I appreciate my friend, Rev. Mike Mitchell, especially his leadership at Christian Care Center and CASA, but his recent pastor’s corner piece invites a brotherly critique. He asserts that a problem exists with religious people pushing back against “scientific fact.” This may be true in a limited sense, but I question his argument and the examples used.
The article begins assuming that evolution is fact, explaining the natural world. He cites Genesis and particularly the “Garden event” as theological and moral, but not historical. The article concludes saying that the Bible and science occupy two, different realms: Science--the material world; the Bible--the theological and moral one.
To prove biblical misapplication, he cites Old Testament dietary laws, Sabbath sanctions and the Fall of man. God gave Israel certain ceremonial laws, some of which were dietary. He gave as examples the prohibition against shrimp and lobster. The bible does not offer a reason for these restrictions, but the New Testament removes them. (Mark 7:19)
In (Numbers 15:32) a man is found gathering sticks on the Sabbath. He is stoned to death by the community. This sanction was not applied consistently throughout Israel’s history, but here I agree with Mike in part, the stoning while historical, taught a spiritual principle, a most crucial one. This most severe penalty pointed to Christ’s atoning work to which we cannot add, not even a stick. The “Sabbath Rest” is found in Christ alone; we add nothing!
The third example cited mankind’s fall. Apparently, some conclude that Eve’s first-bite made her the more culpable. Some Christians may think this, but Eve is never blamed, only Adam. (1 Corinthians 15:22) reads, “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive.” Those who blame Eve don’t know their Bible.
Is the Bible a science book? No, it is not, but what it does say about the natural world is true. The Bible contains different genres of literature, but it claims inerrancy for itself. Some take expressions like the setting sun or rising moon as proof, but we use the same expressions today in our science-is-settled world.
We cannot prove that God created all things in six, literal days, as Genesis clearly teaches. Have Christians sometimes wrongly interpreted natural phenomena? Yes, but evolution can’t explain life’s origins, the lack of transitional fossils, irreducible complexities, to assert only a few of its many problems.
John Mathieu, Fort Payne
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