Contending for the Faith

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Clifford Goldstein


Series Code: CFTF

Program Code: CFTF000001

00:21 Hi, Cliff Goldstein here
00:23 and welcome to Contending for the Faith.
00:26 This is the beginning of an eight,
00:28 nine part series on a topic called "Faith in Science."
00:32 Where we are looking at some of the questions
00:34 regarding two very powerful forces in the 21st century,
00:39 faith, particularly religious faith and science.
00:44 Now, I don't think any one in recent years has predicted
00:49 that science would somehow go by the wayside.
00:52 But there have been prognosticators over the years,
00:56 who have predicted that religious faith
00:59 would eventually just vanish from civilization.
01:02 Well, I don't think there is any question
01:05 that at some places in the west,
01:07 religious faith and that's often understood
01:10 as traditional organized religion has declined.
01:15 But no way is in danger of vanishing.
01:18 Sure these things do ebb and flow and there is no doubt,
01:23 I think this gonna happen in the future
01:25 and with great force too.
01:28 But I have no doubt that religion
01:31 is going to still be around for a long time.
01:34 Thus, we have two very powerful forces in the world.
01:38 Two very powerful forces religious faith and science
01:43 and at least from my perspective today
01:46 as a believer for the most part these forces,
01:50 I don't believe these forces clash.
01:52 From what I can tell, science really at least for me
01:56 has been a very powerful force in terms of affirming my faith.
02:02 If for no other reason that science has greatly
02:05 expanded our understanding of the wonders
02:09 and the majesty of the created world
02:11 that God has given us.
02:14 [speaking in foreign language]
02:17 I will praise you because I am fearfully
02:20 [speaking in foreign language]
02:22 I will praise because I am fearfully
02:24 and wonderfully made.
02:26 [speaking in foreign language]
02:32 And wonderful are Your works
02:34 and my soul knows that very well.
02:38 These are the words of David in Psalms 139:14 said, "
02:44 I will praise you, he said,
02:46 for I'm fearfully and wonderfully made,
02:49 your works are wonderful,
02:51 [speaking in foreign language]
02:53 and I know that very well."
02:56 Now, think about this for a minute.
02:58 He knew that very well back then close to 3,000 years ago.
03:04 What would David say if he knew about
03:07 what science has taught us about the human body today?
03:12 David wrote that long before he knew
03:14 what red blood cells were and what they did in the body.
03:18 Long before he knew what white cells were
03:21 and what they did.
03:23 He knew that we were fearfully and wonderfully made
03:26 long before he knew anything about the doubled, the doubled,
03:30 the DNA double helix or about how the body
03:33 metabolizes protein or the inner ear functions.
03:37 David knew nothing about cell walls
03:40 or warts or corns or synaptic clefts in the brain
03:44 or neurotransmitters or endocrine function
03:47 or how bone marrow makes red blood cells.
03:50 David knew nothing about these things
03:53 and thousands more like them.
03:56 Things revealed to us by the power of science,
03:59 things which should, which should--
04:01 which should help us all shout out with David
04:05 [speaking in foreign language]
04:09 I will praise you for I am fearfully
04:11 and wonderfully made.
04:14 You know, there's so much more about
04:15 the wonders of the natural world
04:17 that science has revealed to us.
04:19 That as I said in many ways science has confirmed,
04:25 confirmed my faith in the word of God
04:30 and the Bible.
04:31 Another, let me give you another quick example,
04:33 very important.
04:34 Look at what science has revealed to us
04:38 about the reality of the unseen world.
04:41 Think for a minute right now about radio waves.
04:45 About radio waves is real as my voice,
04:48 yet we can't see them,
04:49 we can't hear them, we can't feel them,
04:52 we can't taste them and yet they're here,
04:54 they're real as anything in this room right now, okay.
05:00 Science says right now we've also been bombarded
05:02 by subatomic particles that are going through us
05:05 right now, one in and out the other.
05:08 And yet we don't sense some,
05:09 we don't feel them, we don't see them.
05:12 Thanks to the world of science,
05:14 we should be able to accept the idea of an unseen world.
05:19 The idea of a supernatural world
05:22 not immediately accessible to us.
05:25 Now, please I am not saying that the existence of radiation
05:29 or cosmic rays or infrared light
05:32 or other physical phenomenon
05:33 that we can't see proves the existence
05:36 of an unseen supernatural world.
05:38 I am not saying that.
05:39 One does not lead to the other.
05:41 All I am saying, all I am saying
05:44 is that science has shown us
05:47 about the existence of unseen realities.
05:51 So that should make the concept of unseen reality
05:54 such as supernatural realities, angels, demons, whatever.
05:58 That should be some thing easier for us to grasp
06:02 than it might have been for the ancients.
06:06 And there is more.
06:08 There is the incredible fine tuning in nature.
06:11 The fine tuning of what have been
06:13 called the fundamental constants.
06:16 Constants is another way that I believe
06:18 science has helped me believe in God
06:22 and the God revealed in the Bible more feasible.
06:26 And also, there is one last thought in this area,
06:31 something to think about.
06:33 Some argue that the whole scientific enterprise
06:37 demands a kind of rationality in nature.
06:42 A kind of set structure of order
06:44 that the natural world, that enables us to study it
06:49 and they believe that it exists only
06:51 because it was created by the kind of God
06:54 revealed in the Bible.
06:56 The kind of that gave order and rationality
06:59 to the structure of the universe.
07:01 Listen to this one quote from a British science,
07:05 British scientist, he said, "Our science is God's science.
07:10 He holds the responsibility for the whole scientific story.
07:15 The remarkable order, consistency, reliability
07:19 and fascinating complexity found
07:22 in the scientific description of the universe
07:25 are reflections of the order, consistency, reliability
07:31 and complexity of God's activity."
07:34 Pretty interesting thought I think.
07:36 Alfred North Whitehead, a philosopher
07:39 and mathematician of gigantic proportions,
07:42 proportions once wrote this.
07:45 "Modern science must come from the medieval insistence
07:49 on the rationality of God.
07:52 My explanation is that the faith
07:54 in the possibility of science, generated antecedently
07:59 to the development of modern scientific theory,
08:02 is an unconscious derivative from medieval theology."
08:07 C.S. Lewis expressed the idea like this.
08:11 "Men became scientific
08:14 because they expected law in nature
08:17 and they expected law in nature
08:19 because they believed in a lawgiver."
08:24 Wrote, John Lennox about the whole idea of order
08:28 coming from God even making science possible.
08:32 Listen to this.
08:33 "It was this conviction that led Francis Bacon regarded
08:37 by many as the father of modern science,
08:40 to teach that God has provided us with two books,
08:44 the book of Nature and the Bible,
08:47 and that to be really properly educated,
08:49 one should give one's mind to studying both."
08:54 In other words, what they're really saying here,
08:57 what they're really saying is that the whole reason
09:00 that science can be done is because there is an order
09:04 to the created world and sets of laws
09:08 that one would expect a creator to have,
09:12 in a creator and the desire to have
09:14 put in place to begin with.
09:16 Yes, I can say, I can say for the most part
09:21 that from the perspective of the Bible,
09:24 science has greatly helped increase my religious faith.
09:30 Now, all that being said on the other hand,
09:36 on the other hand, let me not be foolish
09:41 and that's because there is one area in particular,
09:44 one crucial area where so much
09:48 science has it is practiced now,
09:51 and I can't overemphasize
09:53 that phrase as it is practiced now.
09:56 There's one area where science as practice now
09:59 in a very strong way contradicts the most,
10:04 the clearest teaching of the word of God.
10:07 And that is in the area of origins.
10:09 To put in bluntly, let me put this bluntly, okay.
10:13 Almost the whole scientific community today
10:17 has as so much of the world's intellectually community.
10:21 They have accepted the neo-Darwinian synthesis,
10:26 in short evolution.
10:28 And I can't think of any teaching anywhere
10:31 that in every single way
10:33 contradicts the Bible in such a fundamental
10:37 and devastating way as evolution.
10:40 If evolution were true, the Darwinian model,
10:44 the neo-Darwinian synthesis,
10:46 if that were true the only honest thing,
10:48 the only honest thing,
10:49 I think anybody could do would be to scrap
10:52 the Bible as nothing but a bunch of myths.
10:57 That's have basic and cruel these issues really are.
11:02 Now, before we proceed,
11:05 let's get one definition straight.
11:08 Let's define our word term so, I suppose
11:12 if I want it to I can do a whole program here
11:14 and digress on just how problematic
11:17 is this idea of defining our terms,
11:20 but I don't want to go there.
11:21 Okay.
11:22 Anyway when I talk evolution, I'm not simply talking change.
11:27 I mean, if you simply mean by evolution only change
11:32 that species adapt and things change.
11:34 Well, then I think everybody believes that.
11:39 Instead by evolution, I am talking about the claim
11:43 that life began billions and billions of years ago
11:47 as some kind of simple form, though I don't know
11:49 if anybody can even conceive today
11:52 of the idea of life being simple.
11:54 So, let's say a relatively primitive
11:56 life form emerged billions of years ago
11:59 and over these billions of years ago,
12:02 billions of years, it learn to replicate itself
12:05 through this process of natural selection
12:08 and random mutation.
12:10 And this is how all life forms on earth today
12:13 from the bacteria to human beings exist.
12:17 That's what I mean by evolution,
12:19 that all life started with the common
12:21 natural primitive ancestor,
12:24 some life out of which all other life arose
12:29 after billions and billions of years of fits and starts.
12:35 Let me tell you something too. This belief is everywhere.
12:39 It has become part of the culture
12:41 and it forms the background assumption of pretty much
12:44 all intellectual and scientific thought.
12:47 Today, it's just understood, it's accepted
12:50 and in so many places it's not even questioned.
12:55 And as I said, as I said it contradicts the Bible
13:01 or at least any reasonable and honest interpretation
13:05 of the Bible in an irreconcilable way.
13:08 Thus I ask the questioner.
13:11 How are we believers to deal with this?
13:14 How are we to deal with?
13:15 The idea that evolution can be
13:17 either corporate into Bibles out there.
13:19 And it's getting more acceptable
13:22 even to Christians much to my astonish.
13:25 But this attempted synthesis of evolution in Christianity
13:30 represents in my view one of the greatest
13:33 and most tragic capitulations of Christianity to culture
13:38 since, probably the change of the Sabbath to Sunday.
13:43 But you see that's the power
13:45 that the name science holds over people,
13:50 so that when something comes with the label science,
13:54 even Christians capitulate, even as something as bluntly
13:58 and openly contradictory to the most
14:00 obviously readings of the Bible,
14:03 such as the crucial doctrine
14:05 and foundation doctrine of creation.
14:10 Yeah, we don't have to be poled into something
14:14 just because it comes with the imprimatur science
14:18 written on it.
14:19 As if something is labeled science,
14:22 it becomes absolute terminal truth.
14:26 And that's something I'd like to even share
14:28 a little bit from my own experience
14:31 because I think this could help us understand
14:34 some of the issues regarding faith and science,
14:38 especially in this crucial area of the question of evolution
14:43 and the Bible.
14:45 Now, I had been raised,
14:47 born and raised in a secular environment
14:51 and I was educated in secular school,
14:55 so I had been raised on evolutionary theory
14:58 right from elementary school through high school.
15:01 I mean, through college
15:02 I was taught the Darwinian model
15:05 as the basic explanation for life.
15:08 I can remember far back in the fifth grade
15:13 Mrs. Catholic's class in the fifth grade,
15:17 reading a science text book that thought us evolution
15:21 and two things stand out in my mind.
15:23 Even after all these years,
15:25 I can remember these two things.
15:27 I remember and I don't know why,
15:28 I don't have a particularly good memory,
15:30 but I can remember all the way back from the fifth grade
15:34 having memorized the supposed periods of the earth's history.
15:38 The Azoic, Archeozoic, Proterozoic,
15:41 Paleozoic Mesozoic, and Cenozoic eras.
15:44 With humans and dinosaurs arriving
15:47 in the late Cenozoic era.
15:49 As I said I don't have a great memory,
15:51 for some reason I never forget that.
15:54 Stayed with me over 50 some, almost 50 years.
15:57 And the other thing I remember too.
16:00 I remember they had a drawing.
16:02 It was like a shallow pool and then there would be
16:07 next to it as like some kind of single cell organism
16:11 and then something like a jellyfish
16:14 and then some kind of fish and then some amphibian
16:17 and then some kind of Hominid or some thing
16:19 and then the Neanderthal and then a human being
16:22 and they drew a life through it.
16:24 Showing that how this whole thing
16:26 it started in the pool
16:28 and eventually it evolved into human beings.
16:31 I can still remember it. That was in the fifth grade.
16:36 Then jump ahead now to about 1970.
16:40 I was in ninth grade biology class
16:43 with Mrs. Ruben from junior high.
16:48 And, you know, I thought I was hot stuff
16:51 because I knew the meaning of the real fancy term,
16:54 I bet you don't know what that is,
16:57 [speaking in foreign language]
17:01 Well, that's pretty impressive, I would now,
17:03 I thought I knew the term
17:05 and I thought that was hot stuff.
17:07 And it was this idea that in embryo,
17:11 if you look at in embryo it goes through
17:14 the various stages of evolution.
17:19 You look at, you could see the different,
17:20 like it has gills and fins and so on.
17:23 And I was thought that in the late 1960's
17:26 the only problem was for about 50 years
17:30 it was already proven to be a fraud.
17:33 It had been known for decades that it was a fraud
17:36 and yet here I was all the way in the late 1960s
17:40 being thought that in a science class
17:46 in decades, decades later, okay.
17:49 Now, and I remember even in college too,
17:53 I was an English major but I've had some science
17:56 and I remember we were just taught some evolution.
17:59 But here is the issue I want to talk about.
18:03 I don't want to talk about the fact
18:04 that I was taught evolution.
18:06 I mean, this was a secular colleges, secular schools,
18:09 what else was I going to be, going to be taught.
18:12 How else were they gonna teach about origins?
18:15 Rather the issue, the issue that I want to look at
18:19 'cause this is crucial and just get this point
18:22 if you don't get anything else about what I am saying.
18:25 The crucial issue here was how I was taught it?
18:30 I was taught it in this-- as an absolute fact
18:34 unconverted, unquestioned, unchallenged.
18:37 I don't remember one time ever hearing the possibility,
18:42 ever hearing the possibility that it could be wrong.
18:45 I never one time heard
18:46 any other explanation for it, never.
18:49 It was just how it was.
18:51 Everybody understood it and you didn't questioned
18:54 that anymore than you question
18:55 that the earth revolved on its axis.
18:59 After all, this was science right.
19:02 In our day and age,
19:03 science has given a special epistemic status.
19:08 It's viewed as a certain kind of knowledge
19:11 that different than say history or art and so on.
19:15 And I suppose to a degree it is.
19:18 And this whole ideas
19:19 when science teaches us something,
19:22 well, then who what arrogant fool dare to challenge it.
19:25 Science comes with this--
19:27 science just had become sort of a high priest,
19:31 of a higher kind of knowledge,
19:32 sort of these bearers of some kind of sacred fire.
19:37 Because in their labs,
19:38 in their rational objective pursuit of truth,
19:42 they ideally get closer to the truth
19:44 and the rest of us are mere morals, right?
19:48 Well, that's what we're thought.
19:50 Well, then one day
19:53 I found myself in my yearly 20s,
19:55 I was a born again believer in Jesus.
19:59 You see at that point I'll you, I knew nothing about the Bible,
20:03 nothing about sin, nothing about anything.
20:06 If somebody would have told me I was a sinner,
20:08 then I would have looked at them like they were crazy,
20:10 I don't know what you are talking about.
20:12 But I had become a born again believer.
20:16 And even though I couldn't put my finger on it,
20:18 I sensed a kind of tension
20:22 between my new found faith and this evolution
20:25 that I had been so dogmatically taught.
20:28 I felt a discomfort there.
20:31 Okay, God had just changed my life,
20:33 but I just couldn't see how I can fit him in
20:36 with this theory of origins
20:38 that I had been taught and that's all I knew.
20:42 Well, anyway,
20:43 early on some of my friends seeing my struggle,
20:48 they gave me some creationist literature.
20:51 Now, whether that was well done or not, I don't know.
20:54 I mean, you can have some pretty poorly done
20:56 creationist literature out there,
20:58 think as you can have some poorly done
20:59 evolutionary literature.
21:01 And anyway I started reading through some of this staff
21:06 and let me tell you it changed my life.
21:10 Why?
21:11 And again I don't even know if the literature was any good.
21:14 It might had been, it might had not been,
21:16 I wasn't in a position to tell.
21:18 But here's what happened.
21:20 This is what happened and it was an eye opener to me
21:23 scales fell off my eyes.
21:26 Because it was the first time in my life
21:29 that I was ever presented
21:32 with an alternate explanation of the facts.
21:36 Yes, for the first time in my life
21:38 I was sure there were other ways
21:41 of interpreting the evidence.
21:44 Look, no one's gonna deny
21:46 that the dinosaur bones are in the ground.
21:48 I mean, I heard the Satan created
21:50 the bones to confuse us.
21:51 Let's don't go there, we make ourselves look like idiots
21:54 when we talk about that.
21:55 No question, the bones are in the ground.
21:58 Of course, they are there, no one's gonna deny that.
22:01 But what I was shown,
22:03 it was the first time in my 23 years of life,
22:08 I was shown that there was another way
22:11 other than the Darwinian evolutionary model
22:15 that I had been taught since childhood
22:17 there was another way to look at it.
22:20 I mean, I was blown away, okay.
22:23 As if my life already hadn't been shaken up
22:25 enough becoming born again believer.
22:28 This was a fascinating revelation to me.
22:31 It was something that I had never,
22:33 never, never taken in to consideration
22:36 before that there are other ways
22:38 of looking at the evidence.
22:39 Other ways to explain it and to interpret the data
22:44 and this leads to a crucial concept in science,
22:48 a crucial concept, and many believe
22:50 it's a fundamental weakness of science
22:53 that they still haven't addressed
22:55 and we'll deal with that later on.
22:58 But let's go back to the bones in the ground.
23:01 Okay, I mean, and do they have
23:03 stamped on them where there come from.
23:07 Did they say, hey, we were created
23:09 in the late Cenozoic era 250 million years ago.
23:13 Of course not, instead someone had to look on them
23:16 and working from presuppositions,
23:19 working from ideas based on things
23:21 other than the bones themselves,
23:24 they had to give their own interpretation of the bone.
23:29 So here's the question I asked though.
23:32 What were those presuppositions
23:35 in which they based their interpretation of the bones?
23:37 How valid were those presuppositions,
23:40 and if they were valid,
23:41 how did they know they were valid?
23:43 What criteria do you use to judge their validity
23:47 and what is the reason for trusting that criteria.
23:50 It might be fine and dandy. But how do you know?
23:53 Maybe you fundamental presuppositions are wrong
23:57 which means your interpretation could be wrong as well.
24:00 Is that not possible?
24:01 And please, if you look at the whole history
24:05 of science of presuppositions
24:09 that existed for centuries that were later overturned,
24:13 you realize that the odds
24:15 in favor of those presuppositions
24:18 or actually the odds in favor of them being wrong.
24:22 Which means, you interpretation
24:24 could be wrong as well, or may be
24:26 if your presuppositions are right.
24:28 You may be, you applied them in a wrong way
24:30 in your conclusions all wrong.
24:32 Yes, there's no question the bones are in the ground.
24:38 But there could be other ways of explaining
24:40 how they got there other than the commonly held
24:43 Darwinian model of them.
24:46 And this was a complete eye-opener to me
24:49 and it's not just with the bones in the ground,
24:52 but it's a issue that all science
24:54 has been grappling with from the start.
24:57 How do you know that your theory,
24:59 how do you know that your interpretation,
25:01 your explanation is the right one?
25:05 Indeed, scientists bring their own rules
25:08 and assumptions and principles to the bones in the grounds
25:11 that they get from somewhere else
25:13 and maybe they don't really properly fit.
25:16 Some argue, some argue that scientists
25:18 were looking at the bones can't even really look at them.
25:22 Don't even know what there were looking at
25:23 without bringing their own presuppositions
25:27 into their own preconceived ideas.
25:31 Some people talk about the fact they say
25:33 the idea that all facts are theory-laden.
25:37 It means you can't determine what a brute hard fact is
25:41 without already having some ideas
25:43 before hand of what you are looking at.
25:46 Anyway, I just wanted to touch on this,
25:49 bring this up because it's this idea
25:52 that scientists come in with this pure objective
25:56 view of looking at things and it doesn't work that way.
25:59 The bones are in the ground.
26:01 They are there, but they have to be interpreted
26:04 and there is an incredible amount of diverse opinion
26:08 in the scientific community in regard to what
26:11 it means to even interpret a fact in nature.
26:14 A lot of controversy about what it means to have
26:16 scientific evidence for something in nature.
26:19 What it even means to make a theory or a hypothesis.
26:23 All these things are highly contested
26:26 among those who study them.
26:28 And if you really get into this,
26:31 I think most people would be amazed
26:32 in how these fundamental issues of science.
26:35 There's so little agreement
26:38 among scientists today about that.
26:41 And yes, folks, we are talking science here
26:46 which is nowhere near its objective and certain
26:49 and it's deductive as we are led to believe.
26:53 And the point on all of these is there's a lot more faith
26:57 in science than most people realize.
27:00 And it takes a lot more faith
27:02 to believe in some of these things
27:04 that scientists teach than most people realize too.
27:08 And once you do and start studying this
27:12 and realize this, it become so much easier
27:16 not to surrender clear biblical teachings
27:20 just because something comes
27:21 with the imprimatur science on it.
27:25 And that's what I want to talk about
27:27 in part of the series here.
27:29 There's no question,
27:31 science has done a lot of good in the world.
27:33 It's a great way of looking at the world.
27:36 And science too has done a lot to increase my faith,
27:41 but there is a flip side to all this.
27:45 And if science as it is now practiced is right on origins.
27:51 If they are right with almost all that-- will of them teach?
27:55 If they are correct then my belief
27:58 in the Bible would be nullified.
28:01 That's how big I believe the issues are.
28:03 Fortunately, once we realize some of the issues involved
28:09 in the practice of science,
28:12 we realize we don't have to surrender our faith
28:15 or anything crucial to.


Revised 2015-01-01