Through out the last few blogs I have posted here, the main theme was about Charles Darwin and the theory of Evolution. This was the result of a comment posted to one of my articles, Our Eternal Home wherein I made the suggestion that Adam and Eve watched a spectacular contest between two Dinosaurs, the vegetarian Triceratops making a stab at the advancing carnivore, Tyrannosaurus Rex. Thanks to its three horns on its face, Triceratops won the victory as his horns sunk into T. Rex's underside. As they watched the life of the carnivore ebb away, Adam and Eve realised the enormous gravity of their sin in the garden, when they listened to the snake rather than obeying God, and accepting the snake's false promise of godhood.
The evolutionist doubled up himself in laughter, then he actually commended me for being the first to make such a suggestion of Man and Dinosaurs co-existing (actually, I wasn't the first - it was something already suggested by Creationist scientists in the past. All I did was to dramatise a typical scenario.)
Within the last week of this writing, I watched a series of Darwinism on You Tube, originally broadcast on the BBC in 2009. In one of the episodes, presenter Andrew Marr, a keen fan of Charles Darwin, commented on a skull of a giant Armadillo found along the shores of Argentina. Since all sedimentary rock in which fossils are found were originally laid by water, to me, this presented evidence of the Noachian Deluge, or the Biblical Flood, which was responsible for the extinction of the Dinosaurs along with many other species of life, both fauna and flora.
But to Darwin, according to Marr, this skull presented a link in the long chain of biological Evolution - and that despite the evidence that even the Giant Armadillo of the present day (which grows up to sixty inches) does not reach the size and power of its ancestor. Darwin theorised that because of the slow change of environment, natural selection had to do away with the giants for the species to survive. This thinking was, and still is, very true in many ways. The example of the two groups of different coloured mice was the analogy of natural selection given in a recent blog. To summarise, if a group of mice lived in a dark or shady area had dark fur, effectively camouflaging them from predators, they would stand a better chance for survival and breeding than any mice with white fur, which would be spotted more easily by a predator. This is the essence of natural selection, and it is ongoing within the present natural world.
I can accept the inerrant truth of the Bible and still believe in natural selection. What Darwin observed was a distinct truth within the field of Biology. But his error was to question the truthfulness of the Bible's historicity by assuming that one species had evolved from another, and from yet another, all the way back to a single Amoeba-like cell floating in the primeval ocean. Another way of putting it was where the Bible teaches the origin of species within each "kind" - for example, the Feline "kind" consisting of species such as the Domestic Cat, Wild Cat, Puma, Leopard, Tiger, Lion and Cheetah; the Canine "kind" of Dog, Wolf, Fox, Coyote and the Hyena, the Equine family of Horse, Donkey, Zebra and the Kiang. All these are examples of "kinds", each descending from its own ancestral pair created out of the ground by Divine Intelligence. As one who is committed to the Bible as historical, I find no problem with this thesis, as Creationism, as it is called, is fully supported by Natural Selection, still at work at present, providing that Natural Selection remains within each "kind".
Thus Creationism can be viewed as a hypothetical forest of trees, each tree rising from the ground as a single trunk, which represents the original ancestral pair (a male and a female) of any one "kind" before branching out into different species from the one tree trunk. Charles Darwin, however, put forward the theory that all the "kinds" were branches of the single trunk of the one evolutionary tree. The base of this one trunk representing the single cell, the boughs being the different kinds, while each bough divided into different species, providing the diversity we see today. It is also important to note here as well, that the single trunk of this hypothetical tree of Darwinism divides into two principal boughs, not far from the ground, giving indeed, a very short single trunk. The main division into two boughs are the separation of the flora, or vegetative "kinds" from the fauna, that is, all animals.
Darwin had to be both very intelligent and having excellent observational skills to conclude his theory just by watching and studying the behaviour, habits and breeding methods of wildlife, together with such a diversity of fossil remains found where ever there are sedimentary rocks. Using Charles Lyell's work in his book, Principles of Geology Darwin began to write his own book, On the Origin of Species. But his underlying reason for his research was his lack of conviction and belief of the historicity of the Bible.
Darwin grew up in a Christian family, and he himself believed in God. However, as a boy, he went with his mother to a Unitarian Church. This particular group believes that God is one being, and not co-existing in three persons as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They also deny that Jesus Christ is God, that his crucifiction does not atone for one's sins, and one has to do deeds of righteousness to be saved. In other words, man is left to be his own saviour. Later, Darwin at the age of nine, was sent to Shrewsbury Anglican School as a boarder. It was hoped by his father, Robert Darwin, that his son may study to be an Anglican parson.
The Anglican Church, unlike the Unitarians, accepted God as a Trinity, justification by faith rather than works, and the validity of the Crucifixion for atoning of one's sins. But the Anglican Church, as with the Unitarians, maintain that one has to hold out faithful to the end to be saved, an idea known as Arminianism, after James Arminius, a 17th Century Dutch Theologian, began to oppose the doctrines of Predestination and the Sovereign Grace of God, as taught by John Calvin. For full details of the history of Arminianism, go to my blog, Once Saved Always Saved- Part 1 - How Did This Originate? Published April 10th, 2011.
As Calvin emphasised the Sovereign Grace of God, based on Predestination and the imputation of Christ's righteousness on the sinner, justifying him through faith alone, Arminius leaned on the emphasis over human choice alone - whether to accept or reject the Gospel - determining one's eternal destiny. With this, although one accepting is justified by faith in Jesus Crucified, he then must hold faithful to keep his salvation, or risk losing his redemption and becoming lost again. This kind of thinking keeps a believer in a lifetime of fear, rather than love and thankfulness to God for his redemption. David Pawson, one of the UK's prominent men in Bible teaching, an author and church pastor, actually taught that fear of Hell was the right motive for Christian living and keeping oneself spotless from sinning, as the slippery slope to Hell was never far away. Pawson was raised in a Methodist environment, itself founded by John Wesley, who embraced Arminianism.
Arminianism is about human choice. If so, then there is the belief that if the Bible itself was written by the hand of men, it is subject to error. This carries the notion that you can take parts of the Bible as the Word of God where it suits you, and leave out the rest as man's word. Although David Pawson says publicly that the whole Bible is the inspired Word of God, it looks to me that he is rather dismissive of various verses such as Romans 8:38-39 where Paul writes that nothing material or spiritual can separate us from the love of Christ, along with robbing John 10:25-30 of its full power simply by saying that you yourself can walk away from both the hand of the Son and of the Father, therefore denying the Omniscience, Omnipotence and the Sovereignty of God, a phenomenon which is the thin end of a dangerous wedge sometimes known as Religious Liberalism, or (a now obsolete term) Modernism.
Don't be misled here. This sort of liberalism has nothing to do with the liberty enjoyed through faith in Jesus Christ. Instead it is refusing to believe the Bible as the inerrant Word of God with its accuracy in historicity. One of the main denominations deeply affected by liberalism, particularly in the USA, is the Methodist Church. In America, it was once headed by Dr. Bromley Oxnam (1891-1963), a bishop who was believed to have been called a "radical modernist" - who denied the Virgin Birth of Christ, his physical Resurrection, the power of the Atonement and the imputation of Christ's righteousness to the sinner. In other words, because the Bible was written by men, each Bible author was left to his own choice what to write and what not to write. Although to my opinion, it was rather extreme, this can be the final fruit of Arminianism.
Within the Anglican Church, better known here as the Church of England, Arminianism has been the cause of national apostasy, despite our Media heralding the idea that we are still a Christian nation. If the reliability of the Bible can be questioned, even in Darwin's day, it leaves the door open for total unbelief. Most likely it was because he did not have the assurance of salvation, nor was he aware of the full saving power and the love of Christ through faith alone, Darwin threw the first doubt of the historicity and reliability of the Bible when he published his book, On the Origins of Species.
Because Darwin was advocating his theory as science, it began to catch on rapidly. As Andrew Marr stated, Darwin's work brought a fatal blow to the authority of the Church of England. As the theory of Evolution became widespread, belief in the reliability of the Bible began to wane, along the need to believe in Christ Crucified for one's salvation. Hand in hand with this turning away, the awareness of the Afterlife - Heaven and Hell, also began to be disregarded, and became the taboo of religious fear, and the means to control the minds of the ignorant and the superstitious.
Today the likes of staunch Evolutionist Richard Dawkins, who dismissed the Bible as a book of fiction stories without any moral values whatsoever, influences the minds of many with his books, The Selfish Gene and The God Delusion. Dawkins all but worships Darwin as the Messiah of Evolution and so do most in our nation, in the name of progress for a higher civilisation through science, education and bettering oneself towards godhood. But the downside of all this is remaining lost to the knowledge and belief of the love of God and his saving power from sin, which we are all guilty of, and the assurance of eternal life, relishing in the love of God for all eternity.