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Scripture Memory: God’s Mercy.

Psalm 103:17, 18 “But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children; To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.”

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness 

23 September 2012
8 am & 1045am Worship Service:
Rev Colin Wong (Martha’s Chores and Mary’s Choice, Luke 10:38-42)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Charles Seet (Why Do the Wicked Prosper?, Psalm 73:1-28) 

30 September 2012
8 am & 1045am Worship Service:
ev Charles Seet (Paul: Lessons on Serving the Lord, Acts 9:1-16)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Colin Wong (The God of the Bible, Ps 139:1-12)

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SCIENCE & THE BIBLE

With all the benefits that Science has brought to man, it has acquired tremendous esteem. Some believe that Science will provide solutions to every problem in life. For example, babies may soon be born with built-in immunity to all kinds of diseases. Geneticists claim to have discovered a way to slow down the ageing process. Those who can afford the treatment can prolong their life indefinitely. With such developments some may wonder whether the Bible is still relevant to us. Who needs the Bible and who needs God, when Science can do everything for us?

The truth of the matter is that Science is meant to serve God and bring glory to Him. It is not man’s invention. It is merely the product of man’s obedience to God’s commands to subdue the earth, and to exercise dominion over creation. Soon after Adam was created, God brought all the animals and birds to him (Genesis 2:19,20). Adam gave names to all of them probably according to what he observed about them.

This is the beginning of Science. It is man’s attempt to observe, classify, analyse, understand, and explain in detail the operation of the universe and its inhabitants. This knowledge is then employed by man to improve his life and to harness all the potential and properties of creation for his own benefit. The ultimate purpose is to bring glory to God.

The Bible Provides the Basis of Science

Science is meant to bring praise to the Creator. The more we understand it, the more we should marvel at how wonderfully great God is. When David pondered deeply on the marvel of his own bodily functions, he exclaimed, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are Thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” (Psalm 139:14)

Science should also make us realise how small we are. As David said in Psalm 8:3,4– “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” A true knowledge of Science will produce humility rather than pride. This has been amply demonstrated in the lives and testimonies of many godly scientists.

Johann Kepler (1571-1630), the founder of physical astronomy, wrote “Since we astronomers are priests of the highest God in regard to the book of nature, it befits us to be thoughtful, not of the glory of our minds, but rather, above all else, of the glory of God.” Robert Boyle (1627-1691), the father of modern chemistry, was active in financially supporting the spread of Christianity through missions and Bible translations.

John Ray (1627-1705), the father of English natural history who was the greatest zoologist and botanist of his day, wrote a book entitled, “The wisdom of God Manifested in the Works of Creation.” Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778), the father of biological taxonomy, attempted to delineate the original “kinds” of Genesis 1:11,12,21 and 25. This gave rise to his system of classification which is still in use today. He firmly believed in the Genesis account as literal history.

Michael Faraday (1791-1867), the great physicist who developed the foundational concepts of electricity and magnetism, was active in the various ministries of his church and had an abiding faith in the Bible and in prayer. Charles Babbage (1792-1871), the founder of computer science who developed information storage and retrieval systems, was also a Christian with strong convictions. He wrote an important book defending the Bible and miracles. John Dalton (1766-1844), the father of atomic theory, was an orthodox Bible-believing Christian.

James Simpson (1811-1879), who discovered chloroform and laid the foundation for anesthesiology, said that his motivation for the research which led to his discovery was a fascination with Adam’s deep sleep during the time when Eve was made from his side (Genesis 2:21). He also said that his biggest discovery was finding Jesus Christ as Saviour. Joseph Lister (1827-1912), the founder of antiseptic surgical methods that have saved millions of lives, wrote, “I am a believer in the fundamental doctrines of Christianity.”

Werner Von Braun (1912-1977), the father of space science, wrote, “...the vast mysteries of the universe should only confirm our belief in the certainty of its Creator. I find it as difficult to understand a scientist who does not acknowledge the presence of a superior rationality behind the existence of the universe as it is to comprehend a theologian who would deny the advances of science.”

(You can learn more about these scientists and others like them from the book Men of Science, Men of God by Henry M. Morris, Ph.D. It presents 101 biographies and testimonies of eminent scientists who believed in the Bible and in the Living God.)

The Bible Speaks Accurately Whenever

It Deals with Science

While the Bible provides the very basis of Science, some would insist that Science conflicts with the Bible. They allege that there are scientific mistakes in the Bible, especially in the first 11 chapters of Genesis.

Although the Bible is not a Science textbook it speaks accurately and authoritatively on Science. In fact there is much evidence that the Bible is fully consistent with true Science. E.g. Job 26:7 – “He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.” When this was written about 3,500 years ago, many believed that the world was supported by a giant turtle, and others thought that it was carried on Atlas’ broad back. The foundation upon which the earth rests is now known to be nothing.

Job 38:31 – “Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?” This refers to the constellation of stars called the Pleiades. But what does the ‘binding’ refer to? Photographs taken with powerful telescopes show the principal stars of this constellation as enveloped and “bound” together by delicate streams of nebulous matter.

Job 28:24,25 – “For He looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven; To make the weight for the winds; and He weigheth the waters by measure.” The weight of air is known today as 101,325 pascals. The amount of water in this world was carefully measured by God. It is now known that the earth’s water content cannot be appreciably increased or decreased without destroying life.

Psalm 19:6 – “His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.” Since we all know that the earth moves around the sun, some would be quick to point out that there is a glaring scientific error here. However, the sun itself is not stationary but is speeding through our galaxy at a rate of about 20 km per second.

These are some passages that show that the Bible is consistent with true science. However when people claim that there are scientific mistakes in the Bible, what they are talking about is speculative science. E.g. the Big Bang is a speculation about the origin of the universe. Evolution is a speculation about the origin of life on earth. These speculations are based on the very unscientific assumption that miracles never happen, and so anything that cannot be explained without God’s intervention must be rejected.

The Miracles of the Bible Transcend Science

David Hume, an 18th century Scottish philosopher and historian, claimed that biblical miracles cannot be proved. Attempting to disprove religion, he wrote an essay on miracles which is often cited as indisputable proof that the miracles of the Bible never took place. Hume’s main argument is that, “There is more likelihood that the witnesses of a supposed miracle were deceived, than that such a ‘violation of the laws of nature’ in contradiction to universal experience, should have taken place.”

There are at least two things wrong with this argument. The first is Hume’s definition of a miracle as ‘a violation of the laws of nature.’ Miracles do not violate the laws of nature. They only transcend the range of natural forces. For instance, when you raise your arm you are not violating the law of gravity. You are merely using a greater force to overcome it. In the same way, when miracles took place all the laws of Science were still at work but were simply overcome by a greater force.

The second thing that is wrong with Hume’s argument is his claim that miracles are in contradiction to universal experience. This begs the question – What is universal experience? Is it limited only to the experience of skeptics like Hume? If so, how can it be universal? To be fair, it must also include the experience of all witnesses who testify to miracles. In any court of law, decisions are based on the testimony of all available witnesses. As long as they are of good character their testimony cannot be rejected. No testimony can be dismissed from consideration just because the judge is prejudiced against some witnesses.

Since miracles are such rare events the number of human eyewitnesses to them is understandably small. But by saying this we do not mean that only one or two persons witnessed each miracle. It is possible for one or two to be deceived by what they saw, but this is most unlikely for the witnesses of biblical miracles, who numbered from several tens to several thousands. The ten plagues of Egypt were witnessed by the whole nation of Egypt and the Israelites. The multiplying of five loaves and two fishes by our Lord Jesus was witnessed by more than 5,000 (Matthew 14:21). The resurrected Christ was seen on one occasion by more than 500 brethren at once (1 Corinthians 15:6). But when all these witnesses are added up, they are still few in number compared with the billions of humanity who must be content to accept the testimony of these ‘few’ witnesses on the basis of their reliable character.

Aren’t we doing this whenever we receive news about an event that happened in some part of the world? We rely entirely on the testimony of a few reporters at the scene. But we accept their reports because they are reputed to be truthful. And when reports from different reporters are consistent with each other, we have greater confidence to rely on what they have written.

Hence, the proof of miracles ultimately lies in the character of their witnesses and the quality of their testimony. If the witnesses are of doubtful character then the miracles are also doubtful. And if their testimony is inconsistent, then there is good reason to doubt that the miracles really happened. Although the witnesses of the miracles of the Bible are no longer around to present a full report of what they saw, we do have the next best thing which would be accepted in any court of law – their written affidavits (cf. John 21;24 and 1 John 1:1-3).

These affidavits can be scrutinized thoroughly and compared with each another. The Four Gospels provide parallel accounts of Christ’s miracles and can be used to verify the accuracy of their witness. We may also compare their records with evidences from geography, archaeology and history, such as the writings of Josephus, Suetonius, Tacitus, and Pliny the Younger. Those who have done this objectively have concluded that there is no reason to doubt the reliability of the biblical records of the miracles.

The phenomena of Science are established in the same way as these miracles – by reliable eye-witnesses. The difference is that the conclusions of Science are founded on eye-witness observations of things that still happen, while the miracles of the Bible are founded on eye-witness observations of things that have already happened. The fact is, the eye-witnesses of both are reliable and trustworthy.

And both also have the same origin and purpose. They come from God, the Creator of all things, and they direct us to look to God, to praise Him and know Him! May we always respond to Science and the Bible by glorifying Him – “O LORD our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth!” (Psalm 8:9) – Pastor

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1) Family Worship at the home of Mr & Mrs Yeo Hock Seng, Friday 28 Sep 12, 8 pm. Address: 3 Jln Anak Bukit, #20-05 Sherwood Tower, S588996. Tel: 6466-5245. Speaker: Rev Charles Seet. Visitors can choose to park at Bukit Timah Plaza public car park located at B1, B2 and level 3. Then they can proceed to level one, exit after Pizza Hut and walk left toward Sherwood Tower High Rise.

2) Vincent Goh and family would like to thank the church session, Ladies Fellowship and church members for their condolences and presence during the home-going of his mother, the late Mrs Celine Goh.

3) Our condolences to Amos Hoon and family on the passing of his brother, Hoon Lang Soo (60yrs) on 19 Sep 12.

Preaching appointment: Rev Seet at Evening Service, 6.00 pm. Rev Quek at Sembawang BPC, 9.30 am.

Vision & Mission

 

To build a united church family that is committed to making disciples through Salvation, Sanctification and Service, to the glory of God.

Verse for the Week

October 15 & 22 - The Cost of Discipleship

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. Matthew 16:25