By Dave Hunt
Despite all our failures to bring peace and good will on Earth, America can at least boast of her much-vaunted space program. Our astronauts have walked on the moon. Our astronomers have searched the far reaches of the universe with their telescopes and have uncovered much of its mystery. But wait. Let us face some realities.
Cosmos, Creator, and Human Destiny, my newest book, begins with a brief look at the vastness of the universe. Even if we could build space vehicles that might travel at the speed of light, it would take 100,000 years to cross The Milky Way, our relatively small galaxy, and billions of years to reach the trillions of galaxies beyond. These facts show how foolish is man's dream of "space exploration." Each time I board a passenger jet and glance into the cockpit at the incredibly complex instrument panel, I think of the Arctic tern. This bird breeds in the tundra of the far north, then flies for eight months across thousands of miles of trackless ocean to reach its destination near the edge of the Antarctic ice pack, only to return to its breeding grounds. It will cover more than twenty thousand miles in its lifetime. Its instrument panel is in its tiny brain and its guidance system is instinct, a capability that no evolutionary process could develop nor any man explain.
Atheism, partnering with Darwinism, is the fastest growing non-political movement in the world today. It is Satan's master weapon in his battle with God. The world's leading atheist, Richard Dawkins, a former Oxford University professor, is atheism's loudest mouthpiece. His books regularly appear on the New York Times bestseller list. Becoming convinced of Darwinism at the age of fifteen turned him from a nominal Anglican into a fervent atheist. He has declared that "A belief in God is not only stupid but wicked."
The same transformation occurred in Charles Templeton's life. He was at one time the preaching partner of Billy Graham. Darwinism turned him into an atheist. In his book, Farewell to God, he tells of writing to Billy:
Billy, it's simply not possible any longer to believe, for instance, the biblical account of creation. The world wasn't created over a period of days a few thousand years ago; it has evolved over millions of years. It's not a matter of speculation; it's demonstrable fact.Templeton was wrong, tragically so. Darwinism continues today to turn multitudes into atheists. Many authors have argued both sides of the creationism vs. evolutionism dispute. It is really theism vs. atheism, God vs. Satan. This ancient conflict is soon to come to its dramatic conclusion. That is what Cosmos, Creator, and Human Destiny is all about.
We boast of the great cities we've built and keep track of our highly praised athletic records: how fast we can run, how high or far we can jump, etc. As we have seen with the arctic tern, insects and animals outdo us in every physical feat. It is astonishing, however, that almost no one on either side of this debate ever mentions the one key factor that separates man from all lower creatures: man's ability to form conceptual ideas and to express them in words and music and art! We are made in the image of God our Creator and the lover of our souls. The same cannot be said of any other living creature.
This simple fact reveals the futility of searching the world of fossils to find a "missing link" between man and lower creatures of any kind. It is equally futile to search the DNA of man and animals for a missing link. Neither the skeletal structure nor the DNA has anything to do with who the person really is. The DNA of a chimpanzee is 96 percent like that of humans. This does not indicate any evolutionary connection between man and chimps as Francis Collins, a professing Christian recently appointed to head the National Institutes of Health, suggests. Even if the complete skeletons and DNA of Albert Einstein, Charles Dickens, and Ludwig van Beethoven could be discovered, would they hold the key to the genius of these men? Of course not! The real person is a nonphysical being living inside the physical body. This fact is indisputable.
As for your brain, it does not originate your thoughts. You are the thinker who will live on endlessly after the body lies rotting in the grave. Souls and spirits are not subject to the laws of physics and chemistry that govern our bodies. These facts bear serious consequences for each of us. What happens to the soul and spirit after death? Hebrews 9:27 states, "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." You can laugh your way into hell, but you can't laugh your way out.
Nevertheless, the rebellion against God that Adam began has been carried on ever since with determination. Undeniably, the major goal of today's scientific endeavor is to prove that God does not exist.
The purpose of space probes, for example, is to find signs of water that might indicate how life could have had its inception somewhere outside of earth and then evolved. The goal, of course, is to show that man is not a unique creation but that there are similar intelligent beings scattered everywhere throughout the universe - and thus there is no need of a "god" to explain anything. Such speculation flies in the face of the law of biogenesis, which states that life only comes from life.
Atheists want to avoid the question of origins. They talk about a sudden burst of energy that one critic named the "Big Bang," but they cannot tell us what energy is, where or why it was hiding, or why it suddenly showed itself in a cosmic explosion. Nor can they explain how life could spring forth from a universe that had experienced temperatures hotter than the interior of the hottest star. They can't tell us what life is or how it could be imparted to lifeless chemicals that the body comprises. Isn't it dishonest to talk about evolution without first of all facing certain foundational questions?
What is behind the diligent search for fossils all over the globe? What else than to find some evolutionary chain from microbes to man that would eliminate God? So it is with the exhaustive search through the human genome - to find an evolutionary link from lower creatures to man. We've already proven that man is more than his physical body, but that fact is avoided by atheists because it points to God.
Atheists are materialists. For them nothing exists except matter. Allegedly, man is no more than his physical body. The materialist thesis is easily disproved. Thoughts are not physical nor are ideas. Dictionaries and encyclopedias are filled with words for which there are no physical descriptions. What is the color of ethical? What does stupendous smell like? How much does remarkable weigh? Materialism is a stupid as well as a wicked philosophy. What is the texture of stupid, the sound of wicked, or the taste of philosophy, etc.?
The truth cannot be avoided, and honestly facing it must not be delayed! Twice the Bible declares, "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God" (Ps 14:1, 53:1). Atheism is the religion of fools.
The story is told of a man preaching on Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park in London, England, who in his sermon said that anyone who didn't believe in God was a fool. A man in the crowd of listeners shouted out, "I'm an atheist. If you can't prove that I'm a fool, I'll publish it in the papers and we'll run you out of town!"
"You really don't believe in God?"
"You bet I don't! I've been fighting against God all my life!"
"Tell me," replied the preacher, "if a man who spends his life fighting against someone who doesn't exist isn't a fool, then who is?"
Representations of the terrifying scene of man standing before God's throne have been attempted by poets, artists, and authors, but our imagination could lead us astray. The Judgment Seat of Christ is where the Christian receives rewards or suffers loss for "the things done in his body" (2 Cor 5:10). At that awesome event we will each face Christ whose "eyes [are] like a flame of fire" (Rv 1:14; 2:18).
On the other hand, those who have rejected Christ and laughed at God's offer of salvation will stand before the Great White Throne and confront the One sitting upon it from whose face "the earth and heaven [will flee] away" (Rv 20:11). Those who have scoffed at God's offer of forgiveness will be tormented eternally with the haunting memory of their evil thoughts, words, and deeds, with the realization that all this didn't have to be. It was their rejection of the forgiveness God offered them through Jesus that sealed their doom. At last it will become clear what David confessed to God: "Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight" (Ps 51:4). When remorse overtakes us and we repent of any sin we've committed, we must not forget to include David's brief statement that was at the heart of his confession. All sin is rebellion against God.
For the unbeliever, the fires of hell are the burning torment of one's God-given conscience that Solomon describes so vividly:
Because I have called, and ye refused: I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh...as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind: when distress and anguish cometh upon you.Until we, even as Christians, realize the seriousness of what we might dismiss from our minds as hardly worth mentioning, we haven't even begun to repent. Any sin, no matter how seemingly trivial, must be recognized as grand larceny and treason against God. Grand larceny? We have robbed God, in small or large measure, of the life He entrusted to us, a life to be lived to His glory, and instead have lived for ourselves. Treason? In our hearts we have launched an insurrection against the Lord of the universe.
Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord: they would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices." (Prv 1:24-31)
Only when we see sin in this light, have we begun to repent. Most of the old hymns of the faith reflected the solemnity with which worshippers ought to enter God's holy presence. Sadly, these former favorites have been set aside to make way for today's "contemporary music," with lyrics that lower God from Lord of the universe - a God whose majesty causes us to fall on our faces in holy reverence - to a buddy.
In many of today's so-called evangelical churches there is little fear of God, which Solomon said was "the beginning of wisdom" (Ps 111:10, Prv 1:7; 9:10). The Lord's lament as He wept over Israel must surely be His cry as he looks at the church today: "A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? And if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the Lord of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name" (Mal 1:6)?
I speak to my own heart. How many of us live as though we really believe the time is short and that Jesus could come at any moment? We need to pause and ponder this question very seriously. We need a heart renewal, a fresh realization of the awesomeness of God. I often tell the Lord that I tremble to think of standing before Him. I know that I am redeemed and secure in His love, but when I think of how great He is and what a pitiful nothing I am, it seems presumptuous to dare to say, "I love you, Lord."
The Scriptures speak with awesome solemnity to those who reject God as Creator and Savior. No, we did not evolve. That theory was one of Satan's cleverest lies. In one stroke he lowered man to an animal and at the same time catered to his pride by making him believe that he could understand how he came into existence without God and thus remain free from accountability to any authority higher than himself. What a grand delusion for paving the broad road to destruction!
How could one put such vital truth into a book containing a scientific discussion about man's origin and the purpose of his existence? That is what has been attempted in Cosmos, Creator, and Human Destiny* in order to awaken readers to the wonder of God's love and the glorious destiny He has planned for those who will open their hearts to Him. How true are the words of the hymn "How Great Thou Art":
O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds thy hands have made:
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed!
When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees,
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze,
And when I think that God, His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in -
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin!
When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration
And there proclaim, my God, how great thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee;
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!
[*COSMOS praise and production update: Dave has completed writing - all 608 pages - and at press time the book is now in the final stages of editorial, indexing, and design/production (about 8 to 12 weeks). We'll give you another report in February when we present Part 2 of this series by Dave. Thanks for your prayers! TBC]
What is the New Atheism? - GotQuestions.org
Arctic Tern - Answers in Genesis
World atheist convention rejects Australian creationist debate challenge - Creation Ministries International
Answering the Big Questions of Life - Probe Ministries (Sue Bohlin)
I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist - Norman L. Geisler (Book)