Most of us have gone through times in our lives where our faith in God and Scripture were shaken. Perhaps something was presented to us that sparked a question we had never considered—a question that we had no answer to, and which, we thought, possibly didn’t have a good answer. And yet, the question was so fundamental to the Christian worldview as presented in Scripture, that not having an answer to it kept us up at night, and kept us searching until we found an answer.
Many have yet to receive an answer to that question that plagued us. Perhaps over time other such questions were raised to them as well—slowly chipping away at their belief. Statistics indicate that 20% of the youth in the Church are becoming irreligious upon leaving home, in large part due to questions about the validity of biblical Creation—not having seen the evidences for Christianity that validate it.
How can I know that God exists when I cannot observe Him with any of my senses? Must I blindly believe in Him? If the Universe demands an ultimate Cause, why doesn’t the Cause also demand a Cause? What caused God? And even if a god exists, how can I know which God He (or she) is? Why is the Creator not Allah, Buddha, or some other supernatural Being? How can I know that the Bible, as opposed to the Qur’an or Book of Mormon, is from God? Does the Bible contradict solid science, as so many claim? Is the Bible merely a collection of ancient myths and fables, not intended to be taken literally (e.g., the “giants” of Genesis 6)? How can Creation be true in light of the evidence for Darwinian evolution? Can they both be right—does the Bible leave room for evolution? And what about the age of the Earth? Doesn’t the evidence from radiometric dating (e.g., carbon dating), ice cores, canyon erosion, sediment deposition, petrification, and dendrochronology indicate that the Earth is millions of years old? How can the Earth be as young as Scripture indicates? Is there evidence of a global Flood as taught in Genesis 6-9, or must Scripture be re-interpreted to accommodate a local Flood—or no Flood at all? How could the millions of species on the planet fit on the Ark? If there was a Flood, how did the animals get to Australia afterward? How does the evidence from geology (e.g., Pangea; plate tectonics; etc.) fit with the biblical claims? Doesn’t the fossil record support evolution rather than Creation? How does the evidence for an Ice Age fit with Scripture? How could dinosaurs fit on the Ark? And even if they could, why doesn’t the Bible mention them? In the discipline of archaeology, doesn’t the evidence indicate there were stone, bronze, and iron ages, with ancient documented civilizations that have an unbroken line that can be traced back to a time long before the Tower of Babel and even the Flood? Doesn’t that contradict the biblical timeframe? Is Creation scientific—able to make actual scientific predictions that have been verified? How can we see light from stars that are billions of light years away if it took billions of years to get here? Doesn’t that prove the Universe is billions of years old? How did all of the skin colors come from only two people?
This is a mere sampling of the questions many of us have had. Imagine never receiving answers to any of them. What would that do to your faith? Come to the “Christians Can Be Confident about Creation” seminar as we answer these questions and many others—and be sure to bring others who need answers.
-by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.
During a Q&A period of one of my seminars, an atheist asked a question that I have often received when discussing science with naturalists: “How can faith (belief without evidence) be used to arrive at truth?” Atheists are often told by theists that belief in God is not about evidence. It is a blind trust, regardless of the evidence—“fideism.” The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “fideism” as “reliance on faith rather than reason in pursuit of religious truth.” By faith, they mean a “firm belief in something for which there is no proof.” To many in Christendom, biblical faith is such an idea.
Imagine an empty container representing the truth on a subject. A person “pours” evidence into the container, trying to fill it to the brim and arrive at the complete truth on a matter. When it comes to religious faith, however, according to many in Christendom, the container cannot be completely filled. The space that is left at the top of the container, between the evidence and the brim, must be filled in with blind “faith.” So, according to them, belief in God, for instance, rests ultimately, not on the evidence, but irrational faith.
In truth, the Bible does not so define faith. The Greek word for faith used in the New Testament (pistis) is not a mystical word only applicable when discussing religious faith. It is the Grecian word equivalent to the English words “belief” or “trust.” When we “believe,” “trust,” or “have faith in” someone, that faith is based on evidence. If a parent, for example, has proven himself to be trustworthy, we believe him. If we do not know a person and have no evidence to substantiate his integrity, to believe in him would be a blind (evidence-less) faith, which would be irrational and unwise. Scripture incessantly makes the point that we should come to a knowledge of the truth based on the evidence that has been provided to us. According to Romans 1:20, so much evidence has been provided to come to the truth of God, that not to come to the right conclusion is “without excuse.” We can know the truth—not merely accept it “on faith”—and it will set us free (John 8:32). We should test or “prove all things” before believing them, only holding to that which is good or right (1 Thessalonians 5:21). As did the “fair-minded” Bereans of Acts 17, God wants us to search for evidence that substantiates a claim before blindly believing it (verse 11). Since many false teachers are in the world, He tells us to “not believe every spirit, but test the spirits” before believing them (1 John 4:1). Unlike blind faith (i.e., fideism)—which pits itself against reason—Paul believed in establishing truth using reason (Acts 26:25). In fact, Jesus told His audience to not believe Him if He did not substantiate His claims with evidence (John 10:37).
The blind “faith” idea is unbiblical. The biblical portrait of faith would be more like evidence being “poured” into our truth container. The “evidence” rises to the top of the container and begins pouring over the top. Where “faith” comes in is when we look at the truth, verified by evidence, and choose whether or not to believe it. Most do not and will not (Matthew 7:13-14). It is their own choice, but it is not because God has not provided enough evidence to come to the truth. Rather, they have rejected the evidence which is readily available, due to their own personal motives.
As is always the case when I receive the question that the young man asked at the seminar, he was shocked when I respond that I do not agree that faith is “belief without evidence”—that the Christian faith is in fact demanded by the evidence. In the “Christians Can Be Confident about Creation” seminar, we will explore many of these evidences.
-by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.
 William Arndt, F.W. Gingrich, and Frederick W. Danker (1979), A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press), second edition revised, pp. 662-664.
It has been said that the Bible and science disagree—they cannot both be true. Those Bible believers who accept such assertions comfort themselves by acknowledging that the Bible is not a “science textbook” and, therefore, would not be expected to speak with accuracy concerning scientific matters. In truth, regardless of whether or not the Bible is a science textbook, geography textbook, English textbook, or any other type of book, if the Bible is inspired by the omniscient Creator of the Universe, it should be accurate in anything it says. When it touches on scientific matters, it should be perfect in its descriptions—and it is.
In fact, according to the Bible, God, Himself, instituted the field of science. When God created human beings on day six and told them to “have dominion” over the Earth and “subdue” it (Genesis 1:28), He was commanding mankind to do something that would require extensive scientific investigation and experimentation. If God founded science, why would science be at odds with His Word? When God, through His servant Paul, said in Romans 1:20 that His existence and some of His attributes could be learned from His creation, He was putting His stamp of approval on the scientific study of creation—“the things that are made.” When He said in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 to “[t]est all things; hold fast what is good,” He was essentially summarizing the scientific method. By encouraging humans to study “the works of the Lord,” He was endorsing science (Psalm 111:2). When God wanted Adam to name the animals, He instituted the field of biology (Genesis 2:19). When He highlighted to Job the natural laws that govern the Universe, He was encouraging the study of physics (Job 38:33). Job 12:8-10 emphasizes geology, while Psalm 19:1 and Genesis 15:5 encourage astronomy. Numbers 19 even delineates a basic recipe for antibacterial soap—chemistry in action. Solomon, in his inspired wisdom, endorsed the study of biological science, encouraging the study of eagles and serpents (Proverbs 30:18-19), as well as ants, badgers, locusts, and spiders (Proverbs 30:25-28). Jesus encouraged botany when drawing His audience’s attention to the lilies of the field (Matthew 6:28), seeds (Matthew 13:1-9,24-30), trees and vines (Matthew 7:16-20), and grass (Matthew 6:30); ornithology by pointing to the birds of the air as an illustration (Matthew 6:26); entomology when mentioning moths (Matthew 6:19-20); and zoology when discussing sheep, dogs, and swine (Luke 15:3-7; Matthew 7:6). In God’s sermon to Job in chapters 38-41, He chose to humble Job and instruct him by giving him a science lesson covering geology, cosmology, astronomy, physics, oceanography, nomology, optics, meteorology, and biology, including zoology, ornithology, entomology, herpetology, botany, and marine biology. Bottom line: God founded, endorsed, and even commanded science. Science is not anti-Scripture.
So, why the confusion? Some confusion comes from the nature of observational science: we cannot taste, touch, smell, hear, or see God, Creation, or the Flood. So the conclusion some draw is that biblical Creation is unscientific. While it is true that several aspects of the biblical model cannot be empirically verified since we cannot observe them today, the same can be said of several crucial steps in any naturalistic theory (e.g., the “Big Bang,” origin of life, origin of species, etc.). Such is the nature of “historical science”: deductive reasoning from indirect evidence must be used to substantiate a theory that concerns unobservable historical events, in the same way forensic scientists use science to investigate events that they did not personally witness. The biblical model, similar to any historical model, must be substantiated by indirect evidence, rather than direct. As we will see during the “Christians Can Be Confident about Creation” seminar, the biblical model is supported—demanded—by the evidence.
-by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.