Thursday, 3 November 2016

The House Rules of Secularism

Rigged Games

In the worldview of evolutionism, the world has been in existence billions of years, madcapping itself into more and more sophistication by means of brute randomization. In this worldview, simple one celled amoeba are old, ancient, early forms of life.  Human beings, because they are much more complex, had to have come later, much later.  Chance has to have time to work its circular complex glories.  Notice how the fundamental assumptions of stochasticity comprehensively shape our treatment and interpretation of the data.  A young earth is excluded from the outset as impossible.  As Van Til once put it, a fishing net is designed for the purpose of catching fish; those it does not catch are by definition not fish.   

Christians get into all sorts of trouble when they attempt to make the Scripture fit into the "science" of evolutionism.  Of course evolutionism is not a hard science.  It is not falsifiable.  It is not an experimental discipline whereby theoretical hypotheses or their implications are tested under lab conditions to see whether they prove true.  The processes of evolution cannot be subject to test tube or experimental analysis, since it's rather hard to construct experiments which are millions and millions of years in the gestation.  Evolution and its accompanying world views represent a social science--sort of like sociology.  In all such soft sciences, speculations and hypotheses rule; experimental falsification under lab conditions never so.  When was the last time you saw a sociologist in a white lab coat?

It is sad when Christians attempt to gain "air time" in the secular world by demonstrating that they take the pseudo-scientific discipline of evolutionism seriously.
 However much they wish to defend the teachings and authority of the Bible by making room amongst the nouns and verbs of the Bible's text for a narrative about evolutionary origins, they end up undermining all the teachings of Scripture.  If "science" emphatically and most certainly tells us that all living things came into existence by means of a random evolutionary processes, then the text of Scripture must be squeezed and pushed and stretched to make room within the creation account for just such a process.  Then, "science" will respect us Christians for our intellectual rigour--not.  The last time we checked "science" had both decided and emphatically declared that a resurrection is scientifically nonsensical, and Christians who believe in it are profoundly "unscientific".  The ideological "net" of secular science has already been constructed so that miracles and the pre-scientific work of the Creator don't fit through the net's mesh.

Douglas Kelly explains how this works, as Christians attempt to find billions of years embedded in the creation accounts of Genesis 1&2, and in the genealogies of Scripture which reveal the earth to be young, and its beginning contemporaneous with the existence of man as the crown of creation.
. . . progressive creationists deny a straight-forward reading of the Scriptural implications for chronology of the world, for the same reason that liberals (or Modernists) affirm a plain reading: both assume a cosmos billions of years old, and a human race millions of years old.

Their goals are entirely contrary: liberals are pleased to show that the Scriptures teach a young earth in order to "liberate" people within the church from bondage to historical to historical and scientific truth claims of Scripture (since its chronology is thereby seen to be scientifically incredible), while evolutionary evangelicals deny a plain reading in order to re-interpret the Scriptures in hopes of accommodating the same chronological assumptions held by the secular culture (thereby hoping to render more credible the historical reliability of most of Scripture outside Gen: 1-11).

In other words, in both cases, the reigning secular paradigm prevents both modernists and many evangelicals from allowing the plain teachings of Holy Scripture to provide basic principles for an alternative world model (or scientific paradigm) as regards the chronology of the solar system as well as the human species.  [Douglas Kelly, Creation and Change: Genesis 1:.1--2.4 in the Light of Changing Scientific Paradigms (Fearn, Ross-shire: Mentor/Christian Focus Publications),  p.126. Emphasis, ours.]
To return to Van Til's analogy, the Unbelieving, secular establishment has already decided what facts it will admit into its net, and has constructed the mesh of the net accordingly.  Christians who want to work with that net will find that its mesh will never allow Biblical fish to be caught.  It has been deliberately constructed to achieve that exclusionary outcome--from the very beginning.  The facts have nothing to do with it.  Brute or raw data is completely irrelevant.  The net has already defined what it will recognise as fish (data) and what it most definitely will not.

Changing the analogy, Christian apologists, philosophers, cosmologists, or just plain ordinary disciples who fail to see the very nature of the board's construction will be beaten at the game every time.  The board will only accommodate and permit pieces which comply with the board's design and the game's rules, before play commences.  It has nothing to do with scientific credibility.  It has everything to do with the competition of two religious claims: one false, one true--and the insistence by Unbelief that Christians must play on its board, and by its rules.  No surprises there.  The only surprise is that Christians would be foolish enough to accept the challenge and play by secularist rules.

No comments: