It is sometimes said, “The Bible was not given to teach us science.” Most people would agree. Yet the very vagueness of the terms employed has led to two very doubtful inferences. Some students of what is now called the “Liberal School” interpret the phrase as though it meant that the realm of religion and the realm rather vaguely called science had no connection whatever. A prophet may be completely astray as to scientific and historical data, yet may give us very profound thoughts on God. Pressed to its logical conclusion that would enable us to regard the Bible at once as historically untrustworthy and scientifically inaccurate, yet as providing real insight into spiritual reality. The average man instinctively rejects this dichotomy. He holds strictly to the view that a book which is discredited in one aspect is discredited in all. The average Christian views with distrust this division. He remembers our Lord’s appeal, “If I have told you earthly things and ye believe not, how shall ye believe if I tell you of heavenly things?”

The second inference emerging as early as the days of Origen is that while the Bible employs accurately historic incidents and certain scientific facts of nature, it is intended that these should be interpreted allegorically as pointing to a deeper hidden spiritual meaning. Origen gravely misapplied the words, “The letter killeth but the Spirit giveth life,” and has a multitude of followers who at their pleasure discount the historical and scientific in the interest of what they call the spiritual.

An Important Reflection

Without making either of these valiant efforts to cut the Gordian knot, the ordinary thoughtful person reflects that a great company of distinguished scientists have been humble ...

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