Taking the Bible Literally

Taking the Bible Literally
For 50 years, the “Does God Exist?” ministry has been taking the Bible literally. We have maintained that if you take both science and the Bible literally, they agree and are friends. To take science literally means to accept all evidence that is factual. The word “science” means “systematic knowledge” (Websters Dictionary). How we achieve knowledge is not well understood by many of us. Theories are a way to get knowledge, but personal opinions are not. Knowledge grows and expands as new data refines it.

Taking the Bible literally means to look at who wrote the passage, when they wrote it, to whom they wrote it, and how the people to whom it was written would have understood it. Man-made theologies and denominational traditions are not ways of taking the Bible literally. As we study ancient cultures and history, and as we grow in our appreciation of the meanings of biblical statements, our understanding of the Bible grows. So also does our comprehension of God and how He has worked in the past and how He works today.

Some people marvel at the handiwork of God and yet deny God as the Creator. There are others who have formulated a man-made denominational understanding of the Bible that requires them to acknowledge the Creator but deny His workmanship. Gregg Davidson and Ken Wolgemuth writing in the Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith the Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation (June 2018, page 87) state the challenge in this area beautifully:

“Why not rejoice in the fact that God gave us the ability to explore not only the present world in which we live but also the wonders of creation that predate our presence on this Earth? Romans 1:20 tells us that God’s character is manifest in His creation. Why should we work to undermine scripture with arguments that ultimately require nature to be deceptive? If, after seeing the evidence in God’s creation … the church insists that the obvious meaning is not true, we create a completely unnecessary stumbling block to faith. Christ himself is a sufficient stumbling block–we need not create any other.”

–John N. Clayton © 2018
For more on this subject, we encourage our readers to look back at these issues of the Does God Exist? Journal: January/February 2015, January/February 2016, May/June 2016, and 1st Quarter 2018 all available on doesgodexist.org.