of the universe and also the tiny intricate molecular structures that hold it all together.

Jesus Christ is the WORD of God - everything that science has discovered came into existence through him. Furthermore; In him was life, and that life was the light of men.

Read it again: John 1 v 1-5

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Dna 2759155B

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.

The above scriptures quoted from John's gospel were written over 4000 years after creation by the apostle John. He had spent three years in the company of the Lord Jesus and he was convinced about the creation account in Genesis.

The Genesis account was part of the Old Testament Pentateuch and was written circa 1400 BC by Moses under the inspiration of God.

The Apostle John witnessed firsthand how the Lord Jesus had:

Calmed the storm - Matthew 8 v 23-27

Walked on water - Matthew 14 v 22-33

Turned water into wine - John 2 v 1-11

Fed the 5000 - Matthew 14 v 13-21

Healed the sick - Mark 1 v 29-34

Raised the dead - Matthew 9 v 18-26

Cast out demons - Matthew 8 v 28-34

Was transfigured - Matthew 17 v 1-9

Died on the cross - Matthew 27 v 45-56

Arose from the dead - Matthew 28 v 1-10

Ascended into heaven - Luke 24 v 50-53

Appeared after resurrection - John 21

In all of the above 'supernatural' events there was this hidden microscopic world of particles, atoms, molecules and DNA. These were hidden in the material world of the elements; of land and sea, of people and things, bread, water, wine and wood.

In each of these supernatural events, Christ overruled the natural laws of science; the laws of physics, chemistry, biology and gravity. And yet, the bible makes no mention of the existence of these laws or of the molecular world that lies behind all that we see. It didn't need to; it was not essential to the story of Christ and the gospel.

He made these laws at creation and without them the universe couldn't exist and our Solar System wouldn't function. Yet, when he wants, he renders these laws powerless when he intervenes and overrules them in order to accomplish his purpose.

Let's think about this;

What was the actual process that took place in the atoms and DNA-molecules within the physical bodies of the people whom Jesus healed or raised from the dead?

What about those who were cured of leprosy, those who had their sight restored and the cripples who were healed? Scripture is silent, it didn't matter about the molecular processes that were taking place.

What mattered was this; Christ the WORD overruled the natural laws that he himself had made, people were transformed and God was glorified.

What was the molecular process that took place when Jesus walked on water, turned water into wine or fed the five thousand? Scripture is silent on this issue. Why?

Atoms, molecules and DNA are a great scientific discovery and we can benefit from this in many ways; however, their function is not central in the message of the gospel.

Here is the irony; the microscopic world of particles, atoms, molecules and DNA has existed ever since creation, it has always been present in the physical world, and yet it would seem that since man has discovered its existence, we have somehow discovered the origin of life. 

Christ the WORD, the eternal Son of God, the second person of the blessed Trinity, who existed before the creation of the universe, came into time and took on flesh.

This is hallowed ground; humanly speaking, and as far as science is concerned, He came into time and took on flesh, the eternal one took on a physical form that was made up of particles, molecules, atoms and DNA.

When we talk about the condescension of Christ our Saviour; this is what he did. He revealed his glory through his life and miracles.

The creator God of the universe became a man in order that he could identify with his fallen creation and provide salvation for mankind. And wonder of wonders; God the eternal son, will remain a man - the last Adam - for all eternity! We will gaze on him and be filled with wonder at his condescension.

1 Timothy 3 v 16

16 Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great; He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.

Baby In Manger

DNA - the big story

The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means - God with us.

It is hardly surprising then, that John had no difficulty in believing the creation account. He had lived on earth in the company of Immanuel the creator.

What wonderful insight Professor Lennox gives us regarding the DNA molecule - especially when we think of Christ the Word becoming flesh.

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