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God and Science

We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18

I saw a headline the other day, "New Discovery Proves the Bible." It was an article about a small inscription found in Israel that appears to be related to King David, in the Old Testament. Pretty neat. The comment section was exactly what you would expect: a bunch of Christians and Jews happy about it, and a bunch of trolls nitpicking and throwing shade.

As much as I love science and love learning about new discoveries, I think the article was wrong, and written from the wrong perspective, and I think the people commenting on it were all feeding the wrong perspective. Is it exciting when a discovery is made that ties into the Bible? Yes, but there is more to it than that.

Natural Science Discovers Natural Things

Natural science does not prove the Bible. It cannot. If you think it can, you are either misunderstanding the Bible or misunderstanding science, or probably both. Natural science is the study of the natural world. It is amazing. Natural science discovers something astonishing and mind boggling every day. Natural science finds things that are simply incredible. I love natural science.

But natural science is always going to find things that are natural. It will observe, experiment, and test the natural world, and make discoveries in the natural world. Natural science gives us the laws of nature, and tells us what to expect from the natural world around us.

Supernatural Things Are Not Natural Things

But as exciting as that is, natural science is never going to find the supernatural. It can't. The supernatural is not under a microscope, not hiding in the oceans, not view-able with a telescope. The supernatural is not natural and cannot be seen naturally. It does not follow the "laws of nature." If there is a supernatural force, natural science would be the last to look for it and would never find it.

So when people "prove" the Bible by making scientific discoveries, using the methods of natural science, they have not actually proven the Bible. If you cheer for natural science and believe it will someday prove the Bible to be true, then you are playing into the wrong hands. Natural science cannot prove the Bible, never will, and asking it to is to doubt the Bible.

Using natural science to prove your Bible actually diminishes the Bible. If you do that, you are in effect saying that natural science has the power and the right to discover and validate supernatural truth. And it can't. So it does a disservice to the Bible to use natural science as proof, and also missuses natural science in a way that will never succeed.

Different Starting Points

Natural science has discovered that matter cannot be created or destroyed. That is the first law of nature. The first words of the Bible say that God created matter. From the beginning the Bible is saying things that natural science disagrees with, and from the beginning, natural science says things the Bible disagrees with. They are both important, but they are talking about different things.

God's natural creation cannot be created or destroyed. But God can do it with a spoken word, supernaturally. Both statements are true, but you aren't going to prove it using natural science.

Natural science says there are no miracles. You can't create light by speaking, can't walk on water, can't part the Red Sea, can't create life from nothing, and can't raise the dead. Natural science has "proven" these things repeatedly.

The Bible says you are the proof. Your life, transformed from sin to righteousness, is the proof.

Everything else just plays the game by the rules natural science lays out. God does not follow those rules. He makes the rules. He says the proof is in what you allow him to do with your life, not what discoveries someone makes.

By all means lets keep doing natural science. I love learning about it. But don't give natural science more credit than is due. Do not put the Bible under a microscope to try to prove it. That is backwards, it gives authority to the natural world over the supernatural, instead of the other way around.

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