Now, Contending for the Faith. In this regular feature, Dave and Tom respond to questions from listeners and readers of The Berean Call. Here is this week’s question: “Dear Tom and Dave, I have heard it said that 2 Peter:3:10-12 gives proof that the Bible is scientifically infallible, contrary to what the Roman Catholic Church teaches. All I want to know is how those verses give that proof.”
Tom: Okay, before you answer this, it’s interesting; it says “the Roman Catholic Church.” Some people believe, well, the Catholic Church, of course they believe that the Bible is God’s Word and it’s true, but there are a few asterisks after that! (Chuckles) Aren’t there? You know, we mentioned in an earlier segment that they hold to tradition and so on, but when it comes to the sacred Scriptures, they qualify that big-time, that there are errors in it with regard to science and so forth.
Dave: Yeah, that’s very clearly stated, for example, in Vatican II, that the Bible is not scientifically true. You can’t take it literally, particularly as far as the creation is concerned, and you’ve have conferences of scientists at the scientific institutes in the Vatican there, honoring Darwin and declaring evolution is true. Well, if evolution is true, then the Bible is not true. I think we had Cardinal O’Conner, a few years before his death, declared that Adam and Eve were a couple of anthropoid apes, man evolved and got to the point close enough to humanoids, and then God put a human soul and spirit in him, and the pope said, “We’re not going to compromise on that. This was an act of God, and He put a human soul and spirit in these ape-like, human-like critters.” And so, the Bible simply is not followed by the Catholic Church, as you know. Purgatory is not there, prayers for the dead are not there, and so forth, okay?
Tom: He had a little trouble with Galileo too, didn’t he?
Dave: Ha, yeah, Galileo tried to tell him that the sun did not go around the world, but the world went around the sun, and they had this elderly man on his knees repenting. I mean, under his breath, he was saying (laughing) something else, and it was, what? It took about 400 years, did it, before the Vatican finally admitted Galileo was right? And they were…
Tom: Officially, right.
Dave: But the popes had made that pronouncement for many years. Okay, well, what about this verse?
Tom: Should I read it?
Dave: Go ahead.
Tom: Second Peter 3:10-12: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?”
Dave: Tom, you’ve got some interesting phraseology in here: a fire, fervent heat, but even more interesting, elements.
Dave: The very elements—not just the wood that would burn, but the very elements! That is, the chemical components of this universe, hydrogen, oxygen, the very atoms themselves, are going to be… and then it says, dissolved! Well that’s an interesting word. You look that up in the Greek, it’s a “letting go”—something is holding something together, and it’s going to be loosed, released. Well, what would that be? Well, as you know, Tom, and probably most people out there—we learned this in grammar school, I guess—the atom, everything is made up of atoms, and the atom is composed of a nucleus, which is a proton and a neutron, and around it are flying in orbit, like the earth and the planets around the sun, electrons. Electrons are negatively charged, protons are positively charged, and neutrons have a neutral charge. So of course, there’s an attraction between the electrons and the protons—that’s holding them in orbit.
But, what about the nucleus? The nucleus is all positive charges—protons, right in there together, and there is a lot of space, which seems odd, but it is going around, you know, moving so fast, and so forth, without getting into that. And so, what holds the nucleus of the atom together? Well, the scientists, the physicists, have hypothesized something they call the “strong force.” Well, what IS this “strong force”? It’s got to be pretty strong to hold all the atoms of the universe together! They don’t know what it is. (Chuckles.) Nobody knows what it is! The Bible says that by Christ all things are held together. That’s, again, interesting terminology.
And so Peter is saying one day Christ is going to let it go. This “strong force,” Jesus Christ, is the One who is holding it together, and the atom will be dissolved. The elements will melt. I mean, they’re gone, and talk about fervent heat! It will be one huge atomic—I don’t know whether to call it explosion or implosion or whatever it is, but…. So whoever made this statement, and I don’t know who that was; this was a letter that we received, he’s quoting someone who said that 2 Peter:3:10-11—they prove the Bible is inspired.
Now, I don’t know that I would go that far, Tom. You could say, “Well, this is a coincidence.” This certainly is very accurate, but we have far more proof. So this is only part, indeed, this is a remarkable statement, scientifically accurate, from a day when they did not have this information. But it is only part of the proof we have for the Bible, and it’s a sample of one kind. We do have scientific proof. We have much proof like this.
On the other hand, we have prophetic proof, and that is the main proof that God offers. Isaiah:46:9-10 for example, God says, “I’ll tell you what’s going to happen before it happens, and when it does, you will have to acknowledge I am God and the Bible is My Word.” And we have hundreds, literally hundreds of prophecies that have come true, exactly as they were foretold. That is the absolute proof that the Bible is God’s Word.