A misguided form of salvation

A misguided form of salvation

When Job was confronted by God with a science quiz of some 40 questions, he was silenced.

How would you like to write a science test given by God?

Every question by God to Job was a progression in increasing impossibility.

Does it kind of make sense to you because, Job was a kind of primitive guy who lived a few thousand years ago?

Maybe Job couldn’t answer God’s questions, but he was no dummy. But it begs the question, how smart was ancient man? How intelligent was Adam? Was he a cave dweller, Neanderthal–Piltdown-type man?

How intelligent and wise do you think you’d have to be to actually have a conversation with God, to have the responsibility of naming all of the animals on earth? How many species of animals, mammals, birds and insects do you think there were? What was man in perfection before he sinned?

Scientists say that we only use a fifth of our brain capacity and some less than that.

Howard Hendricks is an author and professor emeritus of Dallas Theological Seminary. One of his favourite past-times was attending and viewing autopsies. He once asked his pathologist friend as he was probing through the skull of a dead man, “Hey Doc, have you ever seen a brain that was greatly used?” The pathologist replied, “I’ve never seen a brain that was slightly used.”

Early men and women lived almost a thousand years. What if you started like Adam, using 100 per cent brain capacity and then kept on learning for 930 years – 50 years to learn guitar, piano, oboe; 30 years, ceramics, crafts; 75 years to learn quantum physics.

Job is one of the oldest biblical historical records and he talks about engraving tools with diamond tips – the very foundation of our iron tooling industry today. Not so prehistoric after all.

In his book How Now Shall We Live, Chuck Colson contrasts two movies: Independence Day and War of the Worlds. Both versions feature aliens invading earth.

In the 1953 movie War of the Worlds, scientists come up with a weapon that is eventually destroyed. The panicking population is forced to turn to God; churches are jammed with people praying. What’s more, their prayers are answered: the aliens contract earth-born bacteria and suddenly die off. A final voice-over declares, “All that men could do had failed,” deliverance came from the hand of God alone.

The film ends with a scene of people standing on a hillside, singing praise to God.

The contemporary version, Independence Day is quite different — signaling a dramatic change in North American culture within only a few decades. ID 4 nods politely in God’s direction by showing people praying for help. But the real deliverance comes through the deployment of advanced military technology.

A few strategically placed bombs blow up the aliens and save the world. Independence Day is a celluloid expression of a widespread belief in science and technology as a means of salvation.

Colson says, “Having confidence in technology is a misguided form of salvation, some things are simply not amenable to a technical quick fix. It is the human heart that determines how we will use our machines—whether we will fashion them into swords or plowshares.”

Properly understood, science is a wonderful tool for investigating God’s world. But science cannot solve the human dilemma, and it cannot give us hope and meaning. Only God and His Word can accomplish that. A person can know about God through His creation, but creation will not bring a man to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ – of which he desperately needs.


Les Warriner is the pastor of Living Way Foursquare Church in Maple Ridge.