When we think of man we cannot forget what evolution has done. However, evolution did not start with Darwin, but with philosophers known as the ‘pre-Socratics,’ around sixth to mid-fifth century BC. These are philosophers bouncing ideas back and forth before the coming of Socrates.
They were not interested in ‘who’ created the earth, but ‘what’ the universe was created of. They thought that all of life was ‘matter’ (stuff). For them even if the ‘gods’ did exist they too came out of the same cosmos soup.
This type of thinking has been with us ever since and today it shows up in our class rooms as evolution. In this type of thinking and here in the West especially, it is not that they are against God, but that He does not really matter. He is insignificant. Man has evolved and has taken the place of God and can manage on his own.
Yet when we read the Bible we find that it is completely different than what we are learning in the class rooms of our universities. Some will say that evolution does not oppose the Bible account of the origin of man. However, they are wrong and here are a few questions by Herbert Lockyer that they can give us an answer to.
- At what point in the ascending scale do moral questions emerge, or where does irresponsible animal passion pass into moral obligation?
- At what point does a spiritual nature, carrying the gift of immortality, appear?
- At what particular stage in the development of a semi-animal, semi savage creature, can we apply the words, “made in the image of God”?
- How does the theory affect the “Person of Christ,” and how far back along the process of development does His redemptive work take effect?”
I am reminded of the philosophers of Paul’s day when he said, “Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” (1 Corinthians 1:20) What Paul is doing is putting out a challenge and saying to these people that if you have the answers to life’s questions then step forward and let us hear. But they have nothing to say. Reformation brings us back to who man is and why he is here, according to God and God’s own Word.
Why is all of this important? It is important because we need to see that we are the creatures and He is the Creator. Man’s own philosophies have penetrated the churches here in the West and it is causing untold damage. That somehow we can do the work of God in the flesh. Paul said: “Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?” Galatians 3:3
How much of what we do: programs, missions, evangelism, etc. is a direct result of waiting on the Lord for HIS direction for our own plans that seem good to us? God’s work done, if done in the flesh, is nothing more than ‘dead works.’