The Bible Does Not Have All the Answers

There are many things in the Bible that we don’t believe take literally

Here are two examples:

  • The earth has four corners (Revelation 7:1)
  • The earth is held up by pillars (1 Samuel 2:8)
Of course, there are no pillars holding up the earth, and we know that the earth is not flat, so it can’t have four corners. These (and many other verses like them), are metaphors and similes.

But for years it was believed that these verses should be taken literally. The Christian church for many years considered disagreement on verses such as these to be heresy.

Scientists discovered gravity and eventually we learned that gravity holds the earth in orbit (even though the Bible says that God does) and that the earth is a sphere (well, technically an oblate spheroid).

When it came to the shape, size, and movement of the earth, the Bible did NOT have the answers. And the Bible never claimed to have these answers. It was man (literally, males) who believed that the Bible was the source of ALL truth, not spiritual truth only. And that makes sense, because…

The Bible is not a science textbook

It’s also not a history book or a math book. And it never claims to be.

It’s a spiritual book, a book about life, a book that shows the way of Jesus.

When we believe the Bible is anything other, it causes real problems.

Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake by the church because he agreed with Copernicus that the sun, and not the earth, was the center of the universe. The church said that this belief was wrong because it violated Scripture. Ecclesiastes 1:5 says that the sun “rises”, so the church “knew” that the sun could not be the center of the universe. And the church at that time was willing to kill anyone who disagreed with their interpretation of the Bible.

The church believed that the Bible had all the answers to astronomy, cosmology, biology, and anything else that could be known. So, if evidence was presented that contradicted their interpretation of Scripture, the evidence had to be wrong.

And Evangelicals follow the same false logic today: “My interpretation of Genesis 1 is that it should be taken literally. So, evidence showing that evolution is true must be incorrect. In fact, the evidence was probably planted by the Devil to deceive people into believing the Bible is wrong.” You might laugh, but on more than one occasion I’ve heard the “evidence was planted by the Devil to deceive” line more than once.

This is what happens when you think that the Bible holds ALL answers, not just spiritual ones. It creates a false dichotomy. The idea that you must choose between a six-day literal creation or a godless evolution is just false. There are many choices in between those two extremes.

You can have faith in God the Creator AND believe that evolution is the method by which the Creator chose to create the world. Believing that Genesis 1 is not literal does not mean that you have a “low view of Scripture”, it means that you believe Genesis 1 is a poem like so many other parts of the Bible.

Most Evangelicals would agree that the verses I gave as examples at the beginning of this post should not be taken literally, yet they insist that Genesis 1 should be taken literally.


Why are Evangelicals willing to believe science about some things and not others? If science has proven that the earth is not flat as the Bible indicates, then why do we not believe science when it tells us that evolution is true (or at least a possibility)?

There are whole ministries dedicated to defending a six-day literal creation that raise millions of dollars to defend creationism as outlined in Genesis 1, even though there’s nothing to suggest that it should be taken literally.

These ministries (Answers in Genesis, for example), spend millions of dollars (on Noah’s ark replicas) because they believe that people will commit their lives to following Christ once they see that God created the world in six days. Huh? That’s just nonsense….and a waste of money.

Once you have decided there is only one way the Bible can be interpreted, you have to spin and stretch “facts” to make them fit the narrative. The truth is that there are multiple interpretations of Genesis 1.

God could have created the universe in six days…..or six minutes…..or six billion years. How long it took is NOT the point.

Evangelicals tend to hang all of the Christian faith on secondary issues like gay marriage and a six-day literal creation.

There are so many people who have walked away from their faith in God because they were told that if they believed in evolution they could not be a Christian. That is a lie.

Believing in evolution does NOT mean that you don’t believe in God. As with most beliefs, it is not either or, it’s more nuanced than that.

Stop killing people’s faith by telling they must believe in something that the Bible never says they have to believe in.
It’s not about creation or evolution, it’s about Jesus.

About Matthew Thisse

Matthew Thisse is a Jesus follower, single father, associate pastor, and corporate trainer. He is a former Evangelical and a failed fundamentalist.

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