1. Testing Science and Science Courses by the
Word of God
What about scientific knowledge? Can we test even science by the Bible?
Do not some scientists claim to speak with authority about practically everything in the
universe? Wouldn't it be presumptuous for most Christians to test science by the Bible?
After all, few people know enough about science to be in a position to argue scientific
questions with professional scientists. Are we ordinary Christians competent to question
the opinions expressed by great scientists and published in the newspapers and on national
a. Jesus Christ is Lord of Science.
Remember that in Section A-2 we saw in Acts 10:36 and Ephesians 1:22 that Jesus
Christ is Lord of all. The word "all" in this verse means everything, including
science. So the Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour, is Lord of science.
The next logical question to ask is, Did Jesus say anything in the Bible
about science, about many things scientists are concerned with? Yes, He did. One day Jesus
was concluding one of His many disputes with the Jewish religious leaders, who boasted
that Moses was their prophet, the one they followed. But Jesus, in John 5:45-47, warned them
and us also:
not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is One who accuses you--Moses in
whom you trust.
if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me.
if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words.?"
What is the Lord Jesus saying here? He is saying that if we are to
believe Him, we must also believe the writings of Moses, His prophet. And what did Moses
write about first of all? He wrote in the first chapters of the Bible about God's work of
creation, in which He created all things by the Word of His power, from nothing, in the
space of six days, and all very good. So the Lord Jesus Christ has told us that we must
believe everything which His prophet, Moses, wrote with respect to science. We as
Christians believe what Moses wrote about history, and we also accept what he said
relative to scientific questions--because his writings in the Bible are the Word of God.
Our highest authority for believing what Moses wrote about creation as well as about
history and about God is the Lord Jesus Christ.
b. Summary: Christians, Believers in Christ and
the Bible, Walk by Faith.
This, then, is the most important reason that we who belong to Jesus
Christ believe in the special divine creation of all things by God. It is because of our
faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and in His Word the Bible. We do not believe in creation
because scientific evidence persuaded us, but because God commands us to believe. However,
God has graciously given us much evidence, scientific evidence in His creation all around
us, evidence which supports what He has told us in the Bible. Nevertheless, we will in
this life never gain enough knowledge about anything to be able to say that we now can
walk by sight and do not need faith. God has told us in II Corinthians 5:7, "We walk by
faith, not by sight." In the world to come, in heaven, we will be in the very
presence of Christ and will walk by sight. Until then, it is God's will that we walk by
Until that glorious day when we enter heaven, it is the faith which God
gave us by which we know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and our Saviour from sin. It
is also by faith that we know that the Bible--which told us about our Saviour and how to
trust Him to be saved--is indeed the Word of God. And the reality of the love, power and
presence of Christ in our souls by His Holy Spirit is the daily personal proof that our
faith is placed in the right One.
These facts of faith give us confidence to question and oppose those
ideas of scientists which contradict the written word of our God. Now let us look briefly
at what the Bible teaches about creation and evolution.
c. What Does Genesis Teach About Creation and
The first chapter of Genesis is a chronology of the six days of
creation. By "chronology" is meant that the chapter gives a history of the
events of the six days in the order in which they occurred. The second chapter is not a
chronology, but a summary with added details of the six days, plus things which took place
after the creation week. There are four different perspectives in these two chapters. The
first perspective has in view the entire universe, "the heavens and the earth."
The second narrows to the earth, and the third to the surface of the earth and God's
creation of living things on the earth. Finally, the closing verses of the first chapter
and all of chapters two and three emphasize the relations of God with man on the earth.
Now we will briefly indicate important teachings in the first two
chapters of Genesis, with pertinent verses listed.
(1) creation ex
nihilo (out of nothing). Genesis 1
(2) fiat creation
(by God's word, or command). Genesis
"kinds" created separate and to remain separate. Genesis 1: 11,12,21,24,25
(4) a perfect
creation. Genesis 1: 4,10,12,18,25,31
(5) the first
man, Adam, created separate from animals, an intelligent person, holy and in fellowship
with God, having a spoken language and the ability to classify and name the animals. Genesis 1: 26-27, 2:7-20
(6) the first man
Adam was "alone" in the garden and needed a "helper comparable to
him." Genesis 2:7-20
(7) the first
woman Eve created from side of Adam. Genesis
(8) A fallen
creation, ruined by man's sin and under the curse of God. Genesis 3
Is it not perfectly clear from these teachings of the opening chapters
of Genesis that the Bible excludes the idea of evolution from amoeba to man? There is
simply no way to accommodate the words of Genesis to the theory of evolution and
especially to the evolution of man from animal ancestors. Any scheme to read evolution
into Genesis robs words of their meaning. If the words of Genesis can be treated in this
manner, then all the rest of the Bible has no sure meaning or authority.
d. Christians Have An Advantage Over
As we have said before, the primary reason why Christians should believe
in the creation of all things in the beginning by God is our faith in Jesus Christ and in
His Word the Bible. The scientific evidence for creation and against evolution is a help
to our Christian faith, but faith must come first, for it is our faith which enables us to
understand what the evidence means. God gives understanding to those who trust Him, who
take Him at His word.
Consequently, scientists, teachers and other scholars who ignore or
reject the teachings in the Bible about the creation are missing vital truth. God, who
knows everything about the universe which He has created, has revealed facts about the
universe which cannot be discovered by means of scientific research. Furthermore, He
always tells the truth. Therefore, Christians who know and believe what God has revealed
in the Bible about His creation have an advantage over the unbelieving scientists.
Thus, secular scientists who do not believe the Bible almost all believe
that evolution is a fact. Because of this belief, many of them are attempting to discover
things which do not exist, or to promote theories which are false. Thus, they are wasting
their time. For example, some are attempting to discover or explain how life began by
chance chemical reactions on the early earth. But we Christians have a different belief.
We, by faith in the Bible as God's Word, know that life was created by God and did not
start by chance. Many evolutionary biologists are trying to discover or explain how one
kind of animal evolved into another kind--for example, how reptiles evolved into birds.
But Christian biologists know, by faith in God's Word, that this did not happen.
Therefore, some Christian biologists are studying the limits of genetic change. They are
interested in discovering facts of genetics, cell biology and molecular biology which
explain why one kind of plant or animal cannot evolve into another kind.
e. The Requirements for Being a Good Scientist
Now it is very important to remember that both the secular scientists
who believe in evolution, and the Christian scientists who believe in creation, can be
good scientists. They both must follow the rules of the scientific method. If they do
this, then it is not what they believe, but the quality of their scientific thinking and
research which makes them either good scientists, or not so good. The results of their
experiments must be reproducible by other scientists, and their conclusions must survive
rigorous criticism and experimental testing. If this is so, then they are doing good
science, regardless of whether they believe in evolution or in creation--or in little
green men from Pluto.
f. Science: What It Is, Its Limitations, Its
Relation to Faith
1) What Is Science?
Let us begin by stating a concise definition of science and listing some
of the basic rules of the scientific method.
Science is human experience systematically extended(by intent, method,
and instruments) for the purpose of observing and understanding more about the natural
world, and to test critically all of our ideas and theories about the natural world.
Some rules of the scientific method are:
1. The data of science is reproducible empirical data, i.e.,
reproducible observations of the natural world.
2. Scientific hypotheses must be empirically testable; i.e., they must
3. Scientific hypotheses cannot refer to any immaterial or supernatural
thing, influence or activity.
4. The scientist must make his experimental procedures, data and
conclusions available for study and criticism by his peers.
Sir Peter Medawar, a famous British scientist who was a Nobel Laureate
in biology, once said, "There is nothing more to science than its method..." He
was right. Science is simply a method which fallible humans can use to study the natural
world. It is also a way by which they may test their ideas about the natural world, in
order to correct or replace those ideas which are not correct. Human experience in the
natural world is known through our five or so natural senses(sight, hearing, touch, taste,
smell...) By "natural world" is meant everything in the universe which can be
observed or measured by our natural senses or by the physical instruments which we use to
help and extend our senses. For example, microscopes and telescopes extend what we can see
with the unaided eye. Magnetic compass needles and sensitive electronic equipment can
detect and measure magnetic and electrical influences in space around us which our senses
cannot detect at all. Thus scientific investigation is a special kind of human experience.
It begins with observation by the natural senses of things in the natural, the material
Usually when a scientist begins an investigation he already knows quite
a bit about the subject matter. His curiosity may have been aroused by some known fact, or
perhaps an unanswered question occurs to him. Or a scientist may conceive a possible
explanation for what has been observed. His research program then will be directed toward
testing his explanation, his "hypothesis," to see if it agrees with the real
situation in the world.
It may be that a practical problem needs solving. For example, when the
automobile industry was developing, the engines using gasoline were made larger and more
powerful. In order to get more power from smaller engines and greater fuel efficiency, the
compression ratio was increased. But this increased the temperature in the cylinder and
caused detonation or knocking, which decreased engine efficiency and damaged engines. This
problem led to scientific research to determine the cause of detonation and how to prevent
Much new scientific knowledge has resulted from tinkering, observing,
thinking about what the observations mean, asking questions, imagining new explanations
for what has been observed, and seeking answers by new experiments. Probably the most
powerful motive for scientific research is the human desire to understand the deep
fundamental causes of things.
A scientific hypothesis is an explanation of how observed data relate to
each other and to accepted scientific concepts, laws and theories. What may be called
"the central policy of the scientific method" is the requirement or rule that
all scientific hypotheses must be testable, "falsifiable." How is a hypothesis
tested? First, it must be designed so that deductive reasoning can be used to predict the
results of new experiments. That is, if the hypothesis deals with the natural world and is
correct, then under controlled conditions, it can be reasoned logically, i.e., predicted,
that certain new observations or experiments should produce particular results. Second,
the new experiments or observations are performed and the results recorded. If the results
agree with predictions based on the hypothesis, then the hypothesis has survived a test.
That the hypothesis survived this test provides support for the correctness of the
hypothesis. We say that the hypothesis has been corroborated--but not "proved."
On the other hand, if the experiment gives results contradictory to the prediction, the
hypothesis has failed the test. It may not be correct. It has not been corroborated. More
experimental tests will follow.
A scientific hypothesis in the course of time usually undergoes many
experimental tests, whether or not it either survives or fails early tests. Repeated
failures will probably lead to the rejection or rejection of the hypothesis. Then other
hypotheses will be dreamed up and tested. If some tests are passed and some failed, the
hypothesis may be modified. A long string of passes leads to the further development of
the hypothesis, and it may eventually become accepted as a theory of science.
Nevertheless, all concepts, laws and theories in science are always open to review based
on new evidence. No scientific knowledge is absolutely certain of being permanent. New
information may lead to changes in accepted knowledge at any time in the future.
So science is a method of investigating the natural world of space,
time, matter and energy. The scientific method cannot be used to investigate anything
which is immaterial. It proceeds by observation with the natural senses which can be
extended by means of physical instruments. Furthermore, scientific reasoning can only be
based on observations which are reproducible. This is because the final authority in
science is the facts of nature. The basic facts in science are the facts which can be
observed over and over again by any scientist who wants to check up on what another
scientist reports. If any scientist reports observations which no other scientist can also
observe under the same conditions, his work will come under careful review to find out who
is making a mistake. Furthermore, any hypothesis advanced by a scientist is open to
criticism and experimental test by other scientists. Thus the scientific method is
designed to make science self-correcting.
From the above discussion of the scientific method it can be concluded
that science does not discover absolute Truth. Rather, the scientific enterprise aims at
developing a continually broader, deeper and, hopefully, more accurate knowledge and
understanding of the natural world.
2) What Are the Limitations of Science?
a) Science cannot investigate anything immaterial.
Science cannot investigate anything which is moral, ethical or
supernatural. One reason for this is that neither our natural senses(vision, hearing,
taste, smell, touch, etc) nor scientific instruments can detect or measure non-material,
spiritual, supernatural things or influences. There is another reason that science cannot
investigate anything that is supernatural, spiritual. God is the infinite-personal Spirit,
and his angels and also Satan and his demons are personal spirits. Personal beings have a
will of their own and cannot be depended on to behave tomorrow the way the did today. They
do not function under the control of natural laws as does everything in the natural world.
But the scientific method only works with phenomena which function in accord with natural
law and are therefore reproducible. But science is limited to studying only that which is
reproducible under controlled conditions. For all of these reasons science can have
nothing to say about anything which is immaterial, supernatural or spiritual, moral,
ethical or philosophical.
b) Science Is Neutral to Ethical, Moral and Spiritual
On the basis of the above discussion we can conclude that science,
because it is nothing more than a method for studying the natural world, is neutral with
respect to questions about things supernatural or spiritual, moral, ethical or
philosophical. It therefore is also neutral to the question of what scientists, teachers
or students of science should or should not believe. Science therefore should be open to
participation to any kind of believer or unbeliever who is willing to abide by the rules
of the method of research.
3) Authority in Science
Science is not authoritarian. That is, scientific facts and truth are
not determined on the authority of what a great scientist believes to be true. Nor by what
a majority of scientists or all scientists believe to be true. No, the final authority in
science is the observed, reproducible scientific data. The power of any scientist to
establish anything to be a scientific fact is his ability to demonstrate the scientific
data which support his claim. A scientist with a great reputation based on his previous
research may be able for a time to persuade others to accept a particular claim. But in
the end, if he cannot call suitable empirical data to his support, his claim will come
under suspicion, experimental testing by other scientists and, finally perhaps, suffer
rejection as being unfounded.
It is important for Christian students to understand this fact that
science in not authoritarian. This fact means that in science all claims, reports,
opinions and theories can be questioned, criticized, and evidence demanded. It means that
Christian students have no need to feel intimidated by unbelieving scientists who reject
or ridicule the faith of Christ or the teachings of the Bible.
4) Quality and Equality for Christians in
Remember this: Christians who are students or workers in science,
education or any other field of scholarship must insist on and defend their right to equal
opportunity to take part. They must resist any effort to use criticism of their Christian
faith as a ground for judging their work. They must insist on being judged on the basis of
the quality of their work. In order to hold and defend this strong position they must do
quality work. They must also be well informed on what science is and what it is not, so
that they can challenge any false teaching about the nature of science.
2. Testing History Courses by the Word of God
History is both an intriguing and, especially for Christians, a very
important subject. The anti-Christians who dominate the tax-funded public schools,
colleges and universities, and likewise the publishers who produce textbooks also know how
important history is. They know that Christianity is unique among religions in that it is
rooted in history--the history of God's acts of divine grace and power in this world. They
also know that the early founders of America were Christians who laid biblical principles
in the foundations of our nation. Therefore, by altering history they can rob students of
the knowledge of the history which supports the claims of the Christian faith. They can
also deny them knowledge of the history of the Christian foundations of America. For more
than sixty years authors of public school history books have been erasing Christianity
from the history of America. As a result of this sabotage of the American mind, there is a
vast ignorance of history among our people. This ignorance has in particular made it
easier for the anti-Christians to carry the United States into what they call the
a. What Is History?
Let us begin with a definition of history. History is a chronological
record of human events, with an explanation of causes and relationships. Remember that in
science the data is reproducible observations of the natural world. In Christian theology
the data is the contents of the Bible. What are the data of history? The primary and most
fundamental data of history are eye witness accounts which have been recorded in written
form. These records may be in the form of letters, books, newspapers, legal documents,
statements carved on ancient monuments, or any other kind of written information which
gets preserved in the course of human events. Secondary historical data consists of all
sorts of artifacts produced by human activities--the remains of buildings, streets,
furniture, tools and implements, food stuffs, and any and all kinds of effects which human
activities leave to be preserved in some form. Archaeologists discover much of this kind
of material as they dig into ancient ruins and the mounds left of ancient cities and
civilizations. However, the primary data of history still is the written accounts of eye
witnesses and actual participants in the events.
b. What Is the Christian Perspective On History?
The Christian perspective on history is determined by the prime source
of historical information--the Bible. The very beginning of history had only one witness,
God. Only God who created man can tell us how it happened. In the first chapter of Genesis
God tells us that the human race did not begin by evolving from some tribe of apes. No, as
we outlined it in the previous section on Science, God created one man, Adam. From this
man have descended all the peoples throughout the history of humanity. First, Eve was
created from the side of Adam, and then from them all of us descended by natural
generation. This is the Christian perspective on the beginning of history.
The principal themes of history are also laid out in God's Word the
Bible. They are the following:
1) The fall of
our first parents, Adam and Eve, from their original state of holiness into the state of
sin and misery. This happened by their disobeying God's command not to eat the fruit of
the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When Adam disobeyed God, the entire race was
in him and fell with him into the state of sin.
2) The redeeming
work of God to restore man to a state of holiness, which was foreshadowed when God shed
the blood of innocent animals and covered the nakedness of Adam and Eve with their skins.
The redemptive work culminated in the substitutionary death of Christ and His bodily
3) The sovereign,
active involvement of God in human history as He works out His plan of redemption for the
human race. He rules over all kingdoms, kings, nations and peoples, bringing His purposes
4) The election
by God of His own people from among the peoples of the fallen, rebellious human race,
beginning with the patriarchs (Genesis 1-26), continuing with Israel (Genesis
27 and the remainder of the Old Testament), and concluding
with the Christian Church of the New Testament age.
5) The judgment
of Adam's sinful race by a worldwide Flood (Genesis
consummation of all things when God puts down all human rebellion, brings this age to an
end, judges the world, and institutes the eternal heavenly bliss of His redeemed ones from
all of history. All things in heaven and earth will be brought together in Jesus Christ
who is Lord of all.
c. What Is the Secular(non-Christian)
Perspective On History?
The secular perspective on history is in complete contrast with the
biblical perspective. It begins with anti-Christian assumptions and depends for the most
part on anti-Christian interpretations of data. The main themes are as follows:
1) The exclusion
of God from history: The part of God in history is totally ignored, other than as assorted
mythologies which ignorant ancients were foolish enough to dream up and believe.
biological evolution: This approach to history often begins in the first chapters of world
history textbooks, with humans evolving from some species of ape. The first humans are
depicted as apish, ignorant creatures which are slowly rising upward toward true humans
out of an animalistic condition. This theory of human physical evolution is taught as a
dogma to be believed, not as a theory but as a fact of history.
evolution: Having begun with the theory of human biological evolution, many history books
go on to teach cultural evolution as fact. Human language is supposed to have evolved
slowly from animal noises. In fact, every element of human culture is said to be a product
of evolution. This is called "cultural evolution." Therefore, the entire history
of humanity is considered to be just a part of the history of evolution. First came
biological evolution from ape to humans, then cultural evolution of everything which
characterizes modern man.
4) A completely
materialistic, amoral view of man and of history: It is assumed that there is no absolute
standard of moral right and wrong, of good and evil for either individuals or nations.
depreciation of religion in history: This applies particularly to the biblical Christian
faith. Starting back in the 1920s, the authors of American history books began to leave
out much of the Christian influence in the founding of America. The Pilgrims and Puritans
were falsely portrayed and even ridiculed.
6) The promotion
of humanistic and collectivistic political and social theories, systems and leaders:
Franklin Roosevelt has been falsely depicted as the saviour of America from the Great
Depression. His welfare programs have been glorified, but the destructive effects of the
deficit spending which he initiated have been ignored.
7) Making America
look bad: The United States is falsely called "imperialistic." The huge gifts of
foreign aid to nations around the world ever since the Second World War are ignored and
forgotten. Free, democratic America is made the moral equivalent of the Communist Soviet
Union. The two are made to be equally good and bad. The United States is often made to be
the major source of evil influence in the world.
8) Making western
civilization look bad: A prominent slogan at influential Stanford University in recent
years has been, "Western Civ has to go."
While there is much that is bad in any civilization, because humans are
sinful, it is folly to ignore and discard what is good. The real target for this revision
of attitudes is the Christian influence and Christian institutions in western
civilization. Having painted it all with the same black brush, the new history promotes
the idea that the non-Christian Eastern societies and systems of government must be
better. So let's leave the students ignorant of the history of Western Civilization and
have them study the history of Eastern Civilization.
d. Neutralizing the Secular Approach to History
It is not unusual for a Christian student to be confronted in a textbook
or in the classroom with ideas which are clearly contrary to the fundamental doctrines of
the biblical faith. History is often taught in accord with some or all of the elements of
the secular approach to history which was outlined in Section c above. How should a
Christian respond to such a challenge to his or her faith?
1) Do your homework.
A Christian student confronted in the classroom with the secular view of
history is at a disadvantage if he does not know some things which the teacher probably
does not know. Christians should be motivated to neutralize or counteract anything which
is against their faith, but this requires some knowledge of the Christian side of the
subject under discussion. Therefore, Christian students attending a secular school,
college or university have some extra homework to do. Here are some types of historical
information which are helpful or even necessary tools for neutralizing the secular
a) The basic framework of biblical history.
This comes first and is absolutely essential. A Christian who does not
know the Bible is like a soldier who does not know what his weapons can do or how they
work. If a soldier knows his weapons, he can use them--if he has confidence and courage.
Thus, to have Bible knowledge is not enough. Christians must have confidence in the
Scriptures as truth, God's truth. And they must have the courage to use that truth and
direct it against error--right out in the open, in the classroom.
b) The basics of archaeological support for biblical
There is a vast body of evidence from archaeology which confirms the
accuracy of biblical history. It would not take too much work to get in hand a few
striking examples of archaeological confirmation of historical events recorded in the
Scriptures, in both the Old and New Testaments. Some of this information is very valuable
whenever the historical accuracy of the Bible is attacked. And such attack is likely if a
Christian refers to Bible history in a secular classroom.
c) Some knowledge of the place of Christianity in
American, British and European history.
This is where history becomes really interesting for Christians. This is
the kind of knowledge which has largely been erased from history books in American schools
for the past fifty years or more. It is available, however, in libraries and Christian
bookstores. It almost seems that a Christian student in high school or in college needs to
be a scholar in advance. Hey, let's turn off the stupid TV and do some good reading. Learn
about the great heroes of Christian history--John Wyckliff who at the risk of his life
translated the Bible into English in the 13th century, Jan Huss who died at the stake for
exposing the errors of the Roman Catholic Church in Czechoslovakia, and Martin Luther who
struck the spark which ignited the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century.
Read about William Tyndale who spent his adult life an exile in Europe
translating the Bible directly from Greek and Hebrew into English in the 16th century. He
had the New Testament secretly printed and then smuggled into England, where it was
eagerly bought up and read by the English people. Hunted down and captured in Belgium by
the spies of King Henry the 8th, he was turned over to the merciless leaders of the Roman
Catholic Church. He was convicted of teaching Bible doctrines condemned by the Roman
Church. His sentence was to be strangled and then burned at the stake. Standing before the
stake in the presence of his churchly persecutors and a crowd of the common people,
Tyndale cried out his last prayer on earth to God, "O, God, open the King of
England's eyes." Two years after Tyndale's death, his prayer was answered when Henry
the 8th ordered the English Bible published in a version in which most of the New
Testament was the translating work of William Tyndale.
Read of the humble Pilgrims and the Puritans who came from England to
found America, giving themselves wholly to the cause of Christ in the New World. Read the
early documents of government in the American colonies which quoted the Bible and stated
that the law of God in the Bible was the ground for law and government in America. This
history and the biographies of these and many other men and women of God make for
thrilling reading. Christian students who fill their minds with this kind of historical
truth, will have both the knowledge, the motivation and the courage to stand up for truth
and against error or prejudice in the classroom. And they can do this in a responsible,
informed way which gives glory to God. What are we Christians here for, anyway? This world
is filled with darkness. Let's let our light shine for Jesus!
d) The Importance of Reading, Listening and Thinking
As we saw earlier in the opening section on why we believe what we
believe, God has given us truth with which we Christians can test everything we read and
hear. It is as if we have special glasses which, if we use them, enable us to see and
understand things of which unbelievers are unaware. They enable us to separate truth from
error. We use these wonderful truth glasses, when we practice the art of critical
thinking, comparing everything with the truth God has given us in His Word the Bible. This
is what Christian students should do as they read and listen to what the world offers
2) Some Important Tactics for Christian Students
Here are some important tactics which can help Christian students to
neutralize the secular perspective in history and social studies:
a) Recognizing, Identifying the Secular Errors
If a Christian student has been practicing the art of critical thinking,
the errors of the secular approach to things will become evident. Things for which to be
on the alert include factual errors, logical inconsistencies, unprovable assumptions of
fact and philosophy, biases and prejudices, hidden agendas, and outright propaganda.
Critical thinking which uses biblical truth tests and basic knowledge of history will
enable Christian students to recognize and identify these secular errors.
b) Asking Intelligent, Probing Questions.
Then there will come opportunities in the classroom or in written
reports and themes, or in classroom discussions and debates to ask intelligent questions.
Questions can be asked which expose factual errors, logical inconsistencies, questionable
assumptions and hidden agendas, etc. How can any teacher who is worthy of the title
complain against this kind of intelligent, responsible, respectful questioning. After all,
does not a good teacher want to encourage all students to think for themselves and to
participate intelligently in classroom discussion? In particular, the deletion of
Christian influence(or religious influence in general) from history, and any effort to
ridicule or denigrate the part played by Christians in history, is a distortion of history
which belongs in no classroom. Any adaptation of history to promote one world view over
others is unacceptable in a history class. These and other such errors can be challenged
by students who are prepared to ask appropriate questions. In history as in science, it is
the pertinent facts--all of them--which are the final ground for correct understanding.
c) Demanding Evidence, Proof.
Any student worth his or her salt will want to have some confidence that
what is taught is really correct, true, and not just the personal opinion of an author or
teacher. If the factual correctness of something taught is questionable, it is right to
ask for evidence, for proof. If such evidence or proof is not available, the idea can
rightly be labeled as opinion or hearsay. A Christian student who properly uses this
tactic in the classroom can help all of the students to do their own thinking.
3. Testing Social Studies by the Word of God
The term, "Social Studies," is a broad category in public
education. Included in its scope are the following subject areas: the
humanities--literature, the arts (painting, sculpture, architecture, music, drama, dance),
social groups, political institutions, linguistics, archaeology, law, history of religion;
comparative world religions; anthropology; psychology; sociology; the civil rights
movement, comparative government; U.S. government; economics.
A little thought will lead one to the conclusion that our biblical
Christian faith impacts on most of these subject areas. Therefore, it should not be
surprising if anti-Christian ideas appear in courses in these subject areas. Consequently,
Christian students should be prepared to deal with them and bear witness to the truth as
the opportunity arises. We will consider just a few of the more important possibilities in
particular subject areas.
a) Some Questions for History Classes
(1) Since the
fossil evidence cannot prove that humans evolved from animals, why does the history text
present this controversial concept as historical fact?
(2) Since the
theory of human evolution is taught in the text, should we not also consider the
scientific evidence against evolution?
(3) Since the
historical evidence cannot prove that all religion had its source in ancient mythology,
why does the text teach this as fact?
(4) Should not
the historical evidence for the reality of God and the reality of God in history which is
contained in the Old and New Testaments also be considered? If not why not?
(5) Since the
historical validity of the biblical historical data have been here denigrated, should not
some of the historical and archaeological evidence supporting the historical accuracy of
the Scriptures also be considered? If not, why not?
(6) I note that
the text teaches cultural evolution as fact. Why is it, then, that there is no evidence to
prove that man was ever less than man?
(7) For example,
why is it that no really satisfactory theory for the naturalistic evolution of human
speech from animal sounds and of the human physiological capacity for speech has yet been
(8) If the
naturalistic, amoral view of human history promoted by this textbook is correct, why is
the Nazi persecution of the Jewish people considered to be so heinous? After all, in an
amoral universe, does not might make right? Does not naked, brutal force become the final
arbiter of right and wrong? Without absolute moral law from the Creator, who can prove the
brutal persecutor is wrong?
(9) Why is it
that this textbook says so little--and that somewhat defamatory--about the place of the
biblical Christian faith in the founding of America?
(10) If Franklin
Roosevelt's "New Deal" program was such a great response to the Great
Depression, why is it that the nation was only really lifted out of the Depression by the
arrival of World War II?
(11) If the
Swedish cradle-to-grave-paternalistic socialist system is so great, why is it that Swedish
society is now literally falling apart, sinking into immorality and purposelessness?
(12) If America
is the moral equivalent of Communist Russia and actually a "Great Satan" as
Khoumene alleged, why is it that the repressed peoples of the world, including the Russian
people, all look to America as the example of free democratic society which they want?
(13) Is it not
actually morally perverse to try to make America out to be the moral equivalent of
"Western Civ has to go," what better is there to replace it with, taking all
things into account? Who, after objectively weighing the advantages and disadvantages of
the competitors, will volunteer to go into this visualized replacement for western
(15) If the
Christian core is gutted from western civilization, will it end up finally any better than
the worst we can see in the world today?
In sociology courses (also in history courses) the idea of a
"pluralistic society" may well come up. The molders of public opinion have for
several decades been promoting the desirability of a "pluralistic society."
Supposedly this means that all cultures, all races and ethnic groups, all religions and
belief systems, and all kinds of life styles should freely and peacefully coexist in the
same society. The U.S. Constitution does provide for this kind of free and open society in
America. However, those who seem most zealous advocates of a pluralistic society often
seem to be distinctly anti-Christian. Thus they speak of this as the "post-Christian
era." They also seem bent on removing or preventing all Christian influences in our
society. The great cry has been "separation of church and state." So in the
1950s prayer and the Bible were forced out of the public schools. But Eastern and New Age
religious ideas are now being taught in many public schools. So it seems that
"pluralistic society" really means "pluralism minus one." That is, all
beliefs are to have equal opportunity--except one. Bible Christianity is to be suppressed.
Why? Because biblical Christianity is founded on the doctrines of the uniqueness of Jesus
Christ as God the Son, the only Saviour of a sinful, condemned humanity. This uniqueness
of the faith of Christ was what got the first century Christians into trouble in the Roman
What should be the response of Christians to the pluralistic society
idea? How should a Christian student in a history or social studies class deal with it?
The question-asking tactic can be used to good account here. For example, one might ask
the following or related questions:
(1) Does the
biblical Christian faith have an equal place of influence in the pluralistic society? If
not, why not?
(2) Do Christian
citizens have an equal right to apply their belief system and values in public policy? If
not, why not?
(3) Where is the
idea of "separation of church and state" found in the U.S. Constitution? (Note:
This concept is not in the Constitution, but it was enunciated by Thomas Jefferson, who
was no friend of evangelical Christianity.)
(4) Was the First
Amendment to the U.S. Constitution designed to protect the State from the Church, or the
Church from the State?
(5) Why is it
that New Age concepts and practices and ideas of Eastern religions are being taught in
some public schools?
(6) If the
secular amoral position on sexual practices and sexual orientation are taught in the
public schools, should not the alternate biblical Christian position based on absolute
moral law and personal responsibility before God also be discussed in a balanced manner?
If not, why not? Does it not violate the constitutional rights of Christian students when
they are indoctrinated with biased propaganda for social behaviors which contradict their
(7) Do citizens
who hold to Christian beliefs have equal right to advocate and promote solutions to
societal problems which accord with those Christian beliefs, along with those citizens who
advocate and promote solutions to societal problems which accord with their non-Christian
beliefs? If not, why not?
(8) Is it true
that "Western Civ has to go?" If so, why?
(9) Is it not
true that the peculiar blessings of our society over all others in the modern world have
their roots in the biblical Christian faith of our founding fathers? Can this free society
long endure if our nation as a whole turns away from the faith of Christ and reverts to
Eastern pagan religions?
The term "psychology" comes from two Greek words, psuche(soul)
and logos(word or knowledge), and so means "study of the soul." But most
psychologists and authors of psychology texts do not even believe in the existence of the
immaterial soul. The ground principles of practically all psychology textbooks are
materialism and evolutionary theory. A Christian student who has control of some of the
scientific evidence showing the weaknesses and failures of evolutionary theory and who
understands something of the emptiness of the materialistic world view can raise some
questions which throw light on the secular view of human psychology. Here are a few such
(1) What is the
source of personal human nature? (Answer: Science cannot tell us, so we are shut up to
either ignorance or faith.)
(2) Is there any
scientific evidence that material atoms possess the attributes of personal nature(i.e.,
intellect, affections, moral capacity and will)? (Answer: No.)
(3) Is there any
scientific evidence that spontaneous chemical reactions can impart personal nature to
matter? (Answer: No.)
(4) In view of
our ignorance of any naturalistic origin for personal human nature, is it not entirely
reasonable to believe that personal human nature was miraculously(i.e., by
non-naturalistic process) imparted to matter, i.e., to the material body of the first
(5) Are not the
Christian New Testament principles for human character and relationships the ideal model
for human beings to imitate? If not, what model is better and why?
d) Sex Education or Family Life Courses
Courses in sex education or "family life" are now common in
the public schools. They almost always give instructions oriented to a non-moralistic,
humanistic, pluralistic concept of society and human relations. The concept of universal,
absolute moral law is rejected and replaced with some form of "situation
ethics." "Situation ethics" is the name given to the idea that what is
ethically or morally right and wrong varies with the situation and the personal opinions
of the people involved. It is also called "the new morality," but in fact it is
just the old immorality.
Specifically with respect to sexual practices, students are taught that
the two prime goals are to avoid infection with sexually transmitted diseases and prevent
unwanted pregnancy. According to this view, "accidental" pregnancies can
properly be corrected by means of abortion. In some more traditional school districts
where Christian citizens have more influence, the concept of abstinence outside of
marriage is taught, not usually however on the basis of moral law.
One of the new ideas sometimes taught in these courses is that the
"traditional nuclear family" is now outdated. This term refers to a normal
family composed of one husband, one wife, and their children. Now, however, a man and
woman living together without marriage, or homosexual and lesbian couples(two men or two
women) who live together are to be considered to be families. Along with this goes the
idea of homosexual and lesbian marriages. With this it is also logical to teach that it is
only right that such "marriages" should include the same legal rights as
How should Christian students respond to such ideas as these in the
classroom? First, as has been indicated in our previous sections devoted to other subject
areas, Christian students must know what they believe, based on correct knowledge of the
Bible. Then they must be willing to be different, right out in public, in the
classroom--but always in an informed, sensible, respectful manner. Once again the tactic
of asking penetrating questions is probably the best one. In the course of asking
questions a Christian student can get across some of his or her Christian faith, and also
in any classroom discussion which takes place. Here are some possible questions:
(1) Do Christian
citizens, including Christian students in this classroom, who believe in the rightness of
the traditional family have equal right to advocate and promote their view of what
American society should be? If not, why not?
(2) The historic,
biblically sanctioned marriage between a man and a woman, producing a traditional
family--was it not the foundation of our great American society as it was established by
our founding fathers? Why should this not still be the norm?
(3) Do not the
other non-traditional kinds of families tend to break down the stability of our
society--morally, emotionally, economically?
(4) Is it not
true that abstinence from sex before marriage, combined with faithfulness to the marriage
vows, would put an end to the epidemic spread of sexually transmitted diseases?
(5) Are not the
sexual perversions of homosexuality and lesbianism obviously contrary to nature? If not,
It goes without saying, but let's say it anyway: anyone who asks such
questions in a hostile or potentially hostile environment should know the correct answers
and be prepared to give a reasonable defense of the Christian position.
e) Comparative World Religions and Bible
We know that one of the prime objectives of Satan, the arch-enemy of our
souls, is to undermine our faith in the Word of God. Some Christians may have the opinion
that it is enough to know the biblical truth, and that it might even be dangerous to know
about the devil's false teachings about the Bible. The Apostle Paul said, "...we
are not ignorant of his [i.e., Satan's] devices."(II Corinthians 2:11; see
Since attack upon the Scriptures is a principal device of our adversary, Christian young
people should be forewarned and forearmed.
The standard textbooks for the subject of comparative religions and
biblical literature at the college level have for decades been slanted against the
historic biblical Christian faith. This bias appears in several forms. In the first place,
there is a broad spectrum of religious institutions which go by the name
"Christian." Furthermore, much of the Roman Catholic church as well as the major
Protestant denominations which developed from and after the Protestant Reformation of the
sixteenth century have over the past century largely gone over to varieties of theology
which are scarcely more than baptized humanism. This kind of religion is called
"theological liberalism" or "modernism." Thus true Christianity is in
a minority position even within the arena of churches calling themselves Christian. In
view of these facts it is easy for a textbook author to present true Christianity as a
minority or rump party in the greater and, humanly speaking, more imposing and palatable
body of the mainline churches.
Criticism of the Bible, and the JEDP Hypothesis
The principal bias against biblical Christianity in courses in
comparative religion and Bible literature appears in what is taught about the Bible
itself. The universal approach to this issue is to teach the higher criticism of the
Bible, in particular what is called the Documentary Hypothesis concerning the Old
Testament. The Documentary Hypothesis is also called the JEDP Theory. It was developed in
Germany over a century ago, and it rests on three basic assumptions: (1) that all
references in the Bible to supernatural or miraculous events are false, because miracles
are supposedly impossible, unscientific; (2) that human conceptions of God began with
polytheism and gradually evolved into the monotheism of the Jews; and (3) that books of
the Old Testament were not written by the people and at the times indicated in the
Scriptures. For example, the higher critics assumed that the Pentateuch(the first five
books of the Bible) were not written by Moses, but by many other people who wrote and
finally put the Pentateuch together about six centuries after poor old Moses died.
The original evidence adduced for the JEDP Theory is the use in the
Pentateuch of different names for God. Two of those Hebrew names are Jehovah and Elohim.
So the higher critics claim--without proof!--that those portions of the Bible containing
the name Jehovah and those portions containing the name Elohim came from different
documents, the J documents and the E documents. These original documents, written
separately and by different authors, were finally combined to produce what we now have in
the five books of Moses, the Pentateuch. This is supposed to be "scientific"
study of the Scriptures, but there is nothing scientific about it. It is actually a
totally anti-Christian attack against the Bible and against the Christian faith.
The higher critics face serious problems with their theory. Their
greatest problem is the fact that no J, E, D or P "documents" exist. The critics
have simply torn the Bible into little pieces and rearranged it to fit their theory.
Furthermore, even their rearranged evidence is often contradictory. For example, many
single verses contain both names for God. Also, God is often referred to as Jehovah
Elohim. Furthermore, there is no historical, documentary or archaeological evidence to
prove that their theory is correct. There is absolutely no evidence to prove that the
J(Jehovah), E(Elohim), D(writers of Deuteronomy), and P(priestly) authors ever existed.
There is no way to disprove that Moses wrote the Pentateuch, just as the Lord Jesus Christ
Himself believed and taught and as the Jews of the first century also believed. (See John 5:45-47).
(2) Getting Rid
of a God Who Knows and Predicts the Future
Another ploy of the higher critics has been to divide the prophet Isaiah
into three other people. Their primary and probably principal reason for doing this is
that in the 45th chapter of his prophecy Isaiah predicted that there would come a great,
conquering king named Cyrus, who would command and give permission for the rebuilding of
Jerusalem and the temple. But Isaiah gave this prophecy probably a century before Cyrus
was born, and about 150 years before he issued the edict to rebuild the city and the
temple. So what is the problem? It is that the higher critics refuse to believe that God
could predict the name and actions of an emperor 150 years before the fact. If they
believe in any god at all--which is questionable--it must be a cosmic wimp who is destined
to watch a world over which it has no control. Thus they repudiate the God of the Bible,
who is sovereign Lord over all His creatures.
In order to overthrow the power of God through His prophet to predict
history, the higher critics first decided that from chapter 40 to 66 had to be written by
Isaiah II. And, of course, Isaiah II had to be placed in history some two centuries after
the real Isaiah of history. This would be after the reign of Cyrus, and so the prophecy
about Cyrus could be made into hindsight. They simply can't put up with any God messing
around in the universe and making predictions of the future which actually come to pass.
The fact is, however, that there is absolutely no historical or literary proof that any
Isaiah II or Isaiah III ever existed. Finally, the supreme authority on such matters for
us Christians, the Lord Jesus Christ, taught that there was only one prophet Isaiah who
wrote the entire prophecy of Isaiah.
The critics had a similar problem with Daniel who was a high official
serving under the Babylonian and Persian emperors for about sixty years. Daniel, you see,
made the mistake of receiving from God and writing down prophecies about middle eastern
and world history for centuries in the future. For example, he prophesied that a prince
from Greece would conquer the middle east. This happened about a century after Daniel
died, when Alexander the Great by conquest established an empire reaching to India.
Therefore, the critics conjured up an unknown author who supposedly wrote the embarrassing
parts of what we now call the prophecy of Daniel--but after the fact. You see, for a
scholar who rejects the God of the Bible and the substitutionary death of Christ for our
sins, the idea that God can prophesy the future is an uncomfortable thought. The
historical facts must be changed to get rid of that kind of a God.
The fact of fulfilled prophecy delivered authoritatively by the prophets
in the Old Testament and by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself in the New Testament long before
they were fulfilled in history constitutes one of the great proofs for the divine
inspiration of the Bible and of the validity of the Christian faith. It is no wonder that
the presumptuous, unbelieving scholars have been so zealous in dreaming up theories to do
away with biblical prophecy.
(3) Critics Attack the New Testament Also
Largely in this century a parallel method of critical study was
developed for the New Testament literature. Called "form criticism," it is based
on assumptions inimical to biblical Christianity, just as was the Higher Criticism of the
Old Testament. After many decades the assumptions of this kind of New Testament criticism
are also coming under fire, even among scholars who are not necessarily theological
conservatives. Nevertheless, the critics continue to this day with their blasphemous
treatment of the Word of God. Beginning in the decade of the 1980s and continuing in the
'90s, the "Jesus Seminars" have been carried on by a large group of scholars.
Their chief product has been a series of announcements in which they have thrown out about
60 percent of the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ in the four gospels, branding them as
As in the case of the attack of the "higher critics" on the
Old Testament Scriptures, the "form critics" base their study of the New
Testament on unprovable assumptions which do not fit the historical facts. Their
assumptions actually amount to deciding in advance that the New Testament historical
record and the gospel of Jesus Christ are unreliable and largely mythical. This is the
same logical fallacy committed by the Old Testament critics, the fallacy of "begging
the question." That is, they assume in advance what they are supposedly going to
prove. Here are some of the assumptions of the form critics:
(a) The writers of the four gospels, Matthew, Mark,
Luke and John, were in what they wrote limited to purely human sources such as oral and
written tradition and religious feelings about Jesus.
(b) Thus, the New Testament Scriptures are a purely
human work, not a revelation of truth from God through the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, the
authors of the gospels and the epistles of the New Testament are branded as liars, because
they plainly claimed that they wrote by special divine inspiration, that the very words
they wrote were given by God.
(c) Supposedly the early Christians, teaching and
preaching about Jesus, dreamed up imaginative stories and saying of Jesus which had no
(d) Gradually these oral traditions were collected in
written form as something like short stories and short collections of sayings of Jesus.
(e) These early "documents" then were put
together many years later to produce the four gospels.
(f) Jesus probably did not have any consciousness of
being the Messiah, the Son of God, and the Saviour of the world. This conception of Jesus
was dreamed up by His followers after His death.
(g) The reports of supernatural miracles performed by
Jesus are mythological, dreamed up by early pious Christians who desired to promote belief
in the deity of Jesus Christ.
(h) Therefore, the life and ministry of Jesus Christ on
earth are assumed to be simply the life and ministry of another ordinary, though perhaps
remarkable, human being.
(i) It is assumed that the Christian community passed
down the oral stories and sayings of Jesus from generation to generation. Changes and
adjustments were made and they became fused together into a more or less unified
traditional picture of the life and ministry of Jesus. This unified tradition, circulated
orally and also in many separate written stories and sayings, was then gathered together
and written down by the authors of the four gospels.
It is obvious that, starting with the above set of assumptions, all of
the fundamental doctrines of the historic biblical Christian faith would fall victim to
the critics' bias. It is the unfounded, unprovable assumptions of the critics which
enabled the Jesus Seminar theologians so casually to slice up the four gospels and throw
away sixty percent of the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. They may be highly educated,
intelligent men, but their work in the Jesus Seminar is not scholarship, but prejudiced
blasphemy against our triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The modern critics of the New Testament have no more factual proof for
their theories than do the critics of the Old Testament. They claim that certain
non-factual oral traditions and written non-historical stories about Jesus, as well as
fictitious written sayings of Jesus became the basis for the New Testament gospels. The
difficulty these Bible-bashers have with this theory is that ancient oral traditions leave
no documentary record and, further, that no written documents exist corresponding to the
alleged stories and sayings of Jesus. This is exactly the same problem the critics have
with their "Documentary Hypothesis" of the Old Testament. There are no
"documents," only the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.
Another and really crucial difficulty is that there simply was not
enough time for the long, slow process required for the ancient society, more or less by
chance, to put together the very complex New Testament record of the life and teachings of
Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus was crucified about the year 33 A.D. The gospels of Matthew,
Mark and Luke were written within just two or three decades later. Furthermore, when they
were circulated, there were many people still living who were in Jerusalem and experienced
the historical events reported in the gospels. There is no historical record of any such
eye witnesses rising up and questioning the historicity of the gospel records.
What, then, is the alleged evidence which the form critics offer to
support their theory? It is their analysis of the literary and thought forms which they
claim to see in the gospels. They say that they can see how many separate source documents
were put together to produce the unified historical record and the unified doctrinal
teaching which we find in the four gospels. This is really just an adaptation of the
higher criticism practiced by other unbelieving scholars in Germany in the preceding
century. There is nothing new under the sun.
The New Testament critics can offer us who are Christians no more reason
than can the Old Testament critics for anybody to question or reject the Bible as the
divinely inspired and inerrant Word of God. Their animosity against the Scriptures is the
result not of scholarship but of unwillingness to acknowledge the truth of God as it is
revealed in the written Word of God and in the Person of Jesus Christ the Son of God.
Attacks on Biblical Christianity in Comparative Religion and Bible Literature Courses
As in other subject areas, probably the best tactic for Christian
students to use in counteracting anti-Christian concepts taught in a comparative religions
or biblical literature class is that of asking intelligent, probing questions. Here are
some possible questions:
(a) Ask questions which expose the crucial differences
between Roman Catholic theology and biblical theology, especially with respect to the
authority of the Scriptures and the doctrine of salvation.
(b) Ask questions which expose the crucial differences
between Protestant modernist-liberalism and the historic biblical Christian faith to which
all of the Protestant churches originally held.
(c) Can the higher critics prove the correctness of
their three basic assumptions, namely: (1) that the supernatural and miraculous in the
Bible is all mythological, spurious, (2) that God merely evolved in human minds from many
Gods to the one God of the Jews, and (3) that the Pentateuch was written not by Moses, but
by other people centuries later? Please, tell what the proof is. Pray tell, where are the
(d) Since the methods and tools of science cannot be
used to investigate the supernatural and miraculous, how can a "scientific"
study of the Bible be based on the assumption that the supernatural and miraculous
elements in the Bible are spurious? Does not doing so amount to the logical fallacy of
begging the question?
(e) I understand that the evidence supports the view
that the concept of one God came first and later degenerated into polytheism, just as the
Bible teaches. Do you have any evidence which proves the contrary?
(f) Is it not true that the method of the Higher
Criticism is no longer applied to any literature other than the Bible, because the method
simply failed with other ancient literature? Shouldn't we students be very suspicious when
a failed methodology is used in an attempt to discredit the veracity of the Bible in our
(g) Is it not true that the critics of the Bible used
to claim that because writing was unknown to Moses, he could not have written the
Pentateuch in 1400 B.C.--until archaeologists discovered that writing was known to the
Sumerians in 3000 B.C.?
(h) Can it be proved that the writers of the New
Testament gospels had only the oral traditions and written stories and sayings as the
source of Jesus' life and teachings? In other words, can divine revelation be ruled out?
(i) Have any first century documents containing the
separate stories or sayings of Jesus which are reported in the gospels been discovered?
(j) Is there any evidence which proves that the four
gospels were produced by combining and connecting together many shorter documents? Answer:
(k) Is there any historical or ancient literary
evidence to substantiate the notion that Jesus did not have an awareness that He is the
Son of God, the Messiah of Israel, and the Saviour of the world? Answer: No.
(l) Is there any historical evidence to support the
view that Jesus' works of miraculous divine power did not actually occur? Answer: No.
(m) Have the scholars of the Jesus Seminar any
historical or ancient literary evidence to prove that they are justified in rejecting any
of the sayings of Jesus recorded in the four gospels? Answer: No.
(n) Did any of the living eye witnesses of the events
of Jesus' life speak out to expose errors of historical fact in the four gospels? Answer:
There is no record whatsoever of such criticisms in the first century.