[Originally published as Tangible Truth]
The first-century world celebrated deep intellect, philosophical quandary, and debate. City centers were established as a place for people to debate the latest trend in philosophy and ideas. This was the sport of the day. A good living could be made by someone crafty with words and well traveled. As Rome established trade routes and road systems, this became ever more prevalent.
It was into this culture that Paul warned the church in Colosse not to become held captive by shallow philosophy that depends upon the world rather than Christ (Colossians 2:8). Paul also warned Timothy as a young leader of the church, not to have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments (2 Timothy 2:23). Additionally, John begins his first letter by emphatically highlighting the tangible nature of the gospel.
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched – this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 1 John 1:1
John speaks of tangible truth into a world dominated by philosophical ideas. The gospel is not just another idea traveling the trade routes and minds of the intellectual. The gospel (life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, the Christ) is real. John and the apostles have seen it, looked (investigated and examined) into it, heard it, and touched it.
How refreshing for the believers to know that the gospel is real. It can be experienced rather than simply debated.
Some treat the issue of creation and evolution as a philosophical debate. I have encountered the attitude that we can debate it back and forth but, “at the end of the day it doesn’t matter.” This just isn’t true. It does matter. It is more than a philosophical argument. In fact, I would contend that philosophy has nothing to do with it.
Just as John presented the gospel as a tangible truth, so too God presents testimony to the tangible truth of his account of creation, the fall, the flood, and the dispersion of people groups as presented in Genesis 1-11.
At the end of the flood, God split open the earth by the power of water, plate tectonics, and volcanism to reveal the geological account of our history. There in the Grand Canyon, the book of Genesis is presented in a tangible way. We can see it, touch it, smell it, investigate it, and even taste it if you would be so inclined.
God has chosen to reveal himself to us. He came in the flesh and made his dwelling among us, he has given us his Word, and he has given us creation. We can study his Word to understand his character and we can study creation to accomplish the same.
Science is our means of knowing God through his general revelation. Science continues to affirm the authority of God’s Word. It is a tangible truth.