The Church, the Schools and Evolution Part 6

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I. =Truth Must Be Cla.s.sified Scientifically.=

1. The =Realms of Truth= Must Be Cla.s.sified.

The first thing the true scientist does is to cla.s.sify truth into realms.

This we have already done by cla.s.sifying the realm in which G.o.d reveals His moral character to the hearts of all moral beings as the =spiritual= realm, and that in which He reveals His creative power to the minds of all intelligent beings as the =natural= realm.

If we do not distinguish these realms to start with, we invite confusion; and if we should reach right conclusions without this cla.s.sification, it would be due to accident, rather than to scientific accuracy.

But that this cla.s.sification is universally recognized is proved by the fact that the moment science reaches the line where the natural ends and the spiritual begins, it pursues its investigations no farther, on the ground that it has neither the implements nor the capacities with which to investigate in that realm. This proves as conclusively as anything could that the distinction between these two realms is so sharp, as well as so self-evident, that science is compelled to accept it and act accordingly.

2. The =Faculties of Investigation= Must be Distinguished.

The scientific man will next distinguish the faculties with which the investigating is to be done, according to the respective realms. That this cla.s.sification is required by the fundamental difference in the nature of the truths in these two realms is so self-evident that it ought to be axiomatic to all who think with any degree of scientific accuracy. For in the nature of things, =natural= truth requires investigation by =intellectual= faculties, and =spiritual= truth by =spiritual= faculties.

Indeed, this distinction is fully recognized when science halts its pursuit of truth at the boundary line of the spiritual realm.

Yet, although this cla.s.sification is theoretically recognized by science, and although it is absolutely demanded if we are to proceed scientifically in our researches in the spiritual realm, it is little less than amazing how many there are who utterly fail to distinguish these faculties when they start out to investigate spiritual truth. Indeed, this is the first place where the Church and the Schools part company. For the whole att.i.tude of our Schools today, including most of the inst.i.tutions founded and fostered by the Church, seems to be one that entirely misses the scientific necessity of distinguishing between these essentially different faculties when working in these two utterly divergent realms of truth. And so it comes to pa.s.s that while the Church is using one sort of faculties, the Schools are using another kind on the same cla.s.s of truth.

It needs scarcely to be argued that the =intellect=, with its capacity to =reason=, is the proper faculty of apprehension in the scientific realm.

But it is equally true that the =heart=, with its capacity to =believe=, is the one faculty of apprehension in the spiritual realm. That is, the inquirer reasons his way to knowledge in the natural realm, and believes his way to knowledge in the spiritual realm. He uses his mind in order to understand what G.o.d has done in His creation, and he exercises faith in order to come into the knowledge of what He is in His character. In natural things he believes because he understands, and in spiritual things he understands because he believes.

In drawing this contrast between mind and heart, however, it is fully recognized that the term “heart,” in much if not all of Scripture, stands for the whole personality, including intellect, emotion and will. But it is also a fact that this term stands for that certain =att.i.tude= of the whole personality toward G.o.d through His Word in which one believes and receives His Word without question, even though it may not be understood, rather than insisting on understanding it in order to believe it.

Paul says by inspiration in First Corinthians 1:17 to 2:16 that =mental= capacity, even of the highest excellence, when exercised by itself, is utterly incapable of apprehending spiritual truth in any degree whatever.

And Christ says that it is with the =heart= that man believes unto righteousness. This defines that att.i.tude of the whole personality which accepts the Word of G.o.d on faith without necessarily understanding it, and which gives evidence of acceptance by such a whole-hearted surrender to it as will eventuate in a life of righteousness.

Then in other Scriptures we find that a life of righteousness, according to the divine standard, is based on right relations with G.o.d in Christ through faith in His shed blood, through whose incoming and indwelling life, in response to such a faith, the one who receives it will normally live in right relations with his fellow men. That is, it is a righteousness that is obtained by =believing=, not attained by =working=. It is received, not achieved.

The use of the term “heart,” therefore, in Scripture, means that certain att.i.tude of the whole personality toward G.o.d through His Word which the exercise of the intellect apart from, and unfounded on, faith makes impossible.

It is precisely this distinction in faculties that Christ’s formula requires. For it was =spiritual= truth, not natural, of which He spoke when He said, “=If= any man wills to do, he shall =know=.” To work by this formula requires the exercise of faith. For faith is that att.i.tude of the heart toward the doing of G.o.d’s will which is evidenced in =willing to do= that will, no matter what it costs nor where it leads. This is the first step of faith. For faith is both an att.i.tude and an act, the genuineness of which is proven by an activity. That is, it is an att.i.tude of willingness toward the will of G.o.d, an act of surrender to the will of G.o.d, eventuating in an activity in continuing in the will of G.o.d. Therefore complete surrender of the heart and life to G.o.d’s will as revealed in the Word, trusting the outcome to Him, is where faith begins.

And so let no man imagine that he has any real faith either in G.o.d or His Word who has not begun by willing to do, that he may enter upon the doing of, the will of G.o.d. Indeed, this is not simply the place where faith begins, it is also the only place where the presence of faith can be demonstrated. For this is the only possible way of distinguishing that intellectual att.i.tude which simply a.s.sents to the truthfulness of the Word, from that genuine heart faith which actively reckons the Word to be true by surrendering the life to its requirements. This formula of Christ’s, therefore, not only requires that the spiritual and natural faculties be distinguished, but it is the one scientific test by which they =can= be distinguished.

Then there is Paul’s cla.s.sification of these faculties just referred to. It is pa.s.sing strange that so many even in our denominational schools have missed it. He devotes a whole section of First Corinthians, from 1:17 to 2:16, as noted above, to a scientific statement of the natural and total incapacity of the intellect to discern spiritual truth. Consider it a little more in detail. He says that natural human wisdom, “_sophia_,” which Aristotle defines as “mental excellence in its highest and fullest sense,”

is utterly incapable of operating in the realm of spiritual investigation.

For after “the world by mental excellence knew not G.o.d, it pleased G.o.d by the foolishness (to the natural mental capacities) of the thing preached to save those that =believe=.” Not those that =understand=, for “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of G.o.d (that is, spiritual things), for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know (or understand) them, for they are =spiritually= discerned (or understood).”

The essential difference between natural and spiritual faculties, as well as the utter incapacity of the natural faculties in the spiritual realm, are so clearly brought out in this pa.s.sage that it is impossible to miss it.

By this it is not at all meant, however, that mental training and intellectual capacity have no place in certain branches of Bible study.

Every believer in the Book welcomes the keenest minds and the most expert scholarship in that branch of Bible study, for example, which seeks, by the investigation of the ma.n.u.scripts and the variant readings, to arrive at the very words that were written by the inspired writers; or, for example, in that other branch of study which seeks to discover the history and origins of the various books of the Bible. But it =is= meant that when men seek to know the =spiritual truths= of the Bible, they are utterly unscientific if they fail to use that faculty in their investigation which the Textbook itself prescribes.

To sum it up, faith opens the way for G.o.d to quicken into activity a spiritual capacity through which =He= educates a man in spiritual things entirely independently of the schools.

The man who really intends to be scientific, then, will approach the Bible in that att.i.tude of =faith= which will lead him to =will to do G.o.d’s will= as the Bible reveals it. He will then be where he can =believe= his way to an understanding of spiritual truth.

3. The =Different Kinds of Truth= Must Be Separated.

Another cla.s.sification which the scientific man makes is to distinguish between the two kinds of truth in each respective realm, and to separate that kind which may be demonstrated to the =experience= from that which must be taken on =hearsay=. That is, in the natural realm, in the department of chemistry, for example, the laws of chemical action can be put to the laboratory test of experiment, while the history of the science of chemistry must always be taken on hearsay. And, in the spiritual realm, those truths stated in the spiritual Textbook which have to do with our spiritual relations with G.o.d can be put to the laboratory test of the experiment of faith, while all the rest must be taken on hearsay.

4. The =Primacy of Primary Truth= Must Be Maintained.

One thing more which the scientific man does is to accord primacy to that realm of truth which is primary in importance. In order to do this, the scientific spirit compels the one possessed by it to meet two requirements.

Recognizing that truth is an eternal unity, he will first determine to deal with the facts in any given realm in such a way as to preserve harmony at all times between them and all the known facts of all the other realms. For only thus can he avoid destroying the unity of truth and heading himself toward error and confusion.

He will then determine to maintain the primacy of primary truth by =interpreting in its light the facts of all other realms=. That is, he will make that realm whose truths are of transcendent importance the norm, or standard, by which to interpret the facts of other realms, withholding interpretations until the facts of any other given realm can be interpreted in harmony with those primary truths which have been made forever secure by being scientifically verified.

These requirements would seem so axiomatic as to need no emphasis, and yet, strange as it may seem, right here is another place where the Church and the Schools part company. For the Church is according primacy to one realm of truth, and the Schools to another, making unity of final conclusions out of the question.

If we are to be possessed by the scientific spirit and proceed with scientific accuracy, however, we will be compelled, in the terms of our present study, to accord that primacy to the =spiritual= realm over the =natural= which its transcendent importance demands. For by as much as truth about =G.o.d= is of more eternal value to sinful man than truth about His =creation=, and by as much as truth by which we are =saved= is of more transcendent importance than truth by which we are =informed=, by just that much will the scientific spirit compel us to interpret every bit of information that comes to us from the natural realm in harmony with, and in the light of, the truths of the spiritual realm, for by this method alone can we maintain the primacy of the spiritual realm over the natural.

This means that the man who is truly scientific will never interpret discoveries in the natural realm in such a way as to deny or even throw doubt upon those fundamental truths in the spiritual realm which have been forever secured by scientific demonstration. In other words, he will not seek to bring the Bible into harmony with man’s interpretation of scientific facts, but he will seek to bring every scientific discovery into harmony with the Bible, withholding final conclusions from all discoveries that will not so harmonize until he has light enough so they will.

We have now reached the point where we can sum up all the requirements which the really scientific man will meet in order that he may be able to proceed with scientific accuracy in his researches in the realms of truth.

He will separate the natural and the spiritual realms of truth from each other. He will investigate natural truth with the intellect and spiritual truth with faith. He will distinguish truth that can be demonstrated to the experience from that which must be accepted on testimony alone. And he will accord primacy to the spiritual realm over the natural.

It only remains to be said that the man who will not meet these requirements is a total stranger to the scientific spirit. “The Standard Dictionary” says that science is “knowledge gained and verified by exact observation and correct thinking,” and the man who will not meet requirements that are absolutely necessary for exact observation and correct thinking in the gaining and verifying of knowledge does not have the first qualification of the scientific investigator. For he is really not open to truth at all, and is therefore in no position to maintain either the unity between the realms of truth or the primacy of primary truth, and exact observation and correct thinking are out of the question under such conditions. He cannot verify anything with scientific accuracy when he will not even cla.s.sify the different realms of truth and the faculties of investigation, or give the realms their respective places in the sphere of truth. And so it is futile for one who refuses to do this to talk about being in harmony with the scientific spirit.

When an investigator meets these requirements, on the other hand, he is then ready to meet the next demand made upon the scientific inquirer, which is–

II. =Truth Must Be Investigated Scientifically.=

Accepting the self-evident accuracy of the cla.s.sification we have just outlined, we will now give attention to what the scientific spirit will require of us at those two places where the Church and the Schools have parted company. For if we can get together here, we can both proceed and arrive together in our investigation of truth, and that will end the controversy.

1. =Faith= Must Be Given Precedence over =Reason=.

Let us see what it will mean to give precedence to faith over reason when we are working in the realm of spiritual truth.

It will mean that =believing= will precede =reasoning= in our approach to the Word of G.o.d, and this defines the vital distinction between the true Christian and the rationalist.

=a.= The Method of the Rationalist.

Faith and rationalism are mutually exclusive in the spiritual realm.

Rationalizing and doubting are first cousins when the Word of G.o.d is involved.

Satan was the first rationalist on earth, and Eve fell when she accepted his reasonings about the Word of G.o.d in the place of simple faith in that Word. For Satan raised a question about the Word,–“Yea, hath G.o.d said?”–and thereby opened the way for incipient doubt, and then he reasoned Eve into accepting a “common sense” interpretation of what G.o.d had said, which proved to be an outright denial of His Word. And look at the consequences–indescribably terrible–of rationalizing about G.o.d’s Word instead of believing it!

But rationalism did not stop there, for ever since that day all men without exception have been natural-born rationalists. For it is perfectly natural to all men to =rationalize= about G.o.d’s Word, but it takes a miracle of Divine power to make any one willing to =believe= it.

These two att.i.tudes toward Scripture are forever irreconcilable. In the nature of things, they can never be harmonized. The believer in the Word and the rationalist take two utterly divergent paths that cannot possibly reach the same goal.

The program of the rationalist is to arrive at an understanding of spiritual truth over the pathway of reasoning that is apart from faith.

That of the believer is to arrive at it over the pathway of reasoning that is founded on faith.

The program of the rationalist is to harmonize the Word of G.o.d with his conclusions. That of the believer is to harmonize his conclusions with the Word. The program of the rationalist is to become a critic of the Word and sit in judgment on it. That of the believer is to let the Word become his critic and sit in judgment on him.

These are certainly reasons enough why the believer and the rationalist can never travel together. For the believer is walking by G.o.d’s estimate of him, while the rationalist is walking by his estimate of G.o.d, and these paths go in opposite directions.

The Church, the Schools and Evolution Part 4

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The Church, the Schools and Evolution is a Webnovel created by Judson Eber Conant.
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The theory of evolution cannot be consistently held and the statements of the Bible concerning sin and its consequences be accepted at the same time.

And so the evolutionist will come, sooner or later, to refuse any meaning to Scripture statements concerning sin, as did Dr. W. N. Clarke, when he said:

We have no historical narrative of the beginning of sin, and theology receives from the Scriptures no record of that beginning.

That is, the perfectly plain and easily understood statements of Scripture concerning the beginning of sin are altogether unhistorical and utterly unworthy of credence to the man who looks at the Bible from the “scientific” or “historical” standpoint, which is the evolutionist’s method of handling the Word of G.o.d. To accept evolution, therefore, is to discredit the Bible.

4. The logic of evolution destroys the doctrines of the =Deity= and the =virgin birth= of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Bible makes Christ the Seed of the woman, not of the man, as all other human beings are; it makes His conception to have been that of the Holy Spirit; it declares His virgin birth in language that cannot be misunderstood; it makes Him the Son of G.o.d, not the son of Joseph.

It also makes Him G.o.d tabernacling in the flesh; it makes Him the Second Person of the Triune =G.o.d=; it declares in so many words that He =is= G.o.d.

But evolution cannot accept such a doctrine, and so the evolutionist juggles the Scripture statements of His Deity and denies His virgin birth, making Him a Jewish b.a.s.t.a.r.d, born out of wedlock, and stained forever with the shame of His mother’s immorality.

Dr. A. C. McGiffert says of Christ, that He is

no more divine than we are, or than nature is.

A magazine article on “The Cosmic Coming of the Christ” says:

First the little sc.u.m on the warm, stagnant water, then the little colonies of cells, the organisms, the green moss and lichen, the beauty of vegetation, the movement of sh.e.l.l fish, sponges, jelly fish, worms, crabs, trilobites, centipedes, insects, fish, frogs, lizards, dinosaurs, reptile birds, birds, kangaroos, mastodons, deer, apes, primitive man, cave man, man of the stone age, of earliest history, Abraham’s migration, the Exodus, the development of the Jewish religious life and the climax in that purest of maidens, Mary of Nazareth. The hour had come for the dawn of a new day, and the light of that new day was the birth of Jesus. The eternal purpose of the ages was now to be made clear, and the long, long aeons of creation explained.

It is no wonder that after quoting these words the “Sunday School Times”


In other words, without moss we could not have had Mary; without an ape we could not have had Abraham; and–shocking blasphemy–without a centipede we could not have had Christ!

Praise G.o.d, we may turn from this to the words of G.o.d; “For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will bring to naught.”

And so here once more the consistent evolutionist is compelled to reject the Bible by denying the doctrines of the Deity and the virgin birth of Christ.

5. The logic of evolution destroys the doctrine of =atonement by subst.i.tution=.

The Bible says:

Without the shedding of blood there is no remission [of sin].

Him who knew no sin He hath made to be sin for us.

The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree.

We “were redeemed … with the precious blood of Christ.”

We are “justified by His blood.”

The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.

These and many other statements make Christ’s death one of atonement by subst.i.tution for our sins.

But evolution cannot tolerate such a doctrine. To the evolutionist this is a “doctrine of the shambles,” a “slaughter house religion,” a “gospel of gore.” Christ’s death is rather a revelation of the evolutionist’s conception of divine love, and an example of sacrificial service set before struggling man to help him climb. Let those who believe in the evolutionist’s “historical” method of interpreting Scripture speak for themselves.

Dr. Gerald Birney Smith, of the University of Chicago, says:

To insist dogmatically, as an _a priori_ principle, that “without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin,”

is both foolish and futile in an age that has abandoned the conception of b.l.o.o.d.y sacrifice and which is loudly demanding the abolition of capital punishment.

Dr. Walter Rauschenbusch said:

What the death of Jesus now does for us, the death of the prophets did for him.

Dr. H. C. Vedder says:

Jesus never taught and never authorized anybody to teach in his name that he suffered in our stead and bore the penalty of our sins;

and also:

The “one crowning absurdity of theology” is “that the penalty of an evil deed can be vicariously borne by another while he goes scot free,”

which he describes in another place as

taking an immunity bath in the “fountain filled with blood.”

And Dr. J. H. Coffin, of Earlham College, Earlham, Indiana, says:

The sacrificial life of Jesus is the essential factor in His atonement. His principles and example are the way of the individual and society to G.o.d.

Such statements make it perfectly evident that those who accept evolution utterly reject G.o.d’s provision for salvation through the shed blood of Christ as an atonement by subst.i.tution for our sins.

6. The logic of evolution destroys the doctrine of =regeneration=.

The Bible describes man as dead to G.o.d and running away from Him; as having a nature so full of corruption that “From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it, but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores”; and as having a character in the grip of such enmity against G.o.d that by nature he “loves darkness rather than light.”

This indicates that man is =past improvement= in his natural state, for no improvement is possible in the dead.

The Bible therefore speaks, not of the improvement, but of the burial, of the old life, and of resurrection, by the power of a new nature, to newness of life.

Hear what it says:

We were buried with Christ by baptism into death, that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

There is a large section of the Church that understand this pa.s.sage to refer to immersion in water in confession of faith in Christ. Not that they believe that immersion has anything to do with saving us, for they do not, but that it is the divinely appointed symbol or picture of the salvation that has already become a reality in the life.

To an immersionist, therefore, when a believer is buried with Christ in symbol in his baptism, and raised again in symbol of resurrection, he confesses, among other things, that by his first birth he is so completely dead that there is nothing left to do with him but to bury him, and his willingness to be buried in the grave of Christ has been met by G.o.d with the gift of the risen and incorruptible life which is in His Son, and by which he is now enabled to walk in newness of life.

And so an immersionist cannot be a consistent evolutionist. For when an evolutionist is immersed, he is either perpetrating a meaningless travesty on immersion, or else he is denying the whole doctrine of evolution. For immersion certainly does not picture a step in the progress of the living, but rather the burial of the totally dead. Immersing churches that have gone over to the evolutionary position should therefore be consistent and nail up their baptistries.

But another large portion of the Church believe that the above pa.s.sage does not refer to immersion in water, but rather to the statement:

The Church, the Schools and Evolution Part 7

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If you sit in judgment on some portion of G.o.d’s Word and determine that it is reasonable, and that since it commends itself to your judgment it is therefore acceptable and you will believe it, =that= is not faith in the =Word= but in =your own reason=. You have surrendered your =intellect= to your own conclusions but your =heart= is far from G.o.d. Faith in the Word is surrender to it without pa.s.sing judgment on it.

And yet surrendering one’s mind to one’s own conclusions about G.o.d is precisely the thing that for faith in G.o.d on the part of those who have lost their old-fashioned, evangelical faith while they were in the Schools, and yet come out with what they describe as a more intelligent and rational faith in G.o.d and the Bible. In their desperate attempt to survive the wreck of their orthodox faith, they have =reasoned= their way to conclusions about G.o.d that harmonized with what they were taught in the Schools; but the G.o.d they arrived at was the G.o.d of rationalism and not the G.o.d of Revelation.

They will say to the orthodox man, “You and I go by different pathways, but we both arrive at the same G.o.d.” But this is eternally impossible! For there is only one pathway leading to the true G.o.d, and that is not followed by =reasoning= one’s way out of a shattered faith, but first by =believing= one’s way out of darkness into light, and then by believing steadily on in that divinely imparted faith which always shatters the reasonings and conclusions of the rationalists.

To be a believer in the Word puts rationalism out of business, for no one can reason himself into the acceptance of truth he already believes. And on the other hand, to be a rationalist regarding the Word puts faith out of business, for faith is the acceptance of the bare Word of G.o.d without further evidence, and the rationalizer is compelled to reject that att.i.tude toward the Word so that he may have the way left open to reason his way to what he is willing to accept as evidence. This is why so many of those students who sit in the of the rationalists in our colleges and seminaries lose their faith. Rationalism makes Scriptural faith impossible.

Rationalizing and believing, when the Bible is in question, are mutually exclusive.

The reason for this is not that the facts of Scripture contradict each other, and certainly not that these facts are one thing to faith and another thing to reason. The antagonism does not arise over the =facts= of the Word but over the =interpretation= of them. The rationalist, accepting no interpretation except that furnished by his own puny and incompetent reason unillumined by faith, reaches conclusions absolutely contradicted by those arrived at by the man of faith. The fact is, he could not hope to arrive anywhere else. For how can finite man relate and interpret the few and scattered facts he discovers in the realm of infinite truth? How can a man by searching find out G.o.d?

“By whose interpretation, yours or mine?” is a favorite question which the rationalist asks the believer when the meaning of some Scripture pa.s.sage is in question. By =no one’s= interpretation except the =Holy Spirit’s=! He alone can interpret the Bible, for He alone knows what He meant by what He wrote. And even the Holy Spirit is able to interpret the Bible to =no one= but the =believer=. For the rationalist, the unbeliever, rejects faith, and thereby completely closes “the eyes of the heart” to the illumination of the Spirit; while the faith of the believer is the very thing that opens the heart to an understanding of the Word. Spiritual apprehension begins only at the point where faith begins.

This is why it is that when the rationalist tries his hand at interpretation he is sure, sooner or later, to bring perfectly harmonious facts into confusion and contradiction.

Take, for example, the facts regarding the development of the human embryo.

The rationalist notes that as it develops it bears a striking resemblance, successively, to the more mature forms of some of the lower animals, in an imagined orderly progress from lower to higher. That this resemblance is a fact no one disputes. There is no controversy over the fact. But when the rationalist attempts to explain this fact, he interprets it to mean that man is the product of evolution, rather than a special creation, as the Bible says he is, and thus he thrusts such confusion and contradiction before us that we are compelled to make a choice between his interpretation and the statements of the Bible. The controversy that results is caused altogether by the rationalist thrusting himself into that place that belongs to the Holy Spirit alone. “=He= shall lead you into all the truth,”

said Christ, and it is presumptuous in the extreme to seek to do the Holy Spirit’s work for Him.

We are forewarned of the methods of the modern rationalist in his approach to the Bible by what Christ said to the Jews who were finding fault with what He taught:

“For had ye believed Moses,” He said, “ye would have believed Me; for he wrote of Me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe My words?”

This is precisely the pathway modern rationalism has followed. It began by discrediting what Moses wrote, and it has now gone to the length of denying final authority to what Christ said.

Rationalism is both irreverent and destructive when it seeks to do anything with the Word of G.o.d. For that Book is to be handled as =no= other book is.

Behind the historical, and the literary, and the textual, and the philosophical criticism must be a spiritual discernment, born of faith alone, which both dominates and regulates all the rest. For just as a blind man may turn the eyes of his head to the sun and see no physical light, so the rationalist may turn the eyes of his mind to the Bible and see no spiritual truth. It takes the eyes of the heart to see spiritual truth, and they can function only through faith.

=b.= The Method of the Believer.

In order clearly to understand the method of faith, we need right here to guard against another extreme. By the contrasts we have drawn in the last few pages, it is not at all meant that there is no place in the exercise of faith for the exercise also of the intellect at the same time and toward the same object. For, in the nature of things, the intellect =must= be exercised in a mental apprehension of that which is to be believed before the way is even open for faith to begin.

Neither is it meant that reasoning is so out of harmony with and destructive of faith that its exercise in connection with faith is impossible. For faith is not blind credulity; it is not jumping in the dark; it is not an irrational impulse; it is not swallowing something with the eyes shut. It is rather an open-eyed stepping out on to the spiritual foundations of the universe. But notice–it is stepping out on to =spiritual= foundations.

It =is= meant, however, by the contrasts above, that the moment an intellectual apprehension of what is to be believed, followed by a conclusion to accept or reject it according to whether it is reasonable or not–the moment such an att.i.tude is =subst.i.tuted= for the heart acceptance of the bare Word of G.o.d, even though it may be beyond understanding and reason, that moment the normal exercise of mind and reason has degenerated into a rationalism that makes faith impossible.

Notice an emphasis above. Faith is stepping out upon =spiritual= foundations. Then recall that to all except the man of presumption, foundations must be seen before they will be stepped upon. The normal man demands to see where he is going.

Now spiritual foundations can be seen only by spiritual eyes. The natural vision cannot see past the natural realm. And spiritual realities will never be stepped out upon until they are seen. For faith is not an abstract and aimless emotion. It requires an object that can be seen, and one that can be trusted.

It is therefore the one main purpose of the Bible to set before men the one saving Object of faith. This purpose lies behind the multiplied revelations of G.o.d all through the Old Testament, and the gathering together of all those revelations into Christ in the New Testament in such fullness and finality that He could say: “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.”

But G.o.d and Christ must be seen before they can be trusted. Not intellectually or historically, but spiritually seen. And they can be seen only by spiritual eyes. And spiritual vision is possible only through the divine touch. And the divine touch is given only to those who consent; it is not forced on any one. And the att.i.tude of consent is precisely the att.i.tude set forth in Christ’s formula: “If any man wills to do, he shall know.”

Only by coming into this att.i.tude can any man see G.o.d. “The pure in =heart=,” said Christ, “shall see G.o.d.” It is a heart att.i.tude. And the meaning of the purity of heart that opens the vision to G.o.d is brought out when Christ is asked the question, “How is it that Thou wilt manifest Thyself unto us and not unto the world?” His answer is of the utmost significance. He says, “If a man love Me, he will =keep My words=.” Keeping His words, willing to do His will–this is the att.i.tude that opens the vision to Him. He and the Father can manifest themselves to and be seen by those only who are in the att.i.tude of consent toward the keeping of His words. This is the only att.i.tude that can bring the anointing of the eyes with that eye-salve which opens them to spiritual vision.

But when the eyes, in response to this att.i.tude of willingness toward the will of G.o.d, are once opened to spiritual things, then G.o.d, in all the perfections of His divine character, is seen both in the Bible, the written Word, and in Christ, the living Word, and this two-fold revelation of Him is seen to be as perfect and flawless as the G.o.d who is thus revealed.

Those who think they see imperfections either in the Bible or in Christ are spiritually blind. For when one thinks he sees flaws where there are only infinite perfections, he advertises to all that he is attempting the impossible task of examining spiritual realities with his natural vision, and is therefore pa.s.sing judgment on what he has never seen.

But when the spiritual vision has once been opened, and G.o.d is really seen, in the Bible and in Christ, in all the perfections of His infinitely holy and loving character, the =reason= at once leads to the conclusion from the facts seen that such a Being is to be trusted, and active faith thereby becomes the outgrowth of =that= kind of reasoning. That is, the faith that begins as an att.i.tude of willingness toward the will of G.o.d, through which att.i.tude the eyes are touched into a vision of the character of G.o.d, such a faith comes into and continues in an active submission to that will through the normal functioning of reason.

This shows the vital difference between reasoning and rationalizing, and the relation of each to faith. The effect of reasoning on faith is constructive, while that of rationalizing is destructive. And the heart of the difference between the two traces back, in the last a.n.a.lysis, to those two kinds of vision. The rationalist, unyielding to the touch of G.o.d on his vision, sees only natural facts, and even then he sees them only partially and wholly out of relation to the spiritual revelation of G.o.d in the Bible and in Christ; and thinking that he sees discrepancies between the facts in the natural realm and the statements of Scripture, his =reason= leads him to reject the Bible as infallible and inerrant, thereby making faith in the G.o.d of the Bible utterly impossible. His reasoning powers are simply functioning normally when he concludes to reject the statements about the facts that to him are entirely unseen which do not seem to agree with what he sees. His trouble is not with his reasoning powers but with his vision.

Refusing to see what he is pa.s.sing judgment on, his method of inquiry is rationalizing.

But the believer, utterly yielded to G.o.d and therefore seeing Him through anointed eyes in both the written and the living Word, thus seeing the infinite perfections of His character, is led by the normal functioning of the =same reason= to accept and act on the bare Word of G.o.d without further evidence, because the evidence he sees is all the evidence he needs. It is perfectly reasonable, therefore, for Him to accept all that such an One says in His Word, waiting for the partial and apparently contradictory knowledge in the natural realm to be corrected into harmony with the Bible.

And his reasoning powers are simply functioning normally when he accepts the Bible as infallible and inerrant, for this att.i.tude is based on what he sees. The entire difference between the rationalist and the believer is a matter of vision. The reasoning powers of each simply act in view of what each sees.

This is why reasoning is never out of harmony with faith, while rationalizing always is. For true reasoning in spiritual things is =based= on an att.i.tude of faith, while rationalizing rejects that att.i.tude as an essential preliminary to correct conclusions, and therefore reasons either entirely apart from or in order to faith. Such an att.i.tude as opens the vision does not precede the action of reason, and the conclusions cannot help being destructive of faith, for they are p.r.o.nouncements on things utterly unseen and unknown, and which the Bible says are “foolishness” to the man who sees only through his natural vision. But the att.i.tude of willingness toward the will of G.o.d so opens the vision to the whole spiritual realm that the real foolishness is seen to be even the least attempt to p.r.o.nounce upon or repudiate that which is utterly unseen and unknown.

This is the fundamental reason why there is such divergence, even to the point of mutual exclusion, between the different “interpretations” of Scripture given forth by the believer and the rationalist. The rationalist, with heart and vision closed to spiritual truth, can give no interpretation except that which seems reasonable in view of what he sees; while the believer, in the att.i.tude of faith toward G.o.d, =sees= the interpretation of Scripture through the illumination of the Holy Spirit.

The interpretation of the Word is the very work for which the Holy Spirit has come into the world. That is not all of His work, but a very essential part of it. He is G.o.d’s official Interpreter of His truth to the believer.

Not to the rationalizer, but to the believer. And His work is so divinely perfect and absolutely final that all human attempts at interpretation, which are devoid of faith, are an insult to Him. He is the One who wrote the Word, and so He knows the meaning, not only of what He said, but even of what He left unsaid, and therefore none but He can interpret either the words or the silences of Scripture.

For example, when Melchizedek flashes, meteor-like, across the page of Old Testament history, and then disappears without a word as to beginning of life or end of days, who but the Holy Spirit could interpret those silences into spiritual meanings of unfathomable richness? Who but He who was responsible for those omissions could interpret them into some of the richest revelations of all Scripture concerning the eternal Priesthood of the slain and risen Son of G.o.d? And if the Holy Spirit can thus seize upon the very silences of Scripture in showing us the things of Christ, who will deny Him the power to interpret to those who will receive it what He meant by what He wrote? And who but the rationalist and the unbeliever can ever refuse to let Him reveal the perfect harmony between the facts of nature and the scientific references of Scripture?

It is the divine prerogative to =cause= us to understand the Book. When the risen Christ appeared suddenly among the disciples, first frightened and then scarcely believing for joy, He first convinced them that it was really He to whom they had already given their hearts, thus quickening their =faith= into renewed activity, “Then opened =He= their =mind= that they might =understand= the Scriptures.” First faith and then knowledge of the truth; this is the scientific order.

Luther saw this when he wrote to Spalatin:

Above all things it is quite true that one cannot search into the Holy Scriptures by means of study, nor by means of the intellect. Therefore begin with prayer that the Lord grant unto you the true understanding of His Word.

Even Spencer had a glimpse of this scientific principle toward the end of his life. In his essay on “Feeling Versus Intellect” he showed that he had lost faith in his former estimate of the place of the intellect in the moral realm when he said:

Everywhere the cry is educate–educate–educate! Everywhere the belief is that by such culture as schools furnish, children, and therefore adults, can be molded into the desired shapes. It is a.s.sumed that when men are taught what is right, they will do what is right–that a proposition intellectually accepted becomes morally operative. And this conviction, contradicted by everyday experience, is at variance with an everyday axiom–the axiom that each faculty is strengthened by the exercise of it–intellectual power by intellectual action, and moral power by moral action.

What can this mean but that Spencer saw, at least dimly, the radical difference between the intellectual and the spiritual faculties?

The logic of all these facts and principles makes only one conclusion possible. When the man of scientific spirit approaches the Book which can reveal its truths to =faith alone=, he will not be unscientific enough to refuse faith to its statements and use his =intellect= alone. For he will see that the one who refuses the att.i.tude of faith toward the Scriptures will be “ever learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth,”

while the one who accepts the Word in humble dependence on the Holy Spirit’s interpretation of its meaning is on the one solitary highway by which a knowledge of the truth can be reached. When the Church and the Schools, therefore, agree on using this method of approach to the Word of G.o.d, they will at least have started toward the same goal.

2. The =Spiritual= Realm Must Be Given Primacy over the =Natural=.

Let us now see what it will mean to accord primacy to the spiritual realm over the natural.

There is only one possible method of doing this, and that is to interpret in the light of spiritual truth all the facts of the natural realm.

The man of scientific mind will therefore see clearly that he will be utterly incapable of giving such an interpretation to natural facts until he first =knows what spiritual truth is=, and this will mean the laboratory method of the experiment of faith.

But right here you may say that science has nothing to do with the spiritual realm; that scientific investigation stops the moment it reaches that realm; and that therefore to demand the use of these scientific methods in that realm is not only foolish but impossible.

But stop and think a minute. It is both foolish and futile to demand that either the =implements= or the =faculties= used in the scientific realm shall be brought over and used in the pursuit of spiritual truth. This is precisely the thing we are seeking to show. But that does not mean for a moment that the inquirer must therefore give up the =scientific att.i.tude of mind= and cease to work according to the demands of the =scientific spirit= the moment he begins inquiry in the spiritual realm. For that spirit is simply an honest and accurate method of investigation, and because science is compelled to stop at the border of the spiritual realm is no reason why we should cease being honest and accurate when we investigate in that realm. It is perfectly true that the scientist, as such, has absolutely no p.r.o.nouncement to make concerning spiritual truth; but it is equally true that the inquirer in the spiritual realm, if he does not pursue his inquiries by scientific methods and according to the demands of the scientific spirit, will have no p.r.o.nouncement to make either. The man who intends, therefore, to be scientific enough in his spirit to give primary truth its place of primacy by interpreting in its light the truths of other realms, and who, with the instincts of the true scientist, recognizes spiritual truth as primary in its relation to the natural, will be actuated sufficiently by his scientific att.i.tude to determine to know what spiritual truth is, in order that he may be able to interpret natural truth in its light.

This will bring him face to face with Christ’s formula for entering upon the knowledge of spiritual truth. Being honestly desirous of knowing what spiritual truth is, he will determine to do G.o.d’s will in order that he may find out.

=a.= This Will Mean Surrendering the Heart to G.o.d.

This is the only thing it can mean. For spiritual truth is primarily heart truth, not intellectual truth, and the only way to know heart truth is to surrender the heart to that Holy Spirit of truth who “searcheth the deep things of G.o.d,” and who was sent into the world to “lead us into all the truth.”

The grammarian, the philologist, the historian, the naturalist, the philosopher, therefore, have no service they can perform here. They cannot carry their apparatus over into the spiritual realm and weigh and measure, estimate and judge, illumine and interpret spiritual truth for us. When we stand here we are on that holy ground where we must lay off our sandals of scientific paraphernalia and stand before G.o.d with open heart ready to hear what He has to say. The moment we get to this realm, the whole apparatus by which truth is received changes from reason to faith.

The Church, the Schools and Evolution Part 5

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For by one Spirit have we all been baptized into one body.

They regard it as referring to the inward, spiritual union with Christ which takes place in the new birth, rather than to an outward act. For in the moment of regeneration, every believer is baptized by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ.

But even so, the word “buried” still stands in the first pa.s.sage above, and a burial has to do with the dead, not with the living. Being “buried,”

therefore, when the Holy Spirit baptizes us into Christ, it is “into death,” not into an enlarging life, because we are so completely dead that the baptizing Spirit sets the “old man” forever aside as utterly unimprovable, in order that He may make us “partakers of the divine nature”

by which we become a “new creation” in Christ.

All this, however, is utterly intolerable to the consistent evolutionist.

For if man is dead and therefore unimprovable, that makes progress upward impossible, and, if that is impossible, the whole doctrine of evolution is at an end.

And so the evolutionist a.s.sumes the presence of life, and conceives the race to be progressing upward out of crude forms and unethical conceptions toward G.o.d. It is perfectly consistent, therefore, that he should seek to stir man’s n.o.ble aspirations and should present high ideals for him to strive after. For it is not life man needs, they say, it is simply conversion to higher ideals and aspirations in life.

Hence Dr. E. D. Burton is in perfect harmony with this evolutionary conception when he says:

Jesus was a teacher of great principles, which it is inc.u.mbent upon us to apply to the mult.i.tudinous phases and experiences of life, and the embodiment of an ideal, which it is ours to endeavor, as best we can, to achieve.

Dr. Herbert L. Willett, of the University of Chicago, was also in harmony with all this when he said in an address heard by the writer:

It is the task of the Church to interpret to the world the ideals of Jesus for men to strive after.

And Dr. J. H. Coffin also voiced the evolutionary position when, in speaking of conversion, he said:

It is conversion =to= something, namely, the =principles= of Jesus.

Now when the logic of this conception is followed out, it turns evangelism into religious education. And so it is easy to see why the advocates of evolution are stressing religious education with increasing insistence. For it is through the methods of religious education, according to Dr. Burton, that the lost are being

led to adopt the principles of Jesus and to accept his leadership quietly and gradually.

This makes regeneration simply an added impulse in the direction in which men are imagined already to be going. It also has the effect of altogether reversing the emphasis in the work of the Church with the lost. According to Dr. Burton, it transfers it

from the salvation of the individual, with emphasis upon rescue from future woe, to the creation of a human society dominated by the spirit of Jesus.

And Dr. Gerald Birney Smith, speaking of present-day missionary methods, says:

Humanly determined programs are being subst.i.tuted for dogmatic decrees in the work of the churches. This is genuine democracy. The missionary enterprise is rapidly being conceived as a democratic social program rather than as the rescue of a few individuals from the divine wrath….

Education is coming to be a primary means of accomplishing the missionary task.

Such a mission to the lost would be altogether unthinkable if men were believed to be spiritually dead. For dead men are helpless to adopt principles and strive after ideals. Dead men do not need education, they need life.

Any one of average intelligence can see at a glance that these two programs of salvation are headed in opposite directions. By one we strive after an ideal; by the other we quit all striving and surrender to a Person. One is salvation by a human resolution to press toward the pattern set before us by the “Flower of the Race”; the other is salvation by a divine rescue from that natural hatred of purity and holiness which made possible the murder of the Son of G.o.d. By one program we adopt the principles and follow the spirit of the life of Christ; by the other we trust in the merits of the shed blood and subst.i.tutionary death of Christ.

These two programs are mutually exclusive. Thus the evolutionary philosophy utterly destroys the doctrine of the new birth.

7. The logic of evolution destroys the doctrine of the =holiness of G.o.d=, for it makes G.o.d the =author of sin=.

Le Conte says:

If evolution be true, and especially if man be indeed a product of evolution, then what we call evil is not a unique phenomenon confined to man and the result of an accident [the fall], but must be a great fact pervading all nature and a part of its very const.i.tution.

No thinking man can get away from that conclusion. For if evolution in any form is a fact, then the thing the Bible calls sin was either somehow embedded, by a competent and responsible Creator, in man’s very const.i.tution as a necessary process of his evolution, or else it slipped into the race through the bungling and unwatchful incompetence of an impotent Creator. Thus in either case G.o.d becomes the author of sin!

This puts evolution almost, if not altogether, on the ground of blasphemy!

G.o.d responsible for the unspeakable woe and the unmeasured suffering of man? G.o.d the author of that inherent force in man’s nature which has filled the earth with hatred, violence, bloodshed, and death? Let him think so who can!

After these doctrines of the Word are set beside the evolutionary philosophy, and after it begins to dawn on the thinking mind how utterly irreconcilable they are, the absolute impossibility of a consistent evolutionist believing in an inspired, inerrant, and infallible Bible becomes well nigh an axiom. It is no wonder that Dr. W. B. Riley exclaims:

What thinking man fails to see the infinity of s.p.a.ce between Modernism and Orthodoxy, or to apprehend the fact that daily they are drawing farther apart! Time holds no promise of even a patched-up peace.

Lord Kelvin was astonished at the preachers and teachers who are trying to apply the doctrine of evolution to the fundamentals of the faith. He said:

I marvel at the undue haste with which teachers in our Universities and preachers in our pulpits are restating the truth in the terms of evolution, while evolution itself remains an unproven hypothesis in the laboratories of science.

And well might he marvel. And well might the Church become aroused and alarmed as the logical workings of these false doctrines produce more and more fearful results within her ranks. The whole Church is being moved away from the foundations of the faith, and this false philosophy is at the bottom of it all.

The group announcements of the Sunday services of the Los Angeles liberal churches show where all consistent evolutionists are headed. Standing at the head of these announcements are these words, the capital letters being theirs:

We found our faith on the thought of EVOLUTION rather than Special Creation; on revelation through NORMAL HUMAN EXPERIENCE rather than the supernatural; on salvation through GROWTH rather than a miraculous rebirth.

And when it comes to the awful harvest that is being gathered from our churches for the forces of spiritual destruction through our colleges and universities, William Jennings Bryan has had some information given to him that will give us a hint of what is going on. He says:

Having had opportunity to make a personal investigation, I feel it my duty to warn the lovers of the Bible of the insidious attacks which are being made upon every vital part of the Word of G.o.d. A father tells me of a daughter educated at Wellesley who calmly informs him that no one believes in the Bible now; a teacher in Columbia University begins his lessons in geology by asking students to lay aside all that they have learned in Sunday-school; a professor of the University of Wisconsin tells his cla.s.s that the Bible is a collection of myths; a professor of philosophy at Ann Arbor occupies a Sunday evening explaining to an audience that Christianity is a state of mind and that there are only two books in the Bible with any literary merit; another professor in the same inst.i.tution informs students that he once taught a Sunday-school cla.s.s and was active in the Young Men’s Christian a.s.sociation, but that no thinking man can believe in G.o.d or the Bible; a woman teacher in a public school in Indiana rebukes a boy for answering that Adam was the first man, explaining to him and the cla.s.s that the “tree man” was the first man; a young man in South Carolina traces his atheism back to two teachers in a Christian college; a senior in an Illinois high school writes that he became skeptical during his soph.o.m.ore year but has been brought back by influences outside of school while others of his cla.s.s are agnostics; a professor in Yale has the reputation of making atheists of all who come under his influence–this information was given by a boy whose brother has come under the influence of this teacher; a professor in Bryn Mawr combats Christianity for a session and then puts to his cla.s.s the question whether or not there is a G.o.d, and is happy to find that a majority of the cla.s.s vote that there is no G.o.d; a professor in a Christian college writes a book in which the virgin birth of Christ is disputed; one professor declares that life is merely a by-product and will ultimately be produced in the laboratory; another says that the ingredients necessary to create life have already been brought together and that life will be developed from these ingredients, adding, however, that it will require a million years to do it. These are a few of the ill.u.s.trations furnished by informants whom I have reason to believe.

These facts certainly furnish sufficient reason why the Church cannot compromise with the evolutionary philosophy. To do so would be to head herself toward destruction. She must stand uncompromised and unflinching against that unproven and discredited theory, the acceptance of which destroys faith in that infallible and inerrant Word on which she was founded, and on whose “thus saith the Lord” she must rest her message to a lost world. =There is no middle ground. To compromise would be to commit suicide.= If the Church and the Schools are ever to come into harmony, it cannot be because the Church gives up an infallible Book and accepts a discredited theory in its place, and so it must be because the Schools give up this unscientific, because unproven, theory and get back to faith in the inerrant Word of G.o.d.

That this is the only basis on which the Church and the Schools can ever come into harmony is strenuously denied by the evolutionists in both Schools and Church. But their denial is meaningless when it is remembered that they are working night and day to capture the Church, as they have already almost done with the Schools, before we wake up to what is going on. But it can never be done. The true Church will never surrender to those who would remove her foundations and wreck her message.


The Present Controversy–the Cure

In the previous pages we went back to the cause of the present controversy between the Church and the Schools. We found that the unproven and discredited theory of evolution lies at the bottom of it. We also concluded that no compromise that permits entrance to this theory in any form is possible, for the truth which is at once both the life and the message of the Church, and the theory of evolution, are mutually exclusive.

In this chapter we will seek to find the cure for this distressing controversy. That there is a cure is beyond all possible question. And if it is not found and applied, the controversy cannot fail to intensify until it may force a re-alignment in the Church–a thing a great company of the most earnest in the Church are fighting to prevent.

Now the only possible basis on which both the Church and the Schools can take their stand, if this controversy is to be settled without final disunion in the Church, was laid down by Christ in that scientific formula:

If any man willeth to do His will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it be of G.o.d, or whether I speak from Myself.

To follow this formula in our search for common ground is to be utterly scientific, for it is the laboratory method of experiment. The true Church has always believed and received the Bible as the inerrant Word of G.o.d, not because, in blind credulity, she has followed some irrational and unscientific impulse, but precisely because she has been =scientific enough= to work by this formula and carry the laboratory test to its =final a.n.a.lysis=. And for the Schools to follow this same formula with scientific accuracy would be for them to arrive at the same place at which the true Church has arrived. For when the Church and the Schools start out in search of truth and do not arrive together, it is either because they did not start together, or because one or both of them did not proceed all the way with scientific exactness. Truth is an eternal unity, and conclusions regarding it that are mutually exclusive and therefore the cause of controversy prove to a demonstration that somebody’s methods of investigation were unscientific.

If we really intend to be scientific, therefore, when we start out to investigate truth of any sort and in any realm, the first thing we will do will be to cla.s.sify. We can neither start nor proceed together unless we do. Indeed, if we are to be scientific enough to follow the formula laid down by Christ, we will be compelled to cla.s.sify before we can even begin our investigation.


The Church, the Schools and Evolution Part 1

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The Church, the Schools and Evolution.

by J. E. (Judson Eber) Conant.


The following pages have grown out of a paper, following the same outline more briefly, which was read before the Pastors’ Conference of the San Juaquin Valley Baptist a.s.sociation, the largest a.s.sociation in the Northern California Baptist Convention. At the close of the reading a request for its publication was enthusiastically and unanimously voted.

The author has since divided the paper into two chapters; in the first chapter has added to and cla.s.sified the quotations concerning evolution, has enlarged the remarks on the influence of evolution on Scripture doctrine, and has both enlarged upon and entirely rearranged the matter of the second chapter, in an attempt to make it both more obvious and more conclusive to the reader than it was felt to be to the hearers.

The term “Church” in the following pages is intended to cover that fellowship, of every name, which includes all who have been really born again. When organized church fellowship is referred to, the whole evangelical Protestant fellowship in general is meant, as distinguished from Roman Catholic, Greek church, or any other non-evangelical faith, although true Christians are to be found within every fellowship. The term “Schools,” in its larger meaning, includes all inst.i.tutions of learning maintained at private, denominational, or public expense; more specifically, those dominated by the present evolutionary philosophy are meant. With notable exceptions in a few schools that refuse to be so dominated, the whole educational system in general, especially in the Northern States, has practically capitulated to the evolutionists, and the schools that have so surrendered are particularly in mind in the following discussion.

It is but a humble effort to point out what is obviously the only possible solution for the present distressing and destructive controversy between the Church and the Schools, but the author fondly hopes that it will prove to be a real, even though small, contribution toward the ending of that controversy.

It is sent out with the prayer that He who is Truth incarnate may lead those in both the Church and the Schools who really want to know the truth at all cost to a common att.i.tude toward Himself, to a common, because truly scientific, method of investigating truth in both the natural and the spiritual realms, and therefore to a common goal which will unite them against all those forces that seek to capture both the Church and the Schools for the enemy.

J. E. Conant.

The Church, the Schools and Evolution


The Present Controversy–the Cause

It must be so self-evident as to be axiomatic that there are two distinct realms in G.o.d’s universe. One is the realm that contains the Creator, and the other that which contains His creation. Of course, if we are pantheists, we will not admit that cla.s.sification; but those who believe and accept the Word of G.o.d are not pantheists.

It is inevitable, therefore, that the facts, the verities, the truths of the universe should be cla.s.sified according to their realms; those having to do with the Person and relationships of the Creator being separable into one realm, and those having to do with His creation into another.

That this cla.s.sification is universally recognized, is a matter of common knowledge. That cla.s.s of truth which has to do with G.o.d we call supernatural, or spiritual, truth, and that which relates to His creation we call natural, or scientific, truth.

It is precisely because of this cla.s.sification that there are two separate inst.i.tutions in the world, each of which is working in one of these realms.

The =Church= accepts it as her function to receive and propagate spiritual truth, as G.o.d has revealed Himself in His character; while the =Schools= accept it as their function to study and teach scientific truth, as G.o.d has revealed Himself in His works. This is the entire logic of the existence in the world of these two separate inst.i.tutions, both of which are engaged in the investigation and propagation of truth.

But although the Church and the Schools are entirely separate inst.i.tutions, and although they are engaged, one in the spread of spiritual truth and the other in the diffusion of scientific truth, yet =truth is an eternal unity=. This must be so, in the nature of things, for all truth proceeds from and reveals the one and only G.o.d Who is its Source and of Whom it is the consistent and perfect expression.

Conflict between these two realms of truth is, therefore, eternally impossible. Men talk of a conflict between science and the Bible, but no such conflict exists. If there is any contradiction, it is not between the statements of Scripture and the facts of science, but between the false interpretations of Scripture and the immature conclusions of science.

Herbert Spencer was right when he said:

It is incredible that there should be two orders of truth in absolute and everlasting opposition.

Not until G.o.d begins to contradict Himself will these two realms of truth ever be in conflict with each other.

The Church and the Schools, then, can never be in conflict until some abnormal condition creeps into the one or the other; for, although working in different realms of truth, each is yet receiving revelations of the one G.o.d who can never be in conflict with Himself.

When these two inst.i.tutions are in normal condition, each will not only not destroy the work of the other, but each will make every possible contribution to the success of the other, and antagonism between them will be impossible. When conflict occurs, therefore, it is because the teachers in one realm or in both have not arrived at the truth in their respective realms.

And so when the Church denies the =facts=–not the unproven theories, notice, but the clearly demonstrated =facts=–of science, something is wrong with the Church. And when the Schools put forth =theories= that undermine the very foundations of the Church and her work, there is something wrong with the Schools.

Now it is no secret that the Church and the Schools, broadly speaking, are in serious conflict with each other today. Where lies the cause? If the Church is denying and fighting the demonstrated =facts= of science, then the Church is clearly at fault and ought to get right at once.

But this is not so, for the conflict is altogether over unproven theories, and has nothing to do with demonstrated scientific facts. And so this takes us at once and completely out of the realm of science and lands us in that of speculative philosophy–a fact that shows how unreasonable and even foolish the conflict is. For the thing that has set the Church and the Schools into battle array against each other is that speculative guess concerning origins called the =Theory of Evolution=. This lies at the heart of the opposition that each of these great inst.i.tutions feels toward the other.

It is true that a certain amount of the trouble arises from misunderstanding, because the term “evolution” is used in so many loose, illogical, and unscientific ways; but back of all misuse of the term there is a fundamental cause on which this antagonism rests, and that cause is found in the nature of the theory and its effects on those who consistently believe it.

The technical meaning of the term may be said to be a structural change in the direction of development into higher forms of existence, brought about by internal force without external aid.

There is also a scientific cla.s.sification of the subject, into sub-organic, organic, and super-organic evolution. Sub-organic evolution applies to the development of non-living matter; organic, to the development of vegetable and animal life; and super-organic, to the development of intellectual, moral, and spiritual life. But while the subject is thus cla.s.sified for convenience, it is all one doctrine, and is meant to describe one process of development from the non-living realm to the spiritual.

There is also one theory which is called causal, and another which is called modal, evolution. According to the former, evolution is the first cause of all life, which, of course, excludes G.o.d as the First Cause; and according to the latter, evolution is the mode, or method, used by G.o.d in creation.

Now, the Church has vital reasons for fighting this philosophical guess.

One reason is, that it is entirely unsupported by =facts=, and is therefore altogether unproven. But if this were the only reason, the Church could be convicted of the supreme folly of her entire history, for turning aside to fight an unproven guess. A more vital reason is that the theory does not stop with the natural realm, but goes right on up into the realm of spiritual truth, and a.s.sumes to p.r.o.nounce on the most vital spiritual realities in such a way that the logic of the theory, if consistently accepted, utterly destroys both the foundations of the Church and the content of the Gospel. Indeed, evolution has been proclaimed to the world as the ally of a philosophy which boasts of its capacity to drive Christianity out of existence.

For the Church, therefore, to fail to fight a theory that strikes at her very vitals would be to become a traitor to the Lord who bought her and sent her into the world to preach His gospel. And so she is compelled to choose between submitting to an unproven and destructive theory, which has never saved =any= one who has believed it, and preaching the gospel of G.o.d’s grace, which has infallibly saved =every= one who has believed it.

The true Church is fighting the theory of evolution in order that the message she is commissioned to preach may not be rendered of no effect by a non-belligerent att.i.tude toward it being mistaken for approval of it.

Not only the fact that the theory is entirely unproven, but also and more particularly the nature of its influence on faith in the Bible compels the Church to reckon with it. We will go into these two reasons for antagonizing this speculative guess.

I. =The Theory of Evolution is Unproven.=

The reason we reflect on this for a few moments lies in what has already been said. If evolution is a fact, then for the Church to refuse it and fight against it would be to fight against G.o.d, which ought to bring her to swift judgment for her mad folly. But if it is only an unproven theory, then she is justified if she has good reasons for fighting its propagation.

We will therefore note what the scientists themselves have to say regarding the theory.

1. Testimony =for= Evolution.

There are teachers of science who do not hesitate to a.s.sure us that the doctrine of evolution is now no longer a theory but an a.s.sured fact. A few representative quotations from that cla.s.s will suffice.

Dr. P. C. Mitch.e.l.l says, in a late edition of the “Encyclopedia Britannica”:

The vast bulk of botanical and biological work on living and extinct forms published during the last quarter of the nineteenth century increased almost beyond all expectation the evidence for the =fact= of evolution.

Prof. S. C. Schmucker, of the West Chester, Pennsylvania, State Normal School, in his book, “The Meaning of Evolution,” says:

Among students of animals and plants there is no longer any question as to the =truth= of evolution. That the animals of the present are the altered animals of the past, that the plants of today are the modified plants of yesterday, that civilized man of today is the savage of yesterday and the tree dweller of the day before, is no longer debatable to the ma.s.s of biologists.

Professor Fish, then of Denison University, Granville, Ohio, not long ago dictated to his cla.s.s, of which the writer’s daughter was a member, the following statement:

Organic evolution is the key to all biological thinking of today. It is not a =theory= but a =fact=, because the main facts are true. Man is the off-spring of the lower animals, and the ancestry can be traced back to the simplest forms of animals known. All medical research takes that fact into account.

Prof. S. W. Williston, department of paleontology, University of Chicago, says:

I know of no biologist, whether of high or low degree, master or tyro, who ventures to suggest a doubt as to the fundamental truths of organic evolution.

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But the theory of evolution fosters a doctrine of the “immanence of G.o.d”

which is nothing but a modern form of pantheism. For example, Prof. Josiah Royce, of Harvard, has said:

G.o.d is the spirit animating nature, the universal force which takes the myriad forms, heat, light, gravitation, electricity, and the like.

And Prof. George B. Foster said:

G.o.d is a symbol to designate the universe in its ideal achieving capacity.

This is pantheism, pure and simple, for G.o.d and His created universe are not distinguished from each other. And this blots out the distinction between the natural and the spiritual realms.

Realizing, therefore, that no matter how perfect a course of reasoning may be or how inevitable the conclusions resulting it all falls like a house of cards if the premise is false, it becomes necessary to determine whether pantheism is false or true, in order that we may know whether we started with a valid premise.

Is pantheism true?

One thing we know is true. The Bible clearly and sharply distinguishes between G.o.d and His creation. No one who reads the Bible can dissent from that statement. And pantheism absolutely denies that Bible distinction.

It therefore immediately resolves itself into a question as to whether the Bible is true.

This brings us straight back to Christ’s formula–“If any man wills to do, he shall know.” He who accepts the challenge of this formula will come to know, beyond all possibility of disproof, that neither pantheism, evolution, nor any other doctrine that denies or casts doubt on the infallibility of the Bible is true. He will know it because it is supernaturally verified to him in answer to his faith.

This formula is the divine challenge to every form of unbelief in an inerrant Bible. There never has been an hour since Pentecost when the aggressive hurling of this challenge at defiant and destructive unbelief was more needed. And the whole Christian Church, backed by the Word of G.o.d, is hurling this challenge back into the teeth of the whole evolutionary camp today.

Either be fair enough, be scientific enough, be honest enough, challenges the Church, to act upon Christ’s formula and gain for yourselves that supernaturally verified knowledge which will make further faith in the evolutionary theory impossible, or else do not a.s.sume to p.r.o.nounce any further on those truths of which you know nothing because you have been unwilling to take the means to find out what they are. Go and join the ranks of the other unbelievers and Bible-rejectors, taking your doubt-born theories with you as a reinforcement to their warfare against the Bible, and then the Church can fight you in the open and drive you to defeat with the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of G.o.d. If you are determined to destroy faith in the inerrancy of the Bible, at least be fair enough to come out from under the cover of “Christian education,” and stop a.s.suming to interpret in the light of evolution–a light that is darkness–those sublime doctrines which are at once the foundation and the message of the Church. Get out of the Christian schools, which were founded to strengthen, not to destroy, the faith of young people from Christian homes, and give place to those who believe the Book. Increasing hosts of Christian parents are too heart-broken over the invasion of their own homes by this destroying wolf in sheep’s clothing to tolerate this situation much longer.

They are asking, in the words of a Chicago newspaper editorial concerning the destructive teachings of Prof. George B. Foster, in the Chicago University Divinity School:

Is there no place to a.s.sail Christianity but a divinity school? Is there no one to write infidel books except the professors of Christian theology? Is a theological seminary an appropriate place for a general ma.s.sacre of Christian doctrine?

And then the sentiment that follows in the next sentence is shared increasingly by mult.i.tudes in the Church in proportion as these destroyers become increasingly aggressive in their work of destruction. The editor continues:

Mr. Mangasarian delivers infidel lectures every Sunday in Orchestra Hall and no one is shocked, but when the professed defenders of Christianity jump on it and it, the public–even the agnostic public, cannot but despise them.

Either be scientific enough, cry believers to the evolutionists, to accept the challenge of Christ’s formula with all its implications, or be honest enough to cease destroying the faith in an inerrant Bible you have sworn to defend but refuse to accept!

The Church is also hurling the challenge of Christ’s formula at every other form of aggressive unbelief. No unbeliever, from destructive Higher Critic to agnostic and infidel, has the shadow of a right to make contrary p.r.o.nouncement on the inerrancy and infallible authority of the Bible, for he has refused to put Christ’s word to the test,–his unbelief proves it,–and he is therefore utterly incapacitated for pa.s.sing any judgment whatever on that Book which unfolds its meaning to faith alone.

And as to the controversy between the Church and the Schools, the evolutionists must quit either evolution or the Christian schools, or the controversy can in no way be cured. For how can faith in an inerrant Bible and unbelief in its inerrancy abide in harmony in the same house? In the very nature of things, two groups who hold such absolutely antagonistic positions must either part company or continue the controversy born of the antagonism. The true Church always has believed, and always will believe, in an inerrant Word of G.o.d, and she cannot harbor within her ranks any group of people, no matter by what name they go, who do not take their stand without equivocation on that same ground.

If reason for this intolerance is asked, it will appear in the light of some questions asked by Dr. Joseph Parker. These questions are:

If the Bible is wrong in history, what guarantee is there that it is right in morals?

If the Bible is not a reliable guide in facts, how do we know that it is a trustworthy guide in doctrine?

However he may have arrived at his conclusions, it is extremely significant, in the light of these questions, that Dr. E. D. Burton, being willing to admit that the Bible is

not infallible in history or in matters of science,

has also concluded that it is

not wholly consistent and therefore not ultimately and as a whole inerrant in the field of morals and religion.

What reason more can the Church want to justify her for intolerance of a theory that will do this to a man’s faith? Is it not correct reasoning to conclude that if one man suffers such a collapse of faith after accepting evolution, others are likely to suffer the same thing? And when the Church observes this collapse taking place in every quarter, and then discovers that back of it lies the theory of evolution, is she not justified for being intolerant of that thing which is gnawing at the vitals of her faith?

What can she say else than that the teachers of evolution, at least in the Christian schools, must either give up evolution and come back to faith in an infallible Bible, or part company with the Church?

It may be that one reason why the evolutionists are so loth to get out of company they do not belong in is because they fear that thereby they may lose their coveted reputation for scholarship. Prof. Howard W. Kellogg, formerly of Occidental College, hints as much when he says:

Science has again and again set aside as untrustworthy the so-called discoveries of evolution, has compelled the great German evolutionist, Haeckel, to confess that his drawings of missing links were from imagination rather than from objects found, has driven him from his university chair, and has compelled him to admit that “Most modern investigators of science have come to the conclusion that the doctrine of evolution, and particularly of Darwinism, is in error and cannot be maintained,”–and yet in spite of such admissions from men recognized as authorities in their respective lines, the doctrine of evolution appears to rule as absolutely in the educational world as if it were not a moribund hypothesis, already discarded by many, and to be discarded by others when scientific evidence rather than reputation for scholarship is allowed the deciding voice.

But whatever the actuating motive may be that has kept the evolutionists from giving up their unscholarly and unscientific theory, true believers in the Word long to see them do what Henry Drummond, that brilliant scientist, did before he died. On his deathbed he said to Sir William Dawson, as reported in this country in the writer’s hearing by Dr. John Robertson directly from the lips of Dawson:

I am going away back to the Book to believe it and receive it as I did at the first. I can live no longer on uncertainties.

I am going back to the faith of the Word of G.o.d.

When both the Church and the Schools consistently and sincerely take this att.i.tude toward the Bible, the controversy will be ended in the one way in which the Church longs to see it end.

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Concerning this theory Dr. A. Weber, University of Geneva, Switzerland, said in the “Scientific American Monthly” for February, 1921:

The critical comments of such men as O. Hertwig, Kiebel, and Vialleton, indeed, have practically torn to shreds the aforesaid fundamental biogenetic law. Its almost universal abandonment has left considerably at a loss those investigators who sought in the structures of organisms the key to their remote origins or to their relationships.

So it would seem that if this form of the theory is utterly dest.i.tute of proof, the whole biological foundation of the theory is gone.

It is perfectly in harmony with scientific testimony, therefore, that Professor Price says concerning this phase of the theory:

The science of twenty or thirty years ago was in high glee at the thought of having almost proved the theory of biological evolution. Today, for every careful, candid inquirer, these hopes are crushed; and with weary, reluctant sadness does modern biology now confess that the Church has probably been right all the time.

If these men have borne faithful testimony to the situation as it now exists in the biological realm, the only conclusion possible is that the borrowed portion of Darwin’s theory has also utterly collapsed.

It is pa.s.sing strange, in view of these facts, that competent and scholarly men of science should still cling to a theory so utterly discredited by eminent scientists. Is it because they are determined to believe in evolution in spite of such evidence to the contrary, or is it because there is still left a foundation for the doctrine lying back of all this which has not yet been disturbed, even though “the biological clues have all run out,” as Professor Price says they have?

The supposed evidence of geology, with its theories of uniformity and successive ages, forms precisely such a foundation.

=b.= We will consider, therefore, in the next place, the so-called proofs taken from the =geological= realm.

Dr. T. H. Morgan, who was quoted above as against the theory of the inheritance of acquired characters, rests his faith in the theory of evolution on a geological foundation. He says:

The direct evidence furnished by fossil remains is by all odds the strongest evidence we have in favor of organic evolution.

Has present-day science anything to say about this? In spite of the collapse of the supposed biological proofs, are there any tangible and scientifically established proofs in the geological realm?

Professor Price, who, as noted above, is a geologist, and therefore speaks according to first-hand knowledge, shows that fossil remains are deposited over many thousands of square miles in widely separated sections of the earth, not only in the opposite order from that required to prove the theory of evolution, but in a great variety of orders, demonstrating, as he says, that they cannot be arranged off into ages, but that they simply indicate different forms of life that existed side by side. He then exclaims:

=How much of the earth’s crust would we have to find= in this upside down order of the fossils, before we would be convinced that there must be something hopelessly wrong with the theory of Successive Ages which drives otherwise competent observers to throw away their common sense and cling desperately to a fantastic theory in the very teeth of such facts?

Then he tells us that

the theory of Successive Ages, with the forms of life appearing on earth in a precise and invariable order, is dead for all coming time for every man who has had a chance to examine the evidence and has enough training in logic and scientific methods to know when a thing is really proved.

And he concludes that the work of strict inductive science has destroyed this “fantastic scheme” forever,

and thus =leaves the way open= to say that life must have originated by just such a literal creation as is recorded in the first chapters of the Bible.

If these statements have any meaning at all, they can mean only that the geological foundation for the theory of evolution has also collapsed.

=c.= It remains for us to listen to the testimony of a few more men of science concerning the =whole theory= of evolution in general.

Professor Virchow, the greatest German authority on physiology, and once a strong advocate of the theory, has said:

It is all nonsense. It cannot be proved by science that man descends from the ape or from any other animal. Since the announcement of the theory, all real scientific knowledge has proceeded in the opposite direction.

Professor Tyndall, in an article in the “Fortnightly Review,” said:

There ought to be a clear distinction made between science in a state of hypothesis and science in a state of fact. And inasmuch as it is still in its hypothetical stage, the ban of exclusion ought to fall upon the theory of evolution. I agree with Virchow that the proofs of it are still wanting, that the failures have been lamentable, and that the doctrine has been utterly discredited.

Prof. L. S. Beal, physiologist and professor of anatomy in King’s College, London, says:

The idea of any relation having been established between the non-living and the living by a gradual advance from lifeless matter to the lowest forms of life, and so onward to the higher and more complex, has not the slightest evidence from the facts of any section of living nature of which anything is known.

Professor Zoeckler, of the University of Greifswald, says:

The claim that the hypothesis of descent is scientifically secured must most decidedly be denied.

DeCyon, the Russian scientist, says:

Evolution is pure a.s.sumption.

Prof. George McCready Price says:

In almost every one of the separate sciences the arguments upon which the theory of evolution gained its popularity a generation or so ago are now known by the various specialists to have been blunders, or mistakes, or hasty conclusions of one kind or another.

And Sir J. William Dawson says:

“The evolution doctrine itself is one of the strangest phenomena of humanity.” It is “a system dest.i.tute of any shadow of proof, and supported merely by vague a.n.a.logies and figures of speech, and by the arbitrary and artificial coherence of its parts.” And he concludes that it is “surpa.s.singly strange” that such a theory should find adherents.

To this list might be added such names as those of Professor Henslow, former President of the British a.s.sociation; Prof. C. C. Everett, of Harvard; Dr. E. Dennert; Dr. Goette; Prof. Edward Hoppe, the “Hamburg Savant”; Professor Paulson, of Berlin; Professor Rutemeyer, of Basel; and Prof. Max Wundt, of Leipsic.

After all this contrary testimony on the part of such unquestioned authorities, we are forced to conclude not only that the testimony for evolution is far from unanimous, but also that the theory is altogether unproven, and that it is therefore utterly unscientific to teach it as a fact, especially when those who do so furnish us with no direct evidence whatever.

So long, therefore, as there is an unbridged gulf in the sub-organic realm between nothing and matter, in the organic realm between the non-living and the living, and in the super-organic realm between animals and man, the Church cannot be blamed for being scientific enough to refuse to accept such an unproven and discredited theory, at least until a few =facts= are forthcoming. Until then we must conclude that all the proofs the scientists can furnish rest altogether on inferences and a.s.sumptions.

When evolutionists can produce =matter= from nothing or increase =energy= by any natural means known to man, or bring forth the =living= from the non-living, or bring into existence even one new and distinct =species=, then they will be in a position to compel the Church to listen to proofs; but until then the Church is forced to reject evolution.

The most serious aspect of the controversy, however, lies in the second objection mentioned above.

=II. The Logic of Evolution Is Destructive.=

It is destructive of all the fundamental doctrines the Church was sent into the world to preach.

1. It destroys the doctrine of the =inspiration of the Bible=, by denying its inerrancy and infallible and final authority.

Over and again in the early verses of Genesis we are told that G.o.d created the various species to reproduce =after their kind=. But evolution says that this is not true, for as a matter of fact, the various species have continuously evolved from one to another all the way to man.

To a mind that is working normally, these two propositions are mutually exclusive. And so those who retain their intellectual integrity and consistency, and who therefore cannot accept two contradictory propositions at the same time, are compelled to =make a choice= between them.

Huxley saw this when he said:

The doctrine of evolution is directly antagonistic to that of creation. Evolution, if consistently accepted, makes it impossible to believe the Bible.

When Professor Schmucker; therefore, speaks of the creation story as

the poetical account of Genesis;

when Dr. S. B. Meeser, of Crozer Theological Seminary, describes the Scriptures as

the survivals of the fittest of those communion experiences which men, who have lived intensely in the moral interest, have had with G.o.d;

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when Dr. H. C. Vedder, of the same seminary, says the Scriptures

“grew in … accuracy” as they were written;

when Dr. W. H. P. Faunce, President of Brown University, can say:

Mr. Gladstone’s last book is called “The Impregnable Rock of Holy Scripture.” The very t.i.tle shows a conception of the Bible at the farthest removed from the present Biblical scholarship, to which the Bible is a growth, not a rock;

when Dr. Ernest D. Burton, of the University of Chicago, says:

Some among us have been constrained to admit that the books [of the Bible] are not infallible in history or in matters of science, and not wholly consistent and therefore not ultimately and as a whole inerrant in the field of morals and religion;

and when Dr. Shailer Mathews, of the same University, urges us to think the gospel

in terms of evolution,

and then shows us what that means to him when he says:

For in the New Testament there are conceptions which the modern world under the dominance of science [at the heart of which lies the evolutionary philosophy] finds it impossible to understand, much less to believe;

these men are simply demonstrating the fact that they still retain their intellectual integrity and consistency, and that they are therefore entirely unable to accept the doctrine of evolution and believe in an inerrant Bible at the same time. That is, the logic of the doctrine of evolution destroys for them the faith that, in its original ma.n.u.scripts, the Bible as it came from G.o.d to man was “truth unmixed with error,” with the resulting confidence that He who gave it has preserved it to us by His providence essentially as it was given.

This means that these men and all who agree with them have rejected that Word which is forever settled in heaven, in order to accept a hypothesis which is never settled on earth; that they have given up the Book which has stood unchanged through the centuries against every conceivable form of a.s.sault, and taken in its place a set of scientific speculations that have either to be revised or discarded for new speculations every few years; that they have turned from an inspired, inerrant and authoritative revelation of G.o.d, and turned to an unproven theory which makes the Bible a human doc.u.ment, of supreme value, so they say, as unfolding the religious evolution of the race, but full of errors because of the human element in it.

The result of this is the so-called “scientific” or “historical” method of interpreting the Bible, which means, to quote Dr. Meeser, that while the Scriptures

have the wisdom of experts in religion, [yet] “authority” is scarcely the term to describe their value, and may, when applied to them, obscure their real character.

“But why make all this ado about it,” say the evolutionists; “it is all simply a question of interpretation.”

That is absolutely right. It is the interpretation of the evolutionists set in opposition to that of the Holy Spirit; and the true Church, compelled to make a choice, takes that of the Holy Spirit.

2. The logic of evolution destroys the doctrine of the =fall of man= and its result in total depravity.

After an address somewhat along these lines in one of the largest normal schools in the world, the science professor said to the writer, “Yes, but you know there is evolution and =evolution=.”

That is indeed true. We are all aware of the fact that there are various kinds, shapes, and colors of evolution, from theistic to atheistic; but the fact still remains that =every= theory is =still evolution=, and that =any= theory of evolution whatsoever, if it means anything at all, means steady =progress= from lower to higher. Progress is certainly the one thought that is vital to any definition of evolution, and progress =downward= is excluded by the very meaning of the word, and so evolution under =any= theory can mean nothing but progress =upward=.

But the Word of G.o.d says that man has gone =down= from a condition of purity and innocence into a condition of such sinful enmity against G.o.d, that he is not only not subject to the law of G.o.d, but is utterly incapable of bringing himself into subjection to it. And the experience of every Christian gives sorrowful but certain evidence to that fact.

This condition the Bible describes as being =dead= in sin. And since death is not death at all until it is total, man, therefore, being dead, is totally dead–and this is total depravity.

This means that the only progress possible to man in his natural state is =progress in corruption=. For total depravity, which is total spiritual death, does not mean that the last limit of corruption has been reached, but that while death is total, corruption may have just begun.

The reality of the natural man’s spiritual death is abundantly ill.u.s.trated in human history. After man fell into sin, and died, he was given fullest opportunity to recover himself and to demonstrate thereby that he was still spiritually alive. But the corruption of spiritual death worked until man was so far down in the filth of his moral putrefaction that the only way G.o.d could save the race from extinction was to save the one family that had accepted spiritual life from Him, and blot the rest of the race out in the flood.

Then, starting out again under more favorable circ.u.mstances than before, man went from bad to worse until, in one great universal brotherhood, he rose up and defied G.o.d at the Tower of Babel, and G.o.d had to smash the brotherhood into fragments by the confusion of languages.

Time after time G.o.d tried man and found his progress downward always, no matter how favorable the circ.u.mstances that surrounded him, until finally he came to earth Himself in the Person of His Son. This brought both the reality and the completeness of man’s spiritual death to a demonstration that can never be refuted, for at the cross man displayed, to its eternal uncovering, the awful corruption of that spiritual condition that could not tolerate in its presence incarnate purity and holiness, even though he had to become the murderer of G.o.d manifest in the flesh to get away from it.

Even in his worship man’s progress is steadily downward. Beginning with G.o.d, he progresses downward until he is worshipping birds, then beasts, and then creeping things.

But evolution says that man is =coming up= from primitive conditions into fuller life. And so the evolutionist cannot tolerate such doctrines as these which the Word of G.o.d sets forth. To a consistent evolutionist, man is not spiritually dead, for that would make progress out of the question.

And if progress upward is denied–if the only progress possible to the natural man is progress in corruption, then the whole doctrine of evolution is gone.

This is why it becomes necessary for Canon E. W. Barnes, of Westminster Abbey, when he accepts evolution, to reject the Bible. He says:

The inevitable acceptance of evolution means giving up belief in the fall and in all the theology built upon it by the theologians from St. Paul onward. Man was not made perfect and then marred; his evolution is still proceeding.

So here again it is utterly impossible for the consistent evolutionist to accept the Bible doctrine of the fall of man.

3. The logic of evolution destroys the doctrine of =sin=.

The Bible makes man’s fall deliberate and wilful, and his continued att.i.tude of sinful enmity against G.o.d, in spite of all G.o.d’s offered power to change it into love, one of excuseless lawlessness and rebellion.

This makes man entirely responsible for his sin and accountable to G.o.d for everything sin does in his life. And so the Bible says:

Every one shall give account of himself to G.o.d.

And those who go out of this life in the unconfessed and therefore unforgiven sin of rejecting G.o.d’s mercy in Christ shall “go away into everlasting punishment,” where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

But to the evolutionary philosophy, sin cannot be “exceeding sinful,” for it is either inherent in the process of evolution, or, at worst, but an unfortunate slip in the working out of that process, if, indeed, it is not even a mark of budding virtue.

John Fiske says:

Theology has much to say about original sin. This original sin is neither more nor less than the brute inheritance that every man carries with him.

Rev. Dwight Bradley, a Cleveland, Ohio, pastor, says:

There is no escape for intelligent people today from the acceptance of the law of evolution…. It follows that what we call evil [sin] is the remains of a lower form of life….

We are in the midst of the slow process of ridding ourselves of our animal inheritance.

And Dr. Shailer Mathews follows the evolutionary philosophy to its logical and necessary end when he says:

But for men who think of G.o.d as dynamically imminent in an infinite universe, who think of man’s relation to Him as determined not by statutory but by cosmic law, who regard sin and righteousness alike as the working out of the fundamental forces of life itself, the conception of G.o.d as King and of man as condemned or acquitted subject is but a figure of speech.

Such a doctrine as this absolutely and forever destroys man’s responsibility for sin. For if sin is what Dr. Mathews suggests it is,–“the working out of the fundamental forces of life itself,”–then it is inherent in man’s natural const.i.tution as a process of his evolution.

And if this is so, man is in no way responsible for his sin.

This altogether removes man’s accountability to G.o.d, for he cannot be brought to account for that which is the working out of the fundamental forces of life itself, and which is therefore inevitable in the very workings of his nature. And even if sin is an unfortunate slip in the process of evolution, man cannot be held accountable for an accident.

This doctrine also puts a high premium on the whole beastly, selfish, l.u.s.tful, murderous history of the race, for it makes sin a ladder up which man is climbing to his high destiny.

Punishment for sin is therefore absolutely out of the question. For if man is not responsible for his sin, and if G.o.d punishes him for it, as the Bible says He will, even by the law of cause and effect, that would make G.o.d an infinite tyrant and an unspeakable fiend. And so if G.o.d is not a monster, and if evolution is true, there is no punishment for sin, and the Bible lies.

Thinking men see that this is the inevitable logic of the doctrine of evolution. Sir J. William Dawson, speaking of the evolutionary doctrines as speculations, says:

They seek to revolutionize the religious beliefs of the world, and if accepted would destroy much of the existing theology and philosophy…. With one cla.s.s of minds they const.i.tute a sort of religion…. With another and perhaps larger cla.s.s, they are accepted as affording a welcome deliverance from all scruples of conscience and fears of a hereafter.

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But do you see where this brings us? Straight back to Christ’s formula!

This is precisely what His formula involves, for when a man wills to do G.o.d’s will, he takes the first step in faith.

Then when a man comes into this att.i.tude toward G.o.d’s will, he will next inquire where he is to commence in the doing of that will, what the first step is in the will of G.o.d.

The Textbook tells us that the first step is to “repent and believe the Gospel.” That this is the first step is self-evident, because the heart must be opened to Him who alone can give the knowledge of spiritual truth before that knowledge is possible, and repentance and faith are the opening of the heart to Him. For repentance is a coming into that att.i.tude of heart toward G.o.d in which the whole life is laid bare before Him exactly as it is, thereby opening the way for faith; and believing the Gospel is an entering upon that faith which accepts the Gospel–the Good News–of Christ’s finished work of atonement for sin through His shed blood on the cross, and reckons pardon for sin and new life in Christ to be now ours according to the Word of G.o.d. For faith, you remember, is both an att.i.tude and an act; an att.i.tude of surrender to G.o.d, and an act of receiving what G.o.d has for us; and this is precisely what it means to repent and believe the Gospel.

This means that the man of genuine scientific spirit will begin his pursuit of spiritual truth by sincere “repentance toward G.o.d” and “faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” for salvation through His shed blood, which, according to the Textbook, are the first steps in willing to do the will of G.o.d, followed by a moment-by-moment dependence on Christ, Who is now his life, to reveal truth to him as he continues, by faith, in the att.i.tude of an open heart. This is the only possible way of ever knowing that truth which alone can make us free.

It is true that it is quite the fashion these days for every unbeliever, agnostic, modernist, and unitarian to quote those words of Christ “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” in justification of the claim that something which he is pleased to call truth has given him what he fancies is freedom. But Scripture could not be more grossly perverted than by such a wresting of its plain meaning. The whole statement reads:

Then said Jesus unto =those= Jews that =believed= on =Him=, if =ye continue= in =My Word=, =then= are ye My disciples indeed; and =ye= shall =know= the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Only the spiritually blind can fail to see the meaning of such a statement.

It plainly means that the first step toward freedom is =faith in Christ=, the genuineness of which is evidenced by =continuance in His Word=; and that it is only in this att.i.tude of =faith= that it is possible to =know= the truth that makes us free.

The truth is, therefore, that to be free one must believe on Christ. This does not mean to give intellectual a.s.sent to this or that fact about Him, but utterly to commit the life to Him, sin and all, past, present, and future. For the Gospel tells us not so much what to believe as Whom to believe, and Paul tells us what faith in Christ means when he exclaims: “I know =Whom= I have believed,” and then further unfolds what this involves by adding, “and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have =committed unto Him= against that day.”

Faith is not simply giving mental a.s.sent to facts, it is primarily surrendering to a Person. This is what it means to believe on Christ, and anything short of this will neither give us knowledge of the truth nor make us free.

Then following this att.i.tude toward Christ, the believer evidences his faith by continuing in His Word, by which he comes into experiential knowledge of its truth and its meaning.

Then coming to know the truth by experiencing it through faith, he is where the Son of G.o.d Himself becomes his freedom. And there is no other freedom.

It is in the experience of =Himself=, not in an intellectual a.s.sent to facts about Him, that He makes us free by becoming the =way= to G.o.d for us, the =truth= about G.o.d to us, and the =life= of G.o.d in us.

It is therefore only he whom the Son sets free who is free indeed, for freedom from the curse of sin by the experience of Christ as Saviour, and freedom from the blindness of error by the experience of Christ as Truth incarnate, is the only freedom there is.

When the Word says, therefore, “Whatsoever is not of =faith= is =sin=,” it contemplates both the object of faith and the cause of forfeited freedom.

For the Holy Spirit came to convict men of =sin= because they =believe not on Christ=. Unfaith in Christ is therefore the essence of sin. And sin is bondage, not freedom. Scripture describes the unbeliever in Christ as the bondslave of sin, held in chains of darkness and error. This is why it is impossible either to know even natural truth in any adequate way, or to be able to untangle it from error, without becoming a believer on Christ as the first step. So let no one who has not surrendered his heart to Christ in faith boast that he either knows the truth or is free.

But suppose a man should seek to know spiritual truth and yet refuse to surrender his heart to Christ in faith, then what? It could only be because he was so devoid of the scientific spirit that he did not want to =know the truth= at =any cost=. And no man who is in this frame of mind can ever come to know the truth. Haeckel defines the scientific att.i.tude of mind when he says of the scientific inquirer that his

sole and only task is to seek to know the truth, and to teach what he has discovered to be the truth, indifferent as to … consequences.

This means, in the terms of our present discussion, that in order to know spiritual truth, the man of scientific mind will be willing to work by Christ’s formula no matter what it costs him, for that alone will give him the knowledge of eternal things which will make it possible adequately to interpret natural truth.

But suppose the inquirer doubts the possibility of entering into a scientific knowledge of spiritual truth by following this formula, what then? It can only be because he is so unscholarly as to make the blunder in logic of a.s.suming as untrue or impossible that which =remains to be proved=.

No matter on which ground he refuses to surrender to Christ, therefore, no inquirer after spiritual truth can be either scientific or scholarly who makes this refusal; for he thereby renders himself not only utterly incompetent to know spiritual truth, but also entirely unable to accord primacy to the spiritual realm by interpreting natural truth in its light.

Suppose a man should take this att.i.tude of indifference or unbelief toward natural truth. Suppose that after refusing to make the first experiment in the study of chemistry he should attempt researches in a realm whose facts required interpretation in the light of the chemical laws he had refused to learn in the laboratory. Then suppose he should dogmatically announce such interpretations of his discoveries in that realm as were altogether out of harmony with the most fundamental laws in the chemical realm. And then suppose that in order to maintain his unfounded and arbitrary interpretations he should so twist the statements of the textbook on chemistry into harmony with his theories as to destroy their essential integrity. He would win nothing but contempt from experienced chemists. He would certainly find no place in the ranks of scientists.

This is precisely why evolutionists and rationalists, using this method exactly, can win no response from experienced Christians, and why they ought to be outside the membership of our churches as long as they pursue this method. Believers can not listen for one moment to such interpretations of scientific facts by unbelievers as destroy the essential doctrines of the Christian faith and deny the inerrancy and final authority of the Word of G.o.d. For unbelievers have not only not secured a scientific knowledge of what they are talking about, but they have not even acquired the right to =pa.s.s an opinion= on the fundamental doctrines of the Bible.

How can they announce dogmatically so-called scientific interpretations of the facts of nature which give the lie to the unmistakable doctrines of the spiritual Textbook whose truthfulness they have refused to put to the laboratory test of experience, and yet at the same time claim to be actuated by the scientific spirit? Those who do such things know nothing about the scientific spirit! Canon Dyson Hague was scientifically correct when he said that the rationalists are being opposed, not on the ground of their scholarship, but

because the biblical criticism of rationalists and unbelievers can be neither expert nor scientific.

There is but one conclusion possible. The man who intends to accord primacy to the spiritual realm will first acquire a verified knowledge of spiritual truth by the laboratory method of experience, according to the formula of the Textbook. For when he does this he will then be qualified to take the next step and make the primacy of spiritual truth an actual reality.

=b.= This will Mean Interpreting Natural Truth in the Light of the Bible.

We have now arrived at that point where we can sum up the logic of the scientific method of the laboratory as it applies to the investigation of the theory of evolution.

The man who is honest enough to want to know the truth at all cost, and accurate enough to insist on coming into a knowledge of the truth both by scientific methods and in the scientific order of primacy, will first acquire an adequate knowledge by experience, as we have already decided, of those statements of the Bible that can be verified to the experience, and then he will for the first time be qualified to arrive at an adequate estimate of the statements that cannot be so verified.

Then recognizing that all the scientific references of the Bible, including those relating to origins, are in that cla.s.s that can not be verified to the experience, he will decide to come to no conclusions concerning them except such as will maintain both the primacy of primary truth and the unity of all the realms of truth. He will do this because it is the only thing he can do and still maintain a truly scientific att.i.tude of mind.

This will mean that he will interpret all the non-experimental statements of the Bible, including the scientific references, in harmony with and in the light of those spiritual and experiential truths which he has already had verified to him through his own personal relations with G.o.d through faith in Christ. In other words, he will maintain the primacy of spiritual truth by allowing no interpretation of scientific facts that will cast either denial or doubt on those fundamental doctrines which he now =knows= are true, because they have been =supernaturally verified= to him through the laboratory test of faith.

Take an ill.u.s.tration. Suppose an author on chemistry, who was also a historian, should include in his textbook a history of the science of chemistry. Now if a man puts his statements of chemical laws to an accurate laboratory test and finds them true, he has the presumption established that the history, which cannot be so tested, is also true.

Yes, that ill.u.s.tration breaks down, but only at the point of =human fallibility= and =imperfection=. If that author were omniscient and infallible the ill.u.s.tration would be perfect.

Now apply it to the Word. When a man, through the unfailing laboratory test of honest faith, finds that the statements that can be put to the test of experience are infallible truth, he has not simply the presumption but also the =absolute certainty= established that all its other statements are true, because the infallible and omniscient Author has given it to us as His Word. It comes to us with a “Thus saith the Lord” ringing in our ears from beginning to end, and not with the multiplied repet.i.tions of “We may well suppose” of the scientific guessers.

The man of scientific mind, therefore, will accept all the non-experiential statements of the Bible as infallible truth, including scientific and historical references and prophetic utterances. He will then accord the place of primacy to all understood scientific references of the Bible over all discoveries in the natural realm. He will do this by interpreting the few and fragmentary discoveries of finite and fallible man in the light of the statements that come to us as the Word of an infallible G.o.d, concluding that if there is any apparent inharmony, it lies in the partial discoveries or premature conclusions of scientists, rather than in any error of statement in the Bible. In other words, he will interpret science in the light of the Bible, and not the Bible in the light of science. And if at any time a harmonizing of scientific discoveries with the Bible seems impossible, he will withhold final conclusions until he has further scientific light, realizing that when he knows enough science he will then be able to understand the scientific references of the Bible, and the apparent inharmony will vanish. Multiplied ill.u.s.trations of this are so familiar that it is scarcely necessary to elaborate on it, as many will occur to the reader who is at all familiar with the essential harmony between the Bible and all real scientific knowledge, and with the fact that a mult.i.tude of scientific discoveries have been made, only to find that the Bible made reference to them in the most accurate scientific terms many centuries before their discovery.

A conclusion is now possible as to what att.i.tude a man who has faith in an inerrant Bible will be compelled to take toward the theory of evolution.

When he sees that the logic of evolution destroys every fundamental Scripture doctrine which he has already had verified to him by the Holy Spirit; when he learns that evolution is not only entirely unproven but even discredited by many competent men of science; and when he turns to the Bible and reads the statement repeated over and again that each species was created to reproduce only “after his kind”; he will be compelled to make a choice between evolution and an inerrant Bible, and, believing the Bible, he will reject evolution.

Then when he recalls that to Eve, Satan advanced an unproven theory which a.s.sumed to interpret, but had the effect of denying, the Word of G.o.d, and then reflects that the theory of evolution does precisely the same thing, he will become suspicious that the “father of lies” is behind the whole evolutionary propaganda. Other theories that are unproven and discredited fall by their own weight. The persistence of this theory must be accounted for on the ground that it can be used to destroy faith in the infallibility of the Bible.

It is quite true that there are many who say they believe the Bible and accept evolution also. But how those who are mentally sound and capable of logical consistency can accept two mutually exclusive propositions at the same time, it is impossible to understand. We will be compelled to let those who say they accept both the Bible and evolution explain how they do it–if they can! But meantime, if we take pains to make careful inquiry of such people, we shall find that in =every case= where logical and consistent thinking has any meaning whatever, a =choice= has been made between the Bible as an inerrant and infallible Book and the theory of evolution. It is quite possible for a man to hold the “scientific” or “historical” att.i.tude toward the Bible, which makes it a human book marred by many errors, and believe in evolution at the same time; but the man who holds that att.i.tude toward the Bible =does not believe it at all=! No one can accept the theory of evolution and the doctrine of an inerrant Bible at the same time.

And yet the attempt is being very skilfully made by many leaders in the Schools today to camouflage this impossibility. A very recent article by Dr. Shailer Mathews on “Christ and Education” is a typical ill.u.s.tration.

In the midst of the article Dr. Mathews frankly indicates his acceptance of evolution, because of which, he says, “the meaning of religion was enlarged” for him. Then he leaves the impression with the reader that the conclusions of modern science are to be taken without question, and also that our faith in Christ and the Bible are to be brought into harmony with these conclusions. That is, our faith must combine an acceptance of evolution with whatever att.i.tude toward Christ and the Scriptures the evolutionary philosophy makes possible. This puts reason above Revelation and makes the scientific realm primary in its relation to the spiritual.

The reader can judge, in the light of our previous thinking, whether this procedure is scientific or not.

Then in speaking of the fact that the educated man as truly as the ignorant man needs the saving power of Christ, he says:

But he must be saved as an educated man and not as an ignorant man. He cannot be forced to give up what he knows to be real. If he be told that Christian loyalty involves the abandonment of the a.s.sured results and methods of scientific investigation, he will refuse such loyalty.

This implied charge is later on in the article made specific when he says that some schools

“are refusing to let their students know the results of scientific investigation for fear lest such knowledge will ruin certain theological beliefs for which the schools stand”–a method he describes as putting a premium upon ignorance as a prerequisite for faith.

The reader knows as well as the writer that the whole att.i.tude of the Christian Church, and therefore of true Christian education, challenges those words and hurls them back at their author for proof. Both the implied and the direct accusations are utterly without foundation. Indeed, the thing Dr. Mathews charges is the one thing true Christian education does =not= do.

When did the Church ever try to force a man, educated or ignorant, to give up what he knows to be facts in order to become a Christian? When was a man ever asked by Christian schools to choose between the a.s.sured results and methods of scientific investigation and loyalty to Christ? When has that inst.i.tution which, above all others, has fought ignorance and fostered true scientific investigation used a method that put a premium on ignorance as a prerequisite for faith?

It is not =facts= that the Church either fears or refuses to accept, but such an =interpretation= of them by evolutionists and rationalists as to deny the scientific accuracy and therefore the inerrancy of the Word of G.o.d. It is altogether beside the truth to intimate that the Church is fostering an education that has to withhold a.s.sured scientific facts for fear their knowledge would ruin faith in any theological beliefs whatever “for which the schools stand.” It is not the =knowledge= of scientific facts that true Christian schools ever withhold, but such =theories= and =speculations= concerning their meaning as would destroy the schools as Christian inst.i.tutions if the logic of them were followed to the end. And as for the Church ever abandoning the a.s.sured results and methods of scientific investigation, this is precisely the thing the Church is =fighting to maintain= against the efforts of evolutionists and rationalists. It is rather the =Schools= that have been abandoning scientific methods of investigation, thereby reaching “a.s.sured results”

that invalidate not only the doctrine of an inerrant Bible, but every other fundamental doctrine of the Scriptures. Indeed, this is the very reason why the controversy between the Church and the Schools is now on, and Dr.

Mathews’ article is typical of the attempts that are being made to make it appear that faith in evolution and the Bible can be combined–an attempt toward which all believers in an infallible Book will always be irreconcilable.

And this irreconcilable att.i.tude is not without reason, but for the perfectly valid reason that the one who accepts evolution as a fact is utterly unscientific. For in the first place he accepts unproven a.s.sumptions and rationalistic speculations as demonstrated facts. And, in the next place, he thereby forces human interpretations of scientific facts to contradict the divinely verified doctrines of the Bible, thus thrusting confusion and contradiction between realms of truth which are in perfect harmony. And, still further, he interprets the Bible in the light(?) not simply of science but even of a false science, and thus compels unproven hypotheses to deny the truthfulness of the scientific and historical references of the Bible, thereby forcing into primacy a realm of truth that is not primary. And all of this because he refuses to follow the formula of the spiritual Textbook and put faith above reason and the Bible above science in his approach to truth. How can a man follow such methods and yet imagine that he is scientific?

One more thing remains to be said before this argument is completed. We started out with an unproven, though self-evident premise. Turn back to the very first paragraph in the book and you will find that the falsity of the pantheistic theory was a.s.sumed but not proved. Its falsity was a.s.sumed on grounds that have come to light as the argument has proceeded, and that might easily be turned to account now as conclusive proofs. For example, to refer to one of them, the self-evident distinction between the realm which contains the Creator and that which contains His creation science proves to be a real divergence in kind by being compelled to cease investigation with scientific apparatus the moment the boundary line of the spiritual realm is reached. And if there is as real a distinction between G.o.d and His creation as this indicates, the doctrines of pantheism are impossible.