Charles Hodge's Reflection on the Nye-Ham Evolution Debate

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On January 14, 1874, Old Princeton's Charles Hodge read a paper expressing his dire concerns regarding the perils of Darwin's evolution to the Christian faith.  Hodge (who was hardly a hard-core creationist) understood the character and function of Darwinism.  "What is Darwinism?" Hodge asked.  "It is Atheism."  

Hodge poignantly illustrated his point by quoting from the final words of two men who represented the competing worldviews: David Friedrich Strauss, author of the nefarious Life of Jesus, representing evolutionary humanism, versus the apostle Paul, representing the Christian faith.  
Strauss's final words included these: 

"In the enormous machine of the universe, amid the incessant whirl and hiss of its jagged iron wheels, amid the deafening crash of its ponderous stamps and hammers, in the midst of this whole terrific commotion, man, a helpless and defenceless creature, finds himself placed, not secure for a moment that on an imprudent motion a wheel may not seize and rend him, or hammer crush him to a powder.  The sense of abandonment is at first something awful."

In contrast, among Paul's final recorded words are these: 

"I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day... Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing" (2 Tim. 1:12; 4:8).

When the underbrush of rhetoric and arguments has been cleared away, significant though many of the details may be, here is the stark difference in worldview between Bill Nye's evolutionary secularism and Ken Ham's Christian creationism: a despairing sense of abandonment versus a hopeful anticipation of redemption and glory.  Surely, in the interests of speaking to our cultural context today, this is a matter in which Christians can hardly afford to be indifferent or silent.

Cited from David B. Calhoun, Princeton Seminary, 2 vols. (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1996), 2:15-16.
Posted February 27, 2014 @ 3:48 PM by Rick Phillips
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