The Structure of Revelation (Rev 4)

The structure of Revelation is partly evident in the text, but not without complications, which explains why there is little agreement among scholars on the book’s structure. The search for a structure usually begins with the four, numbered, seven-fold visions in the book; the seven churches (2:1 – 3:22), the seven seals (6:1 – 8:1), the seven trumpets (8:7 – 11:18) and the seven bowls (16:1-21). Each of these visions is preceded by an introduction related to the sanctuary (the seven golden lampstands—1:12-20; the heavenly throne room—4:1 – 5:14; the altar of incense—8:2-6; and the heavenly temple scene—15:5-8). Each of these introductions/visions forms a natural division of the book’s structure. The material between the trumpets and the bowls (12:1 – 15:4) also forms a natural division of the book. A sanctuary introduction to that section (reference to the temple in heaven and the ark of the covenant) can be found in Revelation 11:19.

The biggest challenge to any structure of Revelation is what to do with the second half of the book, especially chapters 17 and 18. It appears that there is a natural division in chapters 19 and 20, with a focus on the final events of earth’s history (19:1-10), the Second Coming (19:11-21) and the millennium (20:1-15). The search for a sanctuary introduction leads to 19:1-10, which has many of the elements found in an earlier sanctuary introduction, Revelation 4-5. The final natural division of the book is the New Jerusalem narrative (21:1 – 22:5). In this section of the book, the sanctuary setting seems to have merged with the vision as a whole. There is no temple there because the New Jerusalem itself is the Most Holy Place (a perfect cube—Rev 21:16, cf. 1 Kings 6:20), God and the Lamb dwell in city (21:22), and there is face to face contact with God before the throne (22:3-4). This makes a total of seven sections in the structure of Revelation; seven churches, seven seals, seven trumpets, 12-14, seven bowls, the millennium and the New Jerusalem.

What remains to be structured are two things, the opening (1:1-8) and conclusion (22:6-21), and chapters 17 and 18. The opening and conclusion have many parallels with each other and are fittingly called the Prologue and the Epilogue. Some see in chapters 17 and 18 an eighth section of the book, focusing on the Fall of Babylon, But an eighth section would be surprising, considering the centrality of the number seven in the book. A better approach is to note the many connections between the sixth and seventh bowl-plagues (16:12-20) and chapter 17. Since chapter 17 portrays the fall of Babylon the prostitute, and chapter 18 portrays the fall of Babylon the great city, both chapters offer a fitting expansion and conclusion to the seven bowl-plagues.

Some scholars have noted a chiastic structure in the above outline. The Prologue and Epilogue have many parallel elements, as do the Seven Churches and the New Jerusalem sections. The Seven Trumpets and the Seven Bowls are also clearly parallel. The resulting outline highlights the centrality of the vision of Revelation 12-14. Unlike the Greek/Western tradition, the central purpose of the book is not found in the conclusion, but in the center, the location of the heavenly war and the three angel’s messages. This has important implications for interpretation.

Prologue (1:1-8)
I. The Seven Churches (1:9 – 3:22)
II. The Seven Seals (4:1 – 8:1)
III. The Seven Trumpets (8:2 – 11:18)
IV. The Great War (11:19 – 15:4)
V. The Wrath of God (15:5 – 18:24)
VI. The End of Evil (19:1 – 20:15)
VII. The New Jerusalem (21:1 – 22:5)
Epilogue (22:6-21)

A Short Summary of the Book of Revelation (Rev 3)

The opening of the book (Rev 1:1-8) states the main themes of the entire book in relatively plain language. The central theme of the book is Jesus Christ (Rev 1:1-2, 5-7) with particular attention to future events (Rev 1:1, 7). The source of the book’s content is a vision that originates with God and was handed down to John through Jesus Christ and “his angel” (Rev 1:1-3). The book John wrote was intended to be read aloud to the churches and “kept” by them (Rev 1:3). After a vision of the glorious Christ (1:12-20) and message to the seven churches (chapters 2 and 3), John and his readers get a glimpse through the open gates of heaven into the heavenly throne room itself. It is there that the centrality of the cross and of Christ in the operations of the universe becomes plain.

The seals, trumpets and bowls (Revelation 6-11 and 15-18) are mostly plagues of judgment. The seals and trumpets cover the whole Christian era, while the bowls focus especially on the end. The over-riding message is that God is in control of history even when it appears out of control.

For Seventh-day Adventists, the most critical part of the book is the central vision (Revelation 12-14). It describes the war in heaven (Rev 12:7-12), the birth and ascension of Christ (12:5), the experience of the church during the 1260 “days” (12:6; 14-16), the unholy trinity (dragon [12:3-4, 17], sea beast [13:1-10], and land beast [13:11-18]), the remnant (12:17; 14:1-3), and the three angels’ messages (14:6-12). There is also a symbolic view of the Second Coming (Rev 14:14-20).

The final chapters of the book cover the celebration of Babylon’s fall (19:1-6), the marriage supper of the Lamb (19:7-10), the Second Coming along with the destruction of the enemy powers or earth (19:11-21), the Millennium and its aftermath (Revelation 20) and the New Jerusalem (21:1 – 22:5). The book closes with an appeal to the reader (22:6-21).

The “When” of Revelation (Rev 2)

Revelation appears to have been written in the context of some persecution, so scholars of Revelation have consistently looked to the reigns of Nero and Domitian as the likely context for the book. During the 19th Century the consensus of scholarship was that Revelation was written during the reign of Nero (54-68 A.D.), based on subjective interpretation of certain passages in the book. Revelation was, therefore, read in light of the persecution of Christians that began after the great fire of 64 A.D. Over the last hundred years, however, scholarly opinion has shifted to the later date for the book, around 95 A.D. Most scholars today read Revelation in light of an episode of persecution (or at least “perceived crisis”) toward the end of Domitian’s reign (81-96 A.D.). The earlier date has now fallen out of favor due to the lack of clear references to Nero’s reign in the text of Revelation and the fact that the church fathers universally favored the time of Domitian. The weakness of the later date is the lack of contemporary evidence for officially sanctioned persecution of Christians during the reign of Domitian, or for Patmos as a penal isle.

Ellen White assumes that John, the son of Zebedee, is the author of Revelation and that he came to be on Patmos as a result of persecution during the reign of Domitian, whom she explicitly names (AA 568-570). She took that position before the scholarly shift from an early date to a late date for Revelation. The setting of Revelation, in her view, would be the exile of the leader of the churches in Asia Minor to Patmos. Given the lack of evidence for widespread persecution, it is likely that whatever trials the church faced were based on local issues, such as disputes with the local synagogue or pagan neighbors. The purpose of Revelation was to strengthen Christians at a time when they were vulnerable to their surrounding culture.

The Book of Revelation and Its Author (Rev 1)

I am working on a series of blogs regarding LGBT issues and the church. But that is taking a little longer than I had expected. I plan to begin posting by the end of August. In the meantime I have completed a first draft of a Bible Dictionary entry on the book of Revelation. I thought you would find this interesting and helpful and I would love feedback, positive and negative (hopefully constructive either way). The total article is about 3200 words and will cover five or six blogs.

The title of the book (Revelation) is a translation of the Greek word for apocalypse (apokalupsis). Apokalupsis is a compound word that means revelation, disclosure or uncovering. What is uncovered in Revelation is a cosmic picture of Jesus Christ and a vision of “what must soon take place” (Rev 1:1). Revelation is the last book of the New Testament and is the great finale of the biblical symphony, drawing together names, places, stories, and themes from the rest of Scripture (AA 585).

The authorship of Revelation. The author of Revelation identifies himself as John (Rev 1:1, 4, 9; 22:8), God’s servant or slave (Rev 1:1), and “your brother” (Rev 1:9). Apparently he was well-enough known to the churches of Asia Minor that he needed no further designation to gain the confidence of his readers. Though he is not directly called a prophet (but see Rev 22:8-9), his book is several times called a “prophecy” (Rev 1:3; 22:7, 10, 18, 19).

All known Christian writers through the middle of the Third Century attributed Revelation to John the Apostle, the son of Zebedee, the author of the Gospel and epistles known by the same name. These writers believed that John was living in Ephesus until the time of Trajan (98-117 A.D.) and was buried there. So the traditional view of Revelation’s authorship has had strong external support through the centuries.

The first serious challenge to the traditional view came from Dionysius of Alexandria (died around 265 A.D.). He offered the following arguments: 1) There are substantial literary differences between Revelation and the Gospel of John, 2) the author did not claim to be a disciple or eyewitness of Jesus, 3) the Greek of the Gospel is grammatically correct but that of Revelation is not, 4) the author of the Gospel is anonymous while the author of Revelation names himself several times. In addition to these arguments, Eusebius of Caesarea (circa 325 A.D.) understood Papias (early second century) to believe that John the Apostle had died much earlier than the writing of Revelation. These considerations seem to have exacerbated the Eastern church’s doubts with regard to the canonicity of the book.

The evidence just cited is not as strong or convincing as might appear at first glance. 1) While there are differences between John and Revelation, there are some striking similarities as well; “the water of life” (Rev 21:6; 22:17, cf. John 4:10; 7:37-38), “keep the (my) word” (Rev 3:8, 10, cf. John 8:51, 52, 55; 15:20), the use of “name” (Rev 6:8, cf. John 1:6; 3:1). While the word for “Lamb” is different, only the Gospel and Revelation apply the concept of lamb to Jesus Christ (Rev 5:6 and 27 other times, cf. John 1:29, 36), both books refer to Jesus as “the Word” (Rev 19:13; John 1:1, 14), and both books make unusual use of the verb for “tabernacle” (Rev 7:15; John 1:14). They also have in common words like witness, life, death, thirst, hunger and conquest. Many of the differences between the Gospel of John and Revelation can be attributed to the difference in genre between gospel and apocalypse.

As noted above (items 2 and 4), the author of the Gospel is anonymous, so in neither case does the writer feel the need to detail who he is. 3) Greek was not John’s native language and editorial assistance would have been much more available to him in Ephesus than on Patmos. In addition, Semitic thinking and allusions to the Greek Old Testament explain a lot of the “solecisms” in Revelation. John wrote in Greek but thought in Hebrew. 5) The works of Papias are lost and the fragments cited by Eusebius are ambiguous. While historical certainty in this matter is not possible, the arguments for the traditional view of John the Apostle as the author of Revelation are at least as reasonable and valid as those that deny his authorship.

Unlike many books of the New Testament, determining the identity of the human author of Revelation is of relatively little importance to interpretation. This book is not, as earlier editions of the Bible had it, “The Revelation of St. John the Divine,” the book is “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” (Rev 1:1).

Teaching Evolution at a Faith-Based University (Faith and Science 7)

It seems to me that there are three main options for the faith-based scientist in the science classroom. 1) Teach science the way the average believer in the pew (and some church administrators) want you to teach it, disparaging evolutionary science and scientists, and highlighting only the evidences for creation. 2) Teach science the way you were taught in secular, graduate schools and let the religion teachers worry about the fallout. 3) Teach micro and macroevolution as significant and helpful scientific disciplines but also expose your faith to the students and show how you have maintained your faith in the face of what many consider overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

The first option would probably be the simplest way out for scientists in a faith-based institution. But experience has taught scientists of faith that if you do that, most students and their parents will be comfortable, but the same students will often lose their faith when they move to graduate school at a secular university or to a scientific workplace. Easy and shallow answers can crumble overnight in the face of what comes at you as overwhelming evidence. To not prepare students of faith for graduate school and the workday world they will face later on is simply irresponsible, comfortable though it might be. The second option is also relatively simple, but is also irresponsible in my opinion. If science teaching in a faith-based institution is no different than that taught anywhere else, why should any aspiring scientist choose a faith-based institution for their studies?

So that leaves the third option as the most responsible approach. The problem is this, if you do teach evolutionary science in a responsible way, some students and many parents will be angered. And some students will likely lose their faith along the way no matter what you do. But if you prepare them well, the majority of students will withstand the scientific challenges of graduate school and the workplace and will be preserved to serve the church with their wisdom and talents. In many ways it is a thankless task, but I honor all scientists of faith who teach according to their consciences, in spite of criticism. Such teaching will be misunderstood, so it requires great courage. But I believe the outcomes of such courageous teaching will be celebrated in eternity.

Should the science professor be satisfied that fifty to seventy per cent of his or her students keep their faith in spite of the challenges of scientific evidence and theories? Of course not. Every student lost to the faith is a tragedy. Scientists of faith must constantly observe and experiment to learn the best ways to introduce troubling material to young and sensitive minds. In the process there will always be tension with those on both extremes whose minds are made up. But it seems to me that the effectiveness of scientific education in a faith-based university should be judged, not on what the professor teaches, but on the outcomes in the lives of the students and graduates. Students are relatively fragile creatures, easily broken. Scientists of faith who love people will care deeply about the impact of their teaching.

There is a strong tendency in today’s world to push to the extremes. This is very evident in political speech and often also in the theological and scientific realms. Instead of a genuine search for truth, people prefer to cherry-pick the evidence that supports a predetermined conclusion. This happens on both sides of the origins debate. A theologian of faith is easily tempted to ignore the problems by focusing only on evidence that challenges the prevailing theory and disparage all who disagree as perverse. The evolutionary scientist may, consciously or unconsciously, avoid experiments and evidence that don’t fit the prevailing theory, because a God who acts in history is not a working concept for him or her. Scientists of faith, I believe, will know and teach the assumptions on both sides, assumptions that color the evidence and the models one creates to explain the evidence. Scientists of faith will acquaint themselves with alternate interpretations of the data, so they can compare different ways of understanding the evidence. Helping students sort out the strengths and weaknesses on both sides of the tension will prepare them to evaluate the arguments they will face in later years.

Both evolutionists and creationists tend to overstate their case to make a point. The less you know about the subject, the easier it is to buy in to one or the other of the over-statements. A truly informed view creates anomalies and challenges that are hard for less-educated people to hold together. So there will always be both value and shortcomings in a less-educated faith perspective. But all other things being equal, a more-educated faith is much to be preferred.

Teaching Evolution at a Faith-Based University? (Faith and Science 6)

With the story of Job in mind, it seems to me that we need to avoid two extremes in the debate over faith and science. One extreme is taking one’s cue from a faith tradition and assuming that every scientist who disagrees with that viewpoint must be perverse. Most scientists I have met are very open to evidence and discovering the flaws in their own thinking. To proclaim otherwise destroys one’s own credibility in speaking to the debate. The other extreme is to downgrade or mock the validity of Scripture because straightforward readings of Scripture point to a different view of the world than that of traditional science. Scripture has stood the test of time in so many areas and the last word in science is far from being spoken yet.

What does all this have to do with the teaching of evolution at a faith-based university? I recently met a conservative colleague from the Philippines who asked me what was going on at a sister institution. I told her that they were being accused of teaching evolution in science classes. Her immediate, unscripted response was, “Well, I hope so!” (Not what I expected from her.) What did she mean by that? Two things, I think. For starters we need to distinguish between microevolution and macroevolution. The former is taken for granted in horticulture classes, for example. All plants adapt to their environment or they die out in times of environmental change. Such adaptations are observable and can be tested and predicted. The model works. You cannot teach horticulture without teaching that form of evolution. Macroevolution takes such insights and extrapolates them to the distant past, which is not observable and is difficult to test. Should macroevolution be taught in faith-based universities? I think the best answer to this question is yes and no. Even if a scientist is unconvinced about the evolutionary hypothesis of origins, it is still necessary to teach the theories and the evidence they draw on in class. I think not to do so would be irresponsible.

In 2015 the Seventh-day Adventist world church in general conference session voted a new, tighter statement on creation, asserting a six-day, twenty-four time period in which creation took place fairly recently (thousands of years rather than millions or billions). I grant that the Bible doesn’t use such words to speak about God’s creation, but it is certainly the most natural reading of Genesis and related passages elsewhere in Scripture. I preferred the older statement, because of its reliance on biblical, rather than philosophical language. But I recognize that the new statement reflects the thinking of the majority of the membership of the church around the world. As such, it is an appropriate statement of what most Seventh-day Adventists believe. But one major piece is missing, as I have shared with church leadership. The statement does not address how the teaching of science should be done in light of the statement. I have recommended, and still do, a companion document, “In Defense of Science,” that spells out how a teacher addresses the tensions between the results of science and the results of faith and biblical research. Such a document does not exist, to my knowledge.

In the blog that follows, I will address the why and how of such teaching and also the consequences of teaching evolution and not teaching it in a faith-based institution. Perhaps it will be a step toward the kind of document I am suggesting above. What I share in the next blog may surprise you.

The Role of “Faith” in Science (Faith and Science 5)

As the author of Hebrews puts it, faith is an “inner conviction of things we do not see” (Heb 11:1, my translation). It is through faith we understand that “the universe was created by the word of God” (Heb 11:3, ESV). Faith is more than just knowledge of facts. It is an inner conviction of things we cannot always prove. If the scientific evidence perfectly confirmed our faith, it would no longer be faith in the full sense that Hebrews describes it. To live in faith is to live with a certain amount of tension. When it comes to matters of faith, we need to take the evidence of both the Bible and science seriously. Because of inspiration, I choose to give the Bible 51% of the weight in my personal faith decisions. But those faith decisions do not rule out a continuing openness to further study in both the Bible and science. Study of the Bible can suggest scientific options that an unbelieving scientist might not think of. Study of science and experience has led the church to read the Bible differently (think Galileo and Acts 15). The best definition of theology I have ever heard is “Faith seeking to understand.” Faith is both a standpoint and a process. When it comes to faith, both conviction and continuing process are a given. To repeat, people of faith must learn to live with a certain amount of tension.

Where one ends up in matters of faith seems to have a lot to do with experience. If life has pointed you to the beauty of flowers and bird feathers, mountain peaks and sunsets, if you have sensed the divine presence in small tokens of everyday life, you will likely be open to interpreting the Bible and science from a divine perspective. If life has confronted you with birth defects, disease as a result of genetic accident, cruelty, oppression and injustice, you may be tempted to either hate God or to explain the world in ways that leave God out of the picture. Because experiences of life are so different, I am reluctant to judge those who see the world and God a bit differently than I do. The world as we experience it projects a mixed picture. Faith can afford to be generous with the intellectual struggles of others. Perhaps the following statement is apropos here: “The perception and appreciation of truth. . . . depends less upon the mind than upon the heart.” (DA 455)

Perhaps the story of Job is helpful here. Job, his wife and his friends all were ignorant of the larger issues in the universe that led to the situation Job found himself in. The conflict between their view of God and the world they experienced created a tension that challenged their faith. Job’s wife saw the tension and gave up her faith in God. Job’s friends maintained their beliefs by denying that there was a tension. Job recognized the tension, struggled with it and still believed. His belief did not lead him to deny the reality of the tension, he believed in full awareness of the tension. And it was Job’s position that was commended by a God who chose not explain the tension in terms the reader already understood (chapters one and two), but left the tension in place (Job 42:7-8, see 38:1 – 41:34). This middle position is the one that healthy, mature Christians can and should embrace.

Why I Believe in Creation (Faith and Science 4)

For me personally the Bible and philosophical reasoning both point to a Creator and a relatively recent creation. I recognize that people who favor the scientific evidence can read Genesis in ways that differ from the traditional. But the best exegetical work on the Bible points to the idea that the ancients who wrote and read these texts understood them to be pointing to a creator God as the originator of the natural world and that God’s creative activity is fairly rapid and recent. And beyond Genesis, the Bible’s teachings on sin, salvation and resurrection all presuppose a God who actively intervenes in space and time.

Philosophically, I also find it easier to believe that the complexity and beauty of the world we know is the product of a loving and intelligent Designer than that it all is the product of random and chance events over long periods of time. While I am not a scientist, Steven Hawking has been sometimes called the Einstein of the 21st Century. And he has clearly demonstrated that the chances of human life developing on this earth in this universe is something like ten to the five hundredth. That’s one chance in ten followed by 500 zeros. In other words, not much of a chance. That this did not disturb his commitment to atheism makes the admission all the more interesting for me. At the minimum it tells me that scientific certainty on these matters is far from a done deal.

But while the preponderance of scientific evidence is not hostile to the possibility of design, it is very hard to square with the biblical idea of a recent creation of life. Believing, short-age creationist scientists tell me that there is currently no creationist model that is scientifically fruitful in its ability to predict observable outcomes the way microevolution does. We can act as if this is not the case, but it would not be a sound intellectual position. Humility requires honesty. A possible response to this dilemma, however: If God is as great as we believe Him to be, He is capable of doing things in a way that science cannot fully observe or understand. In any case, it seems to me that believers who are honest with the evidence must live with a certain amount of tension. And that is what faith is all about.

The Limitations of Science (Faith and Science 3)

Are there similar limitations to our knowledge of the physical universe? I have to believe so. There are many areas of science in which knowledge has vastly increased in the last few decades. It is, therefore, reasonably certain scientifically that evolution occurs at the micro level (small changes that we can observe over a human lifetime). This would have been an extremely troubling admission for people of faith a century ago and is still troubling to many today. But microevolution is within the direct purview of scientific method and few people of faith question its existence today.

But can we extrapolate from microevolution to large changes taking place over millions of years (macroevolution)? There is significant scientific evidence that points in that direction and one does not have to be a God-hater to see that. For example, the order in the fossil record suggests some kind of evolutionary progression and radiometric dating indicates a considerable amount of time for this progression. I have no compelling scientific data to counter the basic thrust of that evidence and my more conservative scientific friends reluctantly agree that macro-evolution has significant evidentiary support, while creation, at the moment, is not supported with anything as compelling as the two evidences above.

But that does not mean that creation by divine fiat is disproved. After all, science by definition looks for patterns in repetitive events. But creation as promoted in the Bible involves single acts by an intelligent Creator. Science does not offer the tools to explain such singular events in the distant past. A single act of creation would inevitably leave some very challenging evidence to the scientist and could not be proven or disproven by standard scientific methods. So in the absence of direct observation and experimentation, can we be absolutely sure of the way things occurred in the distant past? Is it possible that we have yet to discover the flaws in our current analysis? I think humility is an appropriate approach for both science and faith. We must not only bow before the evidence we have but also before the evidence we have not yet been able to examine.

The Ideal Starting Point (Faith and Science 2)

I begin this discussion of faith and science with a caveat. While I work at a faith-based health science university, I am not an expert in the specific, scientific issues related to the origins of life on this planet. So I think it would be wise for me to confine myself to some general principles that I find helpful in making sense of the debate over the origins of life.

Where is the center in this debate? It seems to me that scientists of faith come to this debate from one of three standpoints. At the risk of oversimplification, let me identify those standpoints as follows. 1) There are those who find the evidence for evolution (in the grand, macro sense) and long ages of life on this earth overwhelming. As a result they seek other than traditional ways of reading the Bible with regard to origins. 2) There are those who find traditional ways of reading the Bible perfectly clear and compelling and therefore put all of their energies into finding flaws in the contemporary scientific consensus. 3) There are scientists of faith who have a high and respectful view of both the Bible and the evidence of science. Such scientists recognize that at this moment there is no easy resolution of the differences that exist between the two bodies of evidence, so they bend all their energies to resolve the issues while maintaining a strong awareness of the limitations of evidence and of human understanding of the evidence.

As a biblical scholar who operates from the standpoint of faith I have all the more reason for humility. While I find the Bible an invaluable revelation of the will of God, I am painfully aware of the huge gap between my understanding of the universe and God’s (Isa 55:8-9). Let me share an analogy. Being a scholar is like a farmer digging a post hole at the edge of a field. I know everything there is to know about that contents of that post hole. But the deeper I go into my limited field of knowledge, the more I am aware of how deep the field is and how much I do not know. When all I knew was the surface of the field, I could imagine that I knew a whole lot about the field. But now that I have gone deep in a tiny portion of the field (writing a dissertation, for example), I realize how deep the entire field goes. So the mark of a true scholar is not how much he or she knows but to know how little one in fact knows. The more a scholar learns, the more aware he or she becomes of how much there is yet to learn. With great knowledge comes great humility. And I believe the reverse is also true. With great humility comes great knowledge. Most of us learn to the degree that we are open to learning.

That brings me to what I call the Ladder of Humility (appreciation to Fritz Guy, who first introduced me to the concept). As a biblical scholar who dabbles in many other issues, I have learned quite a bit in this life. Step one in my ladder of humility is how much I know. But step two is what everyone on earth knows. That is an almost infinite advance on what I know. Go into any university library and you will see that my knowledge is a minuscule fraction of what the human race as a whole knows. But step three on the ladder of humility is what everyone on earth could know, given an infinite amount of time and opportunity. Another infinite advance. Step four in the ladder of humility is what everyone in the universe knows. If, as most people suspect, there are lots of inhabited planets out there, all possible human knowledge is but a minuscule fraction of what everyone in the universe knows. And of course, step five is what God knows, truly another leap of infinity. Looked at from this perspective, everything I could possibly know about God and His ways are like the musings of a two-year old in comparison with what I don’t know. Even the knowledge of the prophets was limited (1 Cor 13:9, 12). So it behooves everyone interested in the issue of faith and science to demonstrate a strong element of humility in everything that is said and written on the subject.