Dec 1, 2021
For a long time, science has gone in the direction of sort of putting people in their place.
- Author: Elizabeth Kolbert
This was true for Christians holding to a literal view of creation and biblical history. Science may not have started out to disprove God, but that was a byproduct of many a theory. The reason for this lies in how a scientist views the facts before him.
We all have a preset of ideas we believe to be truth lurking in our inmost parts. These truths form our beliefs on how the world works. This is called worldview. It doesn't get much attention outside Christian education or specialized areas of study, but to be clear, it is a thing. The thing that matters. Two scientists can observe facts and come away with different ideas how those facts work together or what their importance is due to their experiences and worldview.
This is true of archaeology, my friends. Even biblical archaeology.
But for those who expected archaeology to prove the Bible a book of myths and fairytales, essentially to put Christians in their place once and for all, the resulting discoveries did the exact opposite. That doesn't mean, however, there is a stampede of converts. People will continue to believe what they want to believe no matter what evidence you give them, hard fact or testimonial.
Which brings me to a comment I hear regularly from believers who think apologists may not understand the purpose of the Bible. They say, "You can't prove the divine God of the Bible by archaeology or through the intellect."
Now this is interesting. On the one hand, the skeptic hand, we have those who see archaeology and its wealth of biblical historical artifacts or manuscripts that affirm the modern Bible's text yet choose to interpret it otherwise, making the discoveries irrelevant. On the other hand, the religious one, we have those who would disregard the discoveries altogether because they are material, also making them irrelevant. Both views dishonor the scholars who are revealing their findings about word meanings, cultural practices (social, political and religious) that bring the Bible to life and fill in what we didn't understand.
No, we can't prove the divinity of God through archaeology because our God is a God of relationship. And no, we cannot touch the depths of God with our minds but with our recreated spirits.
So is it a waste of time to learn what archaeology has given us? Is it a distraction to study the logical reasons for trusting the God who is Truth?
What would you answer to those who by one hand or the other challenge your interest in these things, who would make you feel guilty if they knew the nagging uncertainty you were seeking to resolve through your search?
God's encouragement to you is taste and see. His promise to you is if you draw close to Him, He will draw close to you. His advice to you is study to show yourself approved.
God isn't angry with you because you have doubts. He is waiting to help you answer them in whatever way you need. He is able to use a combination of sources to do this, but one will always be the Bible. When you read it, you are interacting with the God who created you.
Hear are five ways to grow more confident in God:
- Talk with Him more and more
- Read the Bible for yourself
- Learn about the Bible and the archaeological discoveries pertaining to it
- Learn the logical answers to the questions you have about God
- Thank Him for revealing Himself to you as He shows you truth
Of course there are more ways, but these will get you started, and if you need some help, check out our books page here. We are praying that His peace fills you as you seek Him.
Image by Jonny Caspari courtesy of Unsplash
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