The Difference Words Make

In our world and thinking, there are two “books of God,” places where we can go to learn about God and his world. The first, of course, is the Scriptures —the collection of 66 books by 44 authors written over the course of 3000 (or more) years.

Then there is the “other” book, the book of nature. Here we hope to learn directly from God’s creation something about God himself. In our modern thinking, the “book of nature” is more important than the Scriptures. Where the two apparently contradict, we always take “nature’s word,” over the Scriptures. Our modern attitude is, “nature says it, I believe it, that settles it.”

Of course this position is as faith based as any belief in the Scriptures but that’s not the only problem with this attitude. Watch the following video and tell me what you learn.

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Fascinating. Beautiful. Instructive.

Okay, maybe not. What’s the problem? There’s no sound. There’s no words. We miss the constant overlay of words we normally see in nature videos explaining what it is we’re seeing. If nature can teach us so much about God, then why can’t we learn without the overlay of words?

Because nature is, in the end, mute.

Trying to learn from nature without words is like trying to understand the watchmaker from the watch. We can tell he’s really smart, and we can tell he probably has some pretty advanced tools, but that’s just about the end of what we can learn from the watch. If we want to learn how to make watches, to really understand the watch, we need to find a watchmaker and ask. And he needs to use words to convey what he knows about watches.

If this is so obviously true, why do we believe we can get to all the truth that matters by observing nature? Words matter. The problem is, where do we get the words to explain nature? Where can we go to find the “nature maker?”

To the Scriptures. Where else? When we turn to the Scriptures, we find the words of the nature maker, and hence we find a real understanding of nature. Just as we would accept the words of the watch maker over what we believe we find by examining the watch, we should accept the words of the nature maker over what we believe we find when we examine nature.

Words matter. The Scriptures matter.

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