Is the Christian Bible imperfect/flawed? Watch

Paranoid_Glitch
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Throughout time it has been established that human beings are flawed/imperfect. From my knowledge and understanding, the christian bible was written by followers of Jesus Christ, human beings. If that is the case does that not mean the bible is flawed/imperfect and that you can never truly guarantee that what the bible says is "the right thing to do".

I consider myself a follower of Jesus Christ. This question is mainly aimed at the christian society. The reason for this question is gain more insight on Christianity, the bible, etc, in order to challenge my faith and see where i stand.
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Galaxie501
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Anything that does not hold up to modern science, reason, logic and rationality is flawed. Thereby a religious scripture that is interpreted literally is by definition flawed.
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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(Original post by Paranoid_Glitch)
Throughout time it has been established that human beings are flawed/imperfect. From my knowledge and understanding, the christian bible was written by followers of Jesus Christ more importantly, human beings. If that is the case does that not mean the bible is flawed/imperfect and that you can never truly guarantee that what the bible says is "the right thing to do".

I consider myself a follower of Jesus Christ. This question is mainly aimed at the christian society. The reason for this question is gain more insight on Christianity, the bible, etc, in order to challenge my faith and see where i stand.
I completely agree with you (liberal/cafeteria RC here) :jebus:

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Paranoid_Glitch
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(Original post by Galaxie501)
Anything that does not hold up to modern science, reason, logic and rationality is flawed. Thereby a religious scripture that is interpreted literally is by definition flawed.
Well i don't think the bible contradicts modern science. I don't have enough knowledge on this so please correct me if I'm wrong. The bible says the world was created in 6 days by God, but it is never made explicit on how long a day was. With that ambiguity, how do we know that the bible does not hold up to modern science?
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username2763536
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[QUOTE=Paranoid_Glitch;66672456]Well i don't think the bible contradicts modern science. I don't have enough knowledge on this so please correct me if I'm wrong. The bible says the world was created in 6 days by God, but it is never made explicit on how long a day was. With that ambiguity, how do we know that the bible does not hold up to modern science

If you believe in both God and modern science then you have to believe that he waited 9 billion years to create earth,4 billion years to create humans and then he only decided to reveal himself 2 thousand years ago through a book that can be interpreted in many different ways and consistently contradicts itself.All while billions of other species go extinct.Science and religion are not compatable, religion says that it knows the nature of reality.Science says we might never know but through experimentation and logic we can figure parts of it out.They're just two completely different methodologies.
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Butterfly9595
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(Original post by Paranoid_Glitch)
Throughout time it has been established that human beings are flawed/imperfect. From my knowledge and understanding, the christian bible was written by followers of Jesus Christ, human beings. If that is the case does that not mean the bible is flawed/imperfect and that you can never truly guarantee that what the bible says is "the right thing to do".

I consider myself a follower of Jesus Christ. This question is mainly aimed at the christian society. The reason for this question is gain more insight on Christianity, the bible, etc, in order to challenge my faith and see where i stand.
Id be fascinated to see where this goes as I'm currently asking myself this question do you believe the bible is flawed then?


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Scrappy-coco
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[QUOTE=Robby2312;66672726]
(Original post by Paranoid_Glitch)
Well i don't think the bible contradicts modern science. I don't have enough knowledge on this so please correct me if I'm wrong. The bible says the world was created in 6 days by God, but it is never made explicit on how long a day was. With that ambiguity, how do we know that the bible does not hold up to modern science

If you believe in both God and modern science then you have to believe that he waited 9 billion years to create earth,4 billion years to create humans and then he only decided to reveal himself 2 thousand years ago through a book that can be interpreted in many different ways and consistently contradicts itself.All while billions of other species go extinct.Science and religion are not compatable, religion says that it knows the nature of reality.Science says we might never know but through experimentation and logic we can figure parts of it out.They're just two completely different methodologies.
This is so confused I'm actually struggling where to begin! As though the time frame of history contradicts anything? Let alone the dubious link between waiting and being eternal, the only specific mention of a contradiction is a vague description of the bible - but what does that have to do with modern science? The only point approaching friction between science and religion is comparing the two methodologies, but being different doesn't in any way mean a contradiction in the same way science and ethics use two different methodologies but don't contradict at all!
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Tsrsarahhhh
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The bible may have once been the true word from God but over time it has been heavily altered by humans.
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Scrappy-coco
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(Original post by Paranoid_Glitch)
Throughout time it has been established that human beings are flawed/imperfect. From my knowledge and understanding, the christian bible was written by followers of Jesus Christ, human beings. If that is the case does that not mean the bible is flawed/imperfect and that you can never truly guarantee that what the bible says is "the right thing to do".

I consider myself a follower of Jesus Christ. This question is mainly aimed at the christian society. The reason for this question is gain more insight on Christianity, the bible, etc, in order to challenge my faith and see where i stand.
I think it would be helpful to distinguish between the historical and theological aspects of your question.

Historically speaking, it doesn't matter that the bible was written by imperfect humans! That's just a description of history itself! Yet we still are able to move through what is accurate and what is not.

In the Ask about Christianity thread I posted these links for the historicity of the bible, but also recommended these as a starting point. You should pick up some books on the subject.

On the reliability of the bible:
https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&so...Vvfx1qDLa_7ApQ

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&so...8uTIFMd2ZMuGnw

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gldvim1yjYM

http://lydiaswebpage.blogspot.co.uk/...spels.html?m=1

Also, this is a compilation of what various historians have said just on the genre and accuracy of Luke and Acts. It's quite amateurish but the guy is well read and quotes from the more prominent people in the field - it covers good points!

http://www.christianorigins.com/acts.doc
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username2763536
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[QUOTE=Scrappy-coco;66678452]
(Original post by Robby2312)

This is so confused I'm actually struggling where to begin! As though the time frame of history contradicts anything? Let alone the dubious link between waiting and being eternal, the only specific mention of a contradiction is a vague description of the bible - but what does that have to do with modern science? The only point approaching friction between science and religion is comparing the two methodologies, but being different doesn't in any way mean a contradiction in the same way science and ethics use two different methodologies but don't contradict at all!

Its a contradiction because you cant believe both.If you believe God created us through a process of evoloution then you also have to believe that he created billions of animal species for no other purposes than to go extinct.You also have to believe that he waited millions of years to send a saviour to us.What about all the humans who lived before?Aren't they doomed to go to hell because they didnt hear Jesuss message.Evoloution tells us that we're just one of many species no more special than any other whearas religion tells us that a certain tribe of a certain species is special and favoured by the creator of the universe.If you believe evoloution was guided by God then you're admitting that not only is the creator a bad designer but hes also incredibly wasteful and takes way too long to create one species.If you believe in religion then you believe that humans are above the other animals,more evolved.In evoloution there is no more evolved,other species are just as evolved as us.
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Scrappy-coco
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[QUOTE=Robby2312;66678942]
(Original post by Scrappy-coco)


Its a contradiction because you cant believe both.
You've just stated that though, you haven't demonstrated a contradiction.

[QUOTE=Robby2312;66678942]
(Original post by Scrappy-coco)

.If you believe God created us through a process of evoloution then you also have to believe that he created billions of animal species for no other purposes than to go extinct.You also have to believe that he waited millions of years to send a saviour to us.
It doesn't follow from the fact of evolution that God created animals **for no other purposes** than to go extinct. But I'm fine with assuming it is, because it's not a contradiction with religion. Again, waiting seems irrelevant to something eternal, but even with that aside, you realise that the the majority of humans in human history have lived after Jesus? And there could be good reasons for a specific time, like a society sufficiently progressed to understand what was happening, a society that was connected enough for the message to spread etc. The moment in history of Jesus' birth is irrelevant to modern science. It's not a contradiction.

[QUOTE=Robby2312;66678942][QUOTE=Scrappy-coco;66678452]

What about all the humans who lived before?Aren't they doomed to go to hell because they didnt hear Jesuss message./QUOTE]

Nope. Have you read any christian literature? Don't you think you should before claiming it contradicts other things?


[QUOTE=Robby2312;66678942]
(Original post by Scrappy-coco)

Evoloution tells us that we're just one of many species no more special than any other whearas religion tells us that a certain tribe of a certain species is special and favoured by the creator of the universe..
You falsely equivocated there. Evolution can only talk of our comparison with other species biologically, by most accounts the specialness that religion is talking about is spiritual. Two different hymn sheets as they say, not a contradiction though. Anymore than the heads side of a coin contradicts the tails side. But, actually, there is one element that biology does seem to say is specific to humans which others don't have - consciousness. That's self awareness, rationality and the ability for abstract thought.

[QUOTE=Robby2312;66678942]
(Original post by Scrappy-coco)

If you believe evoloution was guided by God then you're admitting that not only is the creator a bad designer but hes also incredibly wasteful and takes way too long to create one species.If you believe in religion then you believe that humans are above the other animals,more evolved.In evoloution there is no more evolved,other species are just as evolved as us.
You'll have to expand on how evolution admits God to be a bad designer, and if you are going to pin the argument on ideas of being wasteful and taking too long, you'll need to argue why ideas of efficiency - both with regards to resources and time - are relevant to a being considered eternal and omnipotent.
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Racoon
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(Original post by Paranoid_Glitch)
Throughout time it has been established that human beings are flawed/imperfect. From my knowledge and understanding, the christian bible was written by followers of Jesus Christ, human beings. If that is the case does that not mean the bible is flawed/imperfect and that you can never truly guarantee that what the bible says is "the right thing to do".

I consider myself a follower of Jesus Christ. This question is mainly aimed at the christian society. The reason for this question is gain more insight on Christianity, the bible, etc, in order to challenge my faith and see where i stand.
Proverbs 30 v 5
Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. 6 Do not add to His words Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.…

and

2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness


As a Christian I don't consider the bible to be flawed, only perhaps our understanding of certain parts of it. I see the revelation of God being revealed through the word as time goes on. For example archaeological discoveries will continue to confirm many events of the Bible. The bible is full of prophecy and divine Insight.

I believe the bible is supernatural. It is God inspired and as it says every word is profitable.
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Racoon
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(Original post by Tsrsarahhhh)
The bible may have once been the true word from God but over time it has been heavily altered by humans.

Looking at the evidence from the Dead Sea scrolls that doesn't appear to be the case.
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loveleest
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The bible is filled with contradictions. So yes.
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username2763536
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[QUOTE=Scrappy-coco;66679378][QUOTE=Robby2312;66678942]

You've just stated that though, you haven't demonstrated a contradiction.

[QUOTE=Robby2312;66678942]

It doesn't follow from the fact of evolution that God created animals **for no other purposes** than to go extinct. But I'm fine with assuming it is, because it's not a contradiction with religion. Again, waiting seems irrelevant to something eternal, but even with that aside, you realise that the the majority of humans in human history have lived after Jesus? And there could be good reasons for a specific time, like a society sufficiently progressed to understand what was happening, a society that was connected enough for the message to spread etc. The moment in history of Jesus' birth is irrelevant to modern science. It's not a contradiction.

[QUOTE=Robby2312;66678942][QUOTE=Scrappy-coco;66678452]

What about all the humans who lived before?Aren't they doomed to go to hell because they didnt hear Jesuss message./QUOTE]

Nope. Have you read any christian literature? Don't you think you should before claiming it contradicts other things?


[QUOTE=Robby2312;66678942]

You falsely equivocated there. Evolution can only talk of our comparison with other species biologically, by most accounts the specialness that religion is talking about is spiritual. Two different hymn sheets as they say, not a contradiction though. Anymore than the heads side of a coin contradicts the tails side. But, actually, there is one element that biology does seem to say is specific to humans which others don't have - consciousness. That's self awareness, rationality and the ability for abstract thought.

(Original post by Robby2312)

You'll have to expand on how evolution admits God to be a bad designer, and if you are going to pin the argument on ideas of being wasteful and taking too long, you'll need to argue why ideas of efficiency - both with regards to resources and time - are relevant to a being considered eternal and omnipotent.
It does kind of follow that he created a lot of animals simply to go extinct.There were five mass extinctions in the earths history.Why would you create life only to kill the majority of it off 5 times?It seems like an unnessecarily long-winded way of doing it if his objective was to create humans.It also suggests incompetence on the part of the creator,he couldnt get it right first time so had to try again 5 times.There are flaws in the human body which could be better designed.For example there are blood vessels around the eye directly in front of light sensitive cells.An intelligent designer would place those not in front of those cells so that more light can get through.There are other flaws as well.I would dispute that other animals dont have conciousness, a lot of them clearly do.I would also dispute that the majority of humans lived after Jesus thats not true.Although I suppose it depends on your definition of human.

Religion and science aren't compatible because when it comes down to it science isnt just a collection of facts its a way of thinking, a methodology.Religion says it knows why we're here.It claims to know the answer to life and we just have to take that on faith.Science is a way of thinking that demands evidence and is always prepared to admit its wrong.When a religous idea is shown to be wrong religous leaders will say that its supposed to be interpreted metaphorically science will discard the idea completely.And thats where the contradiction truly lies.Science regards itself as always wrong.There is always stuff we dont know and any answer we obtain is only partial.Religion is always right.It knows the answer and it knows the mind of God.
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Scrappy-coco
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(Original post by Robby2312)
It does kind of follow that he created a lot of animals simply to go extinct.There were five mass extinctions in the earths history.Why would you create life only to kill the majority of it off 5 times?It seems like an unnessecarily long-winded way of doing it if his objective was to create humans..
Not it doesn't, also you have given an argument that it does but rather just stated it. Why couldn't they have had purposes whilst they were alive? But notice that the bulk of what you have written is simply questions that arise from evolution within a Christian worldview, not unreasonable questions either - but in no way, shape or form is there a contradiction there, nor do I think they are troublesome. It seems long winded to you, why does God have to create humans straight away? Why did he create so many animals that live alongside humans? Why is there the specific sea to earth ratio there is for land based animals? To be sure, all decent and inquisitive questions but they hardly raise serious objections. Again, how can something be considered long winded to something outside of time? Why must an objective be compared to efficiency when something is omnipotent? Also, the biblical narrative of God is clear that He sees the act of creation as good, including all forms of life. It's perfectly consistent with that narrative to have eras of creation where humans aren't around yet.

(Original post by Robby2312)
It also suggests incompetence on the part of the creator,he couldnt get it right first time so had to try again 5 times.There are flaws in the human body which could be better designed.For example there are blood vessels around the eye directly in front of light sensitive cells.An intelligent designer would place those not in front of those cells so that more light can get through.
It's only incompetence if the aim was to create humans first time. I've already explained that previous eras of life without humans is perfectly compatible with the biblical narrative of God, who enjoys the act of creation.

Also, wait a minute, your point about the design of the body seems to be more of a critique of Intelligent design than it is the compatibility of Christianity with evolution.

(Original post by Robby2312)
I would dispute that other animals dont have conciousness, a lot of them clearly do.I would also dispute that the majority of humans lived after Jesus thats not true.Although I suppose it depends on your definition of human.
.
The overwhelming majority of other animals are not self aware which is the significant part of consciousness. Of course a Dog has consciousness of the shape of a dog bowl etc. Humans are unique in that they are capable of abstract thought and communicate with rational syntax that no other animal comes close to.

Also, check the population at each checkpoint of history. It's hard to be precise and it's likely different, but the point is that it's I'm the general ball park, the vast majority of people who have ever lived have lived after the first century AD.

http://www.prb.org/Publications/Arti...edonEarth.aspx
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Supersaps
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If you look at the bible like you'd look at a history textbook or a science book, yes it is flawed.


It's neither of those.

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Scrappy-coco
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(Original post by Robby2312)
Religion and science aren't compatible because when it comes down to it science isnt just a collection of facts its a way of thinking, a methodology.Religion says it knows why we're here.It claims to know the answer to life and we just have to take that on faith.Science is a way of thinking that demands evidence and is always prepared to admit its wrong.When a religous idea is shown to be wrong religous leaders will say that its supposed to be interpreted metaphorically science will discard the idea completely.And thats where the contradiction truly lies.Science regards itself as always wrong.There is always stuff we dont know and any answer we obtain is only partial.Religion is always right.It knows the answer and it knows the mind of God.
The issue is, you haven't described religion faithfully, but where you have, there's been no contradiction but just differences.

Firstly, religion argues there is such as question as why we are here and offers an answer to the question . . . . And how exactly is that incompatible with the methodology of science? It's different, but not incompatible. I've already explained that just because so,ethimg is different doesn't make it a contradiction or incompatible.

Even then, you've begrudgingly admitted that when a religious idea is shown to be wrong, it is rejected. Most importantly, I hope you aren't alluding to Genesis which has had countless people arguing for a poetic reading long before evolution was on the scene, in fact some Christians were already offering ideas like evolution before Darwin! It was not a case of reinterpreting Genesis to be wrong after evolution showed the ultra literal reading to be wrong, but Christians already had reasons to read it poetically prior.

Your main point is that the contradiction is when 'Science regards itself as always wrong.There is always stuff we dont know and any answer we obtain is only partial.Religion is always right.It knows the answer and it knows the mind of God'. This is confused - why should different methodologies be considered a contradiction? (I'm just granting your description of religion, I don't agree with it).

You realise a contradiction is when two things cannot simultaneously be true, right? Can the scientific methodology of requiring evidence to support a conclusion to a high degree of probability, work simultaneous with the methodology of arguing that God has provided answers to questions science cannot answer by definition? Of course they can! Both methodologies can exist simultaneously, there is no contradiction.

What you are arguing is that you see no good reason to think any particular religion is true, but that is nothing to do with whether science and religion are compatible.
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(Original post by Scrappy-coco)
The issue is, you haven't described religion faithfully, but where you have, there's been no contradiction but just differences.

Firstly, religion argues there is such as question as why we are here and offers an answer to the question . . . . And how exactly is that incompatible with the methodology of science? It's different, but not incompatible. I've already explained that just because so,ethimg is different doesn't make it a contradiction or incompatible.

Even then, you've begrudgingly admitted that when a religious idea is shown to be wrong, it is rejected. Most importantly, I hope you aren't alluding to Genesis which has had countless people arguing for a poetic reading long before evolution was on the scene, in fact some Christians were already offering ideas like evolution before Darwin! It was not a case of reinterpreting Genesis to be wrong after evolution showed the ultra literal reading to be wrong, but Christians already had reasons to read it poetically prior.

Your main point is that the contradiction is when 'Science regards itself as always wrong.There is always stuff we dont know and any answer we obtain is only partial.Religion is always right.It knows the answer and it knows the mind of God'. This is confused - why should different methodologies be considered a contradiction? (I'm just granting your description of religion, I don't agree with it).

You realise a contradiction is when two things cannot simultaneously be true, right? Can the scientific methodology of requiring evidence to support a conclusion to a high degree of probability, work simultaneous with the methodology of arguing that God has provided answers to questions science cannot answer by definition? Of course they can! Both methodologies can exist simultaneously, there is no contradiction.

What you are arguing is that you see no good reason to think any particular religion is true, but that is nothing to do with whether science and religion are compatible.
How havent I described religion faithfully?You're wrong here.They're complete opposites.Both religion and science try to offer answers to the question why are we here.The contradiction is that religion thinks it knows the answer and asks you to take it on faith.Science asks for evidence for claims about the universe.And thats where they contradict because religion offers no evidence.It just asks you to accept it.They're not just different methods of doing the same thing,they oppose each other like light and dark.Its hard to explain.If you accept religions claims you're being incompatible with scientific thinking because you're just accepting it without evidence.If you were being scientific you'd demand evidence.So they're two completely opposite ways of answering questions.As different as the truth is from lies.

Evoloution and the belief that God guided it cant coexist.Natural selection holds that random mutations caused some species to to have advantages over others.These mutations allowed some species to survive as they were better adapted to their environments.The problem with guided evoloution is that if its guided then mutations cannot be random.If its guided then its not random at all.This completely contradicts a biologists view of evoloution. If evoloution is guided then it has a purpose to it but modern science holds that evoloution has no purpose.No animal can be said to be more evolved than another.If you believe in guided evoloution then you have to believe that the purpose was to create humans which does contradict a scientists view of evoloution.

When a religous idea is wrong its not really rejected in the same way as a scientific idea.Religous leaders just come out with statements saying that it wasnt ever meant to be taken literally that it was always metaphorical.But they only do this when the truth can no longer be denied any longer.They cling onto their beleifs as long as possible.For example when copernicus showed that the earth orbited the sun and not the other way around.It was centuries before the catholic church admitted they were wrong and only because they were faced with incontavertible evidence.Thats the contradiction.Religion stubbornly clings to its beliefs in the face of opposing evidence but science rejects those beliefs which contradict the evidence.They're directly opposing ways of doing the same thing and answering the same questions.They can't both be right.
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(Original post by Robby2312)
How havent I described religion faithfully?You're wrong here.They're complete opposites.Both religion and science try to offer answers to the question why are we here.The contradiction is that religion thinks it knows the answer and asks you to take it on faith.Science asks for evidence for claims about the universe.And thats where they contradict because religion offers no evidence.It just asks you to accept it.They're not just different methods of doing the same thing,they oppose each other like light and dark.Its hard to explain.If you accept religions claims you're being incompatible with scientific thinking because you're just accepting it without evidence.If you were being scientific you'd demand evidence.So they're two completely opposite ways of answering questions.As different as the truth is from lies.

Evoloution and the belief that God guided it cant coexist.Natural selection holds that random mutations caused some species to to have advantages over others.These mutations allowed some species to survive as they were better adapted to their environments.The problem with guided evoloution is that if its guided then mutations cannot be random.If its guided then its not random at all.This completely contradicts a biologists view of evoloution. If evoloution is guided then it has a purpose to it but modern science holds that evoloution has no purpose.No animal can be said to be more evolved than another.If you believe in guided evoloution then you have to believe that the purpose was to create humans which does contradict a scientists view of evoloution.

When a religous idea is wrong its not really rejected in the same way as a scientific idea.Religous leaders just come out with statements saying that it wasnt ever meant to be taken literally that it was always metaphorical.But they only do this when the truth can no longer be denied any longer.They cling onto their beleifs as long as possible.For example when copernicus showed that the earth orbited the sun and not the other way around.It was centuries before the catholic church admitted they were wrong and only because they were faced with incontavertible evidence.Thats the contradiction.Religion stubbornly clings to its beliefs in the face of opposing evidence but science rejects those beliefs which contradict the evidence.They're directly opposing ways of doing the same thing and answering the same questions.They can't both be right.
The problem with this post is that it ignores the history of science and the close relationship it has with Christianity. This book covers some of it; http://blogs.nature.com/soapboxscien...he-middle-ages

Few topics are as open to misunderstanding as the relationship between faith and reason. The ongoing clash of creationism with evolution obscures the fact that Christianity has actually had a far more positive role to play in the history of science than commonly believed. Indeed, many of the alleged examples of religion holding back scientific progress turn out to be bogus. For instance, the Church has never taught that the Earth is flat and, in the Middle Ages, no one thought so anyway. Popes haven’t tried to ban zero, human dissection or lightening rods, let alone excommunicate Halley’s Comet. No one, I am pleased to say, was ever burnt at the stake for scientific ideas. Yet, all these stories are still regularly trotted out as examples of clerical intransigence in the face of scientific progress.

Admittedly, Galileo was put on trial for claiming it is a fact that the Earth goes around the sun, rather than just a hypothesis as the Catholic Church demanded. Still, historians have found that even his trial was as much a case of papal egotism as scientific conservatism. It hardly deserves to overshadow all the support that the Church has given to scientific investigation over the centuries.

That support took several forms. One was simply financial. Until the French Revolution, the Catholic Church was the leading sponsor of scientific research. Starting in the Middle Ages, it paid for priests, monks and friars to study at the universities. The church even insisted that science and mathematics should be a compulsory part of the syllabus. And after some debate, it accepted that Greek and Arabic natural philosophy were essential tools for defending the faith. By the seventeenth century, the Jesuit order had become the leading scientific organisation in Europe, publishing thousands of papers and spreading new discoveries around the world. The cathedrals themselves were designed to double up as astronomical observatories to allow ever more accurate determination of the calendar. And of course, modern genetics was founded by a future abbot growing peas in the monastic garden.

But religious support for science took deeper forms as well. It was only during the nineteenth century that science began to have any practical applications. Technology had ploughed its own furrow up until the 1830s when the German chemical industry started to employ their first PhDs. Before then, the only reason to study science was curiosity or religious piety. Christians believed that God created the universe and ordained the laws of nature. To study the natural world was to admire the work of God. This could be a religious duty and inspire science when there were few other reasons to bother with it. It was faith that led Copernicus to reject the ugly Ptolemaic universe; that drove Johannes Kepler to discover the constitution of the solar system; and that convinced James Clerk Maxwell he could reduce electromagnetism to a set of equations so elegant they take the breathe away.

Given that the Church has not been an enemy to science, it is less surprising to find that the era which was most dominated by Christian faith, the Middle Ages, was a time of innovation and progress. Inventions like the mechanical clock, glasses, printing and accountancy all burst onto the scene in the late medieval period. In the field of physics, scholars have now found medieval theories about accelerated motion, the rotation of the earth and inertia embedded in the works of Copernicus and Galileo. Even the so-called “dark ages” from 500AD to 1000AD were actually a time of advance after the trough that followed the fall of Rome. Agricultural productivity soared with the use of heavy ploughs, horse collars, crop rotation and watermills, leading to a rapid increase in population.

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