For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. (Colossians 1:16-17)
Charles Darwin did not originate the idea of a world without God. Sinful men longed for such a world since the first rebellion. All Darwin did was give a seemingly scientific explanation that made the idea sound biologically possible. The result was that men flocked to his theory. They wanted to believe in a world without God, or at least in a world where he was reduced to a useful addendum. The Enlightenment claim was that man is in his essence a rational creature. Man does have a mind and does reason, but is essentially a religious creature, Scripture tells us. He is a creature of faith. Man can think only in terms of what he believes. We understand a man when we understand what he believes. Darwin assumed God did not create, and many who longed for such an existence independent of divine origin flocked to this faith. Those who believe Scripture assume God did create and admit this as an article of faith.
What Science Cannot Do
Evolutionists begin with the assumption that evolution happened, then deny that this assumption is a faith. When opposed they must appear logical (reasonable), so they define science in an entirely self-serving way. They define God and the supernatural out of the realm of science and then smugly declare their faith to be the only "scientific" explanation. It is true that the scientific method is based on what is measurable, observable, and repeatable; but those criteria are never the sole determination of what is real or what happened in the past. Science constantly tries to work with a given historical reality without feeling the need to prove the historical act that precipitated it. The argument that science is limited cannot be used as grounds to deny what is beyond those limits. It only proves there are limits to what science can or cannot prove.
The whole concept of origins is, in fact, beyond the limits of what is measurable, observable, or repeatable. Either evolution or Divine creation must therefore be accepted by faith. Origins involves historical events not subject to the scientific method. Does that mean our world and life had no origin because it cannot be subject to the scientific method? Evolutionists say Divine, miraculous origin is non-scientific but that their own faith in origins by "natural" processes (no longer observable) is. Far too many have allowed themselves to be intimidated by such a self-serving summary rejection of their Faith for another faith.
Evolution's Borrowing of Christian Capital
The evolutionary faith must borrow Biblical ideas and adopt them. The idea of the eternal is merely transferred from God to matter. Evolution cannot explain the origin of matter, so God must be reluctantly accepted as a first cause of matter (and then forever limited to the realm of religion), or it must be postulated that matter itself is eternal. Evolution simply cannot explain the origin of matter. It must be their starting point.
Intelligent design by the Creator is also transferred to the natural realm. The "Laws of Nature"take the place of Divine design. Evolutionists often absurdly ascribe foresight, intent, and intelligent development to biological processes or creatures themselves. Thus a creature is said to have "adapted itself," "developed the ability," or "evolved a unique organ which allows. . . ."
Since evolution posits life from non-life, it must also borrow the idea of the miraculous. What is not possible is said to be plausible if it occurred over a long time. Inheritance of acquired characteristics, natural selection (Darwin's idea), and mutation-selection have been suggested as entirely different methods for these changes to take place. The fact that the entire "scientific"basis of Darwin's theory has since been discredited as a means of changing species is itself a powerful witness to the fact that evolution is based on a faith that survives its science being discredited and revamped.
There has been a trend in this century for Christians to abandon Genesis 1-11 as scientifically or historically accurate. By various means and reasoning they make concession to the evolutionary faith. But they have not thereby gained the respect of evolutionists, and why should they? They have merely tacked God onto another faith. But the Biblical idea of a Sovereign who controls time and eternity is inconsistent with evolution. When creation is transferred to the inherent physical nature of matter, sovereignty and power are also transferred. God becomes an outsider to nature. If God is not the Creator, in what way can he claim any right or interest in the creation or in us as creatures?
Evolution and Christianity are different faiths that have mutually exclusive claims. Evolution posits matter that made man who made his gods. Any attempt to accommodate this view with Scripture places God in a subordinate role. It also destroys the integrity of Scripture because it claims two sources of truth. The Bible is seen as a source of spiritual truth and nature is seen as the source of scientific truth. But this is dualism. It posits two sources of truth from two gods. But inevitably one will be favored and given preeminence. Since this position began with accommodation to evolution, further surrender becomes a criteria of respectability. Once evolutionary faith is accepted, nature is our source of knowledge about science, and the Bible is increasingly ruled out. We are left with man's reason and nature. If only the divine is excluded, only the natural is left. Evolution is an exclusive faith that defends itself by excluding all others.
Darwin offered men who wanted freedom from God an "out." He provided an account of origins which provided miracles but was impersonal, materialistic, and held no man to account. Men felt freed from the Creator and creaturehood. Once God is a creation of evolved men, he may be accepted, rejected, or limited by those men at will. Truth is a premise of human thought. There are no "brute facts." Facts have significance because meaning is a part of God's Creation. Without God there can be no meaning or truth. Man accepts or rejects the God of Scripture as an expression of his religious nature, but he must posit an eternal order. If he rejects God as Creator he will posit an origin and truth without God. Creation or evolution are the only alternatives as origins. Men structure their thoughts on one of these faiths.
We must challenge any artificial definition of science, which would remove God from his Creation. Evolution offers billions of years of chaos and chance but then borrows Christian ideas of law and truth. Men cannot escape faith; they only choose another. Evolutionary faith is the faith of rebels against God and represents that rebellion and irrationalism in the name of science.
- Mark R. Rushdoony
Mark R. Rushdoony graduated from Los Angeles Baptist College (now The Master’s College) with a B.A. in history in 1975 and was ordained to the ministry in 1995.
He taught junior and senior high classes in history, Bible, civics and economics at a Christian school in Virginia for three years before joining the staff of Chalcedon in 1978. He was the Director of Chalcedon Christian School for 14 years while teaching full time. He also helped tutor all of his children through high school.
In 1998, he became the President of Chalcedon and Ross House Books, and, more recently another publishing arm, Storehouse Press. Chalcedon and its subsidiaries publish many titles plus CDs, mp3s, and an extensive online archive at www.chalcedon.edu.
He has written scores of articles for Chalcedon’s publications, both the Chalcedon Report and Faith for all of Life. He was a contributing author to The Great Christian Revolution (1991). He has spoken at numerous conferences and churches in the U.S. and abroad.
Mark Rushdoony lives in Vallecito, California, his home of 43 years with his wife of 45 years and his youngest son. He has three married children and nine grandchildren.