Book of Amos

Book of Amos



Book of Amos

An Analysis of the Book of Amos
Leon L. Combs


The purposes of this treatise are to:

  1. Analyze Amos’ critique of the social sins present in Judah and Israel and relate this critique to the broader view of “covenant” in the Old Testament.
  2. Discuss how a believer’s faith should affect his relationship to his culture noting the difference between the audience that Amos addressed and the contemporary culture.




Amos prophesied in a time of great prosperity in Israel.  The businesses were doing very well and the boundaries of the country were expanding.  However below this surface layer of prosperity lay levels of corruption, greed, and injustice.  True worship had been replaced with hypocritical religious form without the power behind the worship.  The time had created a nation with a false sense of security and an indifference to the disciplining hand of the Lord.  Into this time of history God called Amos to lash out at the sin and to tell of visions of the Lord’s judgment.

The book of Amos falls naturally into three parts. The first opens with a general title to the work, giving the author's name and the general date of his ministry, and a text or motto in four poetical lines, describing the Lord's power over Palestine. This part comprises the first two chapters, and is made up of a series of oracles against Damascus, Gaza, Tyre, Edom, Ammon, Moab, Judah, and, finally, Israel. Each oracle begins with the same numerical formula: "For three crimes of Damascus [or Gaza, or Tyre, etc., as the case may be], and for four, I will not revoke the doom"; it next sets forth the chief indictment; and finally pronounces the penalty. The heathen nations are doomed not because of their ignorance of the true God, but because of their breaches of the elementary and unwritten laws of natural humanity and good faith. As regards Judah and Israel, they will share the same doom because, although they were especially cared for by the Lord who drew them out of Egypt, conquered for them the land of Canaan, and gave them prophets and Nasserites, yet they have committed the same crimes as their pagan neighbors. Israel is rebuked more at length than Judah, and its utter destruction is vividly described.

The second part (chapters 3-6) consists of a series of addresses, which expand the indictment and the sentence against Israel set forth in Amos 2:6-16. Amos's indictment bears (1) on the social disorders prevalent among the upper classes; (2) on the heartless luxury and self-indulgence of the wealthy ladies of Samaria; (3) on the too great confidence of the Israelites at large in their mere external discharge of religious duties which can in no way secure them against the approaching doom. The sentence itself assumes the form of a dirge over the captivity, which awaits the unrepenting transgressors, and the complete surrender of the country to the foreign enemy.

The third section of the book (chapters 7-9), apart from the historical account of Amasias's opposition to Amos 7:10-17, and from a discourse (Amos 8: 4-14) similar in tone to the addresses contained in the second part of the prophecy, is wholly made up of visions of judgment against Israel. In the first two visions--the one of devouring locusts, and the other of consuming fire--the foretold destruction is put on hold by divine interposition; but in the third vision, that of a plumb line, the destruction is permitted to become complete. The fourth vision, like the foregoing, is symbolical; a basket of summer fruit points to the speedy decay of Israel; while in the fifth and last the prophet beholds the Lord standing beside the altar and threatening the Northern Kingdom with a chastisement from which there is no escape. The book concludes with God's solemn promise of the glorious restoration of the House of David, and of the wonderful prosperity of the purified nation (Amos 9: 8c-15).

Amos’ Critique of the Social Sins in Judah and Israel


For the purpose of this paper we will look at the entire book for any references to critiques by Amos.  We will begin with the end of the first part of the book in which he has chastised the pagan nations, and then in Amos 2:4 he begins to mention the sins of Judah.   In chapter 2, verse 4, he states that Judah has rejected the Law of the Lord, has not kept His statutes, and that they have been led astray by false gods.  The sin of idolatry has caused Judah to violate the law of Yahweh.  As their forefathers did, they continued to bow down to the false gods of the pagans.  Clearly these sins are in direct violation of the covenant relationship they are supposed to have with God.

In chapter 2, verse 6 he turns his attention to Israel and says that they have sold their righteous for money and they have sold the needy for a pair of sandals.  Selling the righteous for money and the needy for a pair of sandals tells us a lot about the social conditions of that time when the poor had to fight for their just rights, which were all too frequently ignored.  The emphasis of Israel is on material gain and not on the needs and rights of the people.

In chapter 2, verse 7 Amos tells how they lust after even the dust of the helpless people, they have turned aside the way of the humble, and a man and his father both have sex with the same woman.  The Bible is clear in many verses that God blesses the humble, but here Amos states that the humble people are turned aside rather than being respected and their advice sought.  Amos says that the reason they do these things is to profane the holy name of God.  It is not clear if the father and his son having sex with the same woman is a pagan ritual prostitution or not, but it is certainly clear evidence of the breaking down of social standards.  Saying that they do these things for the purpose of profaning the name of God could be a false worship ceremony or it could mean a breaking of some of the laws in Leviticus.  Whatever the precise meaning, this is an awful indictment on Israel.

In Amos 2:8 we read “And on garments taken as pledges they stretch out beside every altar, And in the house of their God they drink the wine of those who have been fined.”  Here Amos tells us that in the house of God they drink the wine given as payment for fines, and they rest before every altar on garments taken as pledges.  We are told in Exodus 22:26-27 that garments taken as pledges are to be returned to the owners each evening for a covering for them as they sleep (If you ever take your neighbor's cloak as a pledge, you are to return it to him before the sun sets, for that is his only covering; it is his cloak for his body. What else shall he sleep in? And it shall come about that when he cries out to Me, I will hear {him,} for I am gracious.”).  However that commandment is not being obeyed and they are using the garments for their own comfort.  As a further illustration of the great disparity between their religious principles and the practice, Amos reports that they are drinking the wine given as payment for fines in the house of God.

In Amos 2:12 we read “But you made the Nazirites drink wine, And you commanded the prophets saying, 'You shall not prophesy!'” Amos says that Israel even made the Nazirites drink wine and commanded the prophets not to prophesy.  In Num 6:1-12 we read about the special vow of separation taken by the Nazirites.  They were to abstain from drinking from any product of the vine or of any fermented drink.  Of course the prophets were to speak from God to the people.  In both of these actions the Israelites have rejected both the word from God and the dedication to Yahweh that was to be practiced by some of them.  These actions show a total rejection of God.

In Amos 4:1 we read:  “Hear this word, you cows of Bashan who are on the mountain of Samaria, Who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, Who say to your husbands, “Bring now, that we may drink!””   In Ps 22:12 we read that the area of Bashan was known for its excellent cattle (“Many bulls have surrounded me; Strong {bulls} of Bashan have encircled me.), so Amos seems to be sarcastically comparing the women to the cattle who graze in the rich lands of Bashan.  These women, either themselves or through their husbands, are reaping their “grazing grass” from the poor people who cannot defend themselves.  Furthermore a vivid picture is painted of this scene as the women command their husbands to bring them their drinks.  What a picture of the indolence of these women and their husbands.

In Amos 4:4 we read:  “Enter Bethel and transgress; In Gilgal multiply transgression! Bring your sacrifices every morning, Your tithes every three days.”  Jeroboam I set up Bethel to be an alternate worship site for the northern kingdom shortly after the split of the two kingdoms.  Thus Bethel, which once housed the ark of the covenant, was the chief religious sanctuary of the northern kingdom.  However Amos is saying sarcastically to go to Bethel and transgress.  They are transgressing because the religion of the area had become an awful syncretistic combination of Yahwism and the concepts common to the Canaanite religion.  Gilgal was also an Israelite sanctuary in Amos’s time (Amos 5:5) and it had a pagan heritage (Judges 3:19 “But he himself turned back from the idols which were at Gilgal, and said, “I have a secret message for you, O king.” And he said, “Keep silence.” And all who attended him left him.”).  Thus to go to Gilgal to worship was to multiply their transgressions.  Hosea also prophesied about Gilgal in Hos 9:15 “All their evil is at Gilgal; Indeed, I came to hate them there! Because of the wickedness of their deeds I will drive them out of My house! I will love them no more; All their princes are rebels.”  The practice of bring tithes every three days does not appear in the law, and is either Amos’s way of further ridiculing their present practices or this practice had actually developed by Israel as a further abomination of the law and a further affront to God.

In Amos 4:5 we read “Offer a thank offering also from that which is leavened, And proclaim freewill offerings, make them known. For so you love {to do,} you sons of Israel,” Declares the Lord God.””  Probably Amos is saying that even if the people bring offerings every day and tithes every three days, their practice is not bringing them any favor with God.  To say that they love to make them know also points at a hypocritical element in their “worship” services.  We are not free to make up our own rules of worshipping God.  We must only worship Him as He tells us and then with humility, praise, and thanksgiving.

In Amos 5:10 we read “They hate him who reproves in the gate, And they abhor him who speaks {with} integrity.”  What an awful indictment on these people.  They have totally rejected the social elements of their society.  The statement about the gate refers to the establishment of the city gate as the place where legal proceedings were conducted (Deut 21:19), and thus this statement says that the Israelites hate authority.  Certainly people of integrity should be the ones that the Israelites listen to first, but they abhor people of integrity!  These people are indeed doing “what appears right in their own eyes” and not the righteousness of God.

In Amos 5:11 we read  “Therefore, because you impose heavy rent on the poor And exact a tribute of grain from them, {Though} you have built houses of well-hewn stone, Yet you will not live in them; You have planted pleasant vineyards, yet you will not drink their wine.”  Not only do the Israelites charge excessive rent from the poor, they also make them pay a tribute of grain.  Meanwhile they have built fine homes where they can soothe their aching bodies after a heavy day of taking all of these donations to the bank!  Let’s look at what Exodus says about this: Exo 22:25 “If you lend money to My people, to the poor among you, you are not to act as a creditor to him; you shall not charge him interest.”  These people have totally gone against the teaching of Yahweh and are living “the good life”, but it is going to quickly come to an end as God is readying His judgment against them.

In Amos 5:12 we read “For I know your transgressions are many and your sins are great, {You} who distress the righteous {and} accept bribes, And turn aside the poor in the gate.”  These people have made the righteous feel the pressure of the leadership of Israel when Israel should have been coming to them for council.  Again we hear about their oppression of the poor in the current court system (the city gate).  Let’s look at what Exodus says about the justice system for the poor: Exo 23:6 “You shall not pervert the justice {due} to your needy {brother} in his dispute.”  Also let’s read what Exodus tells us about taking of bribes: Exo 23:8 “And you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and subverts the cause of the just.”

In Amos 5:18 we read “Alas, you who are longing for the day of the Lord, For what purpose {will} the day of the Lord {be} to you? It {will be} darkness and not light.”  The “day of the Lord” is an eschatological term that was used by many of the prophets.  This day was seen as the day when the Lord would return to judge the evil ones and establish Israel as the people of God forever.  They viewed themselves as the chosen ones and did not think that their actions would be judged by God as sins.  However their vision was very blurred for they spoke the name of the Lord but did not obey Him.  They indeed would have their sins judged.  A Scripture that comes to mind about these people is from 1 John 1:6 “If we say that we have fellowship with Him and {yet} walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;”  Certainly these people were walking in darkness and they would shortly be judged.

In Amos 6:4 we read “Those who recline on beds of ivory And sprawl on their couches, And eat lambs from the flock And calves from the midst of the stall,”  What a statement about the opulence of the time!  They have taken the best of everything for themselves and oppress and tax the poor.  They have no compassion for the less fortunate and even make their lives worse as they don’t even allow them to have justice in the court system.  Amos is indeed painting a picture of corruption and people living extremely well at the cost of the poor.

In Amos 6:5 we read “Who improvise to the sound of the harp, {And} like David have composed songs for themselves,”  Now we see the Israelites pictured as making new songs for themselves as they make new music on the harp and develop new words for the songs that no doubt are songs of praise to their greatness.  They seem to think that they are living in great blessings from God, but actually they are far away from God and are “digging their own graves” and perhaps even developing the songs for their funerals.

In Amos 6:6 we read  “Who drink wine from sacrificial bowls While they anoint themselves with the finest of oils, Yet they have not grieved over the ruin of Joseph.”  Now we see more evidence of their vastly exaggerated view of themselves and the darkness of their souls.  Their joy is obtained from their wealth obtained at the wronging of the poor.  They even dare to drink to their fortune from the bowls set aside for the worship of the true God.

In Amos 6:8 we read “The Lord God has sworn by Himself, the Lord God of hosts has declared: “I loathe the arrogance of Jacob, And I detest his citadels; Therefore, I will deliver up {the} city and all it contains.””  The “citadels” could be the magnificent dwellings that the people built for themselves.  The pride of Jacob refers to the self centered prideful behavior of the people as they take claim for all that has been accomplished by “them” forgetting about all the times that God has delivered them.  First God delivered them from Egypt and then He delivered the promised land to them.  God declares that he will turn over the city and their magnificent buildings to the conquerors that God Himself would bring upon the city (evidently Samaria).

In Amos 6:12 we read “Do horses run on rocks? Or does one plow them with oxen? Yet you have turned justice into poison, And the fruit of righteousness into wormwood,”  He begins with some ludicrous questions as he is about to declare that their behavior is the opposite of that expected of them.  The courts are supposed to dispense justice, but instead they dispense poison.  The fruit of righteousness should be sweet and the natural result of wise rulers such as David as stated in 2Samuel 8:15  “So David reigned over all Israel; and David administered justice and righteousness for all his people.”  However these people turned the sweet fruit of righteous into bitter wormwood.  A clear covenant relationship is also seen here by remembering Isa 48:18 “If only you had paid attention to My commandments! Then your well-being would have been like a river, And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.”  If the people had kept their part of the covenant and obeyed God’s commandments then they would have been practicing real righteousness.

In Amos 6:13 we read “You who rejoice in Lo-debar, And say, "Have we not by our {own} strength taken Karnaim for ourselves?”  Lo Debar was evidently a site of Jeroboam’s recent ventures into Armenian territory, but Amos pronounced it as “Lo-debar”, which means “no thing”.  Thus Amos is saying that this venture that seemed so important to them was actually “no thing”, worthless, and of no importance.  By such a sarcastic pronunciation, he is belittling their growing national presence.  We are reminded of the verse in Mark 8:36 “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?”  No matter what our accomplishments, if they are not God-based accomplishments then they are of no lasting value.  Karnaim means “horns”, and by implication “strength”.  This comment is another condemnation of their boasting that they had taken Karnaim by their own strength.

In Amos 7:12 we read “Then Amaziah said to Amos, “Go, you seer, flee away to the land of Judah, and there eat bread and there do your prophesying!””  We read in Amos 7:10 that Amaziah, the priest of the sanctuary at Bethel had accused Amos of a conspiracy: “Then Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, sent {word} to Jeroboam, king of Israel, saying, “Amos has conspired against you in the midst of the house of Israel; the land is unable to endure all his words.””  We do not know how Amos responded to this accusation, but do know that Amos had received a vision from God as related in Amos 7:1-9:

Amos 7:1 Thus the Lord \God\ showed me, and behold, He was forming a locust-swarm when the spring crop began to sprout. And behold, the spring crop {was} after the king's mowing.
Amos 7:2 And it came about, when it had finished eating the vegetation of the land, that I said, "Lord God, please pardon! How can Jacob stand, For he is small?"
Amos 7:3 The Lord changed His mind about this. "It shall not be," said the Lord
Amos 7:4 Thus the Lord God showed me, and behold, the Lord God was calling to contend {with them} by fire, and it consumed the great deep and began to consume the farm land.
Amos 7:5 Then I said, "Lord God, please stop! How can Jacob stand, for he is small?"
Amos7:6 The Lord changed His mind about this. "This too shall not be," said the Lord God.
Amos 7:7 Thus He showed me, and behold, the Lord was standing by a vertical wall, with a plumb line in His hand.
Amos 7:8 And the Lord said to me, "What do you see, Amos?" And I said, "A plumb line." Then the Lord said, "Behold I am about to put a plumb line In the midst of My people Israel. I will spare them no longer.
Amos 7:9 "The high places of Isaac will be desolated And the sanctuaries of Israel laid waste. Then shall I rise up against the house of Jeroboam with the sword."

What we have in Amos 9:12 is Amaziah response to this prophesy.  It is not likely that Amaziah is using the word “seer” in a derogatory way, but is just telling Amos to take his prophesying and leave town.  The “priest” did not want to hear any more of God’s judgment visions.  Instead of treasuring the prophesy, he was annoyed by it.  This reaction is another indication of the breaking of a covenant relationship with God.

In Amos 7:13 we read “But no longer prophesy at Bethel, for it is a sanctuary of the king and a royal residence.”  Amaziah is clear that the sanctuary is not for worship of God, but of worship of the king and for the keeping of all of his household.  Israel is showing a complete lack of respect of God and a complete turn toward the materialistic culture of a nation soaked in national pride in themselves.

In Amos 8:4 we read “Hear this, you who trample the needy, to do away with the humble of the land,”  Verses 4, 5, and 6 are some of the horrible crimes committed by these people.  To God, it is the humble who are important as reflected in Psa 37:11 But the humble will inherit the land, And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.”  We also read in Psa 76:9 that God saves the humble: “When God arose to judgment, To save all the humble of the earth. Selah.”  We also read about the likely end of pride and the honor of being humble in Pro 29:23 “A man's pride will bring him low, But a humble spirit will obtain honor.”  These poor people, instead of wanting to honor the humble, want to get rid of them from their land.  What a horrible indictment.

In Amos 8:5 we read “When will the new moon be over, So that we may sell grain, And the Sabbath, that we may open the wheat {market}, To make the bushel smaller and the shekel bigger, And to cheat with dishonest scales,” They honor the Sabbath, but only in a hypocritical way.  They want to hurry up and get it over with so that they can go about their seeking of more earthly wealth by cheating the people.  It is obvious that their true god is Mammon.  We clearly see also their religious creed in their worship of this god and that is “gain by any means is legitimate”.  The desire to hurry up and get rid of the Sabbath time is reminiscent of some people who sit in sermons on Sunday without hearing and wanting to hurry up and get to the restaurant to eat and watch the ball game.

In Amos 8:6 we read “So as to buy the helpless for money and the needy for a pair of sandals, And {that} we may sell the refuse of the wheat? “  These verses (4, 5, and 6) are reminiscent of Amos 5:11 “Therefore, because you impose heavy rent on the poor And exact a tribute of grain from them, {Though} you have built houses of well-hewn stone, Yet you will not live in them; You have planted pleasant vineyards, yet you will not drink their wine.”  They have no value for human life and certainly no wish to keep a covenant relationship with God.



A Believer’s Faith and His Interaction with His Culture


One of the most harmful concepts being advocated for our culture at this present time is compartmentalization.  Compartmentalization is the concept that a person can have many different internal attributes to his total being such as religious, political, sexual, scientific, professional, etc. and that none of them overlap.  Such a situation is illustrated below. 

The above is a depiction of a totally nonintegrated person, a person without integrity.  An integrated person, or a person of integrity, would have all areas overlapping, or with connectivity lines indicated as in the figure below. 

We hear people say that someone’s personal life is his/her business and should not affect his/her political life.  Does anyone really believe that compartmentalization is a practical reality?  Can a person’s worldview, which is shaped by all of the different aspects of his/her personality, really not affect job function?  Does character really not matter in the job performance of a person?  I presume that it is perfectly obvious that I don’t believe that compartmentalization is a viable choice for living in the real world.  What affects my moral choices also affects my daily performance in whatever task that I am doing.  Character really does matter.

So what does all of this discussion have to do with culture and Christianity?  Since I don’t believe that compartmentalization is a viable choice, that decision also affects the interaction of my culture and my religion.  For example, let’s consider my science as a part of my interaction with my culture.  My science can be described as molecular physics and my religion is Christianity.  If one is a practicing compartmentalist and says that he/she is a Christian, there is a fundamental problem with that person, for Christianity is about one’s personal life in all of its activities.  The Bible speaks to all of our lives: our work, relationships, finances, health, what we say, where we go, what we do, etc.  So a scientist who says that he/she is a Christian must be concerned about how science and religion interact.  The basis for Christianity is the absolute truth about the Bible, the entire Bible.  So to be a Christian I have to accept the Bible as absolute truth.  As a scientist I search for absolute truth on the molecular level.  The two truths must coincide, or one or both is/are not the truth!  Since, as a Christian I accept the Bible as the absolute truth, any result from science that contradicts Scripture must be incorrect.  This gives the scientist a paradigm for approaching all of his/her studies.

Not all areas of scientific investigation run into possible conflicts with Biblical truth on a regular basis.  I spent many years with no conflicts as I did quantum mechanical and statistical calculations on molecular systems.  It is certainly possible to study such systems with those techniques without being concerned about possible conflicts with Biblical truth, and I chose to do that.  However, for a scientist who is a Christian, the moments of discovery about the molecular world become a time of worship.  Before the discovery, only God knew what was about to be discovered.  At the moment of discovery, God has revealed suddenly another aspect of the molecular world and we see more of His work in the marvelous creation into which He has placed us.  A time of awe and wonder as we see another aspect of the creation turns to this wonderful moment of worship.

However if one starts thinking about the fundamental postulates of quantum mechanics and the philosophical implications of them, one can quickly get into a conflict situation.  The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle informs us that we cannot know simultaneously both the energy and the position of an atomic or subatomic particle.  With the advent of quantum mechanics, the concept of absolute certainty disappeared.  We solve the Schroedinger equation for a system and we arrive at the energy and the wave function.  Since we know the energy exactly, we can only know many other characteristics of the system probabilistically.  With no absolute certainty, we can then not even determine what is real.  To the scientist who is a Christian, the disappearance of deterministic reality is no problem for the Bible actually defines reality in 2 Cor 4:18:

“while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
From this Scripture verse we see that for something to be real it must have an infinite lifetime, otherwise it is of temporary existence and thus not real in the long-term sense.  The non-Christian scientist is left in a quandary about what is real. 

Since we cannot know everything about a particle simultaneously, can God?  Or is God limited in His knowledge as we are by the science with which we work.  Well, God is the creator of the universe (Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”) and thus the author of all the scientific principles with which we now work in our investigations.  If God is omniscient, as Scripture states, then to know everything He must work outside of the discovered scientific principles with which we work.  The Scripture itself states in Deut 29:29:

"The secret things belong to the \Lord\ our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.”

So the secret things belong to God.  The Scripture states that indeed all is not revealed for us.  It therefore is of no problem to us that God can know things that we can’t because of the limitations of the revealed science with which we work.

What about some conflicts?  Well, was Jesus really born of a virgin?  The concept seems totally ridiculous to us utilizing only the scientist compartment.  But if God is really the creator of the universe and the One who founded the physics and chemistry upon which we depend for our rudimentary investigations, then He can certainly work outside of the revealed science with which we work.  Also remember that the Scripture states that Jesus is God.  The Bible teaches that the one God is a triune being: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  That concept also is really beyond our grasp.  However, we believe it is so and so it was God the Father and the Holy Spirit who were involved with the virgin birth of Jesus in a human form.  Therefore we scientists who are Christians have no problem with God being born of a virgin as Jesus of Nazareth.  He did this seemingly impossible event using unrevealed science.

What about the resurrection of Jesus?  He was killed on a cross.  He actually died, and three days later he was resurrected.  Again, we apply the same principles as above and we scientists who are Christians have no problem with God as Jesus being resurrected from the dead.  God the Father and God the Holy Spirit were involved in raising God Jesus from a physically dead state using unrevealed science.  We Christians only have a problem with the resurrection of Jesus if we utilize only the scientist compartment.

What about some other areas of apparent conflict?  The creation story of Genesis and modern evolutionary theories seem to be in conflict.  Is theistic evolution a possibility?  Personally I don’t think that the Bible allows for theistic evolution, but I know a number of scientists who are Christians and who take that view.  Are the evolutionary theories actually correct?  There is no direct evidence for transitory evolutionary changes and certainly nobody can go collect data of the proposed changes.  The age of the universe as determined by an interpretation of Genesis using days, as actual 24-hour periods of time, and the geological dating of the earth certainly appear to be in conflict.  Perhaps the 24-hour period of dating is not correct.  Perhaps the 24-hour dating only happens after the fourth day when the sun and the moon are stated as being placed into a dating position.  Perhaps there is a problem also with some of the geological dating.  Certainly dating principles are based upon the zero-time state concentration of the isotopes as being the same as the concentration now and there could be a problem there. What is the truth in these cases and other cases?  Well, as a Christian, I have to say the Bible alone has the absolute truth.  The conflict has to be an apparent conflict due to several possibilities.  There is much room for error all around, and all I can say at this point is that when the absolute truth about the Biblical story of creation and the absolute truth of the worldly view of the origin of all the species are known, there will be no conflict.

What is this unrevealed science that is needed to totally understand our environment?  Well, since it is unrevealed we cannot know it!  The world calls events that occur in spite of their violation of known scientific principles miracles.  Jesus worked many miracles when He was here on earth to prove to the followers that He indeed was God and that He was truly in control of all of the revealed and unrevealed science.  If you have a problem with this concept of an unrevealed science, then think about the world prior to 1900, before the development of quantum mechanics.  Prior to that time, the scientists thought that they had all of the principles needed to explain the universe.  Then some discoveries showed that Newtonian mechanics could not explain many physical observables that people were beginning to make.  It took a few years for many scientists to actually believe that a new science was even needed, much less to accept it as a new truth.  Then the advent of statistical mechanics with the Boltzmann equation (S = klnw) led to another conflict in science, as scientists would not accept this new science either.  This equation is now on Boltzmann’s tombstone as it was proven to be correct after his suicide due to not being able to deal with the severe criticisms poured on him by his fellow scientists.  Scientists can be very cruel in their defense of their principles upon which all of their life’s work is based!  So hindsight tells us that there was an undiscovered, or unrevealed, science prior to 1900, so why should we have doubts about there being more unrevealed science?  We already know that there is a conflict with relativistic quantum mechanics and relativistic Newtonian mechanics, so we are now in a state of knowing that we still don’t have the whole scientific picture of the universe.

What types of medical discoveries would be made if the researchers actually believed that mankind was originally created perfect and that our present state is a perturbation of that state?  Rather than thinking that some bimolecular process evolved into a more ordered process, perhaps the process actually started perfectly and has deteriorated to its current state.  I think we can see that a mindset can actually determine the direction of a research project and, depending upon one’s worldview, a completely opposite direction for discovery might result.

Will God allow further progress to be made in science, so that more unrevealed science will be discovered?  Of course, I don’t know.  All I know is that we must trust God in His infinite wisdom to reveal what He knows that we need at any particular time in the history of the universe.

I do believe that it is only the scientist who is a Christian and who therefore knows that the Bible is the only unchanging source of absolute truth who can make consistent, real progress in scientific investigations.  Some examples of successful scientists who were/are Christians are: Sir Isaac Newton, James Clerk Maxwell, Robert Boyle, George Washington Carver, Michael Faraday, Louis Pasteur, Wright Brothers, Samuel Morse, Crawford Long (discoverer of anesthesia), Sir Arthur Eddington, Galileo Galilei, John Dalton, Carl Linnaeus, Josiah Willard Gibbs, Sir Humphrey Davy, Blaise Pascal, Lord Kelvin, John Ambrose Fleming, Michael Faraday, Ampere, Jean Henri Fabre (entomology), George Gabriel Stokes, Gregor Mendel, Edward William Morley, Roger Bacon, Professor Fritz Schaefer, and Francis Collins, the current National Institute of Health director of the human genome project.  Einstein seems to have been a deist rather than a theist.  There is a very interesting quote of Einstein “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”  The non-Christian scientist could, of course, come to the same conclusion as the Christian, but such an event would be fortuitous, or God-directed without the knowledge or consent of the scientist.  The scientist who refuses some direction in a scientific study because it is in conflict with Biblical truth will be rewarded with a more complete vision of reality.  These scientists did indeed interact with their culture with their Christianity.

Some other well-known people who were/are Christians include: Truett Cathy - founder Chick-Fil-A; Sam Walton - founder, Walmart; Dave Thomas - founder, Wendy's; Zig Ziggler - motivational speaker; Cecil Day* - founder Day's Inn; Johnny Cash - country musician; Elizabeth Dole - director, American Red Cross; Clarence Thomas - U.S. Supreme Court Judge; Abraham Lincoln* - U.S. President; Jesse Owens* - professional track athlete; Jackie Joyner-Kersee - professional track athlete; Gail Devers - professional track athlete; John Smoltz - professional baseball player; Pete Maravich* - professional basketball player; Dikembe Mutombo - professional basketball player; Bobby Bowden - college football coach; Tom Landry - former professional football coach; Dan Reeves - professional football coach; Reggie White - former professional football player; Emmitt Smith - professional football player; Chuck Norris - actor, "Walker Texas Ranger"; etc.  These people also did not let the concept of compartmentalization interfere with their interaction with their culture.

So one aspect of our interaction with our culture is illustrated above with the field of science and Christianity.  We must not utilize compartmentalization in our thinking patterns.  A person’s religion should be of paramount importance in the development of his/her worldview, so we must not be afraid to consciously and openly utilize it.  Whatever our profession or field of study, we need to be honest with ourselves and be a person of integrity. 


Source: http://livingtheology.com/Book%20of%20Amos.doc

Web site to visit: http://livingtheology.com/

Author of the text: indicated on the source document of the above text

If you are the author of the text above and you not agree to share your knowledge for teaching, research, scholarship (for fair use as indicated in the United States copyrigh low) please send us an e-mail and we will remove your text quickly. Fair use is a limitation and exception to the exclusive right granted by copyright law to the author of a creative work. In United States copyright law, fair use is a doctrine that permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holders. Examples of fair use include commentary, search engines, criticism, news reporting, research, teaching, library archiving and scholarship. It provides for the legal, unlicensed citation or incorporation of copyrighted material in another author's work under a four-factor balancing test. (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use)

The information of medicine and health contained in the site are of a general nature and purpose which is purely informative and for this reason may not replace in any case, the council of a doctor or a qualified entity legally to the profession.


Book of Amos


The texts are the property of their respective authors and we thank them for giving us the opportunity to share for free to students, teachers and users of the Web their texts will used only for illustrative educational and scientific purposes only.

All the information in our site are given for nonprofit educational purposes


Book of Amos



Topics and Home
Term of use, cookies e privacy


Book of Amos