In a Jack Black movie called Nacho Libre, a character says: “I don’t believe in God, I believe in science.”
It reveals an error in thought that some people have, as if you can’t believe in God if you “believe” in science. But the two are not opposites. This kind of statement usually comes from people who don’t really understand what the scientific method is, or from an over-confidence in what is meant by “scientific truth.”*
Scientific “truth” is what the majority of professional scientists currently think. There were things 100 years ago that were scientific “facts.” Today, they are not. In 100 years from now, people will most likely look back on today and be baffled at what we considered to be undisputed scientific “fact.”
I think that’s good to keep in mind whenever we hear people dismiss biblical stories because some don’t seem to be scientifically plausible. In my view, science is in a continual process of catching up to the Bible.
One example is the existence of Sodom and Gomorrah, cities some people doubt even existed, let alone the event recorded in Genesis 19:24: “Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah…”
Dr. Steven Collins at the Tall el-Hammam Excavation Project has found in this area—after dozens of seasons of excavation—items from the Middle Bronze Age that show “catastrophic high-heat indicators. These include a massive destruction layer of ash and debris caused by fire that features pottery melted at temperatures exceeding two thousand degrees Fahrenheit…”**
There are many times and situations when we need to wrestle with the interpretation or meaning of a passage. In the midst of that process let me say that increasing confidence in God’s word results in increasing confidence in God’s ways.
Don’t shy away from learning and discovery. Einstein said that “Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” God didn’t give us brains by accident. What if one of the reasons he did so was for us to grow in intelligence, faithfulness, love and wisdom—all at the same time.
Increasing confidence in God’s word results in increasing confidence in God’s ways.
–*For more on this topic visit my blog from 2017: Are science and faith opposites?
–**This summary is found in: Holy Land Illustrated Bible: A Visual Exploration of the People, Places, and Things of Scripture (Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers, 2020), 28.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.