Tag Archives: Faith

Sentence Sermons

There are only two kinds of men: the righteous who think they are sinners and the sinners who think they are righteous. ~Blaise Pascal

A puritan is a person who pours righteous indignation into the wrong things. ~G. K. Chesterton

Faith refers to Christ. Holiness depends on faith. Heaven depends on holiness.  ~Alexander MacLaren

True faith rests upon the character of God and asks no further proof than the moral perfections of the One who cannot lie. It is enough that God has said it.  ~A. W. Tozer

Faith must have adequate evidence, else it is mere superstition. ~A. A. Hodge

Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither. ~C. S. Lewis

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. ~Jim Elliot

Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays. ~Soren Kierkegaard

One act of obedience is better than one hundred sermons. ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

See, I have set before you this day life and good, death and evil … I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life. ~Moses

Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen. ~Hebrews 11.1

I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. ~Jesus of Nazareth

 

James – the Man, the Book

There are three, possibly four, men named James in the New Testament. One was the brother of the Lord, along with Joseph (Joses), Judas (Jude), and Simon (Matthew 13.55; Mark 6.3). Two were apostles: James, the brother of John (Matthew 4.21-22, 10.2, Mark 3.17, Luke 5.1-10) who was killed by Herod (Acts 12.2) and James, the son of Alphaeus, also called James the Less (Matthew 10.3, Mark 3.18, Luke 6.15).

Interestingly, “James” was not the actual name of these men; some say it was Iames but most scholars agree that in Aramaic it was something closer to Ya’akov, a fairly common name which usually becomes Jacob. It has undergone metamorphosis, becoming James in English, Santiago in Spanish, and Jacques in French. Because the translators of the King James version of the Bible wanted to get the king’s approval for the translation, they translated at least three of the men named Ya’akov into James.

James was a leader of the church in Jerusalem. In Acts 1.13-14, it is simply noted that the apostles gathered with some women and Jesus’ mother and brothers. However, after several of Paul’s journeys, he mentions James in a leadership context, especially in Acts 15.13 where James states the position of the church regarding Gentiles.

James wrote his letter to early Jewish Christians living in Gentile communities outside of Palestine in about AD 49, prior to the Jerusalem Council held in 50. His purpose was to expose hypocrisy among believers and teach proper Christian behavior. It also expresses his concern for persecuted Christians who were once part of the Jerusalem church.

Notice the three themes of the letter: hardship, perseverance, and wisdom (James 1.2-3). He doesn’t say, if you face trials, but when you face them. He assumes that we will all have trials and can profit from them. The point is not to be happy when you face pain, but to have a positive and confident outlook. Consider it all joy because of what trials produce in our lives. James tells us to turn our hardships into times of learning. Trials teach us endurance and endurance perfects us, makes us complete.

Bill  

 

The Role of the Holy Spirit Today

1. The Holy Spirit Is Not an “IT”

Too often we talk about the Holy Spirit as a thing, not a person. When we talk about the Spirit, we too often say things like, “It does this and it does that.” He is the third person of the Godhead. He is not an “it.”

The Spirit of God cannot be controlled or manipulated. His presence isn’t brought upon by dimmed lights, fog machines, or music. The Spirit of God isn’t a feeling. He is a person, just as the Father and the Son are persons.

2. The Holy Spirit is Experienced by Faith

There is not any biblical evidence that supports the idea that the Holy Spirit can be physically felt. Things like goosebumps, tingling feelings, or an inner warmness are commonly attributed to “feeling” the Spirit, but those things are simply not how the Bible talks about the Holy Spirit.

The way we experience the Holy Spirit is the same way we experience almost all things of God – by faith (see Ephesians 3.17). Scripture tells us that our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6.19) and I believe it. I accept and experience that fact by faith – meaning we have “assurance” and “conviction” about Him, though we don’t experience Him with any of our five senses (see Hebrews 11.1).

3. The Holy Spirit is Known by His Fruit

So the natural question is, “Then how do we know we have the Holy Spirit?” The answer is, by the fruit in your life. If God’s Spirit is living in you and you are walking by His Spirit, then your life will produce a fruit that has certain characteristics.

A living orange tree produces a fruit which is round, orange, juicy, covered with a peel, and contains seeds. A person in whom the Spirit of God dwells will produce a fruit that has the characteristics of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5.22-23).

4. The Spirit Dwells in the Body

And now let’s get into the most important thought. We all know the church is the body of Christ. But by “the church” I don’t mean a local congregation or even all the Christians in the world. When I say “the church,” I mean all of God’s people who are living now and all those who have ever lived.

Though they’re dead, the apostles and prophets are still part of the church (Ephesians 2.20). I don’t mean they “were” part of the church. I mean, they “are” part of the church. God “is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (Matthew 22.32).

A person’s spirit is what gives his or her body life, strength, and power. Therefore, it is the Holy Spirit who gives the body of Christ life, strength, and power. He unites us and brings us together in love. He not only unites the living, but also unites the living with those who’ve gone on before. Though some are dead, they still speak (see Hebrews 11:4). The Spirit gives life to Scripture (Hebrews 4.12; 2 Timothy 3.16-17) and He gives life to the cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12.1).

The Spirit of God edifies, encourages, comforts, teaches, and leads us through the various parts of the body (see 1 Corinthians 12). He carried along the prophets and apostles as they wrote Scripture (2 Peter 1.21). So when Scripture is read, the Holy Spirit is continuing to work through the inspired writers to strengthen the body of Christ. In the living church, teachers, evangelists, shepherds, and servants walk by faith, using their gifts to serve one another (1 Peter 4.10). In this way, the body of Christ “builds itself up in love” (Ephesians 4.16) through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Bottom Line

We need to stop thinking the Holy Spirit will empower us the same way He empowered the apostles or even the Christians in the first century. Christ, the prophets, and the apostles, are not gone from the body; they are the foundation (see Ephesians 2.20). The Spirit unites us with them and edifies us through their gifts every time we open the Bible. The Spirit comforts us – not with a shallow and temporary warm tingling feeling – but through the physical and tangible service of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

So if you want to know the Holy Spirit, you must be in the church where He does His work and you must read Scripture to hear the words He gave the apostles and prophets. The Spirit works in the church – of the past, present, and future – “for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12.7). He wants to work through you to strengthen and comfort others by your ordinary God-glorifying acts of service and obedience (see Romans 12.3-8; 1 Peter 4.7-11).

 – Wes McAdams, www.radicallychristian.com

 

 

How to Have a Great 2016

It’s late Saturday afternoon, the evening before the first Sunday in 2016 – the ninth “New Year’s Sunday” Cheryl and I have been privileged to spend at Westside.

In the autumn of that first full year I prepared and taught a course here on the book of Ecclesiastes entitled The Words of the Preacher. In the introduction to that course I wrote the following:

Life is cyclical. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west only to rise in the east again and again and again. The seasons come and go in the same order as the earth makes its annual and unending orbit around the sun. Rivers, swollen by rains, continually flow into the seas, yet the seas are never full. The heat of the sun draws water from the oceans up into the atmosphere where it cools and condenses and falls back to the earth as rain.

Crops are planted in the spring, grow to maturity through the summer, are harvested in the fall; fields lie fallow through the winter, and crops are planted again in the spring. Every life begins with a birth and ends with a death.

There is nothing new under the sun. Existence is a pattern of cycles. Much of creation repeats these cycles without thought – it just does what it has been made to do. However, there is one in the universe capable of rational thought – man, that’s us. And we have questions!

We observe the cycles of nature and the cycles of life and ask “why?” and “how?” We are driven to excel and to accomplish, yet the cycles never change. What is new today is obsolete tomorrow. At a basic level nothing ever changes. What is the meaning and purpose of life?

And so we begin the New Year together again; another cycle has been completed. I pray for a good year – even a great year! But what’ll it take to make this year fulfill our hopes and aspirations?

To answer that I’ll have to borrow words, because no one said it better than Paul – “…seek the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God” (Colossians 3.1). That’s what will make this year and any year great. But it’s a counter-cultural concept, always has been and always will be – we (human beings) just don’t think that way. We’ve conditioned ourselves to think almost solely in terms of the here and now instead of the there and then.

The problem Solomon forces us to confront in Ecclesiastes is materialism. The problem with materialism is it constantly changes and never lasts – so you can never quite catch it, never quite get enough – like trying to catch the wind!

Everything we have here is at one moment new then old the next. Like the car that rolls off the assembly line – it’s new for just a moment, then another rolls off behind it, and then another, and another and another and …

Everything we have here works for a moment then breaks or becomes obsolete. When that happens it’s either thrown away or replaced.

I had a friend tell me once back in the ’70s about his “forever” car. It had every bell and whistle you could imagine (back then), and he was going to drive it forever. He’s in his eighties now and has probably had ten cars since then – that “forever car” is long scrapped and forgotten.

Materialism longs for permanence but never acquires it. So when our hopes and aspirations are centered on material goods and values, we’re guaranteed to be disappointed, frustrated, and unfulfilled.

Solomon got it right at the end of his book when he said: The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this is the whole person; for God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.

It’s hard for us to let go of now and fully embrace then; to exchange the things we can see for those we cannot; to fully relinquish trust in ourselves and surrender all to Him whom we must trust solely on the basis of faith.

I pray we all have a faithful year. If we do that, 2016 will be a GREAT YEAR!

Grace and peace to you all, Bill

 

 

A Living Faith

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.    Matthew 5.14-16

Faith – religion – belief in God is valuable only in the way it impacts your life. Christianity is and has always been a religion of the individual person. Sure, there are things we collectively believe and hold in common as a church, but at its simplest level, Christianity addresses this one question: What do you do with Jesus of Nazareth?

Christ – Not an Idol or an Icon

Generally, the world has made Him a god of veneration, an idol and an icon. He’s extolled as an ideal, one worthy of praise and worship for His great sacrifice on our behalf.

But is that all? What about the way He’s taught us to live? His teachings and example go largely unheeded. To literally live the way He wants us to live is seen as impractical, even impossible, as G. K. Chesterton has observed, “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.”

Once when asked about the “greatest commandment,” Jesus answered, “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength…you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12.30-31).

Could Christianity really be that simple – to love God above all else and to love others more than self?

Example of Living Faith

When Makenna was stricken with leukemia, my heart was crushed, and I despaired for her, fearing her young life would be cut short.

But did she despair? Throughout those long weeks of hospitalization and chemo, not a whimper. Instead, it was “be strong and courageous and do not be afraid.” Up until that time she had a professed faith; the crisis of that illness enabled her to live what she claimed to believe – to love God above all else and trust Him whatever the outcome. Her young faith gave witness to an entire town of what it means to be a Christian.

The Make-a-Wish Foundation grants “the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions…wishes that change the lives of the kids we serve.” That’s a great organization providing  children who are seriously ill – oftentimes terminally ill – an opportunity to fulfill a dream.

Makenna’s Make-a-Wish was granted this past week. Two representatives from the Make-a-Wish Foundation visited Imperial to inform Makenna that her wish to provide two families in earthquake devastated Haiti with homes, food, and water was going to be honored. Here’s what I find compelling: the Make-a-Wish Foundation seeks to “change the lives of the kids we serve.” Makenna’s “make-a-wish” seeks “to change the lives of others.”

Selfless Giving

Now we could say, “Wow, isn’t Makenna a great kid? Look at how unselfish she is, to give her ‘wish’ to somebody else.” And that’s how I think most people have reacted – which is alright; it’s only natural.

I haven’t talked to Makenna about any of this, but here’s what I think I know about her. She didn’t do this to attract attention to herself (although that’s inevitable). She probably would have been just as pleased to know her wish had been granted without the ceremony.

What she chose to do is a part of her living faith. She not only loves God, but others – even strangers in faraway places. And so when presented with an opportunity of her own choosing, she chose to “do unto others…,” to let “her light shine before others, so that they may see her good works and give glory to her Father who is in heaven.”

Whereas I think Makenna is a great and unselfish young woman, I’m more grateful she’s opened her heart to God, allowing Him to work through her. Christianity is not something she wears as a badge, it’s something she is, and I give thanks and glorify God for her living faith.

– Bill 

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.          Ephesians 3.30-21

 

 

Four Modern Views of Christ

“…and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by His resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord…”

Romans 1.4

  1. Jesus never lived. It has been proposed that Paul invented the idea of Jesus from ancient myths, and the Gospels were written later to create the illusion that He was a real person.
  2. Jesus without theology or miracles. Others admit that Jesus did indeed live, but we can’t know anything about Him from the New Testament. After stripping away all the supernatural aspects of Jesus’ life they found that there was no history left.
  3. Jesus mythologized. Rudolf Bultmann developed a system of interpretation that eliminates all supernatural elements by calling them myth. To get to the true Jesus, he tried to strip away the myth and find out what kinds of needs people had that would make them invent such a story.
  4. It doesn’t matter. Some scholars say that the resurrection may or may not have happened, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that we believe. Truth, they say, is only what you believe to be true.

Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.

For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

1 Corinthians 15.13-19

The Earliest Creed

First Corinthians 15.3-5 may be the earliest formulated creed of Christianity. The style seems to indicate it to be understood as a creedal statement. It contains two declarations, each followed by a supporting piece of evidence: Christ’s death (His burial) and His resurrection (His appearances). These are the central and most important teachings of Christianity. They emphasize both the forgiveness of sins and the assurance of an afterlife in which we remain “ourselves.” Both are to be preached, and both are confirmed by the historical fact of a literal resurrection.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.

Twelve Resurrection Appearances

  1. To Mary Magdalene – John 20.11
  2. To the other women – Matthew 28.9-10
  3. To Peter – Luke 24.34
  4. To two disciples on the way to Emmaus – Luke 24.13-32
  5. To a group of disciples, including the eleven apostles – Luke 24.33-49
  6. To Thomas and the other apostles – John 20.26-30
  7. To seven apostles – John 21:1-25
  8. To all the apostles – Matthew 28.16-20
  9. To all the apostles – Acts 1.4-9
  10. To five hundred brethren – 1 Corinthians 15.6
  11. To James – 1 Corinthians 15.7
  12. To Paul – 1 Corinthians 15.7

The Passover Plot

In 1965, Dr. Hugh Schoenfield published a book titled The Passover Plot which claimed to shed new light on the history of Jesus. In it, he said that Jesus had instructed Joseph of Arimathea to remove the body from the tomb so the He could appear to be the Messiah.

Another notion Schoenfield floated in his book is that Jesus manipulated things to make it look like He fulfilled the prophecies. But how does one manage to manipulate the place of his birth, or his family lineage, the time in history he would enter the world, or the way the Jewish nation would react to Him? Many of the prophecies were beyond the control of any mere man. How can a man arrange to be born of a virgin? Or to be born in Bethlehem in a certain year?

Karl Popper, an Austrian born philosopher and professor at the London School of Economics (at one time an atheist) made this observation regarding the resurrection of Jesus: “The resurrection of Jesus acquires such decisive meaning, not merely because someone or anyone has been raised from the dead, but because it is Jesus of Nazareth, whose execution was instigated by the Jews because He had blasphemed against God. If this Man was raised from the dead, then that plainly means that the God whom He supposedly blasphemed has committed Himself to Him” (Conjectures and Reflections, p. 36).

 – Bill

Source: Norman Geisler and Ron Brooks
When Skeptics Ask, pp. 102-128)

 

Optimistic Faith

Optimist-Pessimistop·ti·mism  noun \ˈäp-tə-ˌmi-zəm\ a feeling or belief that good things will happen in the future; a feeling or belief that what you hope for will happen.

If faith is the “the assurance of things hoped for” (Hebrews 11.1), then by necessity it must include the virtue of optimism. Pessimists of course have their assurances as well – they’re convinced that whatever happens will be anything except what they’re hoping will happen.

Pessimism is easy

A negative, cross, pessimistic mindset is deadly when it comes to faith, and it’s all too easy to fall into that trap. Look at the number of people who are indifferent, even hostile, to Christianity. Look at those who are religious but misguided. Then look at those who are earnest about their faith and the really serious problems some of them have.

Finally, look at the shrinking influence Christianity is having on our way of life, our social and cultural institutions, our local, regional, and national leaders. Just thinking about that is enough to drive any normal person to despair.

Optimism sometimes abnormal

However, God doesn’t use “normal” people to accomplish His will. Rather, He uses people of faith, people who can see beyond the limited perspective of time and circumstance. For example, who in his right mind would choose to back an undisciplined, demoralized band of slaves against the world’s greatest power?

Moses did. He chose to help the Children of Israel against all the might and wealth of Egypt. And the reason for such an incredible choice – “He endured as seeing Him who is unseen” (Hebrews 11.27).

When those same people arrived at the borders of their promised land, they sent spies to gather intelligence for their coming invasion. Ten of the twelve spies thought and reported in “normal” logistical terms of numbers, strength, and size. The people listened to the pessimistic report of the ten and quite logically refused to invade Canaan whereupon God turned them back into the wilderness for forty years until that faithless generation perished.

God was so grieved He wanted to destroy the whole lot then and there, “How long will this people spurn Me? And how long will they not believe in Me? (Numbers 13.30).

What God Wants

God doesn’t want “normal” thinkers. He wants men and women like Joshua and Caleb who will declare with the optimism of faith, “We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we shall surely overcome it” (Numbers 13.30).

The problem with “realists” is they limit their sense of what is real to what they can see. They overlook the greatest reality of all – the help of the Almighty Creator of heaven and earth!

Pessimists, whether negative about the Canaan invasion or the challenges of disseminating the Gospel within our community, treat God as an afterthought or as a mere spectator. The Maker is viewed by the made as insignificant to the outcome!

No wonder God’s wrath is provoked against pessimism, for He boldly declares, “My righteous one shall live by faith; and if he shrinks back My soul has not pleasure in him” (Hebrews 10.38).

Faith is optimism! Whatever the odds, whatever the setbacks, whatever the difficulties, whatever our own shortcomings and inadequacies, God can and will overcome them all if we’ll believe Him enough to allow Him to work in us.

“If God is for us, who is against us!” (Romans 8.31).

God is “able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we ask or thing, according to the power that works within us” (Ephesians 3.20).

“…it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2.13).

God has called us to Kingdom service,

“the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me” (Colossians 1.26-29).

– Bill

 

 

Back to Basic Christianity

 

back-to-basicsThe New Testament mentions only one church. Jesus said, “I will build My church…” (Matthew 16.18).

Years later Paul wrote, speaking of Christ, “He is also head of the body, the church…” and “There is one body…” (Colossians 1.18; Ephesians 4.4).

So if there is one body and the body is the church, then there is one church and Jesus is its head. It is His church and over His church He exercises all authority (Matthew 28.18).

Conditions of Membership

Since Jesus has all authority, He has the right to set the conditions of membership for His church. A study of the New Testament reveals the following requirements for membership in the Lord’s church:

  • Faith or Belief (John 8.24) that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God and the sacrifice for our sins. “…without faith it is impossible to please Him” (Hebrews 11.6).
  • Repentance (Luke 13.3) is a change of the will, a determination to walk in the opposite direction. God calls “all people everywhere to repent” (Acts 17.30).
  • Confession (Matthew 10.32) is the declaration or statement of belief in the deity of Jesus and the saving power of His sacrifice. “For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved” (Romans 10.10).
  • Baptism (Mark 16.16) is an immersion or burial in water. It is a symbolic death, burial, and resurrection. It is essential for salvation. A person cannot be saved without baptism because “…baptism saves you…”  (1 Peter 3.21).

The Significance of Baptism

The New Testament states that baptism is necessary in order to be in Christ (Galatians 3.27).

  • Baptism stands between the sinner and salvation (Mark 16.16; 1 Peter 3.21).
  • Baptism stands between the sinner and the remission of his sins (Acts 2.38).
  • Baptism stands between the sinner and his being clothed in Christ (Galatians 3.27).
  • Baptism stands between the sinner and having his sins washed away (Acts 22.16.)
  • Baptism stands between the sinner and his being united with Christ in the likeness of His death (Romans 6.3).

We need to remember it’s Christ’s church. If we want the blessings and salvation He has promised to all who are a part of His body, then we need to do what He said – not what men have taught. “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14.15).

– Bill

A Cause to Wonder…

Night SkyThursday night a little before mid-night as I stood out on the prairie gazing up into the starry host I began to wonder just where the universe ends and eternity begins…ah, but eternity has no beginning nor end – eternity is. The universe is a created entity; it exists within the dimension of space and time – “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” It had a “beginning,” therefore it must have boundaries, right? -??? Or is it possible for a finite creation to possess an infinite dimension – the further we’re able to peer into deep space the more we find and the more we’re made to wonder – to wonder “Why?” Could it be so simple a reason as to merely remind us of who we are and who He is?

 – Bill

 

Has Science Disproved the Bible?

I realize I cannot adequately answer such a question in the space provided in this bulletin, but I can provide some things to think about in support of the answer “No!”

Influence of Thomas Huxley

Until the middle of the eighteenth century, most scientists worked from a religious base; the first book to argue that science disproved religion was not published until 1875. By then, Thomas Huxley and eight other scientists had formed a secret association known as the X-Club, whose aims included an all-out war on religion. In 1874 one of their number, John Tyndall, told the British Association in Belfast,

“We claim, and we shall wrest from theology, the entire domain of cosmological theory. All schemes and systems which thus infringe upon the domain of science must, in so far as they do this, submit to its control and relinquish all thought of controlling it.”

This militant onslaught on religion developed such a head of steam that a year later Huxley was sure that it had already beaten it to a pulp: “Extinguished theologians lie about the cradle of every science as the strangled snakes beside that of Hercules; and history records that whenever science and orthodoxy have been fairly supposed, the latter has been forced to retire from the lists, bleeding and crushed if not annihilated; scotched, if not slain.”

This was a gross exaggeration, of course, but Huxley and others succeeded in giving birth to the myth that science and religion are not on speaking terms. Over 125 years later, the myth survives, powerfully promoted by articulate reductionists, and quietly nurtured by intellectual and cultural fashion.

Writing in his “Sacred and Profane” column in the [London] Daily Telegraph in 1996, Clifford Longley hit the nail on the head:

“Ideas, the origin of which they do not know, trickle down into the thinking of ordinary people, as in the widespread perception that some important scientists or philosophers somewhere – exactly who and when is not clear – have proved that belief in God is unscientific. Intellectual fashion is full of myths of this kind, things ‘everybody knows’ without being able to offer chapter and verse.”

Bible Anticipates Science

The fact is there is a case for saying that the Bible anticipates science. About 750 BC, the prophet Isaiah wrote that God “sits enthroned above the circle of the earth” (Isaiah 40.22),  yet it was over 1,000 years later that scientists began to speak of the earth as being spherical. Jeremiah (626 BC) wrote that the stars in the sky were “countless” (Jeremiah 33.22). Some 300 years, Ptolemy reduced this to 1,056, but today’s astronomers talk in terms of so many billions that Jeremiah’s “countless” fits very well.

Nearly 2,000 years before scientists discovered the distinction between human cells and those of other creatures, Scripture stated, “All flesh is not the same; Men have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another” (1 Corinthians 15.39). The Bible is not primarily concerned with scientific analysis, yet it has never been proved to be at variance with any known scientific fact. The statement, “Science disproves the Bible,” is nonsense.

 – Bill

[John Blanchard, Does God Believe in Atheists? 442-45]