Author: Paul A. Bartz
Evolution, whether theistic or atheistic, requires the principles by which we have come into existence to be within ourselves. While the atheist believes that we can be explained on completely materialistic principles, the theistic evolutionist adds God at points in the process that don’t seem explainable by strictly materialistic means. But the theistic evolutionist still leaves the initial evolution of the ape-like creature from which we supposedly came to internal material principles. Most theistic evolutionists suggest that at one point God “chose” a pair of these creatures to be human, but from that point on the natural principles continued the process of evolution. So whether it’s theistic or atheistic evolution, our present existence rests upon principles that are within us, either placed there by chance and accident or by God.
As we have pointed out many times in many ways, theistic evolution requires a complete rewriting of much of Scripture. The question of whether the principles by which we have come into existence are within us touches another Scriptural teaching which would have to be rewritten if theistic evolution is to be accepted.
The most obvious passage which addresses this point is found in Psalm 100:3. Here we are encouraged to know the Lord and His work and praise Him for it. The basis for knowing the Lord and His work is given here just as it is given elsewhere in Scripture: “It is He who has made us and not we ourselves…” Now it is obvious that something that does not exist cannot make itself – so these words are really reaching deeper than this point. Here the Lord is specifically stating that the principles by which we have become human beings are not to be found within us – no materialistic explanation can explain who, what or why you are. Neither the character of matter itself, nor the explanation that God placed the principles of our formation within us can be used, since they are here ruled out; just as they are ruled out by inference in the creation account itself.
This Scriptural principle fits well with what modern science knows. Despite speculations and theories, there is no demonstrated naturalistic explanation for the initial formation of life. To say, as do some, that this is only a lack of knowledge that will someday be discovered is poor logic. Nor is there any experimental evidence that explains how new organs and features can form to change one type of creature into another. In fact, all experimental evidence supports the idea that one kind of creature cannot possibly change into another type of creature. Science is also at a dead end in explaining man. Science has no explanation for what makes us the individuals we are – some scientists have even speculated that there is no individual person within us – we are simply material reactions who have the illusion of being persons. Studies of individuals with a wide range of brain damage reveal that there appears to be no material location of the person – the “I” – within the brain. All of this serves to show that statements that we are the result of material principles within ourselves are scientifically inadequate and nothing more than statements of faith by materialists who feel that they must explain everything, including ourselves, without resorting to a recognition of God.
Obviously no Christian who really understands this Biblical point and what it means would want to throw his lot in with those who have placed themselves opposite God.
The results of scientific study into this issue tell us that the Christian, Biblical position that we can only be explained as originating as a completed creation of a wise and powerful God is not the result of a lack of knowledge. The knowledge we have in hand further supports the logical conclusion that we are the product of supernatural, not natural forces.
Therefore it is in this context, and not in the supernatural context, that we must understand the many Scriptural statements that point out that we are created. For example, Psalm 95:6 simply states that the Lord is our Maker. The only reasonable way to understand this statement is within the explanation offered by other, more specific texts of Scripture.
But the assumed, basic fact of Scripture that we were created by God is not, in itself, saving knowledge of God. It is, however, intended to lead us to seek additional knowledge in God’s revealed Word, the Bible. And the lesson of Scripture is that we are dependent beings. As the principles of our creation are not within us, so the resources for a relationship with our Creator are also not within us. 2 Corinthians 1:9 explains that the sentence of death is to be found within us. We are again directed to look outside of ourselves, not surprisingly to our Creator – to Him through Whom we were made – for reconciliation without fear to God Who has made us. The heart of Scripture is that Jesus Christ has paid the debt we owe to God and that He makes us new creations, no longer bound in sin as enemies of God.
Enlightening resources on this topic:
6590-2 Unformed and Unfilled $7.95
5947-X A Matter Of Fact $7.95
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Copyright © 1985 Bible Science Newsletter, Pastor Paul A. Bartz. Creation Moments, Inc. PO Box 839 Foley, MN 56329