Christian Apologetics Free Course 12, Lesson 04
Analyzing Bible Difficulties 04
Common Sense About Difficulties In The Bible
Difficulties are bound to arise whenever a difficult subject is discussed. Since the Bible discusses numerous topics, many of which require spiritual discernment for proper understanding, difficulties are to be expected. In the previous chapter we saw the most common types of difficulties and the methods to solve those problems. However, no persons will ever be able to solve every problem that is put to them. This might cause much distress if apologists are not aware of this possibility. To prepare readers in this direction, we shall list some commonsense observations on difficulties in the Bible. These are termed “commonsense” comments because one does not need a theological background to understand the validity of these statements.
1–When Finite Humans Try To Understand The Infinite God And His Actions, Difficulties Are Bound To Arise: A certain minimum amount of intelligence and experience is necessary to understand any subject. What is easy for a doctor or an engineer to understand seems an impossible task for a unlearned person. A similar problem arises when finite humans try to understand the thoughts and deeds of the infinite God. There is no way in which humans can understand everything about God to their full satisfaction. If an uneducated labourer cannot understand the intricacies of Quantum Mechanics, then finite humans should never even dream of understanding everything about the infinite God. This, of course, does not preclude them in any way from gaining an understanding that is sufficient for living an abundant Christian life.
2–The Presence Of Difficulties Or Objections Does Not In Any Way Prove The Bible Untrue: Our understanding of the Bible is growing day by day. Many difficulties and problems which have, in the past, been there have vanished with this kind of development. However, our understanding of the Bible is not complete yet and therefore many problems still remain to be solved. Our past experience with the disappearance of problems shows that the presence of a few unsolved problems does not prove the Bible wrong. We must grant the necessary time to the Bible so that new light might be thrown on alleged difficulties.The past history of criticism of the Bible clearly shows two things:
(I)–Numerous objections have, from time to time, been raised against the Bible, and they seemed to completely destroy the credibility of this Book, but a good number of these difficulties have been solved with our growth in understanding, either of the Bible or of science. This implies that we should wait for some time before pronouncing every problem and difficulty as unsolvable.
(II)–The problems which have vanished from the scene had been there due more to the misunderstanding or distortion of science than to the Biblical narratives. For example the currently popular Big-Bang theory is used by some to attack the creation narrative in Genesis. They forget that the Big-Bang is only a theory of science, and that it has not yet been elevated to a fact of science. Since it is only a theory, it might change or might even be abandoned in future. Something that is still as uncertain as this cannot be used legitimately to attack Genesis. This is a distortion of scientific and logical deduction.
3–All Views On Origin Present Problems And Difficulties: There are many views on the origins question, but ultimately all of them fall into two categories: supernatural and natural. No one has witnessed the origin of the universe in a laboratory, and therefore the view of origin accepted by any person is more a matter of faith and less of scientific observation. Both the above viewpoints have their own problems and difficulties, but the natural-origin view has the greatest odds against it.
According to the natural-origin view, the beginning and evolution of the universe has followed from the physics and chemistry of matter and energy. However, scientific studies during the past century have demonstrated that most of the fundamental laws of physics and chemistry preclude the possibility of natural evolution of the Universe and of the life in it. On the other hand, if people accept the Biblical view they face fewer difficulties. The alleged difficulties are being solved one after another. The sixty-six books of the Canon have an amazing unity. The historical, archaeological, scientific and prophetic accuracy of its books are being demonstrated every day. It has a life-changing power which is not seen in any other book or in any scientific procedure. Hence believers in the Bible face fewer problems of logic than believers in evolution do. It is wiser therefore to accept the divine view of origins than the natural view which is plagued with scientific problems.
4–Human Inability To Solve A Difficulty Does Not Imply That The Problem Is Unsolvable: The above statement represents a very common observation of life. When we face a problem for which we seem to arrive at no solution, we do not immediately conclude that the problem cannot be solved. Of course many jump to wrong kinds of conclusions occasionally, but most of the time people have the common sense to look objectively at the issues and conclude that inability to solve does not imply that it is impossible to solve the problem. Instead, it is better to wait for more information.
The least that should be granted to the Bible, therefore, is a similar opportunity. If we seem to have no answer to a problem related to the Bible, we should be willing to wait for a justifiable amount of time before jumping to the conclusion that the problem cannot be solved. Unlike all other books the Bible has a greater claim to this kind of treatment because of its excellent track record. All kinds of problems have been raised against the Bible in the past millennia. This phenomenon has intensified in the past two hundred years, to such a level that today hundreds of books and articles come out every year with the sole aim of questioning something or other in the Bible. Yet, many of the problems which seemed incapable of solution a short time ago turned out to be trivial: discoveries in archeology, history, geography, language or science solved them. An honest inquirer should be willing to wait for a reasonable time when facing any kind of a problem. In the case of the Bible this is a must if a person is objective regarding past experiences with this Book.