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The Bible gives us a reason to trust our senses, but don’t we need our senses to read the Bible? Dr. Jason Lisle, AiG–U.S., tackles this question and more in this week’s feedback.
I read the article, Does Logic Supersede the Bible? and while I was reading it, I got a question of my own. This is the quote in particular I was thinking about:
“In order for our observations of the world to be meaningful, the Bible would have to be true. Otherwise, we would have no reason to think that our senses and memory are reliable, or that there is uniformity in nature.”
Don’t I already have to assume that my senses are reliable in order to read and understand the Bible? I have to either use my eyes to read it, my ears to hear it, or if I was blind I would use my fingers to read Braille. I’d have to use my brain to understand it and my memory to remember it. So wouldn't my senses have to reliable in order to even know whether the Bible was right or wrong or even that it and its message existed?
Thanks in advance for your reply,
Absolutely blown away! I want more, more, more. As my family watched Dr. Jason Lisle’s Created Cosmos, all pride vanished, and in an awestruck state, it stimulated me to want to worship GOD. The excellence of conveying the size of the universe made the big bang or inflation utterly absurd. Never before has astronomic media so glorified the Creator in such a clear way. Played on The Discovery Channel, and a great multitude could repent. I want more!!!
Let us know what you think.
You are quite right that you must assume the reliability of your senses in order to read the Bible. The reliability of our senses and memory are presuppositions—things that are assumed at the outset before any investigation of evidence. But in order for those presuppositions to have any kind of foundation or justification, the Bible would have to be true (regardless of whether or not anyone had read it).
God knew that we would need to assume certain things right away in order to make sense of the world in which we live. So, God has “hardwired” certain presuppositions into our mind; we don’t learn that our senses are basically reliable; we presume it. When we then read the Bible, we find that our presuppositions are justified: they are not merely “blind” assumptions.
The Bible tells us that God designed our mind and body, and God also made the universe; so it makes sense that our mind would be able to understand aspects of the universe. However, if evolution were true, if our brain and sensory organs are simply accidents of nature and if nature itself is merely an accident of a big bang, then there would be no reason to trust that our senses and memory are reliable or that there should be any order in the universe to study.
So, even though we first presume that our senses are reliable, and then read the Bible, the Bible is the foundation for the reliability of our senses. The same is true for essentially all the other presuppositions that we take for granted. The presuppositions that virtually all human beings have are justified in the Christian worldview, but are contrary to the evolutionary worldview.
Jason Lisle, Ph.D.