Scientific and Christian Viewpoints may appear at First to be Opposing

Scientific and Christian Viewpoints may appear at First to be Opposing

Copyright 2018 by Joan Berry

Scientific and Christian viewpoints may appear at first to be opposing, but a closer look will reveal that they are very much in agreement and that science is not the enemy of the Biblical account of the Creation. The Creation has always been a matter of great interest to Christians as well as to those in the various fields of science. Admittedly, neither the Bible nor the Creation account were written to be sources of scientific information, but they have had an intriguing attraction for scientific investigation that many times resulted in confirmation of what Christians have taken in faith all along. From a Christian’s perspective, the creation account was where God first revealed himself; the purpose of his creations; and a as a triune God who set a plan of salvation in place that led to the New Testament and Jesus Christ. This essay will not cover theories of evolution; the topics will be limited to the importance of Genesis, purpose of creation, comparison to a Mesopotamian creation myth, Biblical creation process, and examples of agreement between science and the Biblical account of Creation.

“In the beginning . . .,” the first words of Genesis set the stage to explain the origins of our planet, nature, mankind, and God’s purpose for us. God did not need humans for company or a new place to live, he created the Earth and its inhabitants as a means to have a relationship and dwell with mankind who was expected to worship him and take care of the paradise he created for them (Hill & Walton, 2009, pp. 23, 58). God showed his presence as he created the cosmos as a place he wanted to be, and then Adam and Eve lost this special presence of God when they sinned, and God again introduced his presence in the covenant with them as to what their lives would bring to them (Hill & Walton, 2009, pp. 77-78; Gen. 3 NIV).

God could have destroyed his creation of mankind for their disobedience, but in his mercy and grace spared their lives and banished them from the garden. In the New Testament Adam is referred to as a type of him who was to come (Rom. 5:14) indicating that in some way that Jesus is connected. According to the NKJV (2007), we should consider that both came into the world under unusual circumstances as sinless people: Adam as the head of the old creation and Jesus as the head of the new creation and as such God had planned for our salvation from the beginning (p.2). It should be mentioned here that God is a triune God (God, the father (Is. 40:28), Jesus, the son (Col. 1:16), and the Holy Spirit (Job 33:4).  There are many other references and these are but a few examples: Matt. 29:19 and II Cor. 13:14. During the creation process in Genesis 1:26, there is a reference … let us make man in our image, according to our likeness, which most Christians also take to mean a triune God head is involved. Some scholars think that the plural of god was often used during this epoch but meant one god, but the other verses throughout the Bible seem to refute that and Genesis implies that God being a spirit, was not talking about angels or other created beings.

Genesis has similarities to Sumerian and Mesopotamian creation myths and because these texts are older, some believe Genesis was developed from those sources, but there are major differences (Hill & Walton, 2009, p 81). The creation myths are the product of pagan societies that assigned gods to everything, but in Israelite religion there was the one and only God. For example, there was no moon god or goddess, God made the moon for light and a way to note the change of seasons – function. Mankind was created in the image of God and the world was created for them. In mythology, mankind was an afterthought and presented as a slave to the many pagan gods (Hill & Walton, 2009, p 83). Genesis presents mankind as very special: the crown of creation, made in the image of God, and granted a priestly identity at creation (Skillen, 2011, p 123).  Skillen (2011) posits that this was a revolutionary break with mythologies and the pagan bond was broken forever; mankind had, under God, dignity, purpose, and freedom and was empowered (p. 123).

Genesis  is literature and the record of the “beginnings” including the foundations  of Old Testament theology and was not meant to be a source of scientific information, however archaeologists use its content to locate ancient ruins  and scientist consult  it in their investigations of nature and the cosmos (Hill & Walton, 2009, p 78). It must be remembered that science uses methods to study material things (matter and energy) and expresses results in materialistic terminologies – the mechanics of how something works, but not the meaning and purpose (Lucas, 2005, p 140).  An example given by Lucas was that two people were standing on a beach; one was a scientist and the other was a Boy Scout. They both saw a bright light flashing at intervals at sea. The scientist was excited by the intensity and distance and wondered what its source could be. The Boy Scout saw it as an SOS signal and ran for help and saved many lives. The scientist could not get beyond the technical aspect of the light’s properties to wonder who was holding the light and why – the primary reason (p 140).  The point could be made that God gave us the capacity to understand that science is an acceptable and often necessary way to find the truth about nature. The Bible has its limitations  which does not include detailed information about scientific matters for example a course in astronomy, but we have been made in God’s likeness and are able to understand the truths in his created order which is something that modern scientists have come to realize (Lucas, 2005, pp. 143-145). 

Creations that scientists have pondered are many and several will be briefly discussed here as examples of their investigations including some that are a little controversial.  In the Bible firmament means heavens, and the root word refers to something hammered out as metal as a bracelet (NKJV, 2007, note p. 4). Using this as a background for Gen. 1:6, scientists believe the separation of the water above and below is a reference to the asteroid belt which separates the outer gaseous planets from the terrestrial planets (inside planets) and forms a circle as a bracelet. From 1974-1982, the  National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) probes, Voyagers and Pioneers, detected ice and water on Neptune and Uranus, Saturn’s moons and rings, and Venus. And we know from recent robot probes on Mars that there is water there, also (NASA Missions, 2012 updated).

            In Genesis 2:7, God made man from the dust of the ground and breathed life into him. This is thought of as molding man from clay (NKJV, 2007, note p. 6). Beginning in the 1960s, scientists discovered that clay has the properties of being able to store and transfer energy and contains some of the building blocks of life. This was further confirmed in 1985 by the American Research Center (Klein, n.d.).

            Following are a few examples from a compiled list of scientific proofs of the Bible by J. N. Clayton (n.d.):

            A place in the north void of stars was found in the 19th century and the Earth is held in place by invisible forces was discovered in 1650 (Job 26:7NIV):He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing. Arcturus and other stars move through space was discovered in the 19th century (Job 38:32 NIV).

Isaiah, in the 8th century BC, declared the earth was round, discovered in modern times in the 15th century (Isaiah 40:22): He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.

Blood is necessary to life discovered in the 17th century (Lev. 17:11 NIV): For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life. Only three centuries ago the complete meaning of what blood meant to life was discovered by William Harvey (Merrill, 1991, pp. 35-36).

Psalms 8:8the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. Oceans were discovered to have natural guided streams (or paths) in 1854.

Genesis 1:2 NIV: Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. Earth was in nebular form initially, discovered in 1911.


Even though science confirms what we already have accepted as truth through God, we must remember that upon learning through science out of curiosity does not eliminate the revelation of the nature of God; and that science tried to explain things without God being involved. It is important to understand that God created (Hill & Walton, 2009, p 96).  The purposes of Genesis were to present God as the Creator of all, to give the account of origins of the cosmos, and proclaim the assumption that God existed and that he planned from the beginning to lead us to Christ and salvation (Lucas, 2005, p 151).

Book sources:

Hill, A. E., & Walton, J. H. (2009). A survey of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

Life Application Study BibleNew International Version (NIV). (2005). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Merrill, E.H., (1991). An historical survey of the Old Testament (2nd ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic

New King James Version Study Bible (NKJV), (2nd ed.), (2007). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc

Electronic sources:

Clayton, J.N. (n.d.). Scientific proof of the Bible. Retrieved from http://www.kingjamesbible-

Klein, D.R. (n.d.). Organic chemistry. Retrieved from

Lucas, E. (2005). Science and the Bible: are they incompatible? Science And Christian Belief,-28fb-46d3-96f9-a006edcc4842%40.

NASA Missions. (2012 updated). Voyager and Pioneer missions chart. Retrieved from

Skillen, J. W. (2011). The seven days of creation. Calvin Theological Journal, 46(1), Retrieved from -69de-48ad-863b-bbe6e56cc20a%4111-139.


The Bible and Ecology

The Bible and Ecology

Copyright 2019 by Joan Berry

Although the Bible was not meant to be a book on natural science, it contains the wisdom of God and how the ancient Hebrew people obeyed Him in caring for the human and nature’s ecology. Professor of Philosophy Holmes Rolston, III, (1996), at Colorado State University, looked to the Bible to study how the ancient Hebrew people, who were in better and closer contact with the land than modern people, cared for the lands from which they drew their substance either as pastures for livestock, or as field crops. Furthermore, he had an interest in learning how human nature relates to the Bible, and as to how it works and how it should work in regard to human values. Unlike science, Rolston said, humans must have morals to make their ecology perform correctly because they have a conscience and do not live well with other people without the love of God and their neighbors.

            Rolston approached human ecology from the human nature aspect rather than the scientific view. He attributed the Hebrews with knowing that in each seed and root, there was the possibility of reaping a crop. He also acknowledged the wisdom of Abraham’s realization that he and Lot needed to save their pastures from destruction from overgrazing. He made the ethically ecological decision that he and his nephew should separate their herds of goats and sheep and find other grazing lands.

An ethical and moral situation that Rolston also addressed was that 80 percent of the world’s produce was eaten by 20 percent of the population which meant that 80 percent of the people were forced to eat the meager 20 percent remaining. This was and is a horrible ratio that became an ethical problem. There was only so much available land on which to grow food and this also created a human ecological problem that ended up being centered on ethics instead of science. It became a matter of morals and loving your neighbor. According to Rolston, Isaiah 5:7-8 is a metaphor of greedy land owners who have acquired adjoining lands until they have gained it all. He posits that no intelligent human ecology can happen until the people learn to use the land justly and charitably.

Rolston further said that the Hebrews adhered to the laws of God because they believed their fertile lands were a gift from God as their creator and whom they must obey to flourish in their land. One of the laws was to have one of their fields lie fallow every seventh year. This allowed the soil to recover its minerals and become fertile again, and remains a practice even today. Rolston regards the Bible as being about longevity and keeping the earth sustainable and is a separation between what exists and what should exist.

Harking back to the days of Adam and Noah, Rolston reminds his readers that God reestablished his covenant with Noah to save animal species for future generations and mankind was to repopulate the earth in its kind and not to be a threat to the animals. Adam and Noah, he said, were appointed trustees over creation and by extension ourselves as stewards of the earth. He pointed out how Job rejoiced over God’s creation of fauna and flora with the psalmist of Psalms 104 proclaiming the same (Job 38, 39, 40 NKJV). The ancients, while not having the scientific knowledge of today, realized the ecology of the earth was special and needed to be respected.


            The Bible writers have proclaimed from cover to cover God’s creative work and we are directed to obey Him and to love and live within the natural world because we are intertwined and we are intricately dependent upon nature to exist.  It behooves us to respect and care for the ecology of all concerned. Humans must place a high value on the natural world that God provided for us and we must become the good stewards as God commanded. Rolston again reminds us that the story of Noah makes us aware of the various forms of life “and to the biological and theological forces producing them. What is required is not human prudence but principled responsibility to the biospheric Earth to God,” (Rolston, 1996). Rolston concluded that the Bible directs people how to live among each other in love and justice within the natural world that he created just as the Hebrew culture saw themselves living in harmony with nature.


NKJV Study Bible. (2007). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Rolston, H. (1996). The Bible and Ecology. Interpretation, 50(1), 16-26. Retrieved from e&db=rfh&AN=ATLA0000908036&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Radio Carbon: Is it Reliable?

Radiocarbon Dating: Is It Reliable?

Before we delve into the study of angels, I would like to discuss radiocarbon-14 Dating and its good points and flaws. The upcoming study will cover thousands of years and the dates are important as you will soon see in the series. Carbon dating can be accurate to a degree, but scientists have determined that is generally not practical to measure ages greater than 20,000 years. This is due to radioactivity of the carbon becomes so insignificant that it is very difficult to acquire an accurate measurement (Weber, 1982).

Some of the reasons that cause problems with radiocarbon-14 dating start with the assumption that the amount of carbon-14 kept a constant rate. This assumption was made in error because factors such as Earth’s magnetic field is weaker now and fluctuates, the Genesis flood, contamination from outside sources, above-ground radiation, carbon in the atmosphere, and faulty assessments (Weber, 1982; Callaway, 2012).

Ben Panko (2016) and Malcolm W. Brown (1990) agree that radiocarbon-14 is in jeopardy because of all the chances of errors. Errors were found as much as 3,500 years. However, a better method created by Japanese scientists promises to eliminate the current problems. Does the current method of dating disprove the Bible? Not a chance, because the Bible has never proved to be wrong. Carbon dating has proven a young Earth existed in the days of Enoch and Job. Using the Bible as a guide, archeologists have discovered lost cities thought to be myths and carbon dated to the correct era. 

“Today, the amount of carbon dioxide humans are pumping into Earth’s atmosphere is threatening to skew the accuracy of this technique for future archaeologists looking at our own time. That’s because fossil fuels can shift the radiocarbon age of new organic materials today, making them hard to distinguish from ancient ones” (Panko, 2016).

In conclusion, biblical records were written by people who were alive at that time and other ancient sources support those records. Although radiocarbon-14 dating is accurate to a point, errors as much as 3,500 years were found. There is research being conducted on radiocarbon-13 for better accuracy as well as a new method by Japanese scientists,


Brown, Malcolm W. (1990). Errors are feared in carbon dating. New York Times. (Author reports on interviews with several scientists concerning carbon dating accuracy).

Callaway, Ewen. (2012). Carbon dating gets reset. Scientific American. Flaws are discussed about carbon dating and how a new method developed by Japanese scientists will be more accurate.

Panko, Ben. (2016). Thanks to carbon fuels, carbon dating is in jeopardy . . . Smithsonian. Author discusses causes of carbon dating errors and how a new method of dating may solve the problem of accuracy. 

How the Sabbath was Changed to Sunday

How the Sabbath was Changed to Sunday

By V.J. Berry

Copyright 2017

The first recorded Sabbath is found in Genesis 2:1-3 – Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in their entire vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done” (NIV). This was to be a day of rest for both mankind and animals and it was set aside as holy to allow people to rest their bodies and have time to worship and concentrate on God. The seventh day (Sabbath) starts at sundown on Friday and concludes at Saturday/s sunset and this command is part of the Jewish law (Zondervan, 2009, p.806). The Christian Sabbath begins at midnight Saturday and ends at midnight Sunday. In this essay, Following is the history of the Sabbath and how it was never authorized by God to be changed to Sunday (Webb, 2008). [This is a matter of history, not an attack or judgment on the Roman Catholic Church (RCC)].

There is a misconception about the Sabbath being for Jews only. The first Sabbath came about by God’s directive following the sixth day of Creation. Jesus said in Mark 2:27 that the Sabbath was made for Man. No ethnic group is mentioned. Adam and Eve were not Jews and it was nearly 3,000 years from the Creation before “Jews” appeared on the scene (Coulter, 2013). Another factor about the Creation is that Jesus was there. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made“(John 1: 1-3). Jesus declares Himself “Lord of the Sabbath” (Mark 2: 27-28): “Then he said to them, the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”  Paul declared “There remains Sabbath keeping for the people of God” (1 Peter 2: 10: “ Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”

Returning to the Old Testament, we see that Abraham was pleasing to God because he obeyed God in all things and James in the New Testament calls him “the Friend of God” (James 2:23). In Exodus 16, we see that the Sabbath is being observed before the Ten Commandments were given to Moses that included the fourth commandment regarding the Sabbath. The people were instructed to gather manna as needed for each of five days, but on the sixth day, they were to collect enough for that day and the next day which would be the Sabbath.  This shows that Sabbath was still being observed since Creation (Coulter, 2013).

The Sabbath law also reminded the Israelites that God was the Creator and provider of all they had and by setting this day aside for a special purpose, it gave them as humans a sense of holiness and a sense of agelessness in worshiping their Creator (Ex. 20:8-11); Hill & Walton, 2009, p.138).  However, by the time of Jesus, the legalism of Judaism had concealed the humanitarian and practical benefits of the Sabbath or outright removed them (Matt. 12: 1-4; Mark 7: 1-13; Hill & Walton, p. 138). The Jews had forgotten or ignored that the Sabbath was made for Man and did not (or would not) understand that spiritual work that included acts of healing and aiding the poor on the Sabbath glorified God as good works on the Sabbath (Coulter, 2013). Coulter (2014) says the “Sabbath is a day of blessing as it was in the beginning and a day of redemption and salvation.”

Jesus observed the Sabbath as was the custom and an example of this is in Luke 4:16 which records his appearance at the Nazareth synagogue where He read from the Scriptures and He journeyed to Capernaum where He taught on the Sabbath (Luke 4:31-32). Jesus taught many times on the Sabbath. At Creation, He had made the Sabbath a blessing for all mankind and Jesus used it for teaching, preaching, healing, and exorcising demons, all for ridding people of sin (Coulter, 2013). The last command of Jesus before He ascended into Heaven was to tell his apostles to “teach and do only those things they had learned from Him.” There was neither a mention of changing the Sabbath to Sunday, nor did the apostle teach it (Coulter, 2013). In summary of the apostles, as an examples: when Paul was teaching in Greece, he found that the Gentiles were already observing the Sabbath. He also taught Gentiles to keep the Sabbath. In Philippi (Macedonia), Luke said they went to a river on the Sabbath and taught there (Acts 16:12-13).

It was about 300 years following the era of the apostles that the Emperor Constantine (as a Roman Catholic}instituted Sunday (first day of the week) as the Christian Sabbath, separating them from the traditional Sabbath ordered by God . The Roman Catholic Church boldly announced that it moved the Sabbath to Sunday by its own authority to commemorate the Resurrection of Jesus. Following are quoted questions and answers from the Roman Catholic doctrinal and catechism documents.

            Question: Which is the Sabbath day?

 Answer: Saturday is the Sabbath day.

Question: Why do we worship on Sunday instead of Saturday?

Answer: We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church, in the Council of Laodicea (A.D. 336), transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.

Question: Have you a way of proving that the Church [Roman Catholic] has the power to institute festivals of precept?

Answer: Had she no such power, she should not have done that in which all modern religion agree with her – she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of week,, for the observance of Saturday, the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority (Doctrine et al., 1927, pp. 50, 147

            Following are two quotes found in Coulter (2013): “The Scriptures nowhere call the first day of the week the Sabbath . . . There is no Scriptural authority for so doing, nor of course any Scriptural obligation” (The Baptist Watchman, n.d.) and “The observation of the first instead of the seventh day rests on the testimony of the church and the church alone” (Hobort Church News [Episcopalian], 1894). There are some Protestant churches that observe Saturday as the Sabbath such as Seventh Day Adventists and some Baptists and others. It has been suggested by various church denominations such as the Seventh Day Adventist that the Protestant churches apparently were so accustomed to worshipping on Sunday, that when the separation from the Roman Catholic Church occurred during the Reformation, they did not return to God’s Sabbath, so they carry the baggage imposed by the Roman Catholic Church, unaware or not. ).  [Because the Protestant Church made no objection to changing the Sabbath day, the RCC believed they had additional authority for the change].

From the Encyclopedia Britannica under the article, Sunday. Notice: “It was Constantine who first made a law for the proper observance of Sunday and who appointed that it should be regularly celebrated throughout the Roman Empire.” When Constantine pressed his pagan hordes into the church, they were observing the day of the sun for their adoration of the sun god. It was their special holy day. In order to make it more convenient for them to make the change to the new religion, Constantine accepted their day of worship, Sunday, instead of the Christian Sabbath which had been observed by Jesus and His disciples (Crews, 2003).


            God blessed the seventh day following His Creation. This is the day that He chose for us to rest and not to worry about laboring but to worship Him. This is a scared time to fellowship with our Creator. God did not change or authorize a change from the seventh day to the first day of the week, replacing His ordained Sabbath. The Roman Catholic Church in concert with Constantine made the change on its own authority. Many Protestant churches carried this custom into their doctrines, perhaps not realizing their error.


Hill, A.E. & Walton, J.H. (2009). A survey of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI:


Life Application Study Bible (NIV). (2005). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Zondervan Handbook to the Bible (4th ed.). (2009). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

Electronic sources:

Coulter, F.R. (2013). Which day is the true Christian Sabbath–the true Lord’s Day: The seventh-

day of the week, or the first day of the week? Retrieved from

Doctrinal Catechism, (1927).

The Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine. (1927).

Doctrinal Catechism and The Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine. (1927 ed

Sabbath Truth (2003). How the Sabbath was changed. Joe Crews Radio Sermon Library.

Webb, A. (2008). When does the Christian Sabbath begin and end? Retrieved from