I grew up at a time when the only place you could find extrasolar planets was in science fiction books. Now exoplanets are considered fact.
An avid reader as a youngster, I imagined visiting The Land That Time Forgot, where humans clashed with dinosaurs and other denizens of our primeval past. That much, at least, I knew was fiction.
My conversion to Christ as a college freshman affected more than my heart or behavior. It turned my head topsy turvy. Since God’s Word is true, many of the “facts” of my childhood would prove to be fiction, and some fiction would really prove to be fact.
I found it easy to reject evolution over millions of years. After all, the prophets and disciples taught a recent creation, and Christ confirmed that God made the first male and female at “the beginning of the creation” (Mark 10:6).
But what about the other areas of knowledge? If I had been so misled about creation, what other commonly accepted facts might be completely wrong?
We can still glean rich insights from nonbelievers, as long as we interpret them in the light of Scripture.
My first reaction was to toss out everything. Yet my love of studying secular literature and history still burned within me. As I matured, I came to understand that we can still glean rich insights from nonbelievers, as long as we interpret them in the light of Scripture.
In fact, because everyone is made in God’s image, each person may have unique skills and insights that no other human has. God may have something to show us even through people who hate Him.
Still a Lot to Learn
After I joined Answers in Genesis, creation researchers showed me that I have nothing to fear from secular science and archaeology. In fact, properly understood, they can revolutionize our understanding of God and His past dealings in this world.
For example, in this issue I learned that gold deposits can form quickly, as secular scientists conveniently discovered for us.
I also learned that Near Eastern archaeologists and historians already know that ancient civilizations exaggerated their chronologies. “This is not a newsflash to academics,” a historian told me.
Astronomers have also intently studied blue stars because they burn up quickly and yet are found everywhere, and they are trying to explain spirals in galaxies, which should break down over time. Their insights in both areas give unwitting testimony to a young universe.
Based on Einstein’s own published work, Dr. Jason Lisle has also found a way to explain how distant starlight could reach the earth instantly (see p. 68). Reality can be stranger than science fiction!
A creation researcher first pointed out this benefit of secular research while we were working on a Flood exhibit for the Creation Museum: “Whenever secular scientists converge on a new finding to bolster their evolutionary view, I don’t run away or impulsively discredit their work. I run to it! In my experience, God is using their vast money and research effort to bring new insights to light that will help creationists advance a truly biblical model.”
Indeed, God can use “the wrath of men to praise him” (Psalm 76:10). While their goal may be to discredit His Word, God can use their ill intents for His glory.