Can the Bible help you predict the future? Maybe once in a while. But more importantly, God’s amazing book will equip you to face the questions of the future with accuracy and confidence. A few examples:
How Did the ‘Indians’ Get to America?
When Columbus reached the New World in 1492, most people were not shocked by his idea that the world was round, not flat. Many were blown away, however, when it became apparent the “Indians” he met were not actually living in India; that they were entirely separated from Europe and Asia by miles and miles of ocean! If all modern human beings are descendants of Noah’s family, people who settled in Turkey, how could there be anybody living and multiplying on distant, separate continents before the advent of sea travel? Did this mean the Bible was factually in error?
The earliest thinker to seriously consider this quandary was a Jesuit missionary and educator named Jose de Acosta. Writing in 1590, he insisted that the origins of people in the New World could not contradict the Holy Bible, which clearly teaches “all men descend from Adam.” Because Adam had lived in the Middle East, he theorized the inhabitants of the New World must have migrated there from Europe or Asia; that the Americas and Asia “must join somewhere.” He insisted there had to be a land bridge.1
Today, scientists have confirmed the Bering Land Bridge once joined the Americas to Asia: that it appeared just about 20,000 years ago and existed only for a brief span of time, just long enough for some hunters to cross over. The evidence was not found until the Twentieth Century, but the first theory of that mysterious strip of land was proposed in the Sixteenth Century by a man who studied the Bible.
The Father of Psychology
It’s well-known that Sigmund Freud popularized the idea of a three-part human personality at the turn of the Twentieth Century. But it’s also a fact that Dr. Freud did not originate the idea. More than a century before Freud began to discuss the ego, the super-ego, and the id, a Christian pioneer named Johann Christian August Heinroth had already penned scholarly papers on the subject. Heinroth described the human personality as being conflicted in a struggle between the ego, the conscience, and the flesh.2
Heinroth derived his original model from the Bible, specifically Romans 7. And unlike Freud, who theorized the very rational ego is a helpless slave to the wildly selfish id, Heinroth explained that while the flesh is powerful, it can be defeated through the intervention of the Holy Spirit. It was no doubt this outrageous suggestion of yielding to the Spirit which led secular thinkers to overlook Heinroth’s contributions when they named Freud “the Father of Psychiatry.”
Bang! There Must be a Creator
Believe it or not, the Bible was completely out of step with science until 1927. That was the year when George LeMaitre, a priest and physicist from Belgium, formally proposed that the universe is expanding. In 1930 he went further, insisting that expansion must have begun with the explosion of “one primeval atom,” the beginning of everything. But the popular notion that the universe had always existed was so deeply engrained in science that Lemaitre’s idea was broadly rejected, even by great minds like Albert Einstein. 3 Within two decades, however, Edwin Hubble’s research would confirm Lemaitre’s expanding universe and the Big Bang theory would be broadly accepted. For the first time in centuries, the minds of science would confirm what the Genesis had taught all along: the universe had a beginning point, a creation. God is eternal but the cosmos is not.
There are lots of compelling reasons to read the Bible and stay informed. I just shared three more. Have a great week in God’s Word and lift up the Cross!