A Scientific Account?

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Every so often we hear people make the comment that Genesis 1 and 2 is not a scientific account of Creation. What these people want to highlight is that Moses wrote these opening chapters in the Bible to teach us primarily about God and His relationship with us as our Creator. He was not trying to provide us with a comprehensive and detailed scientific description of how God created. It is also often pointed out that Moses was writing Genesis to a bunch of Hebrew former slaves, not to university-trained and scientifically-aware twenty-first century professionals. 

Its Basic Message
It is very true that the focus of Genesis is deeply theological. God towers as the mastermind within the entire Creation account. God is introduced right from the start—“In the beginning God”—and is the subject of almost every sentence in the first chapter. Genesis 1 and 2 also tell us how God brought all things created onto the stage—heavens, earth, and all their host. Genesis is clearly describing, at some level, what God did at Creation and how He did it.

One reason that some people conclude that Genesis 1 and 2 is not a scientific account is that it does not provide a detailed description of how things came into being. Scientific textbooks that focus on embryology or protein synthesis, for example, go into a lot of detail about how these things came about and how they work.

We don’t find this level of detail in the Creation account. Genesis simply says that God spoke and things came to be. Or, that the Lord formed the first human from the dust and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life: and the man became a living creature. That’s really the limit of the detail that Genesis shares with us about how God did it.

This leads to an interesting puzzle, though. The kids’ section of your public library contains a host of science books about such things as baby animals, dinosaurs, and volcanoes. These books are simple enough for elementary school children to understand, but lack the level of detail you would find in textbooks that Ph.D. students would hunt for in their university library. Does this lack mean that children’s science books are not scientific accounts? This seems like a logical contradiction—a children’s science book that is not scientific? How odd!

What this shows is that books can provide different levels of scientific detail. Even though a children’s science book does not include a huge amount of scientific detail, it can still be scientifically correct.

Defining the Problem
The problem does not stop with children’s science books—picture one of those bridge pathways in an adventure movie that towers dizzyingly high above a ravenous chasm, but is rapidly collapsing behind the hero as he tries to escape the evil powers chasing him.

It is not the level of detail that makes a science book scientific, but simply whether or not the level of detail given in the book is scientifically correct.

 That’s what it’s like when we try to specify the amount of scientific detail that needs to be in a book for it to be scientific. It would mean that a high school science textbook would rule out a primary school science book from being scientific, a university science textbook would fail as a high school textbook, a graduate scientific monograph would disqualify an undergraduate science textbook, and on and on. No standard of scientific detail can be set up that will not be ruled out by another book of greater and finer scientific detail. It is not the level of detail that makes a science book scientific, but simply whether or not the level of detail given in the book is genuinely aiming to describe the world in which we live.

It’s the same for the Bible. While it is true that the Bible does not provide a detailed particle-by-particle, gamma-ray-by-gamma-ray account of how God ignited the sun (for example), these opening chapters in the Bible do actually provide answers to a number of fascinating and important scientific questions:

How long did it take for Planet Earth to be transformed from a lifeless environment to a planet teeming with living organisms?
Biblical answer: Less than four days, because God created plant life during the third day of Creation week and finished creating all of the original life on our beautiful planet home by the end of the sixth day. Think about that for a moment—that’s going from empty to teeming in less than 96 hours!

Which appeared first on the earth—birds or land animals?
Biblical answer: Birds, because birds were created on the fifth day, while land animals were created on the sixth. This means that birds did not evolve from dinosaurs.

Do human beings and chimpanzees have a common biological ancestor?
Biblical answer: No, because Genesis 2 tells us that the Lord formed Adam and Eve through direct acts of special creation. Rather, human beings and chimpanzees have a common designer instead.

How long was the time between when monkeys appeared on earth and when human beings appeared?
Biblical answer: Less than one day (24 hours, just as we experience today).

The answers that the Bible offers to us for these scientific questions are, no doubt, different from the answers that we would find in standard scientific textbooks. But the question we need to ask ourselves is this: Do we really want to find the truth? Deep down, scientifically-minded people want to discover what’s true too! And if we are seeking the truth, could Genesis 1 and 2 be giving us the true answers to these questions?

The Answer Is Yes
There are a number of reasons we can say “yes” to this question. First, the Bible is a divinely inspired revelation from God. We can trust that what God reveals to us is true as a whole, and not just selected passages.

Second, key indicators in Genesis show that God gave this revelation to us as a historical account. It uses the Hebrew word translated “generations” or “account” in English in Genesis 2:4, which is consistently used throughout Genesis to indicate a historical account. Also, the types of verbs that are used in Genesis are those used in Hebrew narratives. Furthermore, Genesis 1 and 2 does not have the usual features of Hebrew poetry. That’s why many well-respected Hebrew scholars classify Genesis 1 and 2 as historical prose, not poetry.

Finally, the context in which the word “day” is used in Genesis 1 gives us significant reasons to legitimately conclude that the Creation days are literal, consecutive 24-hour days.1

But how could it be that the standard answers that science gives us for these questions are not historically true? The critical issue is that science is unable to incorporate or pinpoint specific supernatural miracles within its explanations. It cannot show Jesus restoring Bartimaeus’ sight because of his persistent cries for healing, or demonstrate God creating the original dolphins less than two days before He created the first human couple.

Saying that Genesis 1 and 2 is not a scientific account may actually lead people to negative and unhelpful perspectives. For example, it would be correct to say that a person is not a computer. You can’t connect a mouse to the person using Bluetooth, then download and install an app on their hard-drive. You may stick a cheeky Post-It note on their face, but doing that won’t get it posted on their Facebook timeline. You can do a quick search of the person, but you will never get as much information displayed by them as would a quick search of Dr. Google.

Saying that persons are not computers may lead you to conclude that since they are not computers they cannot do mathematical computations or word processing or store images. You would be wrong. The fact is that a person can do some things just as well as a computer, and others decidedly better than a computer.

A computer cannot love or forgive or choose to accept Jesus’ gift of salvation and eternal life. A person knows that they are not a computer, but a computer does not even know that it is a computer. Thus, in many ways, it would be more helpful and insightful to identify what persons are, not just what they are not.

Similarly, saying that Genesis 1 and 2 is not a detailed and comprehensive scientific account does not mean that it lacks any answers to scientific questions—even better and true answers—compared with the standard answers that science currently gives us.2 The best description of these two chapters is that they are a divinely inspired, historical account by God, the eye-witness, who created this world and everything in it, being the only one with the omnipotent capacity to bring it all into reality.

Yes, God is Creator of everything, and made us in His image. And yes, we can trust all of the answers that Genesis 1 and 2 gives us to scientific questions as well, even if it does not answer all our interesting questions. Trade in your high school science textbooks for university books, but keep your Bible—it has the essential knowledge that God wants us to know about our salvation, our origins, and our future. Treasure His Word.

--Sven Östring is director of church planting for the North New South Wales Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Elermore Vale, New South Wales, Australia. Article taken from Adventist Review – September 2020.

17 – 31 Let’s Talk About Him (LTAH) Virtual Campaign – “The Cure, Are You Ready For It?”
24 Creation Sabbath
25 - 31 CHAM Week of Prayer ‘Jesus Covers Me’
31 Climax to CHAM Week of Prayer Joint (Via Zoom)
30  Celebrating 25 Years of Women’s Ministries

October 24, 2020
Creation Sabbath will be celebrated throughout the Conference on October 24. Dr. Timothy Standish, Senior Scientist at the Geoscience Research Institute, will be the featured speaker. Join us at 11:00a.m at the Centreville Church or via the Church's YouTube channel as Dr. Standish speaks on "Reality Still Matters." The afternoon session, "Biological Evidence for a Recent Creation" begins at 4:30p.m via Zoom: ID 982 1800 4974  Password: 356382.

–Pastor Lynden Williams


Let’s Talk About Him 
Digital Evangelism Series “The Cure, Are You Ready For It?”
October 17 – 31, 2020
The signature event for Let’s Talk About Him, commenced on Zoom and Facebook LIVE, Saturday October 17, 2020, 7:00p.m nightly, for two weeks. It is The Cure: Are you ready for it? On Friday October 23rd and Saturday October 24th, 7:00p.m, Pastor John Boston, II will supply the pulpit. During the second week, another cohort of local speakers, including Pastors Jamal Franklin, Ludwig Garcia, Wilson Isnord, Carl Johnson and Edward St. fleur will preach. On Friday, October 30th and Saturday October 31st, 7:00p.m and 11:00a.m respectfully, Pastor Myron Edwards will preach the final sermons for the series. The digital evangelistic series is designed to lead people to Jesus Christ and public confession of their faith through baptism. Therefore, members are asked to have non-Seventh-day Adventist friends, co-workers or family members, join them on the social media platforms to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The most important priority in this Covid-19 infested world is to be right with God.

Meeting ID: 995 3927 9008
Passcode: 521985

Join us LIVE on the Facebook Page South Bahamas Conference 

--Dr. Peter Joseph, Personal Ministry Director and Coordinator LTAH Digital Evangelism Series

Celebrating 25th Anniversary
Week of Prayer for the Children & Adolescents will be held on October 25 – 31, 2020. Daily challenges will be shared with the CHAM leaders for distribution to parents by WhatsApp and on our new Facebook page at Children & Adolescent Ministries – via the South Bahamas Conference page. Parents and CHAM leaders are invited to share the videos or flyers every day and assist their children in following the instructions that will lead them into developing a more meaningful prayer life.

Joint CHAM Week of Prayer service - Saturday October 31, 2020 @ 11:00a.m. All children are invited to attend online as we bring our week to a climax.

Zoom Meeting ID: 990 8847 5535

–Mrs. Lavern Sturrup, Children & Adolescent Ministries Director

Ladies, do you have a testimony that you wished you could share with the whole world? Maybe it’s a scripture that means so much to you that you would like to share why. Do you have a story that you think would inspire your sisters in the faith? Well, here is your opportunity.

The Women’s Ministries Department of the South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists is pleased to announce the publishing of the first local Women’s Devotional, and we are seeking your help in making this become a reality. We ask that you make this a matter of prayer and if you are led to make a contribution to the devotional, we invite you to submit your story.

Each submission should range between 450 – 500 words, in totality, with a title and a scripture text. Please also note that you may use your name or a Pseudonym, whichever makes you more comfortable. All stories should be sent to SBCwomensministries@sbcadventist.org.bs. Deadline for submissions is June 2021.

As we embark on this journey together, we ask that you pray for the successful launch of this Devotional and that many lives will be enriched by its readers.

A heartfelt thank you is extended to all persons who participated, attended and supported the Women’s Ministries 2020 Virtual Conclave last weekend. Special thanks to the Administration of the South Bahamas Conference and to the Communications Department.

Upcoming Events
ATCU Vesper Service Celebrating 25 years of Women’s Ministries
Friday, October 30th, 2020. Zoom ID: 980 8802 5709. Also, on Facebook and YouTube.

Pumpkin Roll Baking Bread Tutorial
Sunday, November 8, 2020 10:45 a.m. We Care, so we will Share. Bake two and give one away as a Random Act of Kindness - “God in Shoes” Initiative. Zoom ID & Password to follow.

Pause and Pray Wednesday
Don’t forget our weekly Pause and Pray appointment on Wednesdays at noon.

Donation Request: Used, But In Good Condition Devotionals
Kindly donate to your local Women’s Ministries Leader for distribution during our community outreach projects this year. - Mrs. Jacqueline Gibson, Women’s Ministries Director.

Adventist Men Weekend November 27-29, 2020. More information to come!

Please Email Weekly Announcements
To: sbclogos@gmail.com
Or logos@sbcadventist.org.bs
By Tuesday at 3:00p.m.
CALL 341-4021

October 31, 2020 6:29p.m.

Happy Sabbath!