The Wisdom of Men and the Power of God

by Aug 14, 2014Mission, Theology

Read this this morning:

And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (1 Corinthians 2:3-5 ESV)

That immediately made me think of this, which I saw on Quora yesterday:

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Since when does God’s very word have to pass any tests, scientific or chronological? And who determines whether or not a text passes the test of time—and what is that test, exactly? If God has really spoken in the Bible, who will have the temerity to say to Him, “I’ll obey, but let me get out my microscope first to make sure what you said is true”?

I believe that the Bible never conflicts with accurate science. (I haven’t read enough of the Qur’an to say the same about it.) Yes, at least 1,344 scientists named Steve don’t think the Bible passes the tests of science. But a not insignificant (though admittedly much smaller) number of practicing scientists do believe the Bible is scientifically accurate.

I’m happy that lots of people respect the Bible. I’m happy that scientific authorities of various ages have been among them. But we’re no longer in that age, and yet I still believe in the Bible. My faith does not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. If God spoke through Scripture, He doesn’t need scientists to validate His pronouncements.

This is far from saying that any given pronouncement of science is irrelevant or false. God’s word will, of course, correspond accurately with God’s world. It’s only saying that, ultimately, God validates science and not the other way around. It’s a mark of our scientifically idolatrous age that religious believers are so eager to win the scientists’ imprimatur for their views.

I love this quote from Lewis’s essay “Miracles” in God in the Dock:

Every year God makes a little wheat into much wheat: the seed is sown and there is an increase, and men according to the fashion of their age say, “It is Ceres,” “It is Adonis,” “It is the Corn King,” or else “It is the laws of Nature.”

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