A Seeing God or Blind Evolution
January 20th, 1988 @ 7:30 PM
A SEEING GOD OR BLIND EVOLUTION
Dr. W. A. Criswell
1-20-88 7:30 p.m.
And once again welcome the throngs of you who share this hour on radio. This is the First Baptist Church in Dallas and the pastor delivering the message entitled A Seeing God or Blind Evolution. I read an article today, not in a religious magazine but in the secular world. And the author of the article was making the observation that America is no longer Christian in its religion; it is secular humanist. And the Christian faith in America is a minority commitment, that the great mass of humanity in America are secular humanists. And we are addressing that tonight. God’s Word says in Genesis 2:7, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground,” a special and unique creation, “and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” This is the Word of God.
In general in the great mass, the American people have come to the conclusion that the Biblical doctrine of creation by an omnipotent and all-powerful God is either indefensible or unimportant, and possibly, they are persuaded that it is both. This has resulted in the complete capture of our public schools and universities by secular humanists.
You may think this discussion of the creation of man is a peccadillo. It isn’t! It’s the very foundation of the faith. Evolution is the foundation of secular education. There are only two educational philosophies, world-views: one is creation-centered, God-centered, Christ-centered. The other is creature-centered, man-centered. Each is the opposite of the other, and there is no third alternative. It is one or the other.
One leads to Christian faith, God the Creator; one faith leads to monotheism. The other leads to pantheism, which amounts to atheism, for God is everywhere in general. Pan is the Greek word for “everywhere,”theos, the word for “God”; so pantheism is “God is everywhere.” And that is the God of secular humanism. There’s no personal God. He is just everywhere. This dichotomy of “one or the other”: either you are monotheistic Christian, or you are pantheistic secular humanist. This dichotomy is set forth in Romans 1:25, quote, “They changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, the One who is blessed forever.”
For many years courses in practically every area of the natural sciences have been structured around and upon evolutionary premises; they just take it for granted. The very concept of special creation by the hand of God as the true explanation of origins and meanings has been effectively banned from all public educational institutions, all of them—by law. Evolutionary secular humanism has become the quasi-official state official religion of the American nation. We are now reaping the bitter fruits of leaving God out of our educational systems. Amorality, animal morality, materialism, the drug culture, abortionism, pornography, social diseases, and the increasing shadow and fear of AIDS, not to mention communism, socialism, fascism; these are overwhelming the whole world, and us in it.
If the Bible is indeed the revealed, infallible, inerrant Word of God, then it is obvious that the fact of creation is the foundation of all truth and reality. God did it; that is why God put it first in the Bible. When you open the Bible that’s the first great revealed fact that you see. “In the beginning God created” [Genesis 1:1], in the beginning, “God formed the man of the dust of the ground” [Genesis 2:7], we begin there. And if God’s Word cannot be trusted in Genesis—in the beginning, in the foundation—why should we bother with it anywhere else? All Scripture stands or falls upon its foundational chapter. As Jesus said in John 5:47, quote, “If you believe not Moses and his writings, how shall you believe My words?” [John 5:46-47].
Just as evolution is the foundation of secular humanism, the first two tenets of the humanistic manifestos specify the origin of the universe and of a man by impersonal laws of naturalistic evolution. That’s the way the humanistic manifesto begins. Just like the Bible begins with Genesis and a God who created [Genesis 1:1], the humanist manifesto begins with the avowal that all of creation came through impersonal laws. Just as the one and the other, so special creation must be the foundational and integrating framework of all courses in a true educational system. This revelation by special creation—by a personal God—is the very foundation of the gospel itself and of true Christianity.
It is also the foundation of a living faith. In Hebrews 11, the great chapter on the heroes of the faith, in Hebrews 11, the very first object of faith is God’s special creation of all things. Hebrews 11:3, “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” I heard a scientist say that is the best definition of the atomic molecular foundation of material that’s to be found in all of revealed science.
Now in just a little moment, let me speak here of the diametrical difference between creation, God, and secular humanism, evolution. The first that I will mention, in each instance, will be the avowal of the evolutionary scenario. Then the second I will mention will be the biblical record, the revealed truth of God in Holy Scripture. And you are going to be able to see the diametrical difference between the two, they are antithetical.
[Number one]: space, matter, and time are eternal according to the evolutionist. The biblical record: there was a period when there was no time or matter. I wish I had more time to read the references: Genesis [chapter] one, Hebrews [chapter] one.
[Number two]: the evolutionary scenario, light is as eternal as the universe. The biblical record: the earth was formed in total darkness [Genesis 1:2], light was created later on the first day [Genesis 1:3].
[Number three]: when the earth was first formed it was very hot. Remember, the first is always the evolutionary scenario and the second is always the Genesis, the biblical account. There was a time when the earth was first formed and it was very hot. The biblical account: the earth was created with a cool water surface from the beginning [Genesis 1:2].
[Number four]: the evolutionist, the original atmosphere was reducing and gradually changed into the oxidizing oxygen and nitrogen type that we know today. The Bible: the atmosphere was created quickly and has always been essentially the same as it is today [Genesis 1:6-8].
[Number five]: the evolutionist, plant life produced the atmosphere as we know it today. The Bible: the atmosphere preceded all plant life [Genesis 1:6-8, 9-13].
[Number six]: the first life evolved in the sea, then moved to the land. The Bible: the first life was created on land and moved into the sea [Genesis 1:11-12, 20].
[Number seven]: there is continuous transition between the varieties of plant life. The Bible: plants were created as distinct species each after its own kind. They didn’t evolve one into the other [Genesis 1:11-12].
[Number eight]: the evolutionist, it took a long time for plants to evolve. The Bible: plants were created with seeds and fruit on the first day of their existence [Genesis 1:12-13].
[Number nine]: the evolutionist, the earth is the final phrase in cosmic evolution. The Bible: the earth was formed first in darkness; nothing else was in space besides the earth [Genesis 1:1-2]. Three days later, the rest of the solar system and the galaxies were created [Genesis 1:14-19].
[Number ten]: the evolutionist, Earth is a relatively insignificant grain of sand in a sea of stellar galaxies. The Bible: the Earth is the center of the universe, theologically, God-wise. And the rest of the planets and galaxies are peripheral, in this sense, to the earth, and subservient to man’s needs. May I make a personal aside there? According to the Word of God, the center of the created universe, in the purposes of God, is this planet Earth. And however you go out into space, however the planets, the galaxies, the sun, the universes, they are all extraneous. The center of God’s attention and purpose is in this earth according to the Word of God [Psalm 8:3-9].
[Number eleven]: according to the evolutionist, life began with simple creatures and progressed to the more complex mammals. The Bible: the first animals created included great whales—highly developed mammals—and then the so-called lower forms of life [Genesis 1:21-23].
[Number twelve]: the evolutionist, reptiles evolved into birds. The Bible says birds were created before creeping things [Genesis 1:21].
[Number thirteen]: the evolutionist, there is a continuum among the animal species; they just gradually evolve one into the other. The Bible: animals were created in distinct species each after its own kind [Genesis 1:24-25]. And there has never yet been the beginning of the start of the commencement of an instance where one species has ever evolved into the other. God made the species each after its own kind: dogs are dogs, and cats are cats, that’s God.
[Number fourteen]: the evolutionist, there is little difference between the higher animals—apes and man. The Bible: animals and man are referred to as distinct kinds [Zephaniah 1:3]. An ape is an ape; he’s nowise conversant with what it is to think and to be and to act and to respond like a man. God breathed into that man the breath of life; and he became a living soul [Genesis 2:7]. God did that, so different from any animal, chimpanzee, orangutan, ape.
[Number fifteen]: here, the evolutionary record, the fossil record speaks of death and destruction from the very beginning. The Bible: God created everything so that it was good [Genesis 1:31]. Death did not come into the universe until after the Fall [Genesis 3:1-6]. Death, destruction, disintegration is a product of sin, a fruit of transgression [Genesis 3:19]. The evolutionist: man developed into images of apes. The Bible: man was created in the image of God [Genesis 1:27].
[Number sixteen]: the evolutionist, evolution took place over billions of years. The Bible: Creation took place in six days, the morning and the evening and the evening and the morning [Genesis 1:1-31].
[Number seventeen]: the evolutionist, evolution is a continuous process. The Bible: God finished His creative activity on the sixth day [Genesis 1:31], and He is no longer involved in completing the created order; there is nothing added to this universe when God completed it on the sixth day, there is nothing added. You can’t destroy anything in it; you can’t add anything to it; you can’t take anything away from it. God finished His created work on the sixth day and it is forever that! [Genesis 1:31]. We add nothing; we take nothing away.
[Number eighteen]: the evolutionist says that early animals were carnivorous; they were meat eaters. The Bible says early animals were herbivorous, plant eaters [Genesis 1:29-30], and did not become carnivorous, meat eaters, until after the Fall [Genesis 3:1-6], and after the Flood [Genesis 7:17-24].
[Number nineteen]: the evolutionist says it has always rained upon the earth. God says prior to the Flood, there was no rain [Genesis 2:5]. I’m going to take a Wednesday night for that. When God made this earth there was a canopy over it [Genesis 1:6-8], a vast, vast, vast atmosphere that was heavy with moisture. And the earth was watered by condensation, by dew, upon the face of the earth [Genesis 2:6]. And the man had never seen it rain. When God punctured that canopy over the earth, for 40 days, that canopy fell down in great masses of rain [Genesis 7:17]. The man had never seen it rain. That canopy fell down out of the sky. All of the earth under that canopy was a tropical jungle, tropical plants at Antarctica, tropical plants at the North Pole, in the Arctic. Animals, tremendous behemoths, dinosaurs, elephants, their fossilized forms, their frozen forms, are still found up there; they dig them out all the time. The whole earth was one vast greenhouse, hothouse, protected by that canopy. And the earth had never seen it rain, and when God punctured that canopy it rained upon the earth, the greatest catastrophic providence that has ever overwhelmed humanity.
[Number twenty]: the evolutionist, man was formed from one of the lower animals. The Bible: man was formed from dust, God made him out of the dust of the ground [Genesis 2:7].
[Number twenty-one]: the evolutionist, one of the lower animals was already alive when it became a man. The Bible: God breathed the breath of life into the nostrils of a dead man, and it became alive, a living soul [Genesis 2:7].
[Number twenty-two]: the evolutionist, there really is no one individual we called Adam; the term refers to the race of early-evolved man. The Bible: the Bible says, in both Testaments, Old and New, that Adam was an individual, not a race [Genesis 4:1-2; 1 Corinthians 15:45].
[Number twenty-three]: the evolutionist, agriculture was developed late in the evolutionary history of man. The Bible: the first and only responsibility of Adam was to tend the garden of Eden [Genesis 2:15]; and Abel, his son, was a farmer by occupation [Genesis 4:2].
[Number twenty-four]: the evolutionist, language took a long time to develop in man. The Bible: man was created with an enormous vocabulary and grammar, and he conducted intelligent conversations from the beginning; talked to God and God talked to him [Genesis 3:8-13].
[Number twenty-five]: the evolutionist, since Adam evolved out of one of the animals there is very little difference in the psychological make-up of animals and man. This is the fundamental premise of modern psychology. The Bible: man was created distinct from the animals. So much so, that he has been unable to find one physically and emotionally compatible with him. There wasn’t anything that God had created that was congruous with the man that God had made. He was unique and separate and apart. And that’s why God created one like him whom he called a Woman, to be with him [Genesis 2:23]. He was so different from all the other animals. There wasn’t any among the animals that was conversant with the soul and life the man; he was separate and unique. God had to create one made for him [Genesis 2:18].
[Number twenty-six]: the evolutionist, woman evolved out of an animal. The Bible: Eve was a direct act of special creation taken from the side of Adam and not another animal [Genesis 2:21-23].
[Number twenty-seven]: the evolutionist, marriage is a developed cultural institution. Those animals didn’t marry in the evolving years; it is an institution that evolved in the cultural life of this ape. In the Bible: marriage was instituted by God for the first couple, Adam and Eve [Genesis 2:24]. God made Eve for Adam [Genesis 2:18].
[Number twenty-eight]: the evolutionist, the garden of Eden is a myth. And I tell you, one of the tragedies of modern theological life to me is that the great mass of our theological seminaries teach that the garden of Eden is a myth. Adam and Eve are myths. The whole first eleven chapters of Genesis are mythological [Genesis 1-27]. Then they go from that to the miracles, they are myths. Then they go from that to the virgin birth, that’s a myth [Matthew 1:20-25]. Then they go from that to the deity of Christ, that’s a myth [Titus 2:13]. It is awesome and awful. According to the Bible all inspired Biblical writers [2 Timothy 3:13], understood Eden to be a literal place, whether you read in Ezekiel, or Joel, or Amos, or the New Testament [Ezekiel 28:13; Joel 2:3; Amos 1:5; Revelation 2:7, 22:1-3].
[Number twenty-nine]: according to the evolutionists, the Cain and Abel incident is a myth [Genesis 4:8-9]. We cannot ascribe those events to any known individuals. But according to the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, the Old Testament lists persons who are cited as examples of faith; and one of them is Abel; he’s contrasted to Cain [Hebrews 11:4], and Jesus verified the historicity of Abel in Matthew [Matthew 23:35], and Luke [Luke 11:51].
[Number thirty]: Last, the evolutionist says early man was primitive and technologically immature just rising up from the family of apes or gibbons or orangutans or chimpanzees. But the Bible says that early civilization, within only a few hundred years of man’s creation, they [were] already building sophisticated musical instruments in Genesis 4:21: refining alloys in blast furnaces, Genesis 4:22. Consider also the technology involved in building Noah’s ark [Genesis 6:14] and the tower of Babel [Genesis 11:2-5]. You can talk to any engineer you want to talk to, and the building of Noah’s ark was as shrewd and as brilliant as any engineer could ever contrive today, and it goes on indefinitely in the Word of God.
I have to make a choice. I either believe the Book, or I don’t. It is full of myths and legends, or it is the revealed Word of God. And as you so well know, I have committed myself to the infallibility and the inerrancy of God’s revealed Word. And that’s the foundation of the faith to which I have committed my life and to which this pulpit is a resounding affirmation. “God said it, I believe it, and that settles it!”
Now may we pray before the Lord? Dear God in heaven may this church, though it stood alone, may this church be an example of a people who believe and receive and incarnate the infallible Word of God, teaching it in our Sunday schools, preaching it in the pulpit, inviting to the faith all who will listen to our appeal. And may we grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord and in the love of our precious Savior.
With our heads bowed, is there somebody you tonight to give himself in faith to the Lord Jesus [Romans 10:9-13], and will confess that faith by coming forward as we sing a song of appeal? Is there a couple, or a family, who tonight would come into the fellowship of the church? Would you hold up your hand, anywhere? Is there someone to respond to the appeal if we sing a hymn tonight?
And our Lord, in deepest gratitude for these who have committed themselves to the Word of God and belong to the fellowship of the saints of the Lord, God in heaven how we thank Thee for the devotion and sacrificial commitment of these dear people. Lord, bless us as we sit at the feet of our Savior [Matthew 11:28], as we read His Holy Word. May we open our hearts and minds heavenward and God-ward, learning to be more like our Savior who believed the Bible, in whose wonderful name we pray, amen.