“Where are you?” Genesis 3:9
This is the first question spoken by God in the Bible. Before Adam and Eve sinned, everything was plainly seen and clearly known, but now there is hiding and misdirection.
Scripture describes what came before the fall, but because we are affected by sin, we cannot understand everything it describes. Now both science and Scripture offer answers about this fallen world, yet they do so in different ways.
Science’s answers can be proven by our senses and verified by other scientists. While scientists will project into the unknown, their authority lies with what can be observed.
Scripture’s answers lie beyond our senses. They must be accepted by faith and can only be verified by God’s authority which is outside ourselves.
Science echo’s Gods question, asking “Where are we?”
These two approaches have mutually existed for centuries, yet recently they are more and more in conflict. In our technological world, science is now pressing into areas of life where only people of faith were willing to go.
Conflicts between the Bible and science offer us a deeper understanding of God. Both the physical world observed by science and the spiritual realm described by Scripture originated with God. So in God, they perfectly coexist.
The conflict between our ability to understand science and Scripture is particularly acute in Genesis 1. In our modern, scientific world, how are we to understand what these verses mean?
As responsible readers of the Bible, we know God’s purpose in creation is described all throughout Scripture. But there is something to be gained in looking at how Genesis 1 stands on its own, both for our faith, and our conversation with science.
This is hard to do. We feel the pressure to change our beliefs about the truthfulness of the Bible in the face of scientific criticism. Yet our confidence in Scripture reminds us to be bold about how God unfolds his story of Redemption.
That story begins in Genesis 1, and continues till the end of the Bible. Nothing is left out that we need to know, but many questions come up at the beginning that God answers later, or has left for science to discover.
Our conversations with science must point back to God’s story of salvation. While God’s question reminds us we are lost, it can also give us hope. He is seeking us, and is willing to guide us to the answers we most need.
To learn these answers we must follow his voice, both in his Word, and in the world he created.