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GALILEO AND THE CHURCH


Many of us have heard about the conflict between Galileo and the church of his day. The Church doctrine of that day taught that the sun revolved around the earth. But Galileo discovered that that wasn’t true--it was the earth that revolved around the sun. The Church didn’t take kindly to that discovery by Galileo and branded him a heretic and made him renounce his findings under the threat of severe punishment.


Now, of course Galileo was right. But ever since that day, skeptics have used that incident to accuse the church of having gotten their doctrine from their understanding of the Bible. But they didn’t.


By the time of Galileo, the church had grown used to accepting the teachings of human experts and authorities of the past. Particularly impressive to them were the Greek philosophers and one of most prominent of those philosophers was Aristotle, who taught that it was the earth that stood still and the sun revolved around it.


Now this wasn’t the only time Galileo had clashed with Aristotle’s teachings. Aristotle was wrong about many things. But as opposed as he was to Aristotle, Galileo was convinced of the inerrancy of Scripture. At one point he wrote: "The holy scriptures cannot err, and the decrees therein contained are absolutely true and inviolable..."


My point is this: The early church misled many people and gave ammunition to the enemies of God because they abandoned the Bible as their sole source of authority and sought out human experts to guide their doctrine. We must never allow that to happen to us.


--Information gathered from "The Plot" by Bob Enyart)

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