Man Lives by Faith
Anyone who claims to live their lives without faith clearly has not thought their position through. Almost every aspect of our lives intrinsically rests on trust in someone or something...Atheists and evolutionists regularly declare they do not require faith to explain the origin and nature of the universe. Yet they inherently do. (The author has degrees in Geology and Geophysics)
Man Lives by Faith
By Nathan Warner
“It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man”
(Psalm 118:8 NKJV).
When it comes to creation, there are two main views. First, there are a growing number of people who maintain that there is no God; therefore, what we see in the natural world cannot be a “creation” but merely a chance product of natural processes. Secondly, there are those who maintain that there is a God and what we see around us is clearly His creation of a complex order maintained by natural laws.
Unfortunately, while those who maintain there is a God understand that their position requires faith, those who claim there is no God maintain that their position requires no faith but rests solely on facts.
Anyone who claims to live their lives without faith clearly has not thought their position through. Almost every aspect of our lives intrinsically rests on trust in someone or something.
NO MAN LIVES WITHOUT FAITH
Trust defines life on Earth. To trust means you put faith in something that cannot be proven. Probably more than any other time in human history, the modern man claims to live his life without faith. These same people say they trust only what they can know, claiming to live their lives by facts and certainties; but in actuality, their entire lives are built on faith—faith in things other than God.
Mankind cannot live without faith. For example, if you see, hear, or read something, you either BELIEVE it is true or not. Even if you check with an “expert” or society’s consensus, you are taking their word on faith, because you do not know if they made a mistake, are telling you the truth, or even know the answer. Mistakes, frauds, criminals, and conspiracies wreak havoc of “certainty.” Sin forces us to trust in things, because if the world wasn’t a dangerous place, we wouldn’t need faith. But since there are rockslides, tsunamis, blizzards, rattlesnakes, bears, viruses, car accidents, airplane crashes, and the like, we step out into life each day taking our lives in our hands. Similarly, if people’s natures weren’t sinful, there would never be any danger in our interaction with them. But because our natures are sinful, we must employ some measure of trust with every person we meet.
Furthermore, when we were children, we had to completely trust our parents because we had no experience. We didn’t know a grape-fruit from a hand-grenade. As adults, we trust what we trust through repeatability, society’s assurance, and ignorance. We trust a car mechanic’s work, our pilot’s education, that the cook at a restaurant washed his hands, and that our babysitter is mentally stable. Even a burglar breaks into a house in faith that he has chosen his time well and will not be met by an angry homeowner with a shotgun. Everyone has some measure of faith in their health, abilities, and strengths for success, and yet these things can fail us at any moment as they do in old age. If we’re really honest with ourselves, we know we take everything around us on FAITH.
Everyday, people put their lives in the hands of others, and everyday, people die because the things they put their faith in fail them. Why? “Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind And makes flesh his strength, And whose heart turns away from the Lord” (Jeremiah 17:5), for “the fear of man brings a snare” (Proverbs 29:25a). God is saying people who trust in the flesh are already doomed because the flesh and all it does is doomed by sin. Mankind and mankind’s solutions are flawed through the effects of sin, so trusting in man always snares people because the things mankind puts his faith in will collapse suddenly in an instant (Isaiah 30:12b-13)—a reliable car becomes a death trap, a pilot makes a terrible mistake, a child dies in someone’s care. Only at these moments do people realize their trust was unwarranted, but it is often too late. Ignorance is bliss until calamity strikes.
THE SCIENTIFIC FAITH
Atheists and evolutionists regularly declare they do not require faith to explain the origin and nature of the universe. Yet they inherently do. The Scientific community puts immense faith in the Scientific Method, and yet they put even more faith in ideas that fail this very method.
The Scientific Method is the backbone, or cornerstone, of what makes “science” Science. It begins when a scientist makes direct Observations which can be observed again – not a one-time thing because he has to come up with a Hypothesis to explain his Observation, and then he needs to test that Hypothesis to see if it can account for the Observation he saw to begin with. Often, our Hypotheses don’t produce the same Observation that we saw, so we need to form a new Hypothesis to test and see if it can explain the Observation. This goes on and on, until one of our Hypotheses repeatedly delivers the same Observation to the point that it becomes a Theory to explain the Observation.
For example, a man walking outside his home makes the Observation that a light turns on and then turns off inside the house. He doesn’t know which light it is, but he wants to know, so he forms a Hypothesis. “It must be the kitchen light!” he declares. In order to test his Hypothesis, he goes inside and turns on the kitchen light and returns back outside. But he doesn’t Observe the same light coming from the house, so his Hypothesis is wrong. He forms a new Hypothesis: “Maybe it is the living room light!” So he tests that by going inside and flipping the living room switch on before returning outside. But he doesn’t Observe the same light. So he forms another Hypothesis: “I bet I know! It is the bedroom light!” So he does the same for the bedroom light switch, and sure enough, when he returns outside he Observes the same light that he first saw. Now, he repeats going inside and flipping the bedroom light switch on and off until he is absolutely convinced his Hypothesis explains the Observation that he saw. “It had to be the bedroom light switch that caused the light I saw” he declares. Now he has a Theory about what caused his Observation, after testing his Hypothesis repeatedly to produce the same Observation. It is not a fact, but a Theory, because there is still the chance that some other event as yet un-hypothesized actually caused the light he saw. Through this whole process, the man puts faith in his assumptions that brought him to the Theory that he puts his trust in.
Every Theory is open to challenge because applying the Scientific Method requires us to make assumptions, and as flawed humans, we oftentimes bring our presumptions and bias into our work. Apart from this, we also are vulnerable to making errors. So, theories are always open to new interpretation – and given enough time we see established Theories amended, changed, and replaced by new ones – this fact should caution Scientists from claiming they “know” things or to talk in terms of “facts” because their own profession regularly does away with old “facts” and what they used to “know” was “true.” So, even in applying the Scientific Method correctly, there are assumptions being employed and faith is placed in those assumptions, which often prove to be incorrect.
Let’s take a moment to look at the faith we need to trust radiometric dating methods, which scientists claim as irrevocable proof that the Bible is wrong but which don’t even meet the requirements of the Scientific Method. Scientists have observed in the last 150 years that a radioactive isotope shoots out a high energy photon (radiation) repeatedly at the same time interval (just like the seconds-hand of a clock “ticks” the time away at the same regular interval). Over those 150 years, we have not observed much variation in the “ticking” of the isotope. So, Scientists agree to assume that it has always been constant and never changes, because they can’t think of anything that would change it. They use these radiometric clocks to “date” rocks back to 4.5 billion years by “winding back the clock,” so to speak. But they are assuming the clock didn’t run out of batteries, have a short, speed up, or slow down. They assume it hasn’t varied or changed at all in billions and billions of years. But how can they test that hypothesis? They can’t! You would need a time-machine to travel back to the date the “clock” gave you for when the rock was formed and see if the rock actually forms at that date. This is the only way that we can test the hypothesis that radiometric dating actually works past the 150 years we’ve been observing its time-keeping. But no one has built a time machine, so we can’t test the method or calibrate it.
Using our example of the man and the light switch, how would the man come to a Theory to explain which light switch turned on the light in his house, if he had to stay outside? He couldn’t! Any ideas he would come up with to explain the light he saw would be just that – ideas, because they are not testable Hypotheses.
I once asked one of my Geology professors, “But isn’t all this based on fallible assumptions?” concerning his claim that the radiometric “clocks” work exactly as we observe today past our ability to test them in the “billions” of years they claim have transpired. My professor nodded and said in his Swiss accent, “Yes, they are assumptions, and they may not even be good assumptions, but Science has to start with assumptions, and so we start with the best assumptions we can think of, but that doesn’t mean they are correct.” This is a wise warning for anyone trusting in science for the Truth. However, in this case, it isn’t even Science because it doesn’t meet the requirements of the Scientific Method. They are ideas – maybe good ideas, but just ideas.
THE FAITH OF ASTRONOMERS,
GEOLOGISTS, AND BIOLOGISTS
There are at least three main fields of scientific study that regularly claim to have Theories about the natural universe, which cannot be theories because they could not have directly tested their Hypotheses, which supposedly led to the Theories. The three Science fields that regularly fail the Scientific Method are Astronomy, Evolutionary Biology, and Geology. Scientists in these fields regularly claim to “know” things about the natural universe, which they cannot truly know, because they cannot directly employ the Scientific Method. Why? Because man is limited in space/time. What does that mean? Well, regarding space, the things we want to test are too far away or impossible to reach currently, so we cannot directly observe or test them (i.e. the center of the earth, far away stars, etc). In the case of time, the events happened so long ago that there is no way for us to directly observe/test them without a time-machine, or the ideas we come up with to explain something would require so much time to work that we cannot live long enough to observe and test whether or not it is true (i.e. radiometric dating, Pangaea, Darwinian Evolution, etc).
It is interesting to note that these three fields (Astronomy, Biology, and Geology) are the primary ones used to provide “evidence” against the existence of God and, in particular, the God of the Bible. Yet, these fields are flawed because, for Geology and Evolutionary Biology, the timescales are far too long for us to directly observe what supposedly happened. The Geologist cannot observe the events he claims happened billions of years ago. And his “evidence” of fossil records or rock formations is not direct observations of phenomena that can be tested. For example, if the geologist says that various layers of sediment represent millions or even billions of years, how do we test this? We can’t, because, if as they claim, each layer took thousands of years to produce, we can’t observe it happening because our lifetimes are too short. Yet, all the Geologists agree that it is a good idea and that their assumptions are good assumptions. This is fine, so long as it isn’t done under the blessing of the Scientific Method, because it isn’t strict Science because it cannot be directly observed as it is happening. It is undermined by interpretation, assumptions, presuppositions, etc.
In the same way, Biologists admit that the biological idea that they claim evolves kinds into different kinds (i.e. dinosaurs into chickens) takes far too long for us to be able to directly observe it in process, so we cannot test the idea of Darwinian Evolution. In the case of Astronomy, the distances are often too great for us to be able to accurately measure and observe the phenomena in a way that would satisfy the Scientific Method for our claims that we know anything about the Universe – to claim we know what the Universe is doing (or has done) is completely untenable speculation – maybe good ideas, but not theories or facts.
Scientists need to be honest with themselves and others. They need to admit that they really don’t know nearly as much as they claim they do. If Scientists want to say, “We really don’t know SCIENTIFICALLY, but here is our best guess based on our remote sensing techniques or assumptions” that is all good and fine – just don’t call it Science, because the Scientific Method cannot directly apply. Unfortunately, the scientific community regularly misleads the public by claiming to have theories and facts and laws about which, we actually cannot observe or test. They inherently place FAITH in this un-testable guesswork. And they in turn are also hostile towards people of faith.
WHO SHOULD WE PUT OUR FAITH IN?
Now, that we’ve established that the atheist and the Believer both live by faith, the question is, “What do you want to put your faith in?” Do we place faith in fallible mankind and his beliefs that are always changing decade after decade? Or do we place faith in the Holy testimony of an infallible God, Who does not change with time? The question is a serious one as we are all on a journey towards death, when the truth will be plain.
Every day, people trust in others and in things to keep them from death. They listen to warnings and trust experts on safety, yet they do not trust the Words of God about the deadly peril of sin and the eternal cost in hell if they do not repent. They do not trust God’s own Son, Who is the only expert on sin, death, and life, having taken all sin upon Himself, having died, and having risen again. “Without faith [in God] it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him”
(Hebrews 11:6), yet people would rather believe man and entrust their lives to strangers. We will always be disappointed in man, for his flaws will fail us, but as for Jesus, “the Scripture says, 'Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed’” (Romans 10:11), for Jesus is “without sin” (Hebrews 4:15); thus, “he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted” (Proverbs 29:25b) “in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began” (Titus 2:1). While people trust their lives to men and man’s keys to problems, let’s trust our lives to Jesus, Who actually has the keys of hell and death (Revelation 1:18). Amen.