Does Evolution Disprove God? Are Science and Religion Compatible?
Currently there is a lot of debate in the media and in publications about science and religion. In particular the matter of evolution and religion, is highlighted in 2009 – the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his Origin of Species. Religion is certainly still newsworthy. The growing activities of militant secularists and “new atheists” proves this. Why bother to oppose anything which is not a live issue? However, let me sound a note of warning:
Beware TV amateur “theologians”
Sir David Attenborough is a brilliant naturalist and his programmes are fascinating, even awe-inspiring, providing insights into the wonderful complexity and variety of nature. But he is no theologian. Yet he feels competent to pronounce on theology and the Bible. According to him, evolution has debunked Genesis and done away with the need of God.
Colin Blakemore, a leading professor of physiology and an atheist, made similar claims in his TV programme on the History of Christianity. No-one (at least no-one at Channel 4) seems to question the idea that an atheist professor of science, with no theological training, is competent to make such a programme. I wonder if Channel 4 would ask a theologian with no scientific training to make a programme on modern physiology!
The moral is: don’t believe everything you see on television, especially about Christianity and the Bible, because programme makers appear to believe that anyone with a non-theological academic qualification can pontificate on theology and the Bible. They also have a good track record of recruiting people who have written whacky books on the subject or who hold views no mainstream theologian would even consider. The Blakemore programme interviewed a clergyman from the Sea of Faith organisation, which includes clergy who don’t believe in God, and is therefore so extreme as to be out of sight of sensible theology. A Roman Catholic contributor did well but didn’t feature at length. Why didn’t the programme give time to serious theologians, including some who have scientific qualifications?
Nevertheless there is a serious debate about whether science and religion are compatible or whether evolution does away with the need of God. I will outline the:
FOUR MAJOR VIEWS
1. The Creationist School
Creationists believe in the literal truth of Genesis 1-3, including that God specially created everything out of nothing. They may allow for secondary evolution (variations and developments within a species) but they reject evolution between the species (especially from apes to humans). Some creationists believe God created everything in six literal days a few thousand years ago. Others believe the universe and earth are much older and that the “days” of Genesis are symbols for long periods of time. Still others believe that the original creation took place many millions of years ago (hence the dinosaurs and fossils) but, after a great catastrophe, Genesis describes how God re-formed the world in a six-day period.
Creationists believe that their views are supported by scientific evidence and that evolution is not supported by the evidence. There are scientists who are creationists. In particular, creationists believe the fossil record does not support evolution – there are many gaps and “missing links.”
Dr Francis Collins, a leading geneticist and head of the Human Genome Project which revealed the three- billion “letter” genetic make-up of human DNA, is a Christian. He responds: “The vast majority of organisms that have ever lived on Earth have left absolutely no trace of their existence, since fossils arise only in highly unusual circumstances. (For example, a creature has to be caught in a certain type of mud or rock, without being picked apart by predators. Most bones rot and crumble. Most creatures decay.)” He adds: “While there are many imperfections of the fossil record, and many puzzles remain to be solved, virtually all of the findings are consistent with the concept of a tree of life of related organisms. Good evidence exists for transitional forms from reptiles to birds, and from reptiles to mammals.”
Collins, like many Christians, is not a creationist but believes in evolution. Theodosius Dobzhansky, a leading biologist and devout Eastern Orthodox Christian wrote: “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” In 1996 Pope John Paul II said: “New findings lead us toward the recognition of evolution as more than a hypothesis.” David Attenborough said: “People write to me that evolution is only a theory. Well it is not a theory. Evolution is as solid a historical fact as you could conceive. Evidence from every quarter. What is a theory is whether natural selection is the mechanism and the only mechanism. That is a theory. But the historical reality that dinosaurs led to birds and mammals produced whales, that’s not theory.”
It is clear that the universe (and the earth) are far older than the 6000 years which many traditional creationists would argue for. The idea that God “fabricated” a fossil record giving the false impression that the earth is some 4 billion years old is ludicrous and profoundly dishonouring to God.
Another view is
2. The Intelligent Design (ID) School
ID rejects evolution as essentially atheistic and claims it cannot fully account for the amazing complexity of nature. Hence there must have been an Intelligent Designer who stepped in at various times (special divine intervention) to fill the gaps in the evolutionary process.
Opponents, including Christian opponents, claim that this makes God a mere “god of the gaps” who has to intervene regularly to fix the inadequacies of his original plan of creation. Many Christians do not see evolution as essentially atheistic. They also point to the fact that gaps in the scientific evidence are gradually being filled, which could eventually do away with the need of a “god of the gaps.”
Other Christians feel that to see God intervening at certain crucially important times, e.g. in causing man to become a spiritual being, capable of communion with God, does not make God into a “god of the gaps.” They point out that mainstream Christianity has always believed in divine intervention by way of miracles and ultimately in the incarnation of Christ.
The third view is:
3. The Theistic Evolutionist School
These are people who believe in God and evolution. I have quoted a few above under “The Creationist School.” They hold that God, who is eternal, initiated the process whereby the universe began via the Big Bang and developed by natural selection to where we are now. Evolution is the process by which God created the world, the universe and everything. Through “the changes and chances of this mortal life” God’s eternal purposes are achieved. God’s sovereign purposes are worked out through these “changes and chances,” through human freedom, even through mistakes and wrongdoing. He planned the process of evolution and did so to bring about a situation where there are human beings able to communicate with him, to serve him and to enjoy his love for time and eternity. God is not some cosmic puppet-master who is constantly intervening to keep natural processes going. He works normally through what we call natural law. He is both transcendent (“the high and lofty one who inhabits eternity”) and immanent (present everywhere and sustaining all existence).
After looking at three different views held by Christians we now turn to a non-religious view:
4. The Evolutionism School
I am not here referring to people who simply accept evolution as a scientific theory because of the immense amount of evidence for it. I am referring to those who make the scientific theory into the foundation of a campaign to debunk religion, the Bible and belief in God.
Critics of this school say that claims that:
- There is no God
- The universe is not designed for a purpose (despite appearances)
- Evolution explains everything, including the emergence of religion and morality
- Science alone answers the important questions of life
are statements of faith which cannot be proved. They are religious not scientific statements.
Science manifestly does not explain the whole of life. There are many things in life which, by their nature, cannot be fully explained by science, such as love. To say everything must be submitted to science alone for approval is to elevate science beyond what is reasonable. I do not need a scientist to prove to me that I love my wife or my children. I already know I do and have sufficient evidence to prove it. Similarly, I don’t need a scientist to prove to me that I love God and know he exists and loves me (and everyone else). I already know it, as do billions of others. I have sufficient evidence. Life is more than science as common sense clearly indicates. What gives some scientists and their supporters the right to set themselves up as the sole arbiters of what is true and valid? I respect and enjoy science and seek to learn a lot from it (particularly in the realms of astronomy and cosmology) but I refuse to let it dominate – and limit - the whole of my life and experience.
Professor John Polkinghorne says about music: “From a scientific point of view, it is nothing but vibrations in the air, impinging on the eardrums and stimulating neural currents in the brain. How does it come about that this banal sequence of temporal activity has the power to speak to our hearts of an eternal beauty?” (J Polkinghorne, Belief in God in an Age of Science, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998, 18-19).
Science cannot answer questions such as:
- Why did the universe come into being (why does anything exist)?
- What is the meaning of human existence?
- What happens after we die?’
Stephen Jay Gould, the famous evolutionary biologist from Harvard University, an atheist, wrote: “Science simply cannot by its legitimate methods adjudicate the issue of God’s possible superintendence of nature. We neither affirm nor deny it: we simply can’t comment on it as scientists. If some of our crowd have made untoward statements claiming that Darwinism disproves God, then I will ... have their knuckles rapped for it.”
One of the main debating points amongst atheist and theist evolutionists is:
The argument for the need of a Divine Designer
Some atheistic evolutionists imply that evolutionists who believe in God are simply clinging on by their fingertips to religious belief. So Daniel Dennett says: “Undermining the best argument anybody ever thought of for the existence of God [that from design] is not, of course, proving the nonexistence of God, and many careful thinkers who have accepted evolution by natural selection as the explanation of the wonders of the living world have cast about for other supports for their continuing belief in God” (emphasis mine).
Similarly, Colin Blakemore in his TV programme said that “some scientists manage to hang on to their faith” (emphasis mine). For Dennett to say Christian scientists “cast about” for other reasons to believe in God and Blakemore to say some scientist manage to “hang on to” their beliefs is the very biased language of propaganda. It is not serious and responsible language, but rather unworthy. There are many Christian scientists who, whilst accepting evolution, firmly believe in the Christian Faith for good reasons.
Antony Flew, a renowned philosopher and perhaps the best known atheist in the English-speaking world has, at the age of 80, come to believe in God. He was asked in 2004 if recent work on the origin of life pointed to the activity of a creative Intelligence and he responded: “Yes, I now think it does ... almost entirely because of the DNA investigations. What I think the DNA material has done is that it has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce (life), that intelligence must have been involved in getting these extraordinarily diverse elements to work together. It's the enormous complexity of the number of elements and the enormous subtlety of the ways they work together. The meeting of these two parts at the right time by chance is simply minute. It is all a matter of the enormous complexity by which the results were achieved, which looked to me like the work of intelligence.”
He continues: “I now believe that the universe was brought into existence by an infinite Intelligence. I believe that this universe's intricate laws manifest what scientists have called the Mind of God. I believe that life and reproduction originate in a divine Source. Why do I believe this, given that I expounded and defended atheism for more than a half century? The short answer is this: this is the world picture, as I see it, that has emerged from modern science. Science spotlights three dimensions of nature that point to God. The first is the fact that nature obeys laws. The second is the dimension of life, of intelligently organized and purpose-driven beings, which arose from matter. The third is the very existence of nature. But it is not science alone that has guided me. I have also been helped by a renewed study of the classical philosophical arguments.” 
However, there is an important question:
How does evolution “red in tooth and claw” relate to a good, loving God?
Christopher Hitchens, in his militantly atheistic book, says that those Christians who believe God ordered the process of evolution make him responsible for the wastefulness, failures and dead ends of the process. He points out that 98% of species which have existed are now extinct and he describes evolution as callous, cruel and capricious.
God works on the principle of incarnation, i.e. through human means and even human weaknesses. He works in partnership with human beings within history and culture. Hence Jesus endured human envy, intrigue, ambition and cruelty.
Similarly, God has worked through nature red in tooth and claw and all the blind alleys of natural selection, rather than constantly intervening in the process like some cosmic puppet master. It seems that God has allowed a “freedom” to nature which is parallel to the freedom of human beings. This freedom can work out for good or ill. Nature red in tooth and claw, raging volcanoes, earthquakes, tornados, tsunamis etc., seem to be a manifestation of this “freedom.”
They are not meaningless evils, though. Earthquakes and volcanoes constantly recycle the planetary crust which billions of years ago made the oceans and atmosphere and formed the continents. Today, it produces a lush, habitable planet, builds mountains, enriches soils, regulates the planet's temperature, concentrates gold and other rare metals and maintains the sea's chemical balance. Some scientists believe that life on earth would not have happened without this recycling. It is essential to maintaining stable climate conditions on earth. Were it not happening, all the carbon dioxide would disappear and the planet would freeze.
Francis Collins writes; “If at the beginning of time God chose to use these forces to create human beings, then the inevitability of these other painful consequences was also assured. Frequent miraculous interventions would be at least as chaotic in the physical realm as they would be in interfering with human acts of free will.” The creation and maintenance of the world as it is necessarily involves suffering and death. Christianity believes that one day God will remove all this, but until then, in his wisdom, he allows it to continue and uses it in his purposes. (I have sought to address elsewhere the problem of inexplicable innocent suffering, e.g. sickness which does not appear to have any meaning or beneficial effects. See Why do the innocent suffer?.
It is clear that:
EVOLUTION DOES NOT DISPROVE GOD
Stephen Jay Gould, an atheist, wrote: “Either half my colleagues are enormously stupid, or else the science of Darwinism is fully compatible with conventional religious beliefs – and equally compatible with atheism.”
Francis Collins, an evolutionist and a committed Christian, quotes Stephen Hawking: “The odds against a universe like ours emerging out of something like the Big Bang are enormous. I think there are clearly religious implications.” Hawking also wrote: “It would be very difficult to explain why the universe should have begun in just this way, except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us.” He also quoted Einstein: “Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind.”
Francis Collins writes: “If God is outside of nature, then he is outside of space and time. In that context, God could in the moment of creation of the universe also know every detail of the future. That could include the formation of the stars, planets, and galaxies, all of the chemistry, physics, geology and biology that led to the formation of life on earth, and the evolution of humans, right to the moment of your reading this book. In that context, evolution could appear to us to be driven by chance, but from God’s perspective the outcome would be entirely specified. Thus, God could be completely and intimately involved in the creation of all species, while from our perspective, limited as it is by the tyranny of linear time, this would appear a random and undirected process.”
It is interesting that:
Darwin did not become an atheist
Charles Darwin was a typical 19th century Anglican. He believed in the creeds. In fact he was at one time intending to become a clergyman. His faith was sincere but largely intellectual rather than an emotional experience of God. He wrote: “The religious sentiment was never strongly developed in me.”
He gradually lost his Christian Faith, but this was for various reasons, not just because of his theory of evolution. Like many in that century he began to doubt aspects of the Bible.
The main cause of his loss of Christian Faith was the problem of suffering. This was partly a reaction to nature being “red in tooth and claw” and having difficulty in relating this to a loving God, although he did maintain throughout his life that such suffering was worth it to produce the higher animals. But it was also a result of personal tragedy, particularly the loss of his favourite daughter Annie. He was devastated.
Gradually Darwin became, and died, an agnostic. He came to reject the idea that God intervened regularly or at all in the process of evolution. But this did not lead him to atheism. He wrote to Asa Gray: “I had no intention to write atheistically ... 'Certainly I agree with you, that my views are not at all necessarily atheistical ... .... I cannot... be contented to view this wonderful universe & especially the nature of man, & to conclude that everything is the result of brute force.” In a later letter to Asa Gray, Darwin wrote: “I cannot persuade myself that electricity acts, that the tree grows, that man aspires to loftiest conceptions all from blind, brute force.”
Writing to John Herschel, Darwin stated: “One cannot look at this Universe with all living productions & man without believing that all has been intelligently designed; yet when I look to each individual organism, I can see no evidence of this. For, I am not prepared to admit that God designed the feathers in the tail of the rock-pigeon to vary in a highly peculiar manner in order that man might select such variations & make a Fan-tail; & if this be not admitted ... then I cannot see design in the variations of structure in animals in a state of nature.”
In the second and subsequent editions of The Origin of Species he wrote: “I see no good reason why the views given in this volume should shock the religious feelings of any one.”
He wrote to John Fordyce, in 1879 that: “It seems to me absurd to doubt that a man may be an ardent Theist & an evolutionist.”
He wrote in the 2nd edition of The Origin of Species: “There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one.” Although he later wondered whether he should have said this publicly, he left it in later editions.
In his autobiography, Darwin speaks of: “The extreme difficulty or rather impossibility of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe, including man with his capacity of looking far backwards and far into futurity, as the result of blind chance or necessity ...When thus reflecting I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man; and I deserve to be called a Theist.” However, he added: “Can the mind of man, which has, as I fully believe, been developed from a mind as low as that possessed by the lowest animal, be trusted when it draws such grand conclusions? May not these be the result of the connection between cause and effect which strikes us as a necessary one, but probably depends merely on inherited experience?”
This shows his agnosticism. “I think that generally (& more and more so as I grow older) but not always, that an agnostic would be the most correct description of my state of mind.” “I cannot pretend to throw the least light on such abstruse problems. The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us; and I for one must be content to remain an Agnostic.”
As an aside, it is interesting that Darwin became an honorary member of the South American Missionary Society and gave donations to it for the rest of his life.
I recommend the book Darwin and God by Nick Spencer published in 2009 by SPCK, to which I am indebted.
WHAT ABOUT GENESIS 1-3?
How are we to understand the Genesis story of creation in six days? We need to remember that The Bible has no interest in how God made the world. It is interested in why he made it. The six days etc., of the Genesis story are the symbolical context for various great truths which have made the account meaningful even to the uneducated over the centuries. Here is a brief outline of what it teaches:
1. Genesis affirms the eternity and sovereignty of God who is not dependent on creation. The majestic opening words are: “In the beginning God...” (Genesis 1:1).
2. Genesis affirms that God created the universe. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1).
3. Genesis affirms that human beings are the crown of creation. They are spiritual beings formed to have a conscious relationship with God. “Then God said, "Let us make human beings in our image, in our likeness .... So God created human beings in his own image, in the image of God he created them.” (Genesis 1:26-27) Creation is an act of love. It is interesting that Genesis speaks of plurality in unity. God says “let us make human beings, in our likeness (plurality).... So God created human beings in his own image, in the image of God he created them” (unity). The idea of plurality in unity finds its fulfilment in the doctrine of the Trinity: that God is three persons and yet one God. Hence, even before creation took place or there were any creatures to love, God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit - were united in love.
4. Genesis affirms that all men and women are equal: “So God created human beings in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27). Both men and women are created in the image of God and so have a great – and equal – dignity.
5. Genesis affirms that human beings are social beings. They are not intended to be loners but to live in community. “The LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him’” (Genesis 2:18).
6. Genesis affirms that marriage (in the sense of a committed, exclusive relationship blessed by God) is created by God and a loving marriage and family is the best context for children to be brought into the world and nurtured. Marriage is the deepest human relationship. In the symbolism it re-unites man and woman in one flesh, i.e. reversing the rib story and speaking of great intimacy. “Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man.’ For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh” (Genesis 2:22-23). (The unmarried need support from society, which is given by married partners to one another).
7. Genesis affirms that sex is a good gift of God, not something shameful. It is to be fully enjoyed within the context of marriage. “The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame” (Genesis 2:25). God commands human beings to procreate. “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number’” (Genesis 1:28).
8. Genesis affirms that human beings are responsible to care for God’s world (not exploit it as some TV evolutionists state). “Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. The LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. ..... The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Genesis 2:8-16). Humans are to take care of nature. Genesis 1 uses words like “subdue” and “rule” but this should be seen in the context of “taking care” (Genesis2:16). It means to be responsible manager of creation, with authority – yes, but with a caring purpose. “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’ Then God said, ‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.’ And it was so.” (Genesis 1:28-30)
9. Genesis affirms that human beings need a weekly day of rest. God is concerned for human welfare, providing food, community, marriage and the family, but also to preserve health through regular rest.
10. Genesis affirms that human beings are responsible to God spiritually and morally. God tests Adam and Eve’s spiritual responsibility by giving them a simple restriction. They failed and the doctrine of the Fall tells us that there is something spiritually and morally wrong with human beings. They need to be saved from sin. Thus Genesis 1-3 is the introduction to the rest of Scripture which is the history of salvation, culminating in Christ. He is foreshadowed in Genesis 3:15 (the offspring of the woman) where God addresses Satan: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.
These are the main concerns of Genesis 1-3, rather than how God made the world. The Bible is not, and does not pretend to be, a scientific textbook. It is a history of salvation. Creation is, as we have seen, an act of love reaching out to love. The Bible shows how God reached out to creation in love, shown ultimately in Christ. That love is in the shape of a cross where God in his love made it possible for unworthy creatures like us to be accepted by him through faith.
I am deeply saddened that the church has sometimes rejected and even persecuted scientists who made exciting new discoveries. Yes, we used to believe the earth was the centre of the universe but the Bible doesn’t actually say it is. It simply describes the heavens from an earthbound viewpoint –as we all do when we talk about the sun rising or setting.
Scientists are discovering more of God’s wonderful creation. As I watch programmes by David Attenborough and others, I ignore the rather silly anti-religious, anti-Bible statements and simply delight in the marvels and complexities of God’s world. The scientists tell us that evolution is beyond reasonable doubt. All that means is that evolution is the way God brought it all about.
All truth come from God, so Christians need not fear scientific truth. There is no conflict between established scientific theories and biblical truth. It is only when scientists trespass into theology and philosophy under the guise of scientific thinking, or Christians refuse to let scientific truth inform their interpretation of Scripture, that conflict occurs.
© Tony Higton: see conditions for copying on the Home Page
 Francis Collins, The Language of God, (London, Simon & Schuster, 2007) p. 94.
 Collins, op. Cit, p. 96
 American Biology Teacher 35 (1973), 125-9 quoted in Collins, op. Cit, p. 141.
 Pope John Paul II, Message to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences: On Evolution, Oct 22 1996.
 Quoted in Plenty more monkey business, Damian Whitworth, The Times 22.01.09.
 J Polkinghorne, Belief in God in an Age of Science, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998, 18-19), quoted by Collins pp. 228-229.
 S J Gould, Impeaching a Self-Appointed Judge (review of Phillip Johnson’s Darwin on Trial), Scientific American 267 (1992: 118-21, quoted in Collins op. Cit. p. 165f.
 Daniel Dennett Atheism and Evolution, in The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, ed. Michael Martin(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2007), (p. 138).
 Antony Flew, There is a God: How the world’s most notorious atheist changed his mind, (New York, Harper Collins, 2007), p. 74-75.
 Ibid., pp. 88-89.
 Christopher Hitchens, God is not great, (London, Atlantic Books, 2007), pp. 87-88.
 Collins, op. cit., p. 45.
 Quoted in Science Meets Religion by Ian Barbour, New York Harper Collins 2000, quoted by Collins p. 75.
 A Brief History of Time, p. 144, quoted by Collins p. 75.
 A Einstein, Science, Philosophy and Religion: A Symposium (1941) quoted in Collins p. 228.
 Collins, op. cit., p. 205.
 Letter to Asa Gray, 22nd May 1860 quoted in Nick Spencer, Darwin and God, London SPCK 2009, p. 81
 Letter to Asa Gray 3rd July 1860 quoted in Nick Spencer, Darwin and God, p. 81
 Letter to John Herschel, 23rd May 1861 quoted in Nick Spencer, Darwin and God p. 96.
 Darwin, The Origin of Species (London, John Murray 1859, 2nd edition 1860). p. 481, quoted in Nick Spencer, Darwin and God, p. 81.
 Letter to John Fordyce, 7th May 1879, quoted in Nick Spencer, Darwin and God, p. 83.
 Darwin, Origin of Species, 2nd edition 1860, p. 490, quoted in Nick Spencer, Darwin and God, p. 81.
 Charles Darwin, The Autobiography of Charles Darwin 1809-1882 London, Collins 1958, reprinted Penguin 2002, p.
92, quoted in Nick Spencer, Darwin and God, p. 98
 Ibid., p. 93, quoted in Nick Spencer, Darwin and God, p. 98.
 Letter to John Fordyce, 7th May 1879, quoted in Nick Spencer, Darwin and God, p. 99
 Darwin, Autobiography, p. 94, quoted in Nick Spencer, Darwin and God, p. 100.
Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®. Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ . Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.