9. Paganism or Literal Creationism
THE Genesis record is a simple story of creation, step by step,
through six days.” The question as to whether these days are to be understood as literal days of
twenty-four hours each, or as representing long periods of time, has invoked much discussion.
A few Christians, who believe that the Genesis record should be
taken literally, define the word days in the same sense as is commonly given to it throughout the
rest of the Scripture. Confirmation for this view is seen in Exodus 20:11, where the observance of the
seventh day as the Sabbath is enjoined as a memorial of the six-day creation. On the seventh day, we read in
Genesis 2:1,2, God rested from His creative work. To be consistent, the same meaning must be
applied to the word days in Genesis 1, Genesis 2, and Exodus 20:8-11. To change the meaning in any of these
places would do violence to the plain rules of language.
The great majority of theologians, as well as practically all
scientists, are influenced by traditional views which are hoary with age, and prefer to regard the
creation story as allegorical or figurative, having no significance from a scientific angle. In order to understand
this popular belief, and to know wherein it differs from the literal Bible story, we must go back into
history and trace the development of modern thought through the ages.
PAGAN IDEAS IN CHRISTIANITY
When intellectual leadership passed from the valleys of the Nile
and Euphrates to the northern shores of the Mediterranean, it was the young and virile Greek
people who took up the torch of civilization and developed a culture that was destined to spread throughout
the modern world.
Had Israel fulfilled the high destiny to which God had called her when He placed her in
Palestine, at the crossroads of the ancient world, she might have seen her creation doctrine become the
background for scientific research for all future time. But Israel’s apostasies deprived her of her
glorious privilege of making the true God known to the world, intellectually and spiritually, and pagan philosophy
became the foundation for modern thought.
Around the fifth century before Christ there arose in the Greek
colonies in Asia Minor a number of philosophers who attempted to find an explanation for the
activities of nature. One said that all things were derived from water; another thought that earth, water, air,
and fire were the basic elements of nature; still others denied the existence of any material substance, but
supposed that all “matter” was merely an illusion.
As time went on, the scholars of Greece devised many
interpretations for natural phenomena, and their influence was widely felt in religious thought. Their
systems of philosophy, however much they might differ, were all alike in one respect, and that was in the fact
that everything was explained by some natural cause. Therefore Greek philosophy can be designated as “naturalism,”
in contrast with the supernaturalism of the Hebrews, who believed that God was the direct source of
power for the operations of nature.
Two Greek philosophers of the fourth century before Christ stand
out as especially influential- Plato and Aristotle.
Plato taught that there was one supreme power in the universe,
from whom all lesser beings were derived, and from whom all material substance had emanated.
Matter, he believed, was not a reality, ‘but only a manifestation of the supreme spiritual power of the
universe. It was this Platonic viewpoint that gave rise to the doctrine of the immortality of the soul. Souls,
Plato taught, were spiritual entities sent out from God to dwell in the physical bodies that had been created
by His power.
Aristotle’s views were in many respects opposite to those
taught by Plato. He thought that matter was the foundation of reality, and that it had always existed.
By its own inherent properties it had been enabled to develop into a multitude of forms, and by purely
natural processes living creatures, mind, intelligence, and spiritual beings had come into existence.
From the Platonic viewpoint developed the Stoic philosophy,
which made duty the highest aim in life, whereas the Aristotelian logic gave rise to the Epicurean
philosophy, whose principal objective was
“Pleasure - eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.”
These Greek doctrines are of no value to us as merely historical
developments, but rather because of their profound influence on Christian theology and modern
scientific thought. Our present day views on many questions are determined largely by ideas which have been
inherited from these ancient Greek thinkers.
As Christianity grew powerful in the third and fourth centuries,
many pagan customs and views were introduced into the church. Pagan holidays and festivals
were celebrated, but in honor of Christian saints or events in the history of the church. And while the
forms of religion were essentially Scriptural, many Christian doctrines were interpreted according to the
philosophical views of Greek scholars.
Among the various Greek ideas that were made prominent at this
time was the teaching regarding creation. The outstanding Christian scholar of the late fourth
and early fifth century was Augustine. He introduced into Christianity the Platonic doctrine of the
immortality of the soul. As to the creation of the earth, he taught that the substance was created by God at some
indefinite time in the past, and endowed with power for developing into the highly organized state which
the earth now possesses. Thus was laid the foundation for a thoroughgoing evolutionary philosophy, which
dominated the thinking of men for centuries to follow.
At the time of the Renaissance in Europe Aristotle’s writings
were rediscovered. Theologians saw plainly that if the materialistic teachings of Aristotle were
allowed to be propagated, they would present a grave threat to the authority of the church, since Aristotle’s
views were in many ways antagonistic to those of Plato.
The day was saved by Thomas Aquinas, who proposed the
doctrine of dualism. In other words, he taught that men might think and study as they pleased with
respect to the humanities, science and social studies-as long as they recognized the authority of the church
in matters of religious dogma and authority.
That teaching has enabled the Catholic Church to hold its
position of authority in the modern age of scientific development.
With the Reformation came a “back to the Bible” movement,
which assumed that the Genesis story of creation and the Flood was to be taken literally. The
views of the Reformers concerning these questions cannot be termed scientific in any sense, but were
purely theological interpretations of the Bible record.
At the same time brilliant Jesuit writers were propounding the
doctrine of literal creation in an effort to counteract the philosophical errors that had been
introduced into Europe from Greek and Arabian sources
Thus it came to pass that theologians of all classes, from the
sixteenth to the middle of the nineteenth century, departed from the medieval viewpoint of
evolutionary development and taught the literal interpretation of Genesis.
MODERN VIEWS ON EVOLUTION AND CREATION
Around the middle of the nineteenth century the rise of modern
geological theory introduced confusion into the ranks of Protestant theologians. Attempts
were made to harmonize the new geological knowledge with the “days” of the first chapter of Genesis.
The Flood was variously interpreted, and many wild and fantastic views were proposed.
The most popular of all geological views at this time was the
catastrophism of Cuvier, the great French scientist. He observed in the Paris basin a succession of
layers containing bones of extinct animals.
These layers he attributed to a series of catastrophes by which
the life of the earth had been periodically overwhelmed. Noah’s Flood was supposed to have been the final
catastrophe. These catastrophes were supposed by many to have been the events to which Moses referred
in the Genesis record of the days of creation. Thus arose the “day-age” theory of the
theologians, by which Genesis and geology were
As a scientific confirmation of Genesis,
Cuvier’s theories were worthless. The simple facts of the case are that the succession that he found near Paris
only involved the Tertiary rocks, which are a small fraction of the sedimentary deposits of the earth, or even
of Europe. To interpret these in the light of the “days” of Genesis is absolutely unwarranted distortion
of the geological data as well as of the meaning of the Bible record.
In 1785 James Hutton presented to the Edinburgh Geological
Society a Theory of the Earth, which proposed to account for all the geological phenomena in
terms of long ages of uniform action of natural forces. This doctrine assumed that there had never been
any definite “beginning” and there would never be any catastrophic end to the earth.
The English geologist Charles Lyell published a voluminous work,
Principles of Geology, in 1830, in which he gathered together many illustrations of Hutton’s
hypothesis, generally known as
uniformitarianism. During the next quarter century this
hypothesis rapidly gained popularity, until by the time of the publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species in 1859
the scientific world had quite fully accepted it. Thus the way was prepared for complete acceptance of
evolution when the ‘Darwinian theory' gave a plausible explanation for the organic aspects of the problem.
The advent, or Millerite, movement, which culminated in 1844,
focused attention on the literal interpretation of Scripture. While little was said regarding the
origin of the earth, much was said of its expected destruction by fire. The Adventists generally accept
the Bible record in its simple, matter-of-fact rendering.
When the disappointment of 1844 turned many away from their
belief in the literal return of Christ to this earth, the churches committed themselves quite
generally to liberal doctrines that were
colored by the influence of German higher criticism. The clergy
turned toward belief in uniformitarian geology, and accepted the theory of long ages of time with
little or no protest.
The Bible record of the Flood came to be regarded as merely a tradition; and as for
biological evolution, about the only serious objection to Darwin’s Origin of Species when it was published
was that it implied the animal ancestry of man.
At the very time that the Protestant churches of Europe and
America were turning to evolutionary views, the Seventh-day Adventists arose, and their attitude was
that of consistent and thoroughgoing acceptance of the literal Genesis record. As a matter of
historical interest it may be noted that even those who do not believe that Ellen G. White received inspired visions
have quite freely admitted that her descriptions of the early history of the earth have exerted a
powerful influence in molding these literal views of the Seventh-day Adventists.
It was not until the beginning of the present century that much
attention was given to scientific aspects of the Genesis record. The first and for many years the
only scientific writer of any prominence among this people was George McCready Price, whose principal
points of contention were two; namely, (1) that there is no proof of long geological ages, but that the
various types of life had been contemporaneous instead of consecutive, and (2,) that while
there had been change within the major groups of animals and plants, there has been no change from one such
group to another. Under various aspects and by various arguments and illustrations these propositions have
been kept before the public for almost half a century of active writing and speaking.
The most important work
of this leader in modern catastrophism was in pointing out the weaknesses and inconsistencies in the
popular geological theories. From the rediscovery of Mendel’s laws of heredity in 1900 the
problem of the origin of our present-day species took on new interest.
Darwin had built his
theory on outward appearances alone, but twentieth-century theories of the origin of species have been
based on experimental work in genetics. For forty years the controversy continued over the question of
whether new species had actually arisen or whether all our modern “species” were merely variations in
originally created kinds.
In 1940 my book Genes and Genesis was published, giving a review of the whole
situation, and pointing out the fact that while modern science has shown the possibility of many changes
in the lower categories resulting in the production of new species or genera, it has failed to prove that
such changes are sufficient to account for the higher categories, such as families, orders, classes, and
Much the same argument has been followed in a later work (F. L. Marsh, Evolution, Creation, and
Science, 1944), with additional discussion of the relation between the “Genesis kinds,” as he conceives
them, and modern “species.”
IN preceding chapters consideration has been given to the
scientific facts that have a bearing on the question of whether the earth and its life came into being
by direct creation or were evolved by natural processes. It would he well in conclusion to review these main
points briefly and to bring together the major scientific aspects of the creationist philosophy as it
stands opposed to evolution.
MATTER AND ENERGY
Although matter and energy are realities, they must be
considered as realities of creation, not of independent existence. The chemical elements and compounds are
so diverse in their manifestations, which we call “properties,” that it is impossible to imagine them
as eternal, having always possessed these properties.
But when we begin to analyze the complex properties
of chemical substances, we find it absolutely out of the question to explain the more complex in
terms of the simpler. For instance, water is a compound of oxygen and hydrogen. But its properties are not a
combination of those of oxygen and hydrogen. Similarly, sulfuric acid is made of hydrogen, sulfur,
and oxygen; but its properties are not those of its components.
The only satisfactory explanation for the properties of matter
is that God created material substances as instruments through which to manifest His power.
He has ordained that certain combinations shall manifest His power in certain ways, but the properties are
not the result of any inherent activity of the matter itself.
The Greeks conceived of matter as made up of discrete particles,
which they called atoms, because they were supposed to be the final indivisible units.
The properties of matter were supposed to be due to the sum total of the properties of the atoms themselves.
This hypothesis, however, did not settle any of the problems, for ultimately there remained the question as
to what gave the atoms their properties.
The difficulty in all such materialistic interpretations lies in
the failure to recognize the fact that the atoms are complex dynamic systems, made up of units of
force, such as electrons, protons, etc. This dynamic system, therefore, does not exist as an ultimate lump of
matter, but as a combination of forces.
But forces must have a source; they cannot exist in and of
themselves. Thus we arrive at the conclusion that there must be some ultimate cause of causes back of and behind
all material things. This makes it a logical necessity that we accept the creation of matter as the only
possible interpretation for its origin and its properties. We have now overcome the difficulty in the idea that
matter is self-existent.
ORGANIZATION OF MATTER
Matter and energy, even though they might have existed
independently, could never have constituted an organized universe. The very existence of
organization is a proof for creation.
Let us suppose we have enough type to set up a copy of the
Constitution. How long would we have to pick at random and place the type in composing sticks
before we happened to get every letter and punctuation mark in the right place? How long would it take for
blind chance to “compose” a living creature? How long to bring together a world? And what about
solar systems, galaxies, and super galaxies?
The laws of chance are so remote, even on the smaller units of
existence, that when we think of the greater units we cannot but see the hopelessness of trying to bring
order out of the chaos by any kind of blind, automatic action.
The creation record of Genesis is not simply a record of origin,
it is a record of organization. The matter was first created, then formed into land, sea, and sky.
Then living creatures were produced, each “after his kind,” in systematic order.
From the organization of the simplest atoms, throughout the
complex groups of substances, to the minerals and rocks, to the living creatures, from atoms to
worlds, from cells to living creatures, from worlds to systems and systems to galaxies-in and through all
this marvelous universe may be seen divine plan and order. And this order is so complicated that none but
an Infinite Mind could have planned and directed it. The very fact that so much mental effort is
required to understand scientific principles is evidence of the Intelligence that is back of all natural
phenomena. Things did not “happen;” they were the products of the power of Infinite Wisdom.
Nature is full of evidences for design. Take, for example, the
manner in which physical factors are related so as to make life possible upon the earth. The range of
temperatures between interstellar space and the interior of stars is millions of degrees. Even on this
earth, temperatures range from below zero to thousands of degrees above.
Life can exist only in a small part
of this range. How is it that the surface of the earth is maintained so closely within the limits that allow
the existence of life? Surely not by chance, for the laws of chance would not make such a small range likely.
We must recognize that the hand of the Almighty is controlling the physical factors acting upon our
earth in order to allow life to continue.
When one enters the field of biochemistry, the wonder becomes
even more profound. For life exists, not in a simple mixture of elements, but in an almost
incomprehensible complexity of chemical substances making up what we call “protoplasm.” The wheel
within a wheel of Ezekiel’s vision is probably the best concept one can suggest for the complexity of the
activities by which life is carried on. Not only does protoplasm contain mixtures of protein, fats, sugars, and
minerals, but it actually manufactures other substances such as hormones and enzymes and uses them to
regulate its processes.
Amazing as is the chemistry of living bodies, even more amazing
is the manner in which these bodies develop from simple cells during the embryonic process.
Take for example, any of the well known animals. Each begins as a single microscopic cell. Within this
tiny bit of protoplasm is a small portion, the nucleus, inside of which are groups of protoplasmic thread known
On these are infinitesimally small granules, the genes. These
genes not only transmit the stream of heredity from one generation to the next, but they also govern
the development of the body from the single cell to its fully completed state, and do so in such a way that
when it is fully developed it has not only become a new individual “after his kind,” but possesses
those peculiar characteristics that enable one to recognize its exact relationships to others of its kind. In
other words, heredity is so accurate in its laws that we say of a child: “He has his father’s features,” or “He
is a perfect image of his mother.”
It is hard to see how anyone can follow through the changes in
the embryo without seeing in them the working of a superintending Providence. The single cell
divides to form a ball of cells; they in turn become a hollow tube; three germ layers appear, the ectoderm,
mesoderm, and entoderm.
From each of these arise certain tissues, which combine into organs. Each
part arises at exactly the right time and in exactly the right place so that they all fit together perfectly
to form the completed organism. There is in each developing embryo an inconceivably complex chemical
mechanism, by which enzymes and hormones are released in exactly the right proportions and at the right
stages to stimulate the development of new tissues and glands, which in turn liberate other substances to
carry on the process. How can such a complicated series of events come by accident?
We might go through the whole realm of biology and point out
wonder after wonder that require intelligence and design. A few of these might be mentioned: the
social life of ants, termites, bees, and wasps; the relationship between the yucca flower and the Pronuba
moth. The fig wasp and the development of figs; the relation between insects and flowers in general;
devices for preventing self-pollinization; bird migration; different types of eyes, as seen in mollusks,
arthropods, and vertebrates; faculties of the human mind.
The thousands of adaptive structures by which plants and animals
carry on their life and maintain their existence constitute abundant evidence for intelligent
design in nature. Let anyone try to figure how these things came by chance and he will see how unreasonable is
the materialistic view of nature and how necessary it becomes to believe in creation.
UNIFORMITY VERSUS SUPERNATURALISM
Belief in evolution rests on the unproved and unprovable
hypothesis of uniformity-that throughout the past, natural processes have gone on at the same rate as
now. According to this idea, all the actions of the past have been uniform, and there has been no universal
catastrophe to destroy the earth.
Not much thought is required to arrive at the conclusion that
the uniformitarian hypothesis is incapable of proof. Accurate scientific records have been kept
only a comparatively few years; how can we prove that climatic conditions have always been like those we
know? How can we prove that the sedimentary rocks of the earth have been deposited under
conditions now prevailing? How can it be proved that the uplift of the mountains and the outpouring of the
molten rocks were slow and uniform? These and many other phenomena are assumed to have taken place naturally,
but this assumption cannot be demonstrated.
Creationism and Flood geology are based on the idea that God
brought the world into existence by supernatural means, and that He destroyed it by a catastrophe.
Each of these two ideas supplements the other. To be consistent, we must believe in a literal creation
and a world-wide destruction.
The doctrine of creation is based on the plain statements of the
Bible, and supported by logic and reason, as previously pointed out. Flood geology rests on the
literal interpretation of the Genesis record and is supported by evidence from the rocks. The ecological zonation
theory, as already suggested, will explain the sequence of the fossils without recourse to long ages of
NO NEW KINDS
On this point it is important to notice that although biological
science has arrived at a fairly clear understanding of the manner in which modern species and genera
have arisen, there is no scientific evidence for the origin of the higher categories-the families,
orders, classes, and phyla.
To the creationist who believes that God created all plants and animals after their
kinds, this fact is significant. Between the families-for example, between the dog family and the cat
family-there are such clear cut distinctions that it is practically impossible to believe that any known genetic
changes are capable of deriving one from the other or both from common ancestry.
In this case, therefore, the
family seems to some students of the problem to satisfy the requirement as an original Genesis “kind.”
On the other hand, families appear to have been divided into smaller groups. In the case of the cats,
it is likely that lions, jaguars, lynxes, and such groups have descended from separate original “kinds.”
The fact that no proof can be given for the origin of new “kinds”-new
families, orders, etc. -constitutes a complete scientific vindication of the Genesis
story of the creation of each “after his kind.”
The fact that variation has taken place, and that the variants
have been distributed over the earth in a mosaic of species and subspecies in no way proves evolution.
On the other hand, once it is recognized that these variations have all taken place within the kinds, or
by means of a limited amount of confused crossing between similar kinds, the more clearly can it be seen
that all the facts of variation, adaptation, and distribution fit into the creationist viewpoint.
SCIENCE AND FAITH
In conclusion, it can be truthfully said that scientific
theories which are not in harmony with the simple record of the Bible are unproved and unprovable. The
established facts of science can all be fitted into the literal Genesis record.
Whether in the field of logic, mathematics, astronomy, geology,
archaeology, biology, or in any other field of science, the creationist who accepts the Bible
story as inspired history finds it possible to interpret the data in accordance with this literal story.
said that the greatest reason why men have accepted evolution is not that it can be proved, for
evolutionists generally admit that positive proof is impossible, but rather that known scientific data can be
interpreted in the light of the evolutionary theory.
Thus, one ought to be as ready to accept the creationist
doctrine if it can be shown that scientific data can be correlated with it. The purpose of the discussions in this
book has been, not particularly to disprove evolution nor to prove creation, but rather to show how the
facts of science fit with the Scriptural doctrine of creation. The way will be open, then, to accept creationism
as a plausible explanation of the earth and its life.
Now that we have placed creation with evolution as a scientific
theory, what basis do we have for a choice between them? Here is where we must make our final
decision, and it is upon this basis: The evolution theory, including the geological ages and the
origin of the present life of the earth by evolutionary processes, is based on human opinions and
The creation doctrine, including the origin of the earth, the
creation of plants and animals each “after his kind,” and of man in God’s image, is based on
the plain statements of the Bible, which is given by inspiration of God.
Upon which basis do we prefer to build our scientific knowledge?
The facts are the same for all; whether evolutionist or creationist, we learn the same laws, we
observe the same phenomena. The difference lies in the interpretation that is placed on them.
In the final analysis one must choose one of two logically
consistent systems of interpretation, either pure materialism, which dispenses with the need of an
intelligent Deity, or a system which recognizes that the universe is upheld by the power of a God who
personally and directly superintends the activities of His vast creation. A person cannot believe the
doctrine of inherent natural force without committing himself to infinite regress, which explains every
phenomenon in terms of some other natural phenomenon, with no place for a beginning or an end.
doctrine of a personal God centers everything in a personality with a mind and a will. In all reason, therefore,
this interpretation is the only satisfactory one.
Some persons claim that it is unscientific to believe in God.
But it should be pointed out that these same persons find themselves in the world, and accept the common
facts of daily life without proof. They learn to read, to do business, and to take the experiences of
life as a matter of course. Why should they hesitate to accept the idea of a supreme intelligence?
have received visions of deeper things of the Spirit are confident that there is a God. Why should His
existence be doubted because it cannot be demonstrated by scientific methods? Light, gravitation,
electricity, and all the other forces of nature are taken for granted, though no one can tell what they are, nor
Naturalism has to take all its
basic principles for granted. Why should it be considered any
less scientific to believe in the existence of God? The difference between the position of the Christian and
that of the materialistic evolutionist is that one assumes a natural, material, impersonal cause, while the
other assumes the existence of a personal God, as the immediate and direct cause of all natural phenomena.
The Bible has been accepted by millions of men as the revelation
of God to man. If this is wrong, religious experience becomes mere superstition, and the
skepticism of the critic is lifted to a more exalted position than the deep moral conviction of millions. To replace
a belief which is grounded on the experience of men by an unproved and unprovable hypothesis is a
serious matter. Let the skeptic weigh carefully the responsibility which the universe would ask him to
bear if he denies to God His rightful place as ruler of the material as well as of the spiritual world.
“He that comes to God must believe that He is.” Hebrews
11:6. The element of faith cannot be avoided, even in the scientific field. There is no way to get at
the underlying “Cause” of the universe except by faith. Natural forces do not proclaim their own
origin. There are only two choices, either a blind mechanical causality or a personal God. The creationist chooses
the latter, and offers no apologies for his choice; nor can anyone prove that it is unscientific.
There may be some who think that nothing can be known with
certainty-that all human knowledge is merely guesswork, speculation, or imagination. This attitude
of mind leads to the conclusion that science is nothing but an accumulation of human opinions, with no
settled basis of truth, and that philosophy is only a vagary, the diffuse muttering of disordered minds. Such a
viewpoint of life is entirely unsatisfactory, and will accomplish no good result.
Life must be conducted on a
positive plane if any good is to come from its activities. Some settled ground for behavior must be
found if men are to continue to pride themselves on being rational human beings.
The skeptical attitude leaves a man weak and helpless before the
great problems of life. Unless he has faith in some underlying causes for the phenomena of nature,
he cannot attack those phenomena with any assurance of understanding them.
The universe is a cosmos,
not a chaos. Things are ordered according to law, and do not occur haphazardly. Science has achieved no
greater triumph during the past three hundred years than to reduce an apparently confused mass of
natural phenomena to orderly, systematic arrangement, and to discover the laws that govern this organized
Today no man who has any training in science thinks of questioning the validity of the
great mass of scientific knowledge; and all investigators of nature proceed on the assumption that nature is
organized in an orderly manner. Order demands intelligence. Who ever heard of inanimate objects
organizing themselves into systematic groups?
Furthermore, the orderly organization of
nature is intelligible. In other words, man, as a thinking and reasoning being, can understand the relationships
existing in nature, and can get some idea of the meaning and purpose of these relationships. He looks upon
the flower blooming above the black soil, and as he studies its life he finds certain laws of physics and
chemistry manifested in its structure. He learns that these laws govern the flower’s ability to
assimilate its food and to produce its lovely blossoms.
He appreciates the underlying forces at work; and when they have
accomplished their purpose and the completed bloom appears, he marvels at the beauty that has been
revealed. So in all the phenomena of nature; intelligent organization is displayed. Certainly, if
these things are intelligible to human minds, they must have been the product of some other intelligent mind. There
must have been a mind at the other end, or our minds would not have been able to grasp the meaning of
the orderly processes in nature.
The very fact that all the laws of science have a mathematical
basis should be ample proof that they proceed from a mind of profound intelligence. It requires
exact, deep thinking to understand the laws of higher mathematics. These laws are not, and could not be, the
result of chance; they must have been ordered by a higher intelligence.
This world is a world of life, and from the tiniest mote that
floats in the sunbeam to the mightiest denizen of the sea, all nature vibrates with the forces that
life sets in operation. Air, water, and the earth itself-every corner and cranny of our globe-abound with living,
Life manifests itself not merely in activity, but basically and
fundamentally in expressions of ideas. Gazing at a beautiful painting, the beholder catches the
inspiration of its meaning, and says that he understands the thought of the artist, who, as a living,
thinking, feeling person, embodied his ideas in the pattern of the pigment on the canvas. His character is displayed
in the work which he produces, quite as truly as in the activities of his own body.
So it is with the
sculptor, who puts his own soul into the marble or the bronze. The photographer, even, who catches on the film
the subtle beauty of the landscape, composes his scene in such a way as to interpret its meaning to
him. The musician draws from his instrument those strains that will tell the story of his inmost
heart; his emotions are bared to the world by the chords that he plays.
If he will, the naturalist may find in the world of the great
outdoors myriad illustrations of this same truth, for nature stands as a great object lesson designed
by the mind and created by the hand of the Infinite. Each manifestation of natural law reveals the
character of the great Lawmaker; each strain of natural music tells of the heartthrobs of the Master Musician;
each bit of beauty displayed in flower and sky shows the skill of the divine Artist.
The mighty mountains
speak of the wisdom of the Supreme Architect. He who can look at nature and see in it only a blind
array of self-operating forces has failed to see the real meaning of nature and science. To the deep thinker
the intricate laws revealed in the field of scientific investigation show a Master Mind behind all things.
The charge is sometimes made that the belief in God implies the
idea of caprice in the operation of natural forces, that if natural forces are under the direct
control of God, they may be erratic in their action. Such a charge is without foundation. The exactness and system
observed in natural phenomena is an evidence of the wisdom of the Ruler of nature. His omniscience
is so far-reaching that He has no need of changing His manner of working through His created things; yet
He is not bound by nature, but can supersede the ordinary manner of working by actions suited to
the occasion, when the need arises.
SCIENCE AND THE BIBLE
One who takes the position that there is a Supreme Being is
bound to look for evidences of His revelation to man. Any system of thought that would deny God the
right to communicate with His children would deny the very essence of His personality. In a pantheistic
system all nature would be a revelation, and the only revelation possible. According to the materialistic
conception, natural revelations are the only ones possible. On the personal basis, special revelation is as
reasonable as the idea of the existence of God.
Accordingly, the Bible as the word of God is an essential
doctrine to those who believe in the personality of God. There is no alternative; either the Bible is God’s
revelation to man or there has been no divinely revealed truth.
At once the cry is raised that the Bible is being placed on a
scientific basis and used as a textbook of science. In reply it may be said that it is not a textbook,
but does contain the fundamental principles to which all interpretations of scientific discoveries must
If there is a God, He must be the author
both of the Bible and of nature, and the two must agree. If the
Bible is to mean anything at all, it must be inspired by the Spirit of God; and if thus inspired, its
historical records must be true. When, therefore, human speculative methods of thought presume to interpret the
past history of the earth in a manner diametrically opposed to the record given in the Bible,
Christians ought to object and to take their stand on the declarations of the word of God. They ought willingly and
knowingly to allow themselves to be known as opposing the current interpretations in regard to the origin
and past history of the earth. In so doing they may rest assured that these interpretations are not
scientifically proved facts, and they may feel that they have the right to take exception to them.
The scientific world is today in a state of confusion because it
has denied the truth of a personal God as the center of life and force in the universe. It has
interpreted nature as a self-running mechanism and assumed the ability of the human mind to explain the
phenomena of nature and to interpret their significance in the moral and spiritual realm. It has refused to
accept the divine revelation regarding the past history of the earth and has substituted in its place a
speculative theory of long ages of evolution.
The struggle for existence, the presence of degeneracy and death,
and in the moral world the ‘ fact of evil-these and many other points are interpreted in the light of evolution
instead of the Bible record of the fall of man and the reign of rebellion. Science has exalted human research;
theology has adopted its methods, and has turned to a social gospel instead of the religion that exalts
Jesus as a divine Savior.
The greatest need of the world today is not more scientific
research, although facts thus brought to light are valuable; the world needs a true philosophy to enable
it to make a correct interpretation of facts already known and to guide it in the acquirement of new
A new revelation is not needed, but
faith to accept the one already given. When the word of God is
accepted as a guide in scientific research as well as in spiritual study and experience, then, and only then,
can men hope to solve the great problems of science and religion.