EVOLUTION INSTALLMENT TWENTY NINE

Chapter 12: Standing Firm in Faith

The Christian who would strive to be a leader must be prepared to deal effectively with slander and insults, not backing down from a stance that supports Biblical inerrancy. Scientific advances are backing adherents to naturalistic evolution into a corner, and, like trapped animals, they are baring their teeth. The viciousness of their verbal attacks simply demonstrates their inability to perform meaningful, logic-based discussions of evolution as their scientific standing would suggest. A couple of exchanges recorded in William Dembski’s book Intelligent Design typify their intent to intimidate with empty bombast. In the first instance, Demski records a rather hilariously over-the-top verbal chop that he attributes to physicist Wolfgang Pauli. He labels it ‘Pauli’s Sneer1’, saying that Pauli, “once when asked to comment on the view of another scientist, referred to it disparagingly as ‘not even false.’ Dembski then brings this comment into the purview of the creation-evolution battle by noting that while it may represent the view that an opponent’s concept might be “so misconceived that it should not be dignified with a refutation,” it also might be a ploy to avoid the effort of developing a logical refutation. Or it may represent an inability to respond with logic.

In a note to Chapter 4 of this same book, William Dembski also quotes outspoken evolutionist Richard Dawkins as saying2 “It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid, or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that)”. This bullying tactic is typical not only of Dawkins but many other evolutionists. If one examines this statement, he can readily see that it is void of logic. Given that quality, it represents mindless drivel. The tragedy of it is that some less-than-courageous advocates of intelligent design are intimidated into silence by such statements, while fence-sitters may be persuaded to join the wrong side of the argument in an effort to avoid making waves.

The intellectual battle is one front in the war for the souls of men where the fighting is at its fiercest. For the past several centuries following the Enlightenment the enemy has targeted Scripture, making one claim after another that attempted to implant doubt as to its truth and inerrancy. Among his repertoire of thrusts he has questioned the authorship and dating of several books, most particularly those that exhibited predictions that subsequently came to pass. He has waged a ruthless battle against the claims of Genesis, among which was the casting of doubt regarding the scope of Noah’s Flood. As we have addressed herein, one of his favorite assaults has been and continues to be on whether God truly was directly involved in the creation of life. Whether he realized it or not, Darwin was a submissive and well-behaved darling of Satan.

How has the Church responded to this open warfare? Well, look around you. The historic mainstream Churches, both Catholic and Protestant, find themselves in great disarray, many having internalized these doubts regarding the Bible. Theologians and clergymen both have failed to acquit themselves well. The general public, sensing this intellectual and moral retreat, has assumed the authority to wander in and out of Churches, picking and choosing those that fit its own mood and temperament. The Churches, sensing this lack of loyalty and constancy, take desperate measures to make their services more convenient, cheerful and pleasurable. If what these Churches are looking for is to repack their empty pews, they are moving in exactly the wrong direction, to Satan’s glee. First of all, if the theologically indifferent congregant is looking for a good time, he’ll always choose the game on TV over the inside of a Church. Second, the theologically committed congregant will peek his head inside such a Church and immediately turn away in disgust. This approach might attract a few fence-sitters, but if they aren’t mentally challenged, eventually even they will begin to understand that they aren’t being fed by the Word.

Jesus said it Himself: “My kingdom is not of this world”, and “Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with”. Paul echoed these thoughts in Philippians 1:29: “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him but also to suffer for his sake.” That one statement is direct enough that just about every follower of Jesus on earth should be able to understand it. Paul didn’t stop there, but in several other passages pursued the notion that following Jesus might come at a cost. Recall his exhortation in Ephesians 6:10-17:

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore, take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand, therefore, having you loins girded about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness, and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, with which ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;”

In the context of these words, and possessing the certain knowledge that naturalistic evolution represents a forceful attempt to undercut Scripture and the power of God, is it too far-fetched to consider any attempt to accommodate this notion of evolution, or even any attempt to ignore its impact on society as caving in to the wiles of the devil in abject cowardice?

Fortunately, God has yet reserved to Himself Christians of strength and moral integrity in this ongoing battle, people who will stand firm against the multitude of ad hominem directed their way.

We pray that you will stand and be counted among them, withstanding all personal attacks and standing firm for the Word of God.

Guidelines for Standing Firm

Here are a couple of common-sense guidelines for the Christian who presumes to instruct other Christians in the faith while addressing the topic of evolution:

First, don’t buy into the standard media pap. The world out there isn’t a friend to Christianity – it’s an enemy to be treated with love and compassion, but not respect, not even intellectual respect

Second, don’t buy into the way that science has set the boundaries between the domains of science and religion, wherein the domain of science is everything knowledgeable about the material universe and the domain of religion is the arena of moral and ethical truths. This unilateral boundary setting sharply contradicts Scripture, as, for example in Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1-3:

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.”

Third, don’t buy into the unjustified speculations regarding Biblical error from wolves in sheeps’ clothing, who claim to be Christian, but most definitely are not. These speculations include doubts regarding the universality of Noah’s Flood, uniformitarian views of the earth’s age and geologic composition, and the authorship of various books of the Bible, especially those that are prophetic, as well as embracing evolution as factual. The well-read Christian understands that intellectually satisfying refutations of all of these notions are readily available.

NOTES:

1.Dembski, Intelligent Design, p. 70

2. Ibid., note 29, Chapter 4 of Intelligent Design

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