Sunday was a great day as we looked at the question, “How do we know God’s Word is reliable?” You can hear the entire message through our website by Wednesday. While I tried to address as many questions as possible at the conclusion of the service, I did not come close to accomplishing that. I am including some of the questions/comments here:
What are some scientific facts backing up the bible?
There are several scientific facts mentioned in the Bible that scientists did not discover until many years after the Bible was written. For example, Job 26:7, “He [God] hangs the Earth on nothing.” I mentioned Sunday how people in ancient cultures thought the earth was on the back of Atlas or something else. Obviously God presented the truth in the oldest book of the Bible. Another example is where astronomers of old thought the stars could be counted. Up until the 17th century, astronomers were working to offer a correct count of the stars. Too bad they didn’t read Jeremiah 33:22 “The host of heaven [a reference to the stars] cannot be numbered, nor the sand of the sea measured.” Another is the Hydrological Cycle that is so common to us. We are quite familiar with the process of evaporation and rain clouds, but this was not really discovered by scientists until the 16th century. Had scientists just read Job, the oldest book of the Bible, they would have had a better understanding of this phenomenon: Job 26:8 “He wraps up the waters in his clouds, yet the clouds do not burst under their weight.” Job 36:27-29 “For He draws up drops of water, which distill as rain from the mist, which the clouds drop down and pour abundantly on man. Indeed, can anyone understand the spreading of clouds, the thunder from His canopy?”
Is any sin too bad for God to forgive and wipe us white as snow?
The short answer is “no.” God does not grade sins like we do. We have a tendency to see certain sins as being worse than others. Sometimes we even assign colors that denote severity: “white lie.” It is true that some sins have greater negative consequences, but the fact is that Jesus had to die for every sin, regardless of the color. James 2:10 says, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” Some people make a big deal about “the unpardonable sin.” The unpardonable sin is simply rejecting God. Matthew 12:31 calls it “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.” For us today, blasphemy in this way is denying God. 1 John 1:9 tells us that all sin is forgivable, but obviously if you continue to say no to God and deny His deity right up until your death, you cannot go to Heaven.
Is there any evidence to support a global flood? Have remains of Noah’s ark been found?
Different people through the years have claimed to have found the ark, but to date, no solid proof has been given. The most recent discovery happened about two years ago, but unfortunately it turned out to be an elaborate hoax. Robert Ballard (Titanic discoverer) recently announced he was going to set about proving the flood really happened. There is scientific evidence that such a flood with waters flowing 200 times the speed of water going over Niagra Falls happened in the Middle East about 7500 years ago. You might want to read the article at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/10/evidence-noahs-flood-ark-real-robert-ballard-archeologist-titanic_n_2273143.html
How was it determined what order the books of the Bible were published, besides Genesis, which means “beginning?”
It was sort of a process. Though we do not know all of the process, we do know that the scholars who translated the Hebrew Old Testament into Greek (called the Septuagint), put the O.T. in its current order. You can see the chronological order in part of it. The poetry follows the chronological history and the writing of the prophets follows that. The prophets are organized by major prophets (longer books) and minor prophets (shorter books).
You said the scripture is god breathed. Doe god really breathe?
There is a term that is useful here: “anthropomorphically”. Next time you want to impress someone, throw that word around. It comes from the Greek word “anthropos.” We get our word “anthropology” from it: the study of man. Anthropos simply means man. When you say that God spoke anthropomorphically, you are saying you used human terms to describe himself. Basically there are many things about God we do not understand, but God uses terms we do understand to describe the indescribable. For example, the bible talks about the breath of God and the arm of God. So, does God really breathe? Probably not. He did use this term to describe the moving of the Holy Spirit as God breathing the word into existence.
I will send additional responses as soon as I can.