I love science. It was by far my favorite subject in school and I am still not sure how I ended up in a field predominantly utilizing language arts and humanities. I have two full shelves of books on the subject of apologetics, including titles like, “The Case for a Creator”, “Creation-Evolution: The Controversy”, and “Doubts About Darwin”. As a man of faith, I have still held on to a love for science and I have not found a lot of inconsistency in this.
But now, when I come to preaching Genesis 7-8 about a global flood, I confess that my tendency is to want to run wild with scientific evidences. Are you familiar with polystrate fossilized trees? How about clam shells on the peak of Everest? Are you aware of evidences for a vapor canopy that once covered the entire earth? Did you know that some fossilization happened so rapidly, that it preserved the veins in the wings of a dragonfly?
So there is a whole host of information available and our worldview must give some accounting for things as they really appear, and yet I would suggest that it is fundamentally our bias from the beginning that most often determines the outcome of our findings.
And so my tendency to want to geek out on science and give a sermon this Sunday defending the veracity of a global flood, in the end would be a misguided endeavor. Genesis 7-8 tells us of a global flood but uses that flood to convey something about ourselves and God! And I fear that many well-meaning Christians have focused so much on the medium, that they have ceased to convey the amazing, beautiful and accurate meaning behind the story. I do believe that there was a global flood. I do believe that there is sufficient evidence for my belief. And I do acknowledge that people will look at the same things I see as evidence and dismiss them offhand.
So I have a choice before me. I can preach to convince people that the story is true, or preach the meaning of this story; namely, that there is a God who created us, we rebelled against Him, and He judged the world. But, He is the kind of God who provides a path of salvation. He preserved us through Noah. He is a God who is just and righteous, but also merciful and compassionate. He wipes the world clean, but He is also the God who gives new beginnings.
I do not know if I have ever convinced anybody to believe in a global flood, but I can say for certain, that given the option between convincing someone that there was a global flood or convincing someone that they deserve punishment, but God has made a way out (through Jesus Christ), I will take the second every day of the week. I will push aside the temptation to geek-out with all my scientific evidences, and instead preach the text as written. But if anybody wants to talk flood-science . . . let’s roll!