The Need for Scholarly Christian Philosophy
Marcus R. Braun
While our theologian fathers were correct in denouncing Darwin's theory as unscriptural, and while that is sufficient for orthodox Bible believers, it often is not enough for those who are taught to think skeptically, particularly our young people. Christians somehow overlooked the fact that we not only have God's truth in the Bible, but we also have God's truth in His universe.
By a careful study of God's world, we have found that Darwin's theory can be refuted on a purely secular basis, thus corroborating God's Bible just as has been the case in so many other instances where men have declared our Bible to be inconsistent, contradictory or false. Within just a few years creation scientists have succeeded in corroborating God's Genesis account of creation as factual truth.
Several years ago I became acquainted with Dr. Walter Lammerts, founder of the Creation Research Society, and asked what prompted him to form this organization. Dr. Lammerts is a world-renowned geneticist, a Bible-believing Lutheran layman and the father of two daughters. He told me that when his older daughter was taught Darwin's theory as fact in her high school biology class, he had little difficulty demonstrating to her that the Scriptural account of creation is factual and that the Darwin theory as to the origin of species is fallacious He attempted to do the same with his younger daughter when she was exposed to Darwinism in her high school biology class, but with his second child he was not successful. She countered by declaring, "Nobody believes the creation story anymorethat's old hat, Daddy." His younger daughter's rejection of the Genesis account of creation caused Dr. Lammerts to decide that it was time for him to attack this problem in a scholarly, scientific manner This is how the Creation Research Society originated. Dr. Lammerts expected his invitation to membership to be accepted largely by older men like himself. He was pleasantly surprised when most of his applicants turned out to be young men, many of whom had originally accepted Darwin's theory as sound, but later rejected it as a result of their own research.
When one considers the enormous impact this group of about 1,000 dedicated scientists has had by making our Bible scientifically respectable again, and doing so by refuting the Darwinists on their own ground, what could be done if a similar approach were used to neutralize the destructive philosophies which are undermining orthodox Christianity today? Sound philosophy has a place in God's world just as has sound science, so why shouldn't it be possible for dedicated, Bible-believing philosophers to refute destructive modern philosophies on their own ground just as creationists are successfully refuting Darwinism on its own ground?
Perhaps we orthodox Christians have been too content with "Thus saith the Lord" or sola scriptura in our assault on the bastions of error. Such an approach is certainly adequate for hearers and believers who accept the Lord and His Bible as ultimate authority and truth, but how much more effective could we be, especially with our young people, if we used a sound, godly philosophy to counter the destructive philosophies which are today attacking the very roots of our Christian faith as well as our entire civilization! While the way to salvation has been made deliberately simple by our Lord, so simple that a child can understand it, this does not mean that Christians necessarily should take pride in being simple-minded or ignorant. While men like Amos, Peter and John had humble beginnings, the Lord also used men who had the finest education available in their agelike Moses, Daniel, Luke and Paul.
Western civilization has been based on the premise that there is a God, even though we have violently disagreed as to who He is. By abandoning the concept of an absolute God, modern relativistic philosophy is new reaching out into two areas: (1) atheistic Marxism, which declares that the state is god; (2) secular (or religious) humanism, which declares "I am my own god," leading to the situation ethics which can justify all greed, lust, and crime.
Orthodox Christians have neglected to refute this false philosophy for so long that we do not seem to have a philosophical base from which to defend our position that there is an absolute God. We have overlooked the fact that in addition to the Bible itself, God has given us the means to defect these attacks on their own ground. We have failed to exercise good stewardship by burying instead of using our talents to refute them.
If scientists who are Christians were able within less than 15 years to refute Darwinism why cannot scholarly philosophers who are Bible-believing Christians refute the philosophy of modern destructive relativism?