Is Science Superior to the Bible?
the Bible teach comets, eclipses and meteors are signs from God?
HUMANIST'S CLAIM: Supernatural Signs in the Heavens
stories led the Christian world to believe for centuries that God
sends humankind signs in the heavens.
comets warn of divine anger and imminent punishment; stars and meteors portend
beneficial events such as the birth of heroes and great men; eclipses signify
divine distress in response to events on earth; and storms and other destructive
weather result from the anger of God or the malice of Satan.
Vol. I, p. 174, 175.
 White, Vol. I, pp.
 White, Vol. I, pp. 172, 173.
White, Vol. I, pp. 331, 337.
If you've been reading these pages in sequence,
you know that pretty much any claim that references Andrew White is
false. I'm sure he has written some things that are factual, but they don't
seem to be showing up on the humanist's web page attacking the Bible.
do some digging and look at specific examples from White's book. My copy is a
Kindle version, so I'm not able to see page numbers and look up the references
Theological Theory of Comets
We'll be looking at
Andrew White's book "A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology
in Christendom, Vol. II," This is chapter IV, titled: "From 'Signs
And Wonders' To Law In The Heavens."
What initially strikes
me upon reading this chapter is it is packed with general statements about
Christians believing things such as comets were signs from God. Here's an example:
of good men in the Christian Church down to a recent period saw in the appearance
of comets not merely an exhibition of 'signs in the heavens' foretold in Scripture,
but also Divine warnings of vast value to humanity as incentives to repentance
and improvement of life-warnings, indeed, so precious that they could not be spared
without danger to the mortal government of the world." (Kindle location
Over and over White infers that beliefs in signs were supported by
scripture, but he never gives the scripture. It makes no difference if the whole
world believes something is Biblical, if it is not in accordance with what scripture
actually says, it is not true.
White also give many specific name... let's
look at an example. I picked John Knox (1513-1572) because he is well-known and
respected. He was a leader of Scottish Reformation and founder of the Presbyterian
Church of Scotland. White writes:
Knox saw in comets tokens of the wrath of Heaven... " (Kindle location
White references Knox's "Histoire of the Reformation of Religion
Within The Realm of Scotland" as his source, but gives no page number, nor
even a chapter. I'm looking at a copy of this book right now. It is 677 pages.
Who knows where the comment about comets might be buried, if it is there at all.
Calvin College has a searchable copy online. But a searches "comet"
and "comets" turned up nothing.
It's Scripture That Is Important,
Not People's Opinions
I read all of White's chapter, and there was not
one scripture reference. Even if Knox believed comets were tokens of the wrath
of heaven, if this belief is not supported by scripture (and it is not), then
it is not Biblical.
Yes, people professing to be Christian believed that
comets were signs of a coming disaster. Pope Calixtus III (1455-1458) excommunicated
Halley's Comet*, considering it to be from Satan. But that says nothing about
what scripture actually teaches. And White provides no evidence at all that scripture
teaches any of the above claims the humanists make... White just asserts they
are true and gives examples of people who supposedly believed these superstitions.
Zwingli, A Giant of the Reformation
White writes: "Zwingli,
boldest of the greater Reformers in shaking off traditional beliefs, could not
shake off this, and insisted that the comet of 1531 betokened calamity."
(Kindle location 3674). White gives no supporting reference for this statement.
selected Zwingli because I have references that mention a conversation Zwingli's
had about Halley's comet. The following is from "Ulrich Zwingli, the Patriotic
Reformer: A History" by William Maxwell Blackburn (1868) page 286.
was the famous comet of 1456 and 1531. It created a terror through all the land.
The learned men of that day were not free from superstitious notions in regard
to such appearances. "What may that star signify?" inquired the abbot
(George Miller inquiring of Zwingli). "It will light me," replied Zwingli,
"and many an honest man in this confederacy, to our graves."
Zwingli was superstitious about comets. He apparently believed Halley's comet
was a sign that he, and other reformers, would die. Does that mean the Bible teaches
that comets are a sign of God's anger and coming punishment? No. What it means
is that Zwingli embraced the superstitious beliefs of his time.
In Genesis 1:14 we read: Then God
said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the
day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and
What are these "signs" scripture refers to?
Hebrew word translated as signs is Strong's 226, which means a beacon, monument,
a reminder of one's duty. For example, the rainbow is a sign... it is a reminder
of the Noahic Covenant in which God promises never to flood the entire world again.
What are the sun, moon and stars a reminder of?
1 - They are a testimony
to God (Psalm 8 and Psalm 19, and Romans 1:14-20)
2. The are a reminder
of divine judgment (end times judgments in Joel 2:30 & 31, and Matthew 24:29)
They are signs guiding navigation (Matthew 2:1 & 2)
Nowhere does scripture
say that the sun, moon and stars are signs of divine anger and imminent punishment,
the birth or death of prominent people, or of divine anger as the result of an
event or action on earth.
Does God Cause Natural Disasters?
There have been very limited and unique times in the past when God worked supernaturally
and caused natural disasters. There is a time coming, called the Tribulation,
during which God will cause huge "natural" disasters. But, God does
not cause natural disasters today. Natural disasters are... natural. They result
from the fall and the broken natural of all of creation. And God allows the consequences
of our sin, some of which are natural disasters, to run their course.
There is nothing in the Bible supporting the notion that signs in heaven foretell
the future (disasters, births, deaths, etc.) nor that they are signs of God's
anger. Believing in signs in the stars is a superstition that began early in fallen
man's history, and continues today. Just look for the daily astrology predictions
in your local news paper.
What's next? Additional
Errors About the Physical World
The Bible has
verses mentioning dragons (Jeremiah 51:34), unicorns (Isaiah 34:7), and cockatrices
(Isaiah 11:8). These passages led many naturalists in the Middle Ages to think
such mythical creatures actually exist.
This is an interesting one...
I love "dragons" in particular. Were they real? Did people and dragons
live together? Get the fascinating answer here...