Scientists Say Biblical Plagues Really Happened
Paul DeanDr. Paul J. Dean's Weblog
- 2010 Apr 24
"Researchers believe they have found evidence of real natural disasters on which the ten plagues of Egypt, which led to Moses freeing the Israelites from slavery in the Book of Exodus in the Bible, were based. . . . The scientists claim the plagues can be attributed to a chain of natural phenomena triggered by changes in the climate and environmental disasters that happened hundreds of miles away."
Stories like this one are always instructive. Christians who hear that scientists have evidence that supports the biblical account rejoice for a number of reasons. While we walk by faith and not by sight, it's always gratifying when the world finds proof the Bible is historically accurate and our faith is bolstered even if in a small way. We also feel a sense of sanctified satisfaction that the Lord has been vindicated. Moreover, we're hopeful that some who don't know the Lord will be open to hearing the truth as a result of such discoveries.
At the same time, it's important to understand that proof doesn't convince anyone into the Kingdom of God. Men's foolish hearts are darkened and must be enlightened by the gracious work of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 1:21; 1 Cor. 2:14). When unbelievers are confronted with evidence that supports the biblical account, they're not moved to embrace the reality of a miracle-working God. On the contrary, they look for a natural explanation. Of course, that's what the scientists in this article do; they explain the plagues in connection with natural disasters that happened or could have happened and deny that God had anything to do with them at all.
We all interpret the world through a particular lens: our worldview. Because the unbeliever assumes the God of the Bible is not real, when confronted with evidence to the contrary, he looks for a naturalistic explanation. If he can't find one, he either dismisses the reality of the event or simply says weird things happen. That's why many atheists believe aliens created the universe; they don't believe in God. They assume or presuppose He doesn't exist. Christians, on the other hand, rejoice over evidence that supports the Bible because they assume or presuppose that God is real and that His Word is true.
The truth is that Christians and secularists both come to conclusions based on faith. Scientists look at certain phenomena and say things like "such-and-such could have happened." They don't know what happened because they weren't there; they make a faith claim. We weren't there either; we make a faith claim. To say one conclusion is science and the other is faith simply is not true. Christians and secular scientists both affirm observational science; and in the end, we both affirm faith when it comes to conclusions about the past (historical science).
Now, evidence supporting the biblical text is a good thing and we can use it in evangelism. But what do we do when unbelievers still deny God? We can point out inconsistencies in their worldview. In this particular case, their conclusions are based on cause and effect. In other words, their view is that certain natural events could have resulted in the plagues. Well, cause and effect presupposes that we live in an orderly universe with natural law. Things happen in a uniform way. The secular scientist believes in natural law but he doesn't know why there is such a thing. Why not? Because evolution is based on the notion that something random and scientifically impossible happened to form the universe; the assumption is that something came from nothing; life from non-life; matter from non-matter; order from chaos. What caused the universe to come into being? The evolutionist says it was an uncaused cause. If there is nothing beyond the physical universe with its natural laws, how could that be? It can't be but he believes it. But he also observes order, cause and effect, and accepts it. There is the contradiction. He must borrow from a biblical worldview to accept order. It is the Bible that says that God is outside the universe (the uncaused cause) and created an orderly universe in which the seasons will cycle until He returns; one in which effect follows cause.
If an unbeliever sees the inconsistency of his worldview, that does not mean he'll be saved. It does mean that you can tell him why his worldview is inconsistent; because his mind is darkened and even his thinking is in rebellion against God. He knows the truth and is simply suppressing it (Rom. 1:18f). In other words, his thinking is sin against God. At that point, you call him to repentance and point him to Christ as his only hope of salvation.
Dr. Paul Dean invites you to discover more about yourself, God, and others . . . and develop a Christian worldview. Dr. Dean is a pastor, cultural commentator, and author. Receive a FREE commentary and learn more at www.trueworldview.com.