Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Dinosaurs and the Bible

Suppose you read a history book that said "John Kennedy said we should go to the moon, so we went to the moon."

Now, that would be a fairly accurate reporting of what happened, but it also omits a heck of a lot of important information, like "who", "why", and most importantly, "how".

The bible tells us that God created the universe and God created us, but like the example above it omits pretty much all of the details, especially "how".

Many people believe there's this conflict between science and religion because science has come up with a different narrative for the creation of life than the one found in Genesis. I don't see a conflict at all, but rather two different ways of telling the same story.

The Genesis writers were primarily concerned with telling the story of God's relationship to us. They tell us that God created us and God created the universe, but they make no attempt to get into the details of "how". Neither do they give us any indication of "who" or "what" God is.

Science, on the other hand, is completely concerned with the details of "how" man and the universe were created, but make no attempt to give the details of "why".

If you're reading the bible hoping to make it a book of science or history then you're going to be disappointed, it simply doesn't deal with those questions.

The bible is a collection of many different stories, written by many different people over an extraordinarily long period of time, trying to illuminate the relationship between God and man. They weren't even trying to account for the types of information one finds in books about history or science. It simply wasn't their purpose.

People who find a conflict between the bible and science or history are trying to make the bible something it's not, which means they're completely missing the point of the bible for what it is.

There's an incredible amount of valuable information in the bible, but if you're looking for the answer to where dinosaurs came from, or why the earth orbits around the sun, then you'll simply have to look elsewhere.

1 comment:

Nicole Bradshaw said...

This is a nice way of reconciling, I think - the distinction between why and how. It makes sense.