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The crisis of collision is perfectly apparent - it is a matter of using power to protect or using power to delete (others) and advance (oneself)... and we turn to the scripture to prevent philosophic accretions posing as 'Christian'.
Apparent, then, from the Bible are a number of points strongly relating to theistic evolution. At once, one recalls that Scripture concerning Jesus Christ, which states:
"He, though He was rich, yet become poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich" (II Corinthians 8:9).
He paid a ransom to redeem those who, being penitent and having faith in Him, were n themselves wholly unacceptable.
Imagined (*42) evolutionary procedures, on the other hand, hold rather a strong relation with the doctrine that a creature, though it be strong - rich, possessed of power to secure its desires - yet will annul the life of another creature, if its own survival (or perhaps even its own satisfaction) is at stake... and this, it purports, is the way of creation! The given creature will secure itself; and the devil, or anything else that may happen to be in the rear, take the hindmost.
This amiable philosophy holds the view: the creature must survive.'Thou shalt survive' echoes its elevating exhortation! This is the extra-Biblical commandment, here biologically pronounced. If the reason for it is less obvious, the popularity of this call with Hitler, Stalin and an impactive, large segment of teachers and politicians, those very vocal in these areas, is too well known to deserve further comment here. (Biblically, this is the creation's "subjection to vanity" - Romans 8:20.)
The two procedures, Christ's and this one, may now be related. They differ roughly as do God and the devil, harmonise 1ike plus and minus, are akin, like light and darkness. In the way of Christ Himself, one dies for the unfit (in the sense of 'deserving damnation'- John 3:30-36, Luke 13:1-3); while in the other way, the creature takes what it can get... (You might almost paraphrase the spirit of it: 'And be damned to the consequences for the rest'!)
The recent Columbian drug trade 'lords' and their attitude seems to summarise it very aptly, if rather more raucously than some seemingly unthinking academic zealots, charged with the instruction of the young, and inventing an unseen process from nowhere with such serene authority. If there be any body, any authority, any reason, any grounds, any opposition, any obstruction in the way of our survival, while doing what we see fit, let it be removed! This seems to cover a goodly part of the battle plan... We look at East and West, North and South, plus and minus infinity; ways of life as diverse as those of deity and the devil: Christianity and survival.
The one forgets itself, the other asserts itself. One dies for the deliverance of others; the other lives by and through its fitness, for itself, dispensing with life not for itself, but for what gets in its way, according as it has power to make the opposition... un-happen.
Yet even the disciples of Christ must, Biblically, follow Him:
Now we who are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves... For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, The reproaches of those who reproached Thee fell upon me.(This is taken from Romans 15:1, and may be compared with 1 John 4:20, where to hate, not to love, means divorce from God, earning the title 'liar' to this sort of 'Christian' practitioner. In other words, such a procedure constitutes categorical pseudo-Christian fraud. One may deceive in such a process, oneself, one may deceive others; but before God, by the word of God, such a person is unmasked- cf. Hebrews 4:12-13.)
Thus in the one case, the creature is keen to continue as it may: but in the other, He, Christ, discontinued, through voluntary and indeed planned death, where He might have continued:
"Put up your sword again into its place... Do you think that I cannot now pray to my Father, and He even now will send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?" (Matthew 26:53-54.)
This 'Prince of Life' then, and thus, discontinues where He statedly could rather at will have displayed power, allowing no interruption of His location in this world of so much strife, divesting Himself, at one sweep, of those intent on His non-survival here!
This however He did not; and in fact He deemed such a step a violation of scripture. True, He continues anyway, but only through the supernatural intervention of the bodily resurrection after death (Acts 2:31- "concerning the resurrection... His flesh did not rot"). "Does a spirit have flesh and bones as you see me to have?" asked Christ, returned after the sacrifice of ultimate service.
Christ dis-survived that the unfit might survive; and continued by the power of God, because this is the way God has it in terms of truth, virtue and Christianity. That is the situation in terms of that Christ who was co-Creator and does not change, that Jesus Christ who is scripturally declared to be "the same, yesterday, today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8, cf. Hebrews 1:12). That is the teaching of Christianity.
One by predestinated thought proceeds to deliver those not only unfit but unsavoury ( Acts 2:22-28) by God's own standards; and the other by its own violence proceeds to deliver to death the opponents of its own mere continuance. Darkness is nearer to light than this to God.
One proceeds by self-sacrifice to enable survival of the unfit; the other proceeds by self- assertion to enforce death (if need be and as often as need be) on the unfit. (The problem for the evolutionist, of theoretical definition in the latter case - see Macbeth's Darwin Retried - may be met, though not to cover the theoretical case, by defining the 'unfit' to mean the 'dead-in-the-process'- a sort of irrelevant, pragmatic, a posteriori shrug.) Christ, by stark and absolute contrast indeed, delivers those who receive Him.
Now Jesus Christ, as we saw the Scripture informs us, is the same today, yesterday and forever; and God swears in Malachi (3:6) that He does not change (cf. James 1:17). The Psalms (90:2, 102:26-27) advise us that from everlasting to everlasting God is the same- indeed His years do not end- "in Him is no shadow of turning"- "no variableness", says James.
In John 5:19, for example again, Jesus advises us that He does whatsoever the Father does in the same way. It is all akin. As God's thoughts are above ours, so are the heavens above the earth; and as to His understanding, it is infinite (Isaiah 55, Psalm 147:5). His ways are similarly disjunct from ours (Isaiah 55:9), but are definitively declared in Christ (Hebrews 1:3-8, cf. John 16:15, 17:10).
This comparability of Christ in quality and scope with the Father implies the status of deity for Him; but that is not all. We are also told that all should honour the son just as (Greek) they honour the Father (John 5:19-23). Short of idolatry, which the Scripture excludes (Isaiah 42. 8, Psalm 89:6) with emphasis, and which excludes from heaven (1 Corinthians 6:6-9), this entails that Christ is deity. Now God is a Spirit (John 4:24).
As deity, Christ is by nature therefore that spiritually unchanging Being, who thus in redemption, and all it implies, has an approach which is ethically unchanged from that at the episode and performance of creation itself... till now (Genesis 2:1-3, cf. Malachi 3:6, Psalm 102:26-27, Hebrews 13:6).
Accordingly, we read (Hebrews 11:3): "By faith we understand that the worlds have been framed by the Word of God, so that what is seen has not been made out of things which do appear."
Indeed, Genesis 2:4 tells us that Genesis 1:1-2:3 has told us just how God did it! It would seem that one reason for the recapitulation, selectively and with emphasis, for the particular focus and extension to a new thrust of specialty in Genesis 2 after Genesis 1, is precisely to remove from wandering or casual minds any tendency to depart from the specific declarations already made, like a teacher, with deft and subtle emphasis ensuring that what is taught, what is necessary, gets through...
Moreover, Christ's participation in the creation of all things from the beginning is perfectly explicit (John 1:1-14, Colossians 1:16, Ephesians 3:9).
It is thus systematically out of the question to reconcile any form of evolution and its survival ethic- or dis- ethics, Biblically defined - with Christianity or its Christ, declared in Scripture. There is a systematic, indeed a satanic contrast in view. Christ created (John 1:1-4, Colossians 1:16-17); and changeless in nature as in love (1 John 4:6-20), He does not do things that other way. Nor should His followers 1 John 4:20). Nor did He, ever. Nor would He (1 John 4:8-10, Amos 2:9-3:8, Psalm 50:16-21, Psalm 10, 1 John 1:5, James 1:17).
Is God 'guilty' of Biological Apartheid ?
In answer, very emphatically in the negative, we shall adduce a number of crucial considerations.
i) God may be judged by none whose
sin obscures, whose limits constrain or whose knowledge is not omniscient.
Only by God can anything ultimately be judged. Thus we hear from
James: "There is one Lawgiver who is able to save and to destroy. Who
are you to judge another ?" (4:12)... and "Who are you to judge
another's servant ? To his own master he stand or falls" (Romans 14:4).
Again, of the Messiah, we find this (Isaiah 11:3-4):
"He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, nor decide by the hearing of His ears; but with righteousness He shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth." That is God's prerogative.
ii) But let us now consider the elements,
though properly speaking there should be no need. Let us procedurally waive
the point, in order to examine the essence of the principle in view.
Whilst some may allege that in organic evolution we are concerned merely with material processes, and that spiritual categories do not apply, this is demonstrably false.
Firstly, it is not only a question of that to which mercy is shown or righteousness secured; but of Him who shows it, being by nature merciful, and with no flicker of unrighteousness (James 1:17): loving mercy (Isaiah 7:18 ) for ever (Psalm 100:5); abundant in it ( Numbers 14:18), possessing it (Psalm 62:12) so that the earth is full of it (Psalm 119:64)...
Mercy is part of God's own name (Exodus 34:6). Unlike many British citizens in World War II, He does not have to evacuate anything, but is changeless (Malachi 3:6), and "Thou art the same and Thy years will have no end" (Psalm 102:27). It is not for us to tell Him He need not bother with certain fields of work; being by nature thus, in all fields, He will have the same qualities (cf. Psalm 89:8,141). Nor is it for us to circumscribe, far less compress His qualities; for what He says they are, is expressible only by Himself, and as for what is expressed with no limit or qualification, so must it be received. How much more is this so when it is affirmed dramatically and categorically of His name, by Himself... to whose word we are looking, in order to find the contrast between this philosophy and the teaching of the Bible, for the sake of clarity.
Secondly, what of the actual field that some might wish to exempt from God's moral qualities, that of sentient life? What actually is involved, to the point ? Can we rightly refer to these in merely material terms ?
The fact is that material processes are one category, and living forms are another. Of the latter, some have integrated procedures for defence, locomotion and performance. Others also have consciousness, instinct and a variable measure of liberty in instituting their protective, assertive or other devices.
Man also has symbolic rationality and predictive powers relative to the material realm; formal analytical prowess and the capacity to give worship, whether inanely, self-assertively... or to God.
None of these categories may accurately be dubbed merely material, without the conceptual destruction of their specifics, something indeed already shown and which will in essence be further shown, in Chapter 3 infra. To attempt anything of this kind is a clear case of reductionism, that desire to ignore categorical differences in the interests of some philosophic point of view, in dereliction of intellectual duty.
Hence to allege
that spiritual categories do not apply to lower forms of life (i. e. lower
than man) because these (living) things are material only, is simply
The case is worse. The abused differentiae, the qualities of life here overlooked (by such reductionists) are the very crucial issues at point. It is one thing to overlook some item of evidence in a murder case; it is quite another when it is in itself a sufficient cause of the death - like arsenic.
iii) More particularly, we must observe that Christ is termed the "Prince Of Life" (Acts 3:15). Therefore, since scripture is our current topic, and what it teaches must be duly applied to the factual field - this 'life' over which He is Prince, is as broad as the term. Not merely human life is comprehended by this term. Indeed all things were created by Him (Colossians 1:16); and the case is comprehensive, "all things... in heaven and... on earth, visible and invisible... all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things and by Him all things consist."
That shows how intimate is Christ to every phase and form of life in its creation. Not merely was it done through Him but for Him, and it all consists by Him.
Clearly His mind, might and morals are pervasively and intimately relevant at all times. All of this creation as creation therefore was in accord with His character. Since then this is Biblically the case, then the Bible teaches that just so far as arrogance, cruelty, mercilessness are relevant to any form of life in its creation, to this degree is there a violation of His character.
Since He is almighty (Revelation 1:8, Isaiah 9:6) who creates, such did not occur, by the most obvious Biblical teaching. Indeed, He called it all 'very good' at creation, and has expressly declared a curse on the ground (Genesis 3:17) on the one hand, and subjected the creation on earth to vanity ('futility' or 'decay', a judgment - Romans 8:19-21).
How much more, to the degree there is imagined creation by violence, self-assertion, the treading on the weak by the strong, does this violate scripture: which has specifically asserted that creation was by Him, who opposes and denounces all these qualities! There is a point in the ridiculous when serious study ceases and mere mirth supervenes.
This is that point; only by this desperate seeming desire to cling to the illusory anti-observational myth of organic evolution, or some similar extremity, could one understand such mental lapse as in the face of this, to think that. It is excluded by contradiction.
iv) Not merely is it contrary to His actions, claims and example, it is diametrically opposed. If it were to have occurred at lower levels of life, yet these incorporate very often, cruelty and the voidance of pity. Terror and pain, loneliness and dismay may not be experienced as we can experience them in the case of such lower forms of life; yet physical responses, facial expressions, sounds made and the parallel behaviour of domesticated creatures demonstrate aptly enough that such qualities are there.
Theistic evolution is simply not an interpretation of scripture: its god is in the form of the devil or some near ally: 'the adversary' as scripture puts it. What we now see to be its means, violate both what we found in Chapter One to be the necessary righteousness of God; and what is in fact the declared righteousness of God, who is "without iniquity" (Deuteronomy 32:4, Psalm 89:14..."righteousness and judgment are the foundation of Thy throne" and "a God of truth and without iniquity").
Is it, in part, because of the politicians, that inexpressibly contorted mistakes of this kind are made; as if the frequently found fraud, corruption, inconsistency, divorce between words and deeds, special pleadings and taking of profitable exceptions to stark principles, so often seen in the Press for many in this sort of power, were some sort of indication for the Master of morals Himself ? Is this a reason why some might think, as seemingly here, that God also would be merely mouthing principles which He does not perform as broadly as His utterance clearly indicates?
However, not only is His righteousness clearly demonstrable (Chapter 1 supra), but in this expository section, we simply find that all righteousness is based on His, and as for Him:
"Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Thy throne; mercy and truth go before Thy face" (Psalm 89:14). As to tongues framing deceit (Psalm 50:19 ff.), He is unimpressed, saying:
"Your tongue frames deceit ... These things you have done, and I kept silent; you thought that I was altogether like you; but I will reprove you ... Now consider this, you who forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver. Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; and to him who orders his conduct aright, I will show the salvation of God."
This is reminiscent of John 14:21-23 where Christ indicates that love for Him and for His commandments may act a prelude to His manifesting of Himself to such a saved sinner. God is vigorous on consistency, on charity and on holiness, wholeheartedness and truth in the inward parts (Psalm 51:6, 10). He is neither indifferentist, inconsistent nor unzestful on the topic. Moreover, His Throne is over all, and His mercy over all His works (Psalm 145:9) His throne operates, and He is both on it and rules over all (Romans 11:33). "For of Him, and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever" (Romans 11:36).
There are no exceptions to His supervision, no exemptions from His purvey, no pits past His perception, no actions past His knowledge.
v) Would the confused proponent of
such theistic evolutionary views have God a hypocrite! The Bible notes
that the righteous man is kind to his beast. Cruelty and kindness are indeed
relevant to life forms well below man.
Will God be less so, be less merciful than He exhorts man to be, man made in His image- to the beasts ? will He, whose word constitutes truth, who cannot lie (Titus 1:2) mouth morals relative to animals for us which He, who became man and made him in His image, did not keep in the... little matter of the creation! Here is explicit teaching on God's perspective on the applicability of mercy to beasts.
Is God indeed
to create by what He Himself condemns! Such a thought involves the sort
of contradiction already laid to rest concerning deity; transgresses several
impossibilities; achieves blasphemy, reconstructs God; attributes to Him
the devices of the devil. It would be the mildest of comments, therefore,
to observe that in theistic evolution we are moving into a new area, a
new 'god'. Like those coming up newly, mentioned with such exquisite but
poignant irony by Moses in Deuteronomy 32:17, new boy gods, such creations
of the mind of man are not only irrelevant to the God of the Bible, but
verbal assault on Him, when mentioned in His presence. What then are they
when confused with Him?
Such a concept is by implication, one of the total condemnation of God. Since God then is allegedly involved, we have need to consider which god: it is one who involves the condemnation of the God of the Bible, and this is the point that we make. It is in fact normal, certainly scriptural, to refer to this particular 'god' as the devil.
In scriptural terms, what confuses God with the devil is somewhat beyond an error; it is a verbal catastrophe. It is more than travesty; it reduces talk at best to childish gabble, and at worst to an especially acute form of blasphemy... if indeed this is not an understatement.
vi) But someone might ask: how is it then that now these merciless, cruel and arrogant elements, these strong-crushing-the-weak situations, components, activities are to be seen ? Has God forgotten to be gracious?
They are, let us notice at once, present for a reason similar to that for which they are found among many of the human race: a combination of sin and judgment. It is no argument concerning the nature of God to note that men who have a few powers in the area of self-determination, often use them amiss. It is not always so: sometimes the sight is spiritual and excellent; at other times, we see vice. We see sacrifice and squalor; nobility and horror; quiet continuance of good in some and awe-inspiring agonies of evil in others. Man is not programmed; his passions are not required; but his responsibility is provided for, and he uses it!
But let us answer more precisely. This scriptural answer in its exact form is so categorical, as simply and powerfully to confirm what has been said.
That answer, since we are consulting the Bible relative to theistic evolution, is this. The Bible states that the creation labours and travails at the present time (Romans 8:18-22, an area of scripture which we have recently consulted). It also declares that the reason is creation's subjection to vanity, to worthless things. It is, we learn from Paul, to be "delivered" from this "bondage of corruption" (Romans 8:18-22). When was this 'subjection'? Genesis designates the curse on the earth in the arena of man's sin (Genesis 3:17-18); and it is here shown as broad as the whole of creation resident upon earth.
Now that it was at one time subjected to corruption (Romans 8:20 for the creation 'was subjected' to corruption) implies that prior to such subjection, it was not so treated. That it is to be 'delivered', indicates a vain, an abnormal, a currently harassed condition.
Further, the subjection not only occurred relative to a previously non-subjected creation: it concerned also one that was not 'willing' (8:20) so to be subjected. It was, then, not only a present creation, that which had already been created; it was also one quite lacking in desire for this change.
Man's madness is then mirrored in some of the lower creation; man's sin is given environmental reflection; his curse is provided with a scene of repugnance (one like himself in so many elements), in some respects a prison, a place of deprivation to aid reflection, as may occur when we incarcerate criminals. The world is by no means wholly lacking in beauty, utility, facility or even charm; but there is a reminder nonetheless.
vii) This excursion into the question of which God is back of the theistic evolutionary concept, is thus useful. It facilitates a composition of correlative items.
Thus this concept does not relate to
the God of the Bible, or to what may be discerned of Him by reason, any
more than it relates to evidence (along with any other concept of organic
evolution), which the God of the Bible very greatly stresses in both Testaments
(e.g. Isaiah 43:9, 44:7, 25-26, 45:5-6, 18-25, 46:9-11, 48:3-14; Acts 1:3,
4:20, 2:32, John 16:4, 15:22-29, 14:11, I John 1:1).
No evolution has been observed in the sense relevant to creation (elevation of design attributes). Much degeneration has been seen; but what is relevant, this has not been seen.
It is the same in life. Your Jaguar car may vary quite markedly as you knock it about in the world of driving: but that change is not in the area of an elevation of its design, and that is what is relevant.
Theistic evolution therefore not only offends as a concept against reason, but equally as one against observation; and as a simple matter of fact, it relates only by contradiction, to the Bible.
viii) To revert to the lesser creation
in particular: do we not ourselves exhibit modes of governance over children,
or puppies or any creature, that express what we are! Now as already
noted, the Bible certainly declares the relation between a righteous man
and a mode of treatment of an animal (Proverbs 12:10); so there is no need
even for inference at this level. The whole topic is perfectly explicit.
Biblically, part of being righteous is to be considerate to animals, just as mercy is a benediction to its possessor, an intrinsic excellence (Proverbs 11:7). Further, the parallel point (12:10) relative to animals, and in this very same verse, is this: "the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel."
Relative to beasts, God says there
is a relevance of cruelty on the one hand, or consideration on the other;
of regard or oppression. Derogatively and incisively exposing the folly
of those who are cruel to their beasts, He makes ironic reference to their
'tender mercies', challenging cruelty. This leaves, to say no more, no
room for doubt concerning His own attitude in this field. Not merely, then,
does His mercy cover the nature of beasts, He castigates those who fail
in this dimension, with high, offended feeling.
How solemn a farce then is the attribution to God Himself, of creation by such means, through tracts of time when, if this were true, His own condemnation could be equally applied to Himself, with this addition: Hypocrite! How vast a space, how yawing a flight is there between this daft and arbitrary assault on the divine name, and worship of it! If ignorance or cultural conditioning has led any reader to this impasse, this chasm, then let today be the day of voidance of vanity and return to the word of God, the testimony of reason (Romans 1:18-20) and the facts of observation.
ix) To assume that God, who forwards peace as a critical and endless feature of His reign (Isaiah 9:6, 48:18, Philippians 4:6-7), in fact used war to gain (create) a realm to reign over, at whatever level such war be conceived, this bespeaks nothing of interpretation, elemental confusion and contradiction. Further, He predicts, shows, declares the coming removal of just those qualities that once provided the means of debased warfare in the time when, as Paul noted in Romans 8 "the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption" (8:21).
"The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
The leopard with lie down with the young goat."
This is seen in Isaiah 11:6, in a Messianic context (11:1- 10), reaching its climax in the statement:
"They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain" (11:9)...
Cruelty to beasts is linked with 'corruption'; the creation upon earth is currently subjected to vanity; in due course, after Christ's return, this creation will be delivered from this vanity; and when it is, the lion will lie down with the lamb. Indeed we must consider the way Isaiah proceeds:
"They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain" (11:9).... God did not create by corruption! when judgment is past, it will be excluded.
The very thought is a blasphemy, a cartoon, a caricature, a barb, a dart of daring on the board of folly.
x) Thus we come to a generic feature. Sin occasioned the vanity which Darwin childishly (because both irrationally and without relevant observation) proposed as the method of creation! It is in one sense like making influenza the source of the body, its creator. True, it might be said, we have never actually observed it do so, have no method to show the arrival of body through influenza (though there is some mucous which some say 'might be related to arrival'...); we have no law by which to give credible argument for such imagined occurrences, find laws contrary in kind without exception: yet so we affirm.
As with organic evolution, one wonders if this is straight farce, (*43), or merely farcical in result.
Yet the former would, in other circumstances, be deemed but the imaginative work of children, either in off-moments, or who have no suggestion of a factual bent, possible future novelists, unusually prone to the thoughts of fantasy.
Sin, then, occasioned the vanity Darwin so mythicised; and salvation is to remove it, now justifying th heart of forgiven Christians, then providing the externals of a universe that is itself a "new creation" in which dwells, as the Scriptures says, "righteousness" (II Peter 3:13). Such is the "earnest expectation of the creation" - Romans 8:19.)
In the meantime, it is a judgment of God, and the earth groans and travails (Romans 8:22). Theistic evolution, like organic evolution in general, to the extent it relates to God at all, implies that God's judgments on sin are His method of creation. It is like mistaking the womb for the cane - something an erratically rebellious child might do.
It is not merely a denial of reason, revelation and Jesus Christ in particular: it collates the curse with the creation, the devil with God, pollution with production and meekness with mercilessness (cf. Matthew 5:3, 5, 11:29). Nothing further from Jesus Christ could possibly be envisaged, at the spiritual level. It is a case of cryptic immorality, hidden in creation, double-minded doctrine that dabbles in the diabolical,2 shuts its eyes to observation and assaults the very character of God.
But who would confuse creation with its curse, or the crushing with the engendering, judgment with jubilation (cf. Proverbs 8:22-31), or the designs springing forth from the Creator with the tempests ravaging creation! It is like making a fever the cause of man, death the engenderer of life.
'Theistic' evolution has only this as an advance over other types of the concept. Like them, it ignores what may be seen and reasoned from observation and law. Unlike them, it is perfectly in line with an explicit assault on the very character of the Almighty. Such an 'advance' has ascended, however, in dizzy irrationality to the height of folly, with nothing between it and the earth.
In sum: No, God is not an apartheid god! He does not use morals for some, but exempt Himself from their activation towards others.
He did not create by what He condemns as corruption. His righteousness is entire (Psalm 9:8, 11:7, 33:5, 45:7, 85:13, 96:13, 97:2, 119:42, 172; Proverbs 8:8, I John 1:5-6, Romans 3:4, 19, Psalm 51:4); and His exhibition in deed accords with His nature in fact: "righteousness and judgment are the foundation of His throne" - (Psalm 97:2) and "in Him is no unrighteousness" (Psalm 92:16).
It is we who must be reminded that "faith without works is dead" (James 2:20). All His works flow harmoniously in accord with His character: it is not merely the hypocrisy which would be implied of Him, if He told us to regard the beasts with alert pity (implying of course that this was relevant to their need and condition, and indicating it to be merciful so to do), and did not do so Himself in their creation.
Rather it is to assume Him guilty of misstatement, it is an explicit affront to His statement, quite unequivocal and unrestricted, on delighting in mercy (Micah 7:18) and being merciful in name (Exodus 24:6); while equally implying, in view of this divine statement that there is in Him, some shadow of variation (contra James 1:17), some penchant for cruelty (contra Psalm 92:7, 97:6, 119:142, 137, 75, 89:14, Romans 3:5-6, Psalm 33:4-5, 145:17). It would be this which alone could devise a processive evolution, a bringing of things to be by force of oppression (as theistic evolution teaches), by self-serving rather than a creation that He found good, as the Bible teaches.
It is a creation in which He who came to earth as Jesus Christ, and co-operated intimately with the actions of the Father. Now to accord to Christ, this same Jesus Christ, as a means of creation, the procedure of the curse on sin (i.e. judgment): to make of this, a very basis of the character of His creation is a blasphemy, not merely gratuitous, but flamboyant with caricature. As God indeed says: "Shall the throne of iniquity, which devises evil by law, have fellowship with thee!" (Psalm 94:20). No, it will not, for: "the Lord is righteous in all His ways, gracious in all His works" (Psalm 145:17).
Caricaturing Jesus Christ is far from following Him; denying the word of God, is far from believing it.
if it be taught, is fitting for the devil: it ignores the Bible, observation
and the character of Christ in its formation; but in its implication, it
makes assault on the crucified Christ, as have so many others who have
misused Him, "teaching for doctrine the commandments of men"
It might however be asked, Why go to this trouble ? for after all, since organic evolution is proven false prior to this extension, does it matter, why it is also morally, ethically and conceptually not merely contrary to the Bible, an attack on the name of God, but a libel on Jesus Christ ? If organic evolution is not the case, why be concerned to thoroughly destroy the very idea of theistic evolution ? What does not happen at all, need not be shown, surely, to be contrary to the God of creation in its style and thought, does it ?
In one way, this is right. The evidence is against the whole concept (*43) of evolution, as earlier shown; it supports completely the concept of a finished creation running down. Incidentally, there is no evidence of evolution in reverse. We do not see new genes actively being constructed which automatically, as it were, simplify the complex linguistic constructions currently in place: a winding down in the same sort of code construction as in reverse, constituted a large slice of the original creation. What we do see is merely this: wear and tear; disintegration and that is precisely, as is always the case when fact and Bible are related, what we would expect.
The amorphous may return; but lower designs are not being created.
However, granted it might be somewhat unnecessary to expose this satanic, anti-evidential contrivance, theistic evolution, in the sense that scientifically it is built on imagination, is not under observational constraints, and does not meet the requirements of scientific method where it is testable (see pp. 149-150 supra for summary and focus), there is more to life than scientific method.
To be sure, there it fails abysmally to be rightly based, and then to meet the proper criteria, even those which could apply, but instead renders a negative result. But it is also in order to show that this anti-scientific construction just as well to be anti-Christian. Any god - (though alas such a god leaves no trace) which saw fit to use this imagined theistic evolutionary procedure to create, matches all too well the ethos of the devil. This we have shown, and it is good to reflect on this. It is also good to remember the wonder of the Bible once more, in that there was no... confusion in presenting an evolutionary basis wedded to an ethical God; for that would have been eminently negative evidence against the Bible.
But no, as always, the Bible, presented to the world in some parts thousands of years ago, does not make gaffes. It is some theologians who appear rather to make buffoons of themselves by bending the ethos of the Bible to its exact opposite, without apparently noticing; or, if noticing, caring; or, if caring, seeing need for repentance.
Let us then return to the first of it. Not merely is this theory of theistic evolution contrary to the morals of God, the ethics of His word, to evidence and known law, it is also contrary to the first detailed statement on the topic.
Morris in his work, The Long War Against God, shows how broadly the thrust of evolution has been pushed in pagan history, and for how long; but the Bible at no time entered the lists of its pushers. Its consistency and its very first presentation of stark and absolute creation is one of its distinctives that becomes, if it were possible, the more impressive as the ludicrous writhings of contemporary evolution proceed, with their new and more frolicsome theories sliding down the bannisters of the house of unbelief, as we have seen earlier in this chapter.
Here then is a verification of stature and quality in the Bible, which we have found while expounding it for clarity, on a topic of current confusion, and ancient error into which the word of God did not fall.
We revert then to the broader considerations of creation, time and nature.
Dr Carl Wieland has referred to the words of Professor James Barr, which he wrote in a letter of 1984 (see Prayer News of the Creation Science Foundation, August 1990, p. 1), when Regius Professor of Hebrew at the University of Oxford: Probably, said Professor Barr, so far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Genesis 1-11 intended to convey to their readers the idea that... creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience...
It is not our present purpose again to review the length of days 1, 2 and 3 on the consideration, noted by Professor Gleason Archer in his A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, that the text may signify the sun disclosed, rather than created in the fourth day (pp. 177-178): the results we found were, practically, not diverse in kind from the normal day conception we experience seven times per week. The days might be different mechanically, if the mechanics were different; but their character and kind, we have reasoned, is clear, even if they are to be treated with care and precision, where the motions of these bodies (sun and moon, conceivably, on one interpretation), might not then have operated.
As to day one, we showed that in general terms, the institution before the normal means of time sequence (as was necessarily the case there), called for care. We need not again consider the fact that, in terms of the actual construction of events in Genesis 1:1, day one could be a wholly distinct event; for at the first, the motions of the sun and moon did not appear, nor did their regulative and defining functions operate. In general terms, the institution of darkness, as noted earlier, before the means of time sequence designation, is in itself one in danger of intrusion, if it is to be crammed into some one concept. Even here, however, having made the point in principle, we found significant constraints, beyond this point, covering day one.
Biblical days are correlated, then, quite explicitly with our world and its inhabitants, and in the divine action, there is a certainty of sequence that relates closely to the condensed coverage in Genesis 2:4. Present is no sense of process. On the contrary: there is a sense of immediacy, there is a sublime monergistic or sole- worker emphasis, there is the utmost correlation between the divine power, mind and result in a manner which intimately associates with the use of the verb 'bara', indicating as its basic position, what we call creation, as distinct from mere forming. Thus Colossians 1 uses a most emphatic Greek term, in indicating that Jesus Christ created all things.
When one refers to the Creator, one is in the vein of what His power performs, in interpreting His mind. We ourselves use such terms similarly, such that process is not to the point: the idea and its outcome are closely related, and the more powerful the mind that has the idea, and the more profound, the more intense and intimate is its correlation, in general, with the outcome; and the more entirely irrelevant to the contribution in what is depicted, is anything else.
We have earlier reasoned that the days are of a kind which correlates not with ages but with our rotational days. In the case of days 2-3, not necessarily with the same rotational mechanisms at work, this is nevertheless the basic situation. We are speaking of the requirements of the text at this point. Day one, we reasoned, while not divorced from such a conception, held somewhat more richness of meaning, because of the institutional element, as distinct from the constitutional processes coming later; yet it also, in its monergistic irruption (Genesis 1:3), is not to be divorced from the character of the declaration.
The days of Genesis 1 are in line with the days we now have, once instituted, in their character. This fact correlates intensely with the monergism of method, the infinity of power of the Creator, and the terminology, so that anything further from process would be extraordinarily difficult to express. It was first the institution of the platform, and then of the different parts upon it, all in the area of creation; to be followed in each case by performance of the thing created. There is crisp, sovereign, undeterrable fluency combined with the eloquent dynamism of speech. Never was saying more clearly correlative to doing.
Thus, the intense emphasis on 'spoke', and 'was', is without doubt an explicit indication of the utterly irresistible (I should prefer even 'resistless') power and unhindered performance, majesty, as it were... a streamlined and no-obstruction work, the production from infinite power. To deny such things is merely to distort the words provided, which are as radical in terms of utter power performing, without restraint from anything or anyone, of utter resolve at work with majestic specifications fully fulfilled, as one could wish.
Accordingly, while it is not to the point in a work of this kind, to deal with interpretations where there is any openness, and it is on the other hand most important to give to the actual words of scripture, the reverence which is their due, in view of their Author, by not compressing a likelihood into a certainty: it would without doubt be vagrant interpretation to allow for any message of process, patient continuance and the like, in Genesis l. The words of Professor James Barr sufficiently underline the direction of the matter.
This, for our purpose, is merely peripheral, though it is structurally quite relevant.
The vital point is this: within such a depiction of immediate power, sovereign jurisdiction - the days of 24 hours is not vital, 24 seconds could as well fit the case, were it so written - comes a notation in the text that God made man in a certain manner. It is to this that one must now refer. In a simple rotational day, day six, God reveals in this divine account the creation of man. And what is difficult about that ? Remarkable we are, but our limitations are infinitely lower than the infinitude of splendour which is the Almighty's.
In the context, God has provided heaven and earth, stars, sun and moon, used purpose and presented a fait accompli, moving here and there, water, earth, light, and then life. He has instituted things, like a builder bringing on the scene his sand, cement, reinforcements, power-tools and so on. Yet it is far beyond this; the means are at His command, all depending on His mere speech, for whom performance knows no barrier. (See infra in detail pp. 482-498, Creation... The New Creation and pp. 560 ff..)
He has, as it were, itemised the situation and components - like a laboratory text, telling you what to bring, where to put it and to have it set up in such and such a manner.
Then He tells us in particular the procedure relative to the creation of man. We have observed that the specialised word for 'create' is employed (bara), in this instance - Genesis 1:27. It is described as a creation distinctively within the setting. This is not surprising since it is a matter of being in the image of God, where the most intense creative power would be assumed to be required, so that if anything were deserving of so special a term, this would be; just as the most immediate action might be expected as the work moves closer to the very heart of God.
What is interesting most of all, for our purpose, is this: Having itemised the ingredients of His creation very carefully, in terms, then, of earth, light, moisture, this and that form of animal life, these biota and so on, God then specifies what He does concerning man, in order to institute him.
We find that i) God creates him. ii) In 2:7 in the review we read the manner of it: "and the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground".
Now He might have said: He formed him out of the mist of the skies; or the depths of the ocean; or out of a stew of animal meat; or out of a special elixir of the creation thus far. He might have done so; though it would be quite out of style with the admirable directness and majestic correspondence of word and action, conceiving and accomplishment which is not only present, but exceedingly heavily underlined throughout. In fact, all that need concern us here now, is one thing. He did not say any such thing; He specifies rather than he takes a specific one of the ingredients so far particularised, part of the earth, indeed the ground, indeed, more specifically, the dust of the earth.
That is not only clear. It is contradistinct among the various elements by now on the creative scene, within the Creator's scenario to that point. It is, further, exactly specified, and indicated with a certain robust directness. Ground is here, very well, dust: see that. Not some special organic glue; not an elixir: just old dust. A basic ingredient; perhaps offensive in its simplicity, but as a selected item from the list so far given, eminently obvious.
This is where preconceived ideas can be so dangerous; and when one is looking at what God does, such a peril is surely the greater. When the infinite mind is at work, let finite minds beware of knowing the answers before the questions are asked, or conceiving, 'Well this is what he means,' as if God were some stumbling student. Imagine such an approach to a visiting professor, on the part of the class of students. It would be a bizarre arrogance, when in fact the studious mind of the great man might be most likely to have astute word selection, coupled with a finesse of knowledge far beyond the scope of the Class.
The result of all this is simple for our purpose: God, in His account (you recall that procedurally we are currently interpreting what is written) states what He did, declares what is there, and selecting one of the items from among the living and the non- living, He names it.
Dust. Dust of the ground. This, He reveals, is in fact what He took in the creation of man. It was creation indeed, not merging, mixing, vitamising, but an imprint of life into a format of matter.
Someone may wish to instruct God differently; such a person, when perhaps creating his/her universe, might demonstrate the preferred mode. But as far as the actual Creator is concerned, His man was created from His dust -which He had made and His creative power. I do, as to the concept of creation, something similar when I use pen and ink, plus creative power, to write a poem. That is not ridiculous; it is ridiculous rather to imagine I must have a few lines of some other poem, and a few pieces of punctuation drawn from that poem.
That would merely harass my creation. I take raw materials, and invest them with creative thrust. Again, if you know anything of house building, you may realise how enormously difficult it readily becomes to adjust what is there, compared with the rather simpler operation of starting anew! Renovations and alterations can be profoundly exacting. But all this apart, the fact is, the text is clear: it was for man, a creation which the text specifies, and the base was mere matter.
Then God gave man a spirit, that special capacity to view and review, to reason and speculate, to imagine and love or hate, to survey and in general to be such a being as would be apt and able for the very companionship of God who is a spirit and whose Spirit brooded, you recall from Genesis 1, on the waters.
For the moment, however, we are thinking of the body of man. As far as theistic evolution is concerned, the Bible teaches otherwise. It does so in spirit, in style, in word form, in detailed specification. It does so in retrospection in the New Testament (Matthew 19:4 ff., 1 Timothy 2:8-15, Romans 5:12-16), both in recapitulation of Genesis and in application of it. It uses chronological items as in Timothy for derivation of practical consequences, it uses as in Matthew verbal items. It takes it as read, historically applicable; it singularises Adam and applies the singularity in the setting of sin for the derivation in various later epochs of what is to be (Romans 5).
This theory is contrary to the text, to the ethics, to the divinity and to the use and application of the text in one place, when applied to another, by the Bible writers. It invents what is not written, contradicts what is and divorces the whole splendour and atmosphere of what is written to the point that the only honest solution is this: the propounders of any such view should follow Gladstone's reputed advice, and found their own religion, starting by being crucified and resurrected. Then they would ethically be at liberty to mention any ideas about evolution they pleased, subject to scholarly and psychological scrutiny. As it is, however, the joint presentation of the term Bible and the terms theistic evolution should only be for contrast.
So much for what we called the first of it, in this section. Now we come to the other pole, the last of it.
Page 195 continued in the next section
1. Deuteronomy 32:4, with Psalm 89:8,14 use Hebrew terms expressive of faithfulness, steadfastness, truth, stability; the God of truth, He is and is affirmed to be "without iniquity". For His name, He has "pity" (Ezekiel 36:21-2) and for His word, zeal (Isaiah 9:7, Ezekiel 5:13, Isaiah 48:3-11, Matthew 26:54). See pp. 805-836, 931-943; cf. 329-330, *36, *43 infra.
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2. See pp. 327-328, 'diabolical'.
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