Or, is it not more accurate to assert and to
affirm that the Bible was scientific when, as yet,
there was no science? If one were going to
debunk the Bible’s claim on any subject (or any
book’s claim), should one not at least know
what that book said, on any given subject?
What definitive statements relative to the
sciences does the Bible make, and, how—if
there are any—do those declarations square with
our knowledge of the modern sciences?
In his diatribe against the Bible, Russell Martin
represents the latest in Voltairian thought and
thinkers seeking to discredit God by way of
arrogant, ignorant appeals to science and the
“scientific method”, against biblical abstracts
that no Christian can ever prove (conclusively,
on their own merit), and certainly, no skeptic or
Bible scoffer can ever disprove, at this juncture.
We begin this look at Mr. Martin’s rant by
careful notation of his definition of God and the
Contending for the faith!
· God: “…at most, the embodiment of all natural laws…”, or so scientists think, he says. “Arbitrary” violation of those
laws, he continues, automatically implies a hopeless inconsistency, within Himself. In so many words, the Bible’s account of
miracles of nature “cannot be”. It is therefore a false book!
· The Bible: “…a primitive, outdated attempt to offer a reasonable outlook on the world…the cultural product of an age
whose time in the light of human history belongs only to the past”. Being “…a pious attempt to explain, guide and influence the
thinking and behavior of humans”, it is an ancient Book that belongs on the “antique shelf”. It is to him moreover, “…the
product of an enthusiastic but, ultimately unenlightened age…”, the object of our “curiosity” deserving of our respect only to
the degree that it sheds light on past cultures, but beyond that, a thing no longer worthy of our “appreciation”, unconditionally
or without question. So defined, then, at least one aspect of the Bible equation is solved: Per Mr. Russell’s definition, the Book
of books is at worst, historical!
Natural Phenomena subject only to Natural Laws
With those definitions in mind, as they establish the bounds and grounds of Mr. Martin’s thinking, he launches his verbal tirade
by observing that after 500 years of scientific achievement and advances, it is now commonly accepted and believed throughout
the “scientific community” that “all phenomena” (of nature) “can be adequately explained by various natural laws”. There is
therefore, he concludes, no basis for invocation of “Divine intervention” to rationally explain any. Among modern scientists,
there is this “unshakeable belief that arbitrary exceptions never occur in nature”. And, by and large, he is right.
As a rule “arbitrary exceptions” do not just randomly happen in nature (understanding that, thus, in so stating, the Bible’s plainly
stated intelligent, deliberate acts of God—which were never biblically sanctioned as “arbitrary”—are diminished to random
occurrences, in order to make his point!). By extension, however, in so many words, there is now no basis for belief in any of
the Bible’s miracles or acts that are in any way attributable to “God”. They never happened (furthermore, in ‘Martinian
thought’, scientific “belief” trumps, establishes, and/or confirms fact—even when that belief is itself without basis.). As
examples that flesh out his point, Mr. Martin alludes to Joshua’s account of the sun and the moon’s standing still, Elijah’s being
caught up in a whirlwind; Enoch’s, Jesus’ and Phillip’s disappearances and reappearances (one can only presuppose that these
events are what he has in mind, in terms of “science”). In so far as he does not subscribe to a ‘spontaneous generation of
matter’—any more than he is resigned to buy into the Bible’s creation account—one cannot but presume that he objects to the
theory of the Big Bang, as well. How ever will he do otherwise?
Divine Stimulus behind “Cause and Effect”
All in all, in the abstract excerpted from his book “When Science is Right and the Bible is Wrong”, Russell Martin fails to realize
that the Bible never speaks of any act of God, i.e., His miracles, as random acts that occur without a cause or trigger.
Therefore, they are not “arbitrary”. The Bible fully endorses the doctrine or theory that for every effect, there is a “cause”.
Thus, contrary to Martinian conclusion, the Bible never purports that any of its “miraculous” acts are spurious, or arbitrary.
Rather, the Cause, or, the Trigger (behind the ‘cause’ that led to a specific effect) is always the intelligent, thinking Hand of
Almighty God. Mr. Martin further fails to present, at least in this excerpt from his book, convincing evidence that could ever in
any way preclude the intervention of a Divine Cause or Trigger for events in nature that occur contrary to the normal course of
every day life. Since the act or acts to which he alludes occurred within the realm of what to us is the natural, it is not at all
inconceivable that these acts will therefore have, as he correctly postulates, natural explanations—a fact never denied by
scripture; evangelical/fundamentalist and other misinterpretations notwithstanding. The Bible simply states that the dynamics of
certain events and occurrences were set in motion by the Hand of the Almighty—which is and which means then, that in light
of the professed presence of a Divine stimulus, they are and were never meant to be perceived or viewed as arbitrary.
|An Exercise in Applied Bible Apologetics