The Sun Rises and the Sun Sets (Eccl 1:5)



Question: I love the apologetics that Genesis offers; and if you want to go deeper with God, how He reveals some amazing answers. We hear about evolution so I thought about when the Spirit of God hovered over the face of the deep. Before even that happened there was Wisdom. I felt strongly the world had certainly been in creation for a very long time. God speaks Deep unto Deep. Food for thought eh!

Iris (Proprietor of Thanet Community Radio)

Answer: Thank you for your thoughts Iris. You certainly have a hunger for God's word, and that is excellent. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst."

My son and his friends were being shown verifiable facts about the history of geology, genetics and archaeology at school and college. So the young people began to wonder if that means that the book of Genesis is no longer relevant.

I am happy to tell them that these modern facts about the history of the universe certainly don’t mean that the book of Genesis is untrue, they simply mean that we are beginning to understand more about how the Lord created the wonderful world we all inhabit today. Genesis informs us about the same events that modern scientists tell us about if we read the text carefully.

Many Christians alive today seem willing to embrace the fact that science allows us to see more of God's word and work. Perhaps we have learned from the mistakes of Christians in the medieval church when they held onto their interpretation of the Scriptures saying that the sun travels around the earth (geocentricity). The scientists at that time told them it didn't, there were even Christian scientists telling them that the earth travelled around the sun and not the sun around the earth, but they said, "the Bible says that the sun rises and that means that the sun is travelling and not the earth" and “Joshua bid the sun to stand still and not the earth.”

Copernicus (1473-1543) who was himself a canon of the Church, upset the Church by writing that the earth orbits the sun. This was such a contentious conflict at the time that even Martin Luther called Copernicus "a fool who went against Holy Writ" and an "upstart". Today we all take the solar system as common knowledge even though the Bible tells us that the sun rises and the sun sets, we understand a little more how the Bible teaches us, as the apostle Paul says, "in malice be children, but in understanding be men" (1 Cor 14:20).

Eventually, of course, in the mid-eighteenth century the Church's opposition began to fade, they had to relent, and other earth-centric adherents died out and the new generation embraced the fact that the earth did in fact travel around the sun. The Church then began to understand a little more of how the Holy Spirit has inspired the scriptures. From our perspective the sun seems to rise and that's what the Bible refers to.

Thankfully many Christians seem to be willing to accept that scientists have their God-given jobs to do, and can help us in our understanding.