Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1)
The account of Adam and Eve’s temptation and subsequent expulsion from the Garden of Eden is familiar to many. It contains hidden truths that are just as true today as they were when the world was new. One of these truths concerns how Satan deals in the world. Satan consistently tempts his victims through both outright lies and subtle deception. If we are to remain firm in our faith, then we should learn how to resist his tactics by rooting ourselves in the inspired Word of God.
Unlike Adam and Eve, Jesus shows us the proper way of resisting the devil’s temptations. When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, the devil did not test Him by obvious manifestations of sin but by subtly applying half-truths from the Bible.1 The devil tried to get Jesus to doubt the Father’s declaration concerning Himself,2 misquoted Psalm 91:11-12 to test God’s love, and even tempted Jesus with the desires of the flesh. But at every turn Jesus remained steadfast, answering Satan with Scripture.
Jesus’ example can be applied to the deceptions of modern science that try to undermine the authority of God’s Word. Some would say that the con game played on Adam and Eve couldn’t happen in today’s world—we put everything through the ruthless filter of naturalism,3 and so we are much too sophisticated and knowledgeable to fall for such a deception.
However, naturalism has turned much of modern science into a dizzy array of conjecture, wishful thinking, assumptions, and will-driven consensus far removed from the constraints of true science, which rests on observation and reproducible experimentation. Yet this “science” has replaced God’s Word as the absolute authority.
Suppose we listen to a conversation between a naturalist who believes in concepts like deep time (millions and billions of years) and a naïve professing Christian who goes to church and does many good deeds but is not rooted in the authority of God’s Word.
Naturalist: “Did God really say that He created the heavens and the earth in six days? That’s preposterous because science has demonstrated through radioactive dating, core drilling, tree-ring studies, and biological evidence that the earth must be at least 3.4 billion years old.”
Christian: “But God said plainly that He created from nothingness the heavens and the earth in six distinct steps…six actual days.”
Naturalist: “The six days could be six very long time periods. Only ignorant people believe the myths and fairy tales in the Bible, especially Genesis. Very long time periods agree better with modern science.”
Christian: “Maybe you’re right.”
From the beginning, Satan has been man’s adversary. He operates in the realm of outright lies and half-truths so that he may deceive us.4 Beware of those who peddle various philosophies and vain deceits after the traditions of men, people who set science before and over the Word of God.5
All of this reduces to faith, something all people possess—even skeptics and atheists. The real question is: What are you going to put your faith in, the word of man or the Word of God?
- Matthew 4:1-11.
- Matthew 3:17.
- Naturalism is a philosophy that denies any event or object has a supernatural origin or significance. Specifically, it states that scientific laws adequately account for all phenomena.
- 1 Peter 5:8.
- Colossians 2:8.
* Dr. Cupps is Research Associate at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his Ph.D. in nuclear physics at Indiana University-Bloomington.