Wise notes importance of biblical faith
by Emily Grooms
CLEVELAND, Ga. (TMCNews) – Harvard graduate Dr. Kurt Wise, professor of biology, related the importance of holding the Bible as supreme during Truett-McConnell College’s third annual Genesis Lectures March 14.
“We are called on in Scripture to have faith, live by faith, and walk by faith,” Wise said. “My goal today is to encourage you to believe and have faith in God’s word. In particular, I want you to believe in God’s word when it comes to creation.”
Contrary to what many are taught as children, biblical faith is more than trusting a chair to support one’s weight, Wise stated. Referencing Hebrews 11.1, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen,” Wise made a certain claim: “Biblical faith is the evidence of things not seen; believing in God’s word when there may be no evidence. That’s what I understand faith to be,” he said, “belief or trust in God and his word.”
Wise used Noah as an example of biblical faith. “Noah built the ark and prepared for rain,” Wise said. God told him in Genesis 6.17 that He would bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish.
“Noah had no evidence that such a thing had ever happened, or if it was even possible,” Wise stated. We must choose to have faith “even when there is no evidence.”
“Even if it doesn’t make sense,” we must still have faith Wise said, citing Abel as another example of biblical faith.
In Genesis 4, Abel presents an offering to the Lord. “He offered it as a sacrifice for sin because that’s what God commanded,” Wise said. “Don’t you see how it takes faith for Abel to actually do this? We must have faith even if it doesn’t make sense.”
Jonah is another man who demonstrated biblical faith. “Jonah ran from God because he recognized God’s character. He knew that God would restore the people of Nineveh and [Jonah] hated them,” Wise said. “His problem was not faith; it was because of God’s nature that he ran.”
“Biblical faith is believing even when it doesn’t seem possible,” Wise stated. Sarah gave birth to Isaac when she was 90. “The Bible says that Sarah conceived in faith. At her age, it would have been physically impossible to conceive a child, but she did.”
Wise referenced Hebrews 11.10, “For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God,” to demonstrate that biblical faith calls believers to remain faithful even if they never see the finished work. “Abraham worked on seeing the city that God would build but he never saw it,” Wise said.
“Faith also believes in something even when you don’t have the evidence and when it doesn’t make sense,” Wise said. “It’s going ahead and believing something when you don’t want it to be true, if you don’t think it’s possible, and even if you never see it come true.”
Wise related biblical faith to the claims of evolutionist’s. The human claim is this: evolution brought organisms to be, and the fossil record proves it. “The question is ‘How do I, as a believer, demonstrate my faith in the midst of such claims?’” Wise asked.
First things first, Wise stated. “Don’t assume that the claim made against the Bible is true; most times it isn’t.” One must first test the evolutionist’s claim, and if true, “Don’t deny or shrink away from it,” he said. “Don’t make up evidence. Too many creationists try and make things look better than they are; don’t play politics.”
“Biblical faith believes in the biblical claim even when it doesn’t seem possible for the biblical claim to be true,” he said.
Instead of giving up, Wise said go further in truth and claim there must be a solution.
Wise shared his own theory of why the fossil record supports the creation of organisms: “Find another cause, rethink the experiment and ask different questions with a different idea,” he said.
“Evolution explains a lot,” Wise noted, “but unfortunately for [evolutionists], there is more explained by the Bible.”
Wise shared of the tenacity every believer should possess toward truth: “Because a person believes the Bible is true, they won’t be happy with the evolutionist’s claims,” he said. “They’ll come up with a theory that explains far more than evolution explains.”
“You may not get the chance to explain a theory or see it proved while you’re alive but don’t let that stop you from trying,” Wise said.
Calling on the truth of God’s word, Wise claimed: “You can rely on it because it’s true even if you never see it justified in your life; it is true. Believe it.”
In closing, Wise related biblical faith to Scripture: “We must have faith that Jesus saves,” he said.
Understanding the sinfulness of man, and God’s inability to tolerate sin, Wise emphasized the Scripture’s claim that we are hopeless in our sin. “God, who cannot exist in the presence of sin, took on the form of man and became sin for us,” he said. According to evolutionary science, “that’s impossible and it cannot happen; but it’s the claim of the Bible and it’s the only hope that you and I have.”
Wise encouraged students to believe what the Bible says. If you don’t have faith to believe, “That’s okay,” he said. “It comes from God and He gives it freely.”
“If God is calling you into an impossible field and you don’t think it’s possible, he will equip you,” Wise said. “Believe in his word.”
Emily Grooms is a Truett-McConnell senior English major and a freelance writer for the college.