I AM A LIVING, BREATHING “DOUBTING THOMAS”!
Testimony time! This guest post is written by Ken Klos, who is an apologist wtih Reasons to Believe, an apologetics ministry which focuses on the intersection between Science and Faith, and a partner with Ratio Christi.
By Ken Klos, RTB Apologist:
I grew up as a Christian, and I never doubted that I believed in Jesus as my Lord and Savior. But I can remember telling my parents that I believed in evolution “because the evidence is so good, all the fossils and everything.” I remember discussing the ages of the patriarchs listed in the Bible with my mom, and she said that she thought those ages mean that’s how long their reputation lived on. But that didn’t quite make sense to me since we still read about them today in the Bible. So I was taught at home that it’s ok to consider Bible stories as having meaning or truth, but not necessarily 100% true.
In both high school and college, I was taught repeatedly that ideas/hypotheses must be tested and proven correct before we accept them as fact. We studied numerous examples of erroneous conclusions stemming from failure to test something, from a failure to “follow the scientific method.” We also studied numerous examples of good conclusions stemming from proper use of the scientific method. YEARS later, I learned that the scientific method was derived from the Bible, including I Thessalonians 5:21 - “Test everything.” So, I was thoroughly indoctrinated into being a “doubting Thomas” by my education, and THE BIBLE ITSELF!
I also continued to receive teaching supporting the theory of evolution in high school and college. I believed it because it APPEARED to be supported by physical evidence: thousands of fossils showing increasing complexity over long periods of time. There were always nagging questions that no one could answer, but we assumed that scientists would eventually find those answers. (No one mentioned that Darwin himself asked, “Where are the transitional fossils? If they aren’t found my theory will be discarded.”) A transitional fossil is one that shows characteristics of both an ancestral species and a descendant species. Archaeopteryx WAS considered to be transitional between dinosaurs and birds for several years, but is now considered just a primitive species of bird. Not one species has been confirmed as transitional to date, and Darwin’s theory is now over 150 years old! Name ANY OTHER scientific theory that has failed to answer the questions put to it by its own author which is still accepted dogma 150 yrs. later!
Don’t bother to search for such a theory; you won’t find any.
I also applied my science training to events described in the Bible and came to the conclusion in most cases that the Bible was inaccurate. For example, Genesis 1 seems to say that “God created the heavens and the earth” (Ge 1:1) BEFORE He created “light” (Ge 1:3). Just a basic knowledge of physics tells you that that can’t happen! Ge 1 also says God created the entire universe and all living things in 6 days (presumably 24 hr days). That concept violates so many scientific laws that it’s absurd to consider it “factual”. In summary, my “god” wasn’t big enough to do ANYTHING supernatural!
In the ensuing years my faith wavered from weak to strong, but I was never sure of what parts of the Bible I believed because I was sure certain parts were not literally true. We (I married a beautiful, sweet Christian young lady in 1964) started going to church again in the ‘70s and readily returned to believing in the Virgin birth, but I saw no need to believe in the other things that were inconsistent with scientific “facts”.
I continued to believe in biological evolution, and around the end of 1994 came to the brilliant (I thought) conclusion that “God used evolution as His way of creating us.” I thought this was a new idea (It was actually thought about, laughed about and forgotten about in the 19th century!) and set about reading books by evolutionist authors to see if I could find support for this concept. What I found was that, by the definition used by scientists, evolution means a TOTALLY naturalistic process completely devoid of even ONE action by God! This INCLUDES creation of the UNIVERSE, not just life!
That put me squarely in the “creationist” camp! I wasn’t about to accept the notion that God had nothing to do with our existence and essentially abandon my faith! I still thought the truth was somewhere between strict evolution and creation, and as a “doubting Thomas” I couldn’t believe that God had created the universe in 6-24 hr. days, as most “creationists” do, just because the Bible appears to say that. Nevertheless, I realized I’d rather be misunderstood as a “young-earth creationist” than considered to believe God didn’t have anything to do with my existence!
So, in 1995 I asked Pastor Jim Hobby for direction. I told him of my belief in evolution and that I was looking for a way to reconcile it with my faith. He recommended a book titled, Darwin on Trial in which the author, Phillip Johnson, analyzes evolutionary theory and the logic it uses. In chapter after chapter, Johnson revealed how evolutionary “science” uses faulty logic. It uses EVERY KIND of faulty logic, most commonly it uses circular logic and does it so skillfully that even scientists are deceived! It DOESN’T use the scientific method. It uses circular logic very subtly by starting off with the unspoken assumption that everything (literally everything from the stars and galaxies in the sky to the bacteria in our guts) is the result of evolution. Scientists then go out into the world to find evidence, and no matter what evidence they find the only answer they are allowed to conclude as to the origin of the changes they observe in animals is that they evolved! That’s circular logic at its finest!
My phrase are allowed to conclude in the paragraph above refers to the peer review process, which in other fields is an effective method of screening for well-written publications. However, in the field of biology, if an author proposes a process for the observed changes other than evolution, no matter how well documented his conclusion, he will be strongly encouraged to rewrite his article to find that all observed changes were the result of evolution. If he refuses to do this, his article most likely will never be published, or if it’s a PhD dissertation, it will simply be rejected as “unscientific.” Suddenly, the Biblical prophecy of almost 2000 yrs. ago in 2 Timothy 4:3-4 “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths” was jumping out at me as being fulfilled in the theory of evolution. I was blown away by how accurately the prophecy was being fulfilled!
The eventual result of my doubts about the truth of the Bible, combined with my faith in God and the reading of several additional books, was that I came to the following conclusions:
1) The Bible is the INERRANT Word of God. That doesn’t mean I understand everything, but I know it’s God’s word and it is without error.
2) Science SEEKS truth and our ability to seek truth comes from God;
3) Both the Bible and the universe were created by God, who cannot lie.
4) Therefore, the Bible and scientific knowledge are NEVER ultimately contradictory. If they APPEAR contradictory, it’s because we don’t understand the Bible correctly, OR we’re misinterpreting the scientific evidence; OR we’re misunderstanding BOTH the Bible AND the scientific evidence.
The other result of my doubts combined with a search for truth is that my faith is now stronger than it ever could have been if those doubts hadn’t been resolved. Now I don’t just BELIEVE Jesus loves me and died for me, I KNOW He loves me and died for me! I don’t just BELIEVE He forgives my sins, I KNOW He forgives my sins. I don’t just BELIEVE I will live with Him in heaven for eternity, I KNOW I will live with Him in heaven for eternity.
PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW!!
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