Today's reading from my church history text takes me to the rise of nation-states in Europe. They became more united and independent and increasingly resented control by the Pope who lived in Italy.
This was a time when people became more secular, a middle class formed, Parliaments formed to represent the people and to sponsor their sovereigns against the church canon. It is a good example of why church and state should not mix. God should rule over both, but they are really two separate universes.
The rise of Parliaments is not my focus for today. I will mention it just in passing. My mind is more on the Renaissance innovations in science and commerce. This was a time when most people believed that the sun revolved around the earth. In fact, the whole universe revolved around the earth. This was not only assumed scientific fact, but it became religious dogma. The Church excommunicated Galileo and Copernicus because they would refuse to listen to their arguments. Even Luther and Calvin were outraged by these guys because they seemed to contradict Scripture.
The thing is, the geocentric cosmology is not Biblical. Ptolemy popularized it. When empirical science contradicted this belief, it would have certainly agreed with Scripture. Everyone with an iota of sense knows that God is the center of all reality, not is creation the earth. It still baffles me how even John Calvin could be duked by this self-centered belief.
Just the same, the church leaders refused to look into Galileo's telescope, see the scientific proof and double-check their Bibles.
Fastforward to the 1800s. People were so disenchanted with the Bible thanks to the Copernican revolution and the refusal of church leaders to check their facts, that they began to envision a world not made by God. One that always existed. To explain all the landmarks and fossils, they had to develop long ages of millions and billions of years. Then they hypothesized that all creatures, including humans, evolved from one common ancestor. They had great rhetoric because they succeeded in convincing the religious community, both liberal and conservative, that empirical science contradicts the Bible's creation account as being literal. As a result, mainline churches began to care more about social activism rather than teaching the Gospel. The outspoken atheists of today recognize better than church leaders that a compromised first 11 chapters of Genesis compromises all of the Gospel. If Adam isn't literal, then neither is Jesus. If millions of years of destruction formed the earth, then there was clearly death and chaos before Adam sinned and ruined God's "very good" world. If that is so, then there really is no reason for Jesus to come and make things right since it was already in his plan for cancer and bloodshed to reign.
Fastforward to now. The people at Answers in Genesis have done extensive scientific research and proven that the Darwinian and uniformitarian myths should be scientifically laughable. Dead carcasses don't turn into fossils over millions of years. It has to occur in a fast chaotic process like a world-wide flood. People all over the world have dragon legends. This would not be unless these creatures that are now called dinosaurs co-existed alongside humans and did not die before man ushered evil into the world. Our good God hates death and destruction and never used it to create his world. It has never been necessary. Ken Ham and a team of people with Ph.Ds and scientific credentials have exposed radiocarbon dating as a fraud and made it possible for all of the world's activities to fit into 6000 compact years.
We still have church leaders who insist that the rocks have proven the first 11 chapters of Genesis to be false. If that is true, then why would God present something to us that only he witnessed and present it wrong? No, that is not the God I believe in who sent Jesus to defeat sin and death once and for all. God has the only prerogative to define day lengths and he said the first six days of creation were days. End of story. It's still a mystery yes, but only he has the right to define his own account of what he did which did not involve long ages of death and destruction.
But we have people who I love such as Michael Horton, D.A. Carson, John Piper, and even my favorite hero, R.C. Sproul who will not look into the telescope and be enlightened, yeah, even freed from the need to compromise with the Bible. What you cling to is pure mythology. God's word is the only truth and any science that contradicts it is either misinterpreted or fabricated. Look into the telescope. Walk around the Creation Museum. Read the daily articles on AIG. Be freed. Double check your Bible and trust that God, the only witness to the creation story, means what he said and finally believe.
There are still many mysteries to solve such as the question of when Satan fell from heaven. However, God did not include that account in detail in the Bible. It's clearly something that we are not meant to know or risk our salvations by satisfying our curiosity. Just look in the telescope, be informed, and still have faith like a child that does not question God but questions everyone else.