One of the books I read while looking into the relationship between science and faith was Science and the Bible, by Dr. Henry Morris. I would highly recommend this book for anyone trying to understand a reconciliation of the seeming contradictions between the claims of the Bible, and scientific discoveries.
Morris begins his book by stating that the Bible in fact contains many truths about the natural world, many of which were not even known to scientists until recent times, and he gives several examples. The first example he gives is the countless number of stars. In the past, several notable scientists have attempted to count how many stars exist (Ptolemy, Brahe, and Kepler to name a few); yet the Bible clearly states that the stars cannot be counted (e.g. Jeremiah 33:22). The Bible also compares the number of stars to the number of the grains of sand in Genesis 22:17. Now, scientists are continually finding more stars, and even more galaxies, and in fact have calculated that the number of stars is most likely comparable to the grains of sand on the earth.
Morris then discusses the shape and position of the earth in space, noting that not very long ago, people believed the earth to be square, or flat, or resting on top of something. Yet thousands of years ago, Isaiah spoke of “the circle of the earth” (Isaiah 40:22), and in Job 26:7, Job said that God “hangs the earth on nothing.” Such insights surely cannot be interpreted as mere coincidence or guesses, but rather point to the divine inspiration of the Bible. Dr. Morris then goes on to discuss such things as Solomon mentioning the cycle of wind, Job discussing the formation of water droplets out of the vapor of clouds, and the importance of blood as the “channel of life.”
Morris then discusses the issue of miracles as being “unscientific.” Many people point to the miracles recorded in Scripture as good reason to disregard the Bible as unscientific, or silly at best. Their argument is that miracles (such as the Virgin Birth or Christ’s resurrection) are scientifically impossible, thus any report of a miracle must be mistaken or false. Of course, miracles are, by definition, “scientifically” impossible – or rather, they set aside or defy general laws of nature. That is what makes them miracles. Morris argues that it is not so much that miracles are literally impossible across the board, but rather that God has indeed set down laws that bind the natural world, and God has the ability and prerogative to intervene in the natural order to affect a miracle if it serves His purpose. Thus, we would certainly expect miracles to be extremely rare, but must not go so far as to say they cannot happen. This is God’s world, he can intervene if he likes.
In the next post, I’ll conclude my summary of this book with Morris’ discussion of evolution, the global flood, and archeology.