PMW 2019-014 by Philip Bell (Creation Ministries, Intl.)
The hope of the Christian faith is inextricably linked with a belief in purpose. The Apostle Paul famously waxed lyrical with the words, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). By virtue of His incarnation, crucifixion and resurrection, the Universe’s Creator and Sustainer (John 1:1–3, Colossians 1:16–17) became the Saviour. Having a personal relationship with God—through repentance and faith (e.g. Mark 1:14–15)—guarantees us a place in heaven. We have a confident, certain hope of eternal glory. But can this message be sustained if, as a consistent belief in evolution requires, humankind’s special creation by God is overturned?
“We are the one creature to whom natural selection has bequeathed a brain complex enough to comprehend the laws that govern the universe. And we should be proud that we are the only species that has figured out how we came to be.”1 So concludes evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne in his book Why Evolution is True. In other words, enlightened people know better these days than to rely on old-fashioned notions of their purposeful creation:
“Darwinism tells us that, like all species, human beings arose from the working of blind, purposeless forces over eons of time. … [S]upernatural explanations … are simply never needed: we manage to understand the natural world just fine using reason and materialism” (emphasis added).
As It Is Written: The Genesis Account Literal or Literary?
Book by Ken Gentry
Presents the exegetical evidence for Six-day Creation and against the Framework Hypothesis. Strong presentation and rebuttal to the Framework Hypothesis, while demonstrating and defending the Six-day Creation interpretation.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com
This humanistic autonomy, insists Coyne, need not be as bleak as some people fear. For sure, unguided natural processes brought men and women into being. And yes, there’s a lot of immorality, injustice and mayhem in society, but our evolutionary heritage has also produced altruistic human beings: many people support charitable causes, work to alleviate suffering, risk their lives to rescue others and so on. Based on his belief in human evolution Coyne claims that, “whatever genetic heritage we have, it is not a straitjacket that traps us forever in the ‘beastly’ ways of our forebears. … And although evolution operates in a purposeless, materialistic way, that doesn’t mean that our lives have no purpose.”3
Are moral values and meaning illusory?
British scientist Brian Cox concurs with Jerry Coyne. A TV personality and professor in particle physics at the University of Manchester, Cox concluded his best-selling book Human Universe (based on the BBC programme of the same name) with this confession:
“I want to be honest. We didn’t set out to make a love letter to the human race when we started filming Human Universe. We set out to make a cosmology series, documenting our ascent into insignificance. Things changed rapidly as we chatted, debated, experienced, photographed and argued our way around the world… It is surely true that there is no absolute meaning or value to our existence when set against the limitless stars. We are allowed to exist by the laws of nature and in that sense we have no more value than the stars themselves. And yet there is self-evidently meaning in the universe because my own existence, the existence of those I love, and the existence of the entire human race means something to me” (bold emphases added)
Let us be clear about what Coyne and Cox (and many others) are claiming here: the stark conclusion of both secular cosmology and evolutionary biology is that human existence is happenchance and insignificant. But, they argue, we are sufficiently advanced in evolutionary terms to be in a position to create our own meaning. You really can ‘have your cake and eat it’, so they claim.
Cox claims that our capacity to love and imbue things with meaning is simply because evolution granted us complex brains and minds. Evolutionists will argue that this is a healthy state of affairs, that humans have been wired with a propensity to create what essentially are false views of the world. Such things as ‘love’ and ‘meaning’ help stifle the painful, nihilistic reality that man came from nothing and is headed for oblivion. No wonder, then, that such a useful tendency was fixed in the human psyche through natural selection! But, they chide, the reality is that meaning and value, good and evil, right and wrong, do not really exist—except as social constructs which ensure stable society (although sometimes, lying may be a better survival strategy). So, whatever hand you have been dealt in the ‘Lottery of Life’, keep your chin up and look on the bright side! Infamous Darwinist and atheist Richard Dawkins is insistent on this point:
“We’re extremely lucky to be here. The odds against your being here are far greater than the odds of your winning the lottery, so be thankful and spend your time—your brief time—under the sun, looking around and rejoicing and wondering and being fascinated and trying to understand everything about the universe in which you’re so fortunate to be born”
Consider the Lilies
A Plea for Creational Theology
by T. M. Moore
Moore calls us to examine the biblical doctrine of general revelation from the perspective of what he calls creational theology. In this artful introduction to creational theology, Moore helps us develop the skills and disciplines for doing theology as we look upon and interact with the world around us.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com
What are we to make of these claims? If believed and acted upon, they are certainly a potent hope-destroyer. You exist for no reason, for no purpose. It’s just that your ‘lucky number’ popped up in the great casino of the universe. After your brief foray on this planet, you’ll likely be quickly forgotten. But while you’re alive, you might as well make the best of it: love and be loved, be nice, be kind, try to do some good in the world for the benefit of humanity. Although your existence is, quite frankly, utterly pointless, consider yourself the lucky one—be thankful. ‘Thankful to whom?’ you ask? Well, not God, since He doesn’t exist. ‘Who, then?’ Well, your lucky stars of course! But don’t trouble yourself with delving too deeply into those questions.
For your own sanity, keep up the illusion that, in spite of your meaningless, insignificant existence, you’re unique—even special if you like—just as long as you keep firmly fixed in your mind that materialism is the name of the game. (In our materialistic world, there are no gods, nothing supernatural, no purpose or goals.) To survive and thrive, you’re going to need coping mechanisms. It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there. It’s the result of millions of years of ‘survival of the fittest’, at the expense of the weak. The unfit are life’s losers. But rejoice, you’re one of the survivors after all! So try to have an appetite for wonder,6 to see how fascinating the universe really is. Ponder your good fortune in being born at all. Make the most of it. There’s probably no God, so stop worrying and enjoy your life. Take a leaf out of Richard Feynman’s book (eminent theoretical physicist, 1918–1988): . . .
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The Beast of Revelation (246pp); Before Jerusalem Fell: Dating the Book of Revelation (409pp); Navigating the Book of Revelation: Special Studies on Important Issues (211pp).
In the Logos edition, these volumes by Ken Gentry are enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.
For more study materials, go to: KennethGentry.com