This article is about evolution and what they believe about God. The autonomy and authority of man is also discussed.

Source: New Horizons, 1993. 3 pages.

Evolution's Assault on the Divine

For centuries, man has been interested in his origin. For many, the question of man's origin is settled by the biblical account of creation. But others assert that man gradually evolved from animal ancestors.

The Establishment of Evolutionβ€’πŸ”—

In the eighteenth century, many believed that man had arrived at the point where he could evaluate all reality on the basis of his own reason, apart from any divine revelation. In accordance with this new thinking, Charles Darwin argued in Origin of the Species (1859) and Descent of Man (1871) that man developed gradually from lower life forms. This concept gained increasing support over the years, largely because of the interpretation of archaeological and geological finds.

As a teaching, evolution was mainly the brainchild of the intelligentsia. Even as late as the early twentieth century, creation was widely accepted as the explanation of man's origins. Though it was upheld in the famous Scopes "monkey trial" (1925), creation was already on its way out as an acceptable view. By the 1960s, evolution had become the only acceptable doctrine to be taught in the public schools, thanks in part to decisions of the Supreme Court.

Today, one encounters the theory of evolution in almost every quarter. One is not allowed to teach creation in the public schools. It is by evolution, we are told, that man made his entry into this world. Nature shows on television can be very enjoyable and informative, but in most of them the viewer is told that our big wonderful world is the product of an evolutionary process. Many scientific disciplines are built on the theory of evolution. In the field of astronomy, for example, scientists are often looking for hints of how the universe began. The Nobel prize for science was awarded to two scientists who developed the "big bang" theory of the universe's origin.

We are told to believe how "scientific" this all is. The advocates of evolution like to proclaim how certain they are that their teaching is correct. One author described it as "an inescapable fact" in contrast to the confusion caused by creationists. Anyone who disagrees with evolution is dismissed as ignorant and narrow-minded. The account in the Bible, according to the evolutionists, is no longer to be taken seriously.

The Appeal of Evolutionβ†β€’πŸ”—

Why do we find that a theory is so vigorously maintained by people who otherwise pride themselves on their intelligence and knowledge? The theory of evolution is just that – a theory. That is, it is an opinion or interpretation. It has virtually become an ideology, but it is still only a theory. Some evolutionists disagree among themselves about very significant aspects of their teaching. Whenever an inconsistency arises, the period of development must be extended by millions of years. Nevertheless, evolution is upheld and maintained as the only valid explanation for man's origin.

It should come as no surprise that this theory appeals to the sinful nature of man. Fallen man is at war with God. In fact, the beginnings of that war are recorded in the very creation account that the evolutionist rejects. Although he professes to be committed to evaluating the facts, his bias is unmistakable. Evolutionary theory is not merely a matter of going astray out of ignorance. It is instead a direct, frontal attack on God himself. Since the days of Adam, man has deemed that he could make his own decisions. He has concluded that God may not always be right after all. Such an attitude brought about the Fall, and it will bring about man's ultimate destruction (Psalm 14:1-2).

In what way, and at what points, is this attack conducted? It is not a simple assault, but a campaign on many fronts. Man is not satisfied with a small amount of independence. He wants to have total autonomy. Thus he wages an all-out battle. His opponent, however, is formidable – and man, in the end, will be the loser.

An Attack on God's Wordβ†β€’πŸ”—

The promotion of evolution, with the rejection of creation, is first of all an assault upon God's Word. God has said that he created the universe (Genesis 1:1; Hebrews 1:10). Without God's Word, we would be completely in the dark as to how we came to be. This account, though, is rejected in favor of an inconsistent theory. Faith in God's Word is replaced with faith in human reason.

The attack on God's Word is not confined to the account of creation. We cannot reject a portion of God's Word without our attitude toward the Scriptures as a whole being influenced. The advocates of evolution, in most cases, have little use for the teaching of Holy Writ. Did not the Tempter himself challenge God's Word? (Genesis 3:1-4). The practice continues to this day.

A Challenge to God's Powerβ†β€’πŸ”—

The teaching of evolution does not stop with a challenge to God's Word. It even challenges his power. The Bible teaches that the world came into being by his will (Psalm 33:6). He made man, placed him in his creation, and gave him dominion over it. He created man in his wisdom and for his pleasure, and he did it all very well. God did not make the world out of something that was already in existence, as we would make a jar out of clay. Rather, he made this world out of nothing (Hebrews 11:3).

This will not do for the evolutionist. For him, the world as we know it did not come about by God's magnificent power. Instead, it was the result of countless millions of years of development. God could not possibly have had anything to do with that. The evolutionist does not want God interfering, as a matter of fact. (Otherwise, man might not be independent.) If he acknowledges a god at all, the evolutionist's god is not the originator of this world.

Freedom from God's Authorityβ†β€’πŸ”—

Once he has dismissed God as a powerful being, man can be satisfied that he is no longer under God's authority. Thus we see that it is not merely because of a desire to explain his origin that man rejects God's account in favor of his own. It is because of an attitude that he will be subject to no one's authority that he pursues this course.

In the book of Exodus, for example, we learn that God's authority over man is based on the fact that it is he who created man (Exodus 20:9-11). He created man for his good pleasure. Man is what he is because God created him in his own image. The evolutionist attacks the authority of God and the very person of God himself, for he says that man is a product of chance. Man is not to be considered as the pinnacle of creation but as an accident of nature. As such, he is under no one's authority.

Furthermore, man is not satisfied by freeing himself from God's authority. He must also free the earth and the universe from the power of God. It is not by God's power that these things are governed, man reasons, but by a natural and impersonal principle of law. (This is why miracles are rejected. God himself cannot intervene and "break the law.") Thus, God's authority over man and the rest of the universe appears to be thwarted.

An Attack on God's Wisdomβ†β€’πŸ”—

Finally, the promotion of evolution is an attack on God's wisdom and goodness. God created man very good, and he placed him in a perfect environment (Genesis 2:8ff.). This condition did not continue because of man's sin. When man fell, the whole creation was affected. The whole creation groans even to this day (Romans 8:19-21) because of man's sin.

The theory of evolution, according to one writer, was developed because it answered many piercing ethical questions. How could God have created man when we experience so much trouble in this world? The presence of evil supposedly compelled these men to seek an alternative explanation. But they forgot that God did not make men to be evil.

The rejection of creation is not a simple matter. It does not stop with creation alone. Instead, it is a way of attacking God's Word, his power, his authority, and his goodness. God, in his goodness and love, provided a remedy for man's desperate need. In Jesus Christ, we do not face destruction for our sin. Our sin has been really and finally expiated in Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. He was not under compulsion to make this sacrifice. It was entirely of his free grace.

The evolutionist utterly rejects God's grace. He wants nothing to do with it. He denies that he is a sinner, for there was never any sin. He denies that he is God's creature, for his origin lies in millions of years of evolution. From that, he denies God's authority over him. And he denies his need of a Savior. He is like Cain, fleeing from God's face and living in his own way.

A belief in creation may seem to some like narrow-minded foolishness. The theory of evolution, however, is only a stubborn and perverse way of avoiding the truth that its adherents will ultimately not escape.

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