For centuries, Secularists have accused Christians of being anti-science and the Bible of being fiction. But all the arguments leveraged against Christians often compare the two as if they are fruits of the same tree; as if they were intended for the same purpose and practiced for the same reason.
But that’s not the case at all. Science and religion are not in conflict, but rather, they are complementary.
Relevant Radio is proud to present the first episode of Old Covenant Controversies, a series from Cale Clarke, host of The Faith Explained. In this series, Cale will discuss the most controversial arguments surrounding content from the Old Testament, including evolution and science, history vs. fiction, the treatment of violence, and the differing perspectives on sexuality. In his inaugural episode of Old Covenant Controversies, Cale covered the topics of evolution and science, and how they complement the truth of revelation and religion.
Cale began by explaining that faith and science have two different motives: faith seeks to help us answer the Why? of life. “What is the meaning and purpose of life? What is our origin? Where did we come from? Where are we going? Who is God and where are we in relation to Him?” And science seeks to help us answer the How? of life. While we know God is our creator, science answers the questions of how things function between His creatures and creation.
And there’s no better place to start than at the creation story. For years, secular scientists theorized that the universe had had no beginning and that it had simply always existed. This idea was called the Steady State Hypothesis. But in the 1950s and 60s, they began to understand, that based on the age of the different entities around us, the universe must have had a beginning. That’s how we arrived at the Big Bang Theory, the name for the theory that the universe, as it was, came into existence at a single instant in time from some sort of collision or explosion of high density and temperature.
That theory actually came from a Catholic priest who was also a scientist, Father Georges Lemaître. The Big Bang Theory, regarded by some as heretical to the Faith, is a fitting complement to the idea that God created everything. That initial explosion or collision had to have been caused by something, and that thing had to have had a creator. It’s Aquinas’s argument from First Cause. As far back as you can theorize about a chain of events, there has to at some point have been a first cause to set it all in motion. And because we’ve already determined that the universe had a beginning, that creator must be God.
While some may point out that this doesn’t exactly match up with what we read in the Bible, Cale explained that we have to understand the nature of the Bible before we understand its contents. The Bible isn’t a book. It’s a collection of 73 books. And they were all compiled and written by different people in different ways and they lend themselves to different genres of literature.
“For example, the Bible includes books of history. It includes Greco-Roman biographies. The four gospels describe the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. The Bible also contains personal letters. Some of the letters of St. Paul include a different type of genre. A different type of literature known as an apocalypse includes the book of Revelation and parts of Daniel. [The Bible] also contains poetry like the song of Solomon or the Song of Songs as it is known. There are the Psalms, the song-prayers of Israel, that in many ways, functions as a hymn book.”
Genesis incorporates a blend of genres including poetry and history. The first portion is a poetic account of the creation story, while the rest of it documents historical events. But even poetry can convey some very important truths. As Cale explained, the creation story clarified some truths, including the fact that there is only one God, that He is separate from His creation, and that all that we see was created intentionally, not merely material salvaged from a divine battle.
Listen to this full episode of Old Covenant Controversies above or on The Faith Explained show page! And be sure to catch the rest of the episodes live on Relevant Radio at 12:30pm CT from November 14 – November 23!