The Importance of Biblical Discernment
In order for science to be science it must be provable, testable, and verifiable. Tragically, modern day “science” has largely lacked the above criteria which has turned the beautiful art of scientific observation into merely hypothetical jargon for the most part. No Biblical Christian denies science, as it is the study of what God has already created. What Biblical Christians should deny however is “science” that is only a hypothesis due to it’s subjectivity. Furthermore, the subjective opinion of a scientist isn’t science unless it can be proven, tested, and verified.
In a world where we hear every opinion about everything under the sun it’s imperative to rest on actual truth and data. Unity is found in truth, not a variation of conflicting opinions that constantly change in the name of “science.” The terminology has been badly abused and has deceived multitudes, whether it’s intentional or unintentional. With that said, does the Bible stand the test of provability, testability, and verifiability? While the below is not nearly exhaustive, let’s examine a few key elements that will get your appetite wet so you can renew your mind amidst this age of relativism masked as truth.
From what we see in the world with our own eyes the Biblical account of sin is clearly evident. I’m talking clear like 20/20 vision! With that said, it is a popular idea today to deny the existence of sin. However, this goes against the proven science of seeing. The reason for this idea is because denying sin’s existence helps cancel accountability amidst a ‘cancel culture.’ If there is no such thing as sin I can wish away absolute consequences of my actions and the actions of others. Unfortunately, there is no amount of wishing that can dissipate reality. Sin is the illustration of exalting self-centeredness over God-centeredness.
So, how can we verify sin? Easy. Just look around.
“Everyone did what was right in his own eyes,” is mentioned in the Book of Judges. Not only is it mentioned in verse 17:6 but additionally one final time in 21:25 for good measure. One Theologian puts this nicely into context: “…Most people no longer believe there is any fixed, inviolable moral ‘truth…’ People regularly prompt one another with phrases like, “Find your own truth” and “Follow your heart”—as if that were a purely noble and upright way to live. But that is the distilled essence of sinful foolishness. Proverbs 12:15 says, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,” Proverbs 26:12 adds, “Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” Jeremiah 13:10 talks about those who “refuse to hear the Lord’s Words and stubbornly follow their own hearts.” In short, as Proverbs 28:26 concludes, “Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool.”
With that all said, as Christ-followers, let us be careful to examine our own hearts first rather than curse a hurting and lost world. After all, Jesus Himself said in Matthew 7:3- “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”
Contrary to popular secularistic opinion, Jesus actually DID exist. No, He is not a fictional character. He is not like Santa Claus. Jesus has offended multitudes for thousands of years because He claimed to be God in the flesh and spoke hard Truth. Truth has never been popular. A more valid “truth” today is that there are many truths which all lead to the same place eventually. This is a ‘safe space’ as it is devoid of offending. In this age of “scientific enlightenment” how has this statement persisted?
Think of it this way. LeBron James is an NBA icon and arguably the most recognizable figure not only in basketball circles around the world but perhaps in all of sports. If ‘King James’ said the following what would you think? “I am holding this press-conference today to announce a new way of playing basketball. You no longer have to get the ball in the basket to score. Feel free to throw it over the backboard, bounce it off the glass, or just throw the ball into the crowd and hit the hot-dog vendor. It counts either way!” That would be insane, wouldn’t it? But, how many philosophies exist, and are believed, just like this one? Many. Especially in the scientific community. The truth about the correct definition of truth is that it is provable because it speaks for itself.
So, how is Jesus provable?
Everything the Bible says rises and falls on the claims of Christ. Even the Apostle Paul said this in 1 Cor. 15:14- “And if Christ has not been raised (from the dead), our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” The Old Testament foreshadows Him while the New Testament announces Him; fitting as a perfect puzzle. For this brief study’s sake, let’s look at the prophecies concerning Jesus in the Bible. Astoundingly, there are over 300 Old Testament prophecies of Jesus: His birth, His family line, His ministry, where He would grow up, His life, His death, His resurrection, His ascension, and many, many more! Looking at just a few of the 300 prophecies:
Jesus born of a virgin: Old Testament prophecy- Isa. 7:14 / New Testament fulfillment- Mat. 1:22-23, Luke 1:26-31.
Jesus from the line of Abraham: Old Testament prophecy- Gen. 12:3, 22:18 / New Testament fulfillment- Mat. 1:1, Rom. 9:5.
Jesus’ Eternal throne: Old Testament prophecy- Psa. 45:6-7, Dan. 2:44, Psa. 41:9, Zech. 11:12-13 / New Testament fulfillment- Luke 1:33, 22:47-48, Mat. 26:14-16, Heb. 1:8-12.
Jesus Rejected/betrayed: Old Testament prophecy- Psa. 69:8, Isa. 53:3 / New Testament fulfillment- John 1:11, 7:5.
Jesus’ Resurrection: Old Testament prophecy- Psa. 16:10, 49:15 / New Testament fulfillment- Mat. 28: 2-7, Acts 2:22-32.
How can we test the notion that the Bible is what it claims to be? Again, like the life of Christ, there are multiple areas of study on the subject. However, we are going to focus on that of manuscripts for today’s purpose. All historical writings are tested under the retention of historical manuscripts. Of all of the data we have, did you know the #1 source in the history of the world is the Bible? And it’s not even close! It even beats Google! Check out the chart below as an example.
We can test and repeat these facts all day long. The unaltered truth is that the Bible’s manuscripts are second to none. Additionally, eye witness accounts meet each of the following inquiries: Is it provable, testable, and verifiable? Here are just a few verses that give us confirmation:
For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.
And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe.
Then He said to them, ‘Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things.
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us— that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.
So I urge you today in this age of various “truth claims,” heed Jesus’ Words in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Rev. Jon Barrett | CVCCS Director