Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Christianity Is Based On Science and History

Everything about the Bible is scientific and historical.  What I grew up very often hearing is that the Bible is not a book about science, but where it speaks it is scientific.  That little homily stuck with me, but it undercuts the truth about the nature of the Bible and Christianity.  There is a lot to unpack here, but I want to explain enough for someone to get started.

Before I unpack, I would say that I believe more than the point of my title in that I also believe and think that Christianity itself is science and history.  I say the latter because the Bible is the final authority on scientific matters and it is the true story, what actually happened in history.  It brings in more elements than what mere human historians can do and in those historians not doing so, miss a lot of the point.

The Bible wants us to know that Christianity is scientific and historical by the way that it speaks or reads.  Right now I'm preaching through three books of the Bible, Acts on Sunday morning, Genesis on Wednesday night, and Matthew on two Sunday nights per month.  In my Bible class in school, 7th to twelfth grades, I'm teaching through Ephesians.  In home room, to start the day with the same 7th to twelfth graders, I'm going through the book of Revelation.   Following along with so many different books in a lot of detail, major themes of scripture impact.

We cut the Bible short when we remove the scientific and historical nature of the biblical message, and, therefore, cut Christianity short.  It is what I now understand as the bifurcation of truth.  The truth of Christianity and the Bible, one and the same, are diminished by separating those two from science and history.  It also changes the perception of truth itself, dividing truth into theology as separate from science and history.  State colleges have made a heyday over pushing the Bible to the arts side of the campus.

Everything in the present in scripture relates to the past.  If the past to which it speaks isn't true, that is, it isn't historical, then it doesn't make any sense.  It is also very often tied into the operation or function of the physical world, which some would categorize in the field of science.  I want to give you an example from every one of the books I'm teaching.  I'll go in the order of the English Bible.

Everything in Genesis 1-7, and I'm presently in chapter 7 of Genesis, relates to something before and after.  Genesis 1 lays out the universe and the earth from the beginning.  Genesis 2 elaborates on it, but also differentiates the world that was then from that which was after the curse.  After the curse, a whole new world emerges, different than the one of Adam and Eve, that brought an entirely different lifestyle.  It is hard to say whether the biggest scientific changes in the world occurred after the curse of sin or after the flood.  One would have to conclude after the curse, because that brought in death.  Death is still a scientific reality.

Agriculture changed in a drastic way after the curse.  Even though everything that God expected of man from the beginning continued after the curse, new responsibilities emerged as seen in the work of those in Genesis 4 and 5.  The flood dramatically changed the topography of the earth, the hydrologic cycle, the climate, and the weather.  Man's lifespan decreased in a drastic way.  All of this was theological as well, because God in both cases was judging sin.  He also revealed His grace in the salvation of Adam and Eve, the promise of the Messiah, and the deliverance of Noah and his family.

For a period of time, the world in its condition of Genesis 1:2 became the world again when water covered the earth after the flood.  God used the elements of the first created world to reform it into a second one, or perhaps better, a third one.  We still live in the third iteration of this planet, where the life spans have shrunk to what they are.  How we live directly relates to that historical event.  It gives us a perspective with that of the anger and justice and mercy and grace of God.  It all comes together, not in separate ways, but in a cohesive package.  Man proceeded from no death, to 969 years, to the present 70 to 100, the digression of the second law of thermodynamics.

The genealogy of Matthew 1 goes into history, the chronology, to reveal the fulfillment of the Old Covenant with the New.  Among several other details, certain specific women are highlighted to make a point from the historical record.  The virgin birth traces back to Genesis 3 and Genesis 12 and Isaiah 7.  The wise men, the kingmakers arose in the East, oracles of the divine plan, traceable to former and present historical events, especially as seen in the consternation of Herod.

Four different cities or regions weave into the story all with their separate and necessary histories, Bethlehem, Egypt, Ramah, and Nazareth.  Just Egypt alone brings in the Greek empire of Alexander the Great, resulting in a Jew friendly nation or region, welcoming of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus.  Caesar Augustus had sent the young couple to Bethlehem for a census or to pay a tax.  All of this and more proves Jesus as King.

Pontius Pilate, a Roman governor, defended the innocents of Jesus six different times, leaving the people guilty of murdering their Messiah.  They desired a murderer to be granted unto them.  However, this same Jesus, who they killed, God raised up, and in His name and through His power, a man lame from birth, who was sitting at a remaining Solomonic section of Herod's temple, was healed. It wasn't Peter's power that did this, but a living Savior in Acts 3.  There are these among other history.  These events must be believed.  The physiological condition of a man provides a basis for receiving a future King of an eternal kingdom.

Real Gentiles were relegated to the outer court of the temple, unwelcome into the inner court, the holy place, or the holy of holies.  They were far off.  They were the uncircumcised, lacking in an actual physical, medical procedure.  They could come near without the same proximity or surgery by the true, real historical blood of Jesus Christ in Ephesians 2.  Even if they didn't get access to certain Jewish places or even churches, they would have access to God through Jesus and by the Spirit.

The church of the Laodiceans located in a city with warm, sulfuric springs that were undrinkable.  The apostate membership of this church is pictured as the lukewarm tepid Laodicean water that Jesus would spew out of His mouth.  Real true, historical conditions on the ground portrayed their real, true present spiritual condition.

Everything in the Bible is history and science.  This world is not going to end with the freezing temperatures of a polar vortex, but the judgment of God by fire more devastating than the worldwide flood.

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