The present crisis in human thought rises largely from the almost universal departure from the divinely inspired Holy Scriptures. The following address—given during the summer of 1965 in the Y.M.C.A., Inverness —is an attempt to restore the balance and direct attention once more to the only Book known to mankind which gives true and satisfying light on the origin, present state and future destiny of Creation—and in particular of Man, the high water mark of Creation and the key to its meaning and purpose.
MAN is no accident or sport of natural, inanimate forces pressing upwards from the womb of nothingness. He is the crowning point of Creation, unique, unexampled, without counterpart in the whole of the vast universe, and the destiny of the entire universe is hinged upon his fate.
Those scientists who have been more distinguished for their journalism than their scientific exactitude, have received a rude shock from the recent “Mariner” space probe of the planet Mars, where, if anywhere in the solar system, they wishfully hoped to find some form of intelligent life comparable with man. What they have discovered is a waste howling wilderness of a planet, pock-marked with craters (like the surface of the moon) the marks of the planet’s colossal bombardment by giant meteoric projectiles against which the thin atmosphere of Mars affords no protection. The Bible assures us that the purpose of Creation is worked out nowhere else but on our own planet; it is here that the great drama of God’s life is unfolded, that moral law is tested, the righteousness of God vindicated, and eternal wisdom unrolled in the majestic acts of Redemption and Incarnation.
He who denies this is a fool; he who ignores it is doomed to wander everlastingly in a labyrinth of doubt and perplexity. All knowledge must lead to God, and is perfected in the Eternal Word without which man is without a chart, without a guide, and without light. The present state of materialistic science is a fearful commentary upon that fact. There can no longer be any hiding of the fact that the issue today is: Atheism or the Inspired Word. There is no middle ground.
THE BIBLE SOLVES THE RIDDLE OF MAN
The conflict now raging is no mere intellectual debate enlivening the classroom floor, a sort of “teach-in” held in the vast auditorium of world thought. It is much more serious than that. It is a symptom of something which is beyond science, and yet which is the key to the understanding of all science. It is a symptom of the fact that MAN IS A MORAL RUIN FUNDAMENTALLY AT WAR WITH HIS GOD, AND HIS PRIME NEED IS REDEMPTION. Here again the Bible is in advance of all human thought. In the Bible alone, the riddle of man’s existence is solved. The fundamental truth about man is that he is a sinful man, and no theorising about his nature, origin or end can lead to any satisfactory result till this fact is accepted. In all conscience there is every reason today to accept it.
For the benefits which true science in all its branches has bestowed upon the human race, who would withhold gratitude? The power to explore the secrets of this vast and glorious universe, and the skill acquired in the use of that accumulated knowledge, have conferred untold blessings upon mankind, and brought glory to the great and Almighty Creator who has so endowed and equipped the human race with intelligence, skill, and resolution. He who sees not in Man the great, over-riding meaning and purpose of Creation, makes himself a pathetic object indeed.
It is only when science turns from its true function and allows itself to be betrayed by theories and speculations which deny God and His Word of revelation, that it becomes the enemy and not the friend of Man. No apology is needed for a public and outspoken protest against these tendencies in some departments of modern scientific thought. It is more than time that the bankruptcy of materialistic science, in its total failure to give any credible account of the origin, purpose and end of existence, should be more widely appreciated than appears to be the case.
It is no longer a valid objection that only a scientist may criticise scientific theories. The rest of mankind have to live somehow in the same world as those whose manipulations of nature’s powers seem likely to make all living conditions impossible at no very distant date, and it is the duty of every rational man to examine the credentials of those theories and developments which are pressing so sorely against the sacred boundaries of his own personality.
NO POPERY OF SCIENCE
The thinking man is in no mood to accept a new Popery of science as against the old and discredited one of religion. It is always wrong morally for any oligarchy to claim an exclusive proprietary right to knowledge, and so to reduce the status of their fellow man to that of intellectual serfdom. After all, there is no end to that process except intellectual stagnation. The point is soon reached when one branch of science excommunicates a sister, science as not being qualified for a final judgment on some subject on which it is reckoned not to possess the requisite specialist training. This happened not long ago when Sir Ambrose Fleming was brushed aside from the evolutionary controversy. He attempted to disprove the theories of Darwin and his successors, on the score that it could be demonstrated mathematically that the time required by the theory of development and natural selection, just was not available. Sir Ambrose was told, in effect, to confine himself to wireless valves (of which he was the distinguished inventor) and not to meddle in things he knew nothing about.
The science of Jurisprudence is much more modest. In the region of its greatest triumphs—the Anglo-Saxon world—it has developed a jury system whereby twelve men (and women) drawn from all walks of common life, tradesmen, artisans, mechanics and clerks, are put together in the same box, and are expected to bring in a true verdict according to the evidence. Without any specialised knowledge of the law, they are reckoned by the greatest of lawyers to be fully equal to the task of separating truth from error. Indeed, a better verdict is often to be expected from the shrewd judgment of common men than from the closer reasoning of the expert.
There is a point where a man stands alone before his God, and is responsible for the final verdict. All science becomes one and indivisible before the great Creator who’s Spirit breathes throughout universal nature, and whose laws it is the true function of scientific men to discover and interpret. Where science reverently dedicates itself to this noble task, it confers inestimable benefits upon the soul of man, but when it strays from its function and propounds theories which undermine faith it places the welfare and the future of mankind in dire jeopardy—as is now happening before our eyes. A false theory of life in its nature and origin has undermined morality, denied the dignity of human life, and left the very idea of God as a flickering shadow on the outer rim of a meaningless universe.
This frightful consequence all men have a natural right indignantly to reject. There is another science which over-rides all the uncertain guesses of materialistic philosophers: the science of God, of conscience, divine truth, and the Divine Word. The true road to happiness (presumably the great end to which all philosophy and true science is aiming) has long ago been expressed in the sublime words of Israel’s inspired king:
That man hath perfect blessedness
who walketh not astray
In counsel of ungodly men,
nor stands in sinner's way;
Nor sitteth in the scorner's chair,
but placeth his delight
Upon God's law, and meditates
on His law day and night.
Before all else, man is a spiritual being, made in the image of his Creator, and the laws of his own immortality transcend all other branches of knowledge as heaven is above earth. All guesses at the secret of his life which transgress the fact of man's divine origin, moral accountability, and indestructible existence as a spiritual being are not only self-evident fallacies but a dangerous subversion of man's moral nature.
THE TATTERED THEORY OF EVOLUTION
The Christian no longer has need to apologise for his acceptance of the opening chapters of Genesis as a true and sure guide: to scientific origins. The embarrassment of those schools which reject the idea of a Divine creative act or series of acts, is self-evident. There is neither unanimity, stability, nor consistency in the various theories propounded. The “Big Bang” and the “Steady State” schools continue to propound their contrary doctrines. Fresh radio discoveries in the peripheries of the known universe impose fresh revisions. Nothing is stable. The theory of evolution is getting tattered and worn. There are so many exceptions. Fossils have an uncanny habit of turning up in living forms—like the coelacanth, which for a long time the evolutionist triumphantly flourished as a plausible link in the evolutionary chain, 30,000,000 years old—until it was fished up alive a few years ago off the coast of Madagascar, not a scale or a fin different in thirty million years—verdict: No Evolution.
The record of the evolutionist in the department of anthropology (the alleged pedigree of Man) is dubious in the extreme. The appalling fraud of “Piltdown Man” which deceived leading anthropologists for more than a generation, is still fresh in the memory. This ramshackle “Man” reconstructed by anthropologists from a few scraps of bones hardly enough to fill a child’s lunch basket, leered at the public in museums and frightened children in their schoolbooks for many years until quite recently, it was acknowledged that the whole thing had been faked, probably by a gentleman of the name of Charles Dawson, in order fictitiously to provide the missing evidence vital to the construction of the evolutionary theory.
As late as 1949 the British Museum was claiming that the Piltdown skull was 600,000 years old, and was the oldest human fossil yet found. “The First Englishman,” trumpeted some of our leading anthropologists. Then fell the blow. In 1955 was published the British Museum’s famous Last Word on the Piltdown business. In its Bulletin Geology, Vol. 2, No. 6, Sir Gavin de Beer, then Director of the Natural History Department of the British Museum, declared: “We are now in a position to give an account of the full extent of the Piltdown hoax.” He asserted that the mandible was almost certainly that of an immature orangutan (confirming the statement of an observant scientist only a few years before, that “the lower jaw and canine tooth were those of an ape of about ten years of age”). Tests showed that the bone fragments had been deliberately treated and prepared to make them appear to be of remote origin, while even the associated flint implements alleged to have been found in the same gravel pit at Piltdown had been artificially iron-stained, and a bone implement had been shaped by a steel knife.
Douglas Dewar, Fellow of the Zoological Society of London, tabulated the percentages of fossils to their known living representatives, proving that the reason for the total lack of fossils of intermediate form required by the theory of evolution, was not the imperfection of the geological record, but rather that such forms never did exist.
Despite the great importance of these studies, the Zoological Society refused to publish them, no doubt because they aimed too damaging a blow at the Sacred Cow of evolution. This policy of suppression (carried out by the B.B.C. which refused to give listening time to men like Mr. Dewar) only confirmed what the late Professor Vialleton had said earlier: “For fifty years the textbooks have put into the foreground only that which is favourable to evolution, passing by in silence all that is not so or which is contrary to it.”
To ask the Christian believer to put aside his Bible so as to make way for theories with so dubious a history, is contrary to reason and common sense.
HIGHROAD TO ATHEISM
The time has gone by when it is possible any longer to hold to the doctrine of evolution as a reasonable method by which God may be supposed to have made the world, and thus to save the credit of revealed religion in a scientific age. Many of the earlier exponents of evolution enthusiastically maintained this position, but the full results are now known. Not the least of the causes of that climate of materialism which now befogs the human mind and is debauching intellect and morals on a stupendous scale, is the doctrine that man is an accidental thrust of blind nature acting according to the supposed law of natural selection.
In short, evolution is now proved to be the highroad to atheism and, in its political form, to communism. Some of us would go much further and see in the mental processes of the last century and a half a gigantic and most sinister conspiracy against the soul of man—a conspiracy emerging from those satanic regions of the world unseen, which it is a major error of evolutionary science completely to ignore or to scorn.
We reject these materialistic doctrines which stem from the evolutionary argument, for the following reasons in brief:
Evolution does not account for the most important fact of all—life itself.
Living fossils (of which the coelacanth is only one of many), prove no evolution in 30,000,000 years.
Its history is one of fraud and suppression.
Its moral effects are now endangering the existence of man.
It completely misrepresents the history and the nature of man.
It can only be taught at the expense of the rejection of the Christian faith and the inspiration of the Bible.
We invite all men of earnest mind to consider the following facts which are not usually adduced in this controversy:
Man is a recent arrival on this planet. Had he been here the millions of years which evolution requires, he would long since have outlived the resources of the planet. His present rate of multiplication, so alarming to some of the statisticians, require that his first appearance on the earth was at no very distant date—within the last 6,000 years, in fact.
In proof thereof, let it be considered that there are no authentic records which carry man’s history back longer than that. The so-called Egyptian “dynasties” are notoriously misleading, and are patently exaggerated. The Chinese chronology is much more reliable, and the Chinese arrived in the river valleys of their vast subcontinent well within historic time, as their present numbers confirm.
It is beyond dispute that most of the populated parts of the earth are of recent settlement. How many were in Britain when the Romans arrived? North America at the time of Columbus was inhabited by a few roving tribes of wild Indians (recent arrivals from Mongolian Asia) and vast herds of buffalo. It was a land of silent prairies, mighty rivers, and vast forests slumbering in cathedral-like calm. Nature reigned undisturbed.
In Central America, the Aztecs were slowly exterminating themselves after having supplanted a more civilised people. The degraded tribes of the Amazon today are the descendants of the wise and noble Incas, and reflect the true story of man—noble in origin, and always civilised at the beginning, and becoming degraded and savage in the process of his own degeneration.
Australia, even more than America, was a vast and silent wilderness, with a few families of Bushmen only to claim the inheritance of man, until the Dutch and the English explorers arrived—Australia, capable of accommodating the world's surplus population by hundreds of millions for generations to come.
WHICH WAY IS EVOLUTION?
The earliest authentic records which we have of man invariably find him civilised, and usually much superior to his more modern representatives. Stonehenge was built by engineers and astronomers of no mean order of intellect, antecedent to the Druids. The Zimbabwe ruins in Africa were left by a people vastly superior to the Bantu which hunted and speared their way through its jungle-wreathed remains. Always it is the same story —Easter Island, and Ponape in the Pacific, and the Mayan remains in the forests of Yucatan. Which way is evolution—up or down?
The modern Greek is scarcely the intellectual equal of the generations of Heraclitus, Homer, Socrates and Plato. The Turk is a poor successor to the teeming multitudes which once inhabited the luscious coast and hinterland of Asia Minor in the days of Paul the Apostle. We repeat: Which way is evolution?
But what of the Stone Age men? Have a care! They exist today in Papua and elsewhere only a few miles from modern civilisation. The existence of a Stone Age as one of the phases through which mankind as a unit once passed in his march upwards to civilisation is one of the incredible fallacies of modern speculation. When our ancestors in Britain were supposed to be chipping their flints and wearing woad, Homer was writing his glorious epics, and Isaiah and Jeremiah were exerting their seraphic influence in Palestine. Where was the Stone Age then?
But what of the Cave Men? Did not mankind once live in caves before they had learned to build themselves houses, and did they not bludgeon their way through life with clubs and stone missiles?
This is the apparition of modern credulity. The only cavemen of whom we have any certain knowledge as to their habits and intellectual status, were artists of no mean ability, whose marvelous tracings on the walls of the French caves shame many of the frightful daubs now disfiguring the walls of our modern art galleries. Which way is evolution?
The humping long-haired creature whom modern illustrators love to depict in textbooks never, in fact, existed—unless he exists today in another sort of Cavern, in the screaming dens of the Liverpool Sound, where long-haired, wild-eyed youths excite the hysterical abandonment of young females fresh from our expensive educational establishments—and do it with jungle rhythms, tom-tom beatings and frightful ravings and gestures for which they are paid millions of pounds by a degenerate public. We ask again: Which way is evolution?
We have already referred to the replicas of “the first Englishman” set up in our museums and educational institutions —his humping, ape-like structure, his flat, empty cranium . . . and around him clattering the feet of his supposed descendants, unwittingly testifying, by their credulity and ignorance, to their own degeneracy, in their readiness to discard all inconvenient ideas of God and truth.
We do not know if this ramshackle man has been dismantled, or whether he is being kept as a memorial to the stupidity and dishonesty of some modern anthropologists, but we do know that he is a monument to the fraudulent nature of the scientific theory which created him. We much prefer the Bible account of the origin of man, created in perfection, nobility, wisdom, and honour, in the image and likeness of the Most Wise and Most Holy Creator.
MAN THE KEY TO CREATION
Man is the only creature in visible Creation who has gone down in the scale of being. Mentally and physically, he is the phenomenon of Creation—the unique, the unparalleled miracle of nature, only to be accounted for as he is the special creation of God, embodying within himself the meaning and the ultimate purpose of this vast and glorious universe.
There are no other men. No space probe will ever find another race of men. Man has been placed alone on this earth as the unexampled and unique crown of all being. The universe has been designed in all its illimitable greatness to give exercise to the mind of man which is greater than his own environment. A creature, he, of two worlds—one of time, and the other of eternity. He is soul and body, created imperishable, destined for immortality, doomed to live in eternal happiness or in everlasting shame and contempt.
Man is greater than the natural creation because he will outlast it. His godlike origin is seen even beyond his present degradation through sin. Genius rises from the slums. Newton’s parents were nonentities. Beethoven’s mother was a poor consumptive, and his father a drunkard.
Man was, from the beginning, not a brute-like creature slowly and painfully arising from the primeval waste, but always a B.A., a B.Sc., a B. Eng., or a Ph.D. He can pass in one generation from savagery to the highest point of intellectual achievement. Sons of the Bushmen are graduating in Australian universities. The Red Indian goes straight from the wigwam to the campus, as the Kaffir and the Zulu from the kraal to the research bench. All that men need is opportunity. Otherwise there are no truly “backward” races.
It is in his own spiritual nature—the highest part of him—that man is a failure. Immorality, vice, greed, avarice, dishonesty, do not spare even the greatest of men. Joad was guilty of a petty swindle (but, thank God, he survived to become a humble Christian). The Profumo affair showed how men of affluence, position and education can quickly descend to levels unutterably low and sad. Some of our modern philosophers are much married and divorced men. Gladstone knew thirteen prime ministers of Great Britain, and more than half of them were adulterers. Kings have lost their thrones because of weakness for wine and women. Popes have been the worst moral lepers of all. Erasmus was a genius without nobility or manliness. Adultery and unnatural vice stain the aristocracy more than the lower orders of society. Education and breeding are no bar against the foulest and most despicable in human nature. Cultured Germany stood aside while jack-booted brutes murdered 5,000,000 unwanted fellow-humans.
Even the Christian comes short of his holiest desires. We long to be, yet cannot attain. Like an imprisoned eagle, we dash our wings against the bars. Something must come into human nature. We need Another’s strength, Another’s strong right arm. The primary needs of human nature are REGENERATION AND RESURRECTION. No more significant thing has ever been said of man than this: “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
To our list of evolutionary failures, we add the following three crucial tests:
1. Evolution cannot account for the soul of man.
Reason, discovery, contrivance on the grand scale, reflection, will, self-consciousness, worship, poetry, music, literature, beauty harmony, art . . . faith, hope love—let all these testify to the nature of man’s soul, and elevate him far above and beyond all known creation. Souls do not evolve. They are the direct expression of the image of God. If the butterfly’s wing, the peacock’s tail, the spider’s web, and the mysterious instinctive impulses which preserve and govern the animal creation—if these and ten thousand other things attest the finger of God in Creation, let man’s nobler part, CONSCIENCE, speak for his creation as the favourite of heaven and loudly acclaim his divine origin and destiny as the one being in whom all the wisdom and purpose of God meet. To know good and evil, and to have in the breast a monitor which speaks for God and truth and righteousness, is beyond science, and proclaims that man is a moral creation accountable at last before a Judgment Seat.
2. Evolution cannot account for the present condition of man.
That man is not only a sinner, but a dangerous criminal, a potential menace to the entire creation, is no longer doubted even by the atheist and the agnostic. H. G. Wells died in despair, for he could see no future for mankind. Great statesmen have, after two world wars, affirmed that the future is dark and foreboding. Only the Bible tells us the meaning of this disaster which has happened to man. Original disobedience has plunged him into present ruin. The spiritual nature of man can only live by communion with his God, but all history attests that there has been catastrophic interruption. There is none righteous, quotes the great apostle Paul. There is no one who understands or seeks after God. The entire race is adrift from its moorings and, with the controls off, our modern society is plunging headlong into vicious practices: violence and lawlessness are sweeping the face of the earth. Again we ask: Which way evolution?
3. Evolution cannot account for the fact of Christ.
There is no way of accounting for Christ except as the God-man. Here is One who was attested by prophecy uttered across the abyss of four thousand years. Man left his innocency behind in the Garden, but went out armed with a promise of the Coming Seed who would be man’s deliverer. It was this promise which created the Hebrew nation, separated it from all the families of men, and sent it on its divine mission to preserve the pure knowledge of God in the world, to transmit the holy Law, and to enshrine the promise of redemption till the time of deliverance should come. The coming Redeemer was the subject of the prophetic songs of David, which delineated as in a master-portrait every significant feature of the life and mission of Christ as God-become-man. The sacrificial death by which Christ should effect the atonement was prefigured in Israel’s ancient Temple ordinances, and minutely described in Isaiah 53, as by an eye-witness at the actual crucifixion scene, though the royal prophet lived eight centuries before the event. Daniel fixed the era with the precision of a calendar, and all but named the very date when Christ would “make an end of transgression and bring in everlasting righteousness.” The, very place of the Redeemer’s birth was fixed as Bethlehem-Ephratah (Micah 5: 2), while the price paid for His betrayal, and the final use of it, was told by Zechariah four centuries before (Zech. 11: 12-13).
Here, then, is the perfect man, the full flowering of humanity, and none should be surprised at the information that Christ is the intrusion of God in person into His own Creation for the deliverance of man. Why should it be thought a thing incredible that God who made man for Himself as the crowning point of His wisdom should also stoop low unto suffering and death in order to raise His moral Creation to the highest pinnacle of blessedness? Who but God could be qualified to take man’s place and make man’s cause His own? How make an atonement if One who was not both God and Man should take the burden? Incarnation, Crucifixion, Resurrection, Exaltation are the four key words to the understanding of the mystery of Creation, and without these there is no understanding—all is chaos and meaningless. By this key all doors are opened wide.
The fact of Christ is beyond all evolution’s vapid theorising. The Bible is far ahead of all science. It shows man's need, above all else, for redemption. His need is not education but conversion. Man is defective in nothing but in his lost capacity for righteousness.
Again, the fact of Christ shows (what is an exclusive Bible doctrine in advance of all human philosophy and religious thought) that man’s nature is in a state of ruinous fall. The evil forces which surrounded Christ bear witness to the wickedness man has acquired. No man dare, except at peril to his everlasting welfare, ignore Christ. In the weakness and misery of his depravity, in all his sordid lapses, and in his unattained longings, he needs Christ.
THE WORLD MADE FOR CALVARY
The world was made for Calvary—not Calvary for the world. The key to the understanding of man’s long and painful history, as well as to the meaning of the Universe, is moral redemption. And in the most magnificent passage the world has ever read or ever will read on this fascinating subject of the meaning, end and purpose of Creation—a passage which establishes the full verbal inspiration of the Bible—Paul, with his pen dipped in the gold of eternity, writes:
“The earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to vanity, not of its own will but by reason of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God.” (Romans 8: 19-21) (R.V.)
AMEN! EVEN SO COME LORD JESUS. (Revelation 22: 20)