Reasons to Believe (RTB) is a Christian apologetics organization founded by astrophysicist Hugh Ross. Dr. Ross has brought together mainstream scientists from several different disciplines “to spread the Christian Gospel by demonstrating that sound and scientific research — including the very latest discoveries — consistently support, rather than erode, confidence in the truth of the Bible and faith in the personal, transcendent God revealed in both Scripture and nature.” The RTB website and radio program regularly discuss the latest scientific developments, often from astrophysics or biology, and how they support the truth of the Christian Bible and the majesty of creation.
One hallmark of the RTB approach to apologetics is acceptance of old earth (or old earth creationism), but at the same time denial of evolutionary theory. The RTB scholars have put together their own creation model that includes a “creation event” rather than an evolution. In effect, they try to walk a line between theology and science. While I disagree with their view of evolution, I applaud the basic approach. I agree that science and theology are completely compatible.
Unfortunately, the RTB scholars have rejected any literary criticism applied to the Bible. It’s great that the scholars embrace the latest in astrophysics, but why not also accept the latest in biblical criticism? How can they have one without the other? Why can’t the same rational analysis applied to the stars also be directed at the Bible? If the Bible is true as they say it is, shouldn’t it be able to stand on its own merit? Instead, they repudiate the work of biblical scholars such as Bart Ehrman and others. Admittedly, Professor Ehrman is agnostic and is not interested in supporting Christianity. But why should that make his research any less valid? I would rather listen to him over someone who is biased towards the Bible. At least then I can be sure of the truth. As the book of Proverbs says, “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses,” (Proverbs 27:6 NIV).
The RTB scholars have the same problem as many Christian leaders today. They hold a very recent interpretation of the Bible which approaches the point of worship. Protestant’s have long criticized Catholics for their use of icons; how is the recent Evangelical view of the Bible any different? If something is considered perfect and without error, to me that is an idol. I’ve even heard some say that Christ is the Word (a misinterpretation of logos in John 1:1). Idolatry is serious. I would think that those who consider themselves Christians would at least stop to consider whether their treatment of the Bible is proper. The Bible is a collection of works written by men, not by Christ. Yes, Christians believe it to be inspired, but that’s not the same thing as dictatation. There’s a big difference. Namely, inspiration in no way necessitates any kind of infallibility. It is Christ who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life; not the Bible.
I agree with RTB that there is complete harmony between science and Christianity, but I disagree with their diagnosis of the problem. At issue is not the application of science; it is the recent interpretation (and worship) of the Bible.
Bruce Meyer writes about the relationship between the physical universe and the pursuit of spirituality.