The Bible Is Not Consistent With Nature
Does the Bible teach things that violate the laws of nature?
THE CLAIMED PROBLEM: The Bible Has Teachings Inconsistent with the Laws of Nature
Many of the Bibles claims are inconsistent with the laws of nature. Humanists believe that those claims are both wrong and harmful.
First, what is the source of the laws of nature? Dr. Jason Lyle says it very plainly: Natural laws exist because the universe has a Creator God who is logical
and has imposed order on His universe - Dr. Jason Lisle
What we call "The Laws of Nature" are the power of God bringing order and holding all things together.
He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. - Colossians 1:17
Thus says the Lord, "If My covenant for day and night stand not, and the fixed patterns of heaven and earth I have not established... - Jeremiah 33:25
So to say that God's word, the Bible, is inconsistent with the laws of nature, is to say God is inconsistent with Himself. But, I dont think that is what the humanists are asserting
here. We'll need more information to know exactly what they mean. Let's continue reading the humanist web page. In the next few paragraphs they provide some examples to illustrate the problem.
Science and the Laws of Nature
As a result of human observation and experience, a fundamental principle of science is that the laws of nature do not change, cannot be violated, and have acted uniformly over time. According to paleontologist Stephen J. Gould, this uniformity or constancy of natural laws is the methodological assumption making science practicable.
Indeed, without the assumption that the physical world operates according to unchanging natural laws, there would be no use studying the world, conducting experiments, or otherwise learning from experience.
In a world not operating under unvarying natural laws, those acts would be useless because knowledge of past events would not provide guidance about what will happen in similar situations in the future. There would always be the possibility of supernatural forces intervening to alter outcomes from what would otherwise be expected to occur based on past experience.
Overwhelming evidence shows that physical events occur according to immutable natural laws. And an increasing knowledge of those laws enhances humankinds ability to predict future events and control human destiny.
We agree on something! God does uphold the universe so that it is consistent and unchanging. God's providential power, commonly referred to as "the laws of nature,"
are consistent and uniform, such that we know they are the same in the past, present, and future. And the humanists are right, we cannot do science unless this is true.
What Is The Issue?
It appears the problem is with supernatural miracles. The humanists are saying, that if there is a god, and that god intervenes supernaturally in the natural world at various times, that means we never know whether we are looking at natural events or supernatural events, and so science is impossible. But, we live in an orderly and predictable universe where science is possible,
so God must not exist.
There are so many problems with this that another book could written just be on this topic. Here are just a few:
I. If everything came from the chaos of the big bang, and became organizes through random chance. Then we have a universe based on randomness, with no assurance that the same laws
of nature: apply at every location in the universe, or that they were the same in the past, or will be in the future. An explosion and random chance do not generate order. For humanists to make the argument they are making is totally disingenuous.
II. It was the Christian worldview, which includes a God who is knowable and who maintains order and predictability, that allowed science to first blossom and then explode. Prior to the rise of Christianity in Europe, the gods were seen as capricious, fickle, and unpredictable. There was no reason to learn about the world because the gods could
just arbitrarily upset things at any time. Christianity is the stable foundation on which science has been built.
III. The humanists are employing circular reasoning. Notice on the previous page they attribute the knowledge that natural laws do not change to human observation and experience. The supernatural has been observed and recorded by humans. However, that knowledge is excluded from the humanists definition of human knowledge and experience. So, what they are saying is that, the record of observation and experience related to the supernatural is excluded from our observational evidence. Since there is no observational evidence for the supernatural, it never happened. Since it never happened, the record of supernatural events are excluded from our observational evidence. And around and around we go.
In responding to a letter by Frank
Nicholas published in the journal Nature, David Coppedge (Creation-Evolution Headlines, www.crev.info) writes:
If God did create life, all the efforts and funds to find a natural origin are doomed to failure. If evolution is false, then all the published papers about natural selections creating man from molecules are also false. By excluding intelligent causes, would Nicholas insist on a natural cause explanation for Stonehenge? Creation Matters, July/August 2017, page 10
We look at Stonehenge, and although there is no evidence of a builder, we know it was designed and built by humans. Why? Because it has specified order
we can see that it was designed. Is there any physical evidence revealing who built Stonehenge? No. So does that mean that Stonehenge is the result of natural causes? Of course not. Why not? Because just by looking at it we can see that it had to have been built by someone. Stonehenge obviously had a maker.
It is the same when we look at the world around us. All life has specified order, revealing that there was an intelligent maker. The universe itself is so fine-tuned that it is obvious it had a designer
a designer who used supernatural means to bring it into existence.
In other words, when we ignore the supernatural (an intelligent cause) as a possibility, we may have eliminated the very cause we are searching for. Instead we should actually do real science and follow the evidence wherever it may lead. And the evidence is that, 100% of the time, when we see specified order, there is an intelligent cause. And that cannot be ignored.
Correcting the Laws of Nature
If you are going to make a statement that certain observations are a "law," then include all relevant observations. The laws of nature should be as they are now stated, but with the following added: "Except when God determines, in very limited circumstances, it is necessary for Him to do something different."
"Oh no!" the humanists lament, "Now it will be impossible to do science! The universe is no longer uniform and consistent!"
That is such a low view of God. It relegates God to the status of an imbecile, and that is no god at all. God wants the universe to be uniform and consistent, so that we can understand it. It is God who is holding everything together so that it is all uniform and consistent. It is God who is the source of the laws of nature.
Our Supernatural God
Yes, God has intervened supernaturally in the past. But those occasions have been very rare. There have just been five major periods of time when God has supernaturally intervened in the world in ways that we might say violate the laws of nature. And during those times his intervention has been necessary.
Two of the periods of supernatural intervention were during the creation week, when God made everything, and during the time of Noah's flood. The three other times were during the days of Moses and Joshua, the time of Elijah and Elisha, and the time of Christ and the apostles.
Why was it important for God to act supernaturally during the time of Jesus' ministry? Because He was demonstrating that He (Jesus) is God. His doing things that only God can do. Through His supernatural miracles, Jesus demonstrated His deity and the truth of what He was saying that to be saved you must believe in Him.
There are also two periods of supernatural intervention that are coming in the future. One during the seven year tribulation and the return of Jesus, and the other at the end times when evil will be destroyed forever, and the heavens and earth will be destroyed and created new.
But, what about today? Could God act supernaturally today? Yes, He could, but He chooses not to.
Miracles today are providential miracles in which God uses people and events to accomplish His purposes, without intervening supernaturally.
Often when I'm talking with an atheist they'll say, "If God would only give me a sign... write 'Dear Fred, I Am God' in the sky, then I'd believe." Do they realize what they are asking for? Do they realize what would happen? They are asking for God to demonstrate He is real by doing a supernatural miracle for every person on the planet. That certainly would disrupt the natural order and produce a world filled with confusion. God doesn't do that. He is not a God of confusion.
Instead, God has created the universe so that He is revealed through what He has created. That means He has created an orderly, consistent universe that we can study and learn about from experience.
Is There Proof the Supernatural is Real? Yes!
Most New Testament scholars now believe that Jesus did in fact perform healings and exorcisms. Even many liberal scholars would say that Jesus drew large crowds of people primarily because of His ability to heal and exorcise demons Dr. Daniel Morris and Michael Greghorn, What Do Modern Historians Think?
The strongest evidence that Jesus miracles are real are the Gospel accounts themselves. Probably Jesus most incredible miracle was that of raising Lazarus from the dead. Lazarus had been dead and buried for four days. Buried long enough that his body had started to decay and stink. And there were many witnesses who could attest to this as a fact. Lazarus appears to have been a prominent man, as there were many people at his funeral.
When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped with cloth. Jesus said to them, Unbind him, and let him go.
Therefore many of the Jews who came to Mary, and saw what He had done, believed in Him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them the things Jesus had done. John 11:43-46
The Gospel of John was circulated during the lifetimes of the people who were at this funeral. The Jewish leaders in particular wanted to destroy Christianity. If the story of the resurrection of Lazarus was false, that would have quickly been revealed. And this is true for most of Jesus miracles. They were not done in secret. And the written reports (the four Gospels) were all publicly circulated during the lifetimes of eyewitnesses who could have refuted what the Matthew, Mark, Luke and John reported. But, none did.
CONCLUSION: There is nothing in the Bible that is inconsistent with the laws of nature. God made the laws of nature, and is the one who maintains them as unchanging. It is because of Christianity that Europeans realized the world is predictable and consistent, and could be studied.
NEXT: the humanist go on to explain: The Bible and Supernatural Events
By claiming that supernatural beings intervene in the world, the Bible opposes the scientific principle of natural laws operating uniformly and unvaryingly. As a result, the Bible discourages a scientific approach to problems.
Ahhh... so that's the problem. Humanists don't like the supernatural... because... well, it reveals there is a God. And if there is a God, they are accountable for their actions to that God... and that is not acceptable. Click here for more.