Church of England apologizes to Charles Darwin

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UK
Written by Chris Perver  
Monday, 15 September 2008 15:22

Reverend Doctor Malcolm Brown, the Director of Mission and Public Affairs, has published an article apologizing to Charles Darwin for the hostile reaction of the Church in the 19th century towards the theory of evolution. The apology is being issued as part of the Church of England's commemoration of the upcoming 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his Origin of Species. The full article is available for reading online at the Church of England's website. The Church of England's decision to defend Darwin follows similar moves by the Church of Rome, which is also planning to celebrate the bicentenary of the naturalist's birth and his contribution to science next year. Last year Pope Ratzinger followed in the footsteps of his predecessor Pope John Paul II in declaring that the theory of evolution is compatible with Scripture. This year the Vatican followed that belief to its logical conclusion by stating that if life evolved on planet Earth then it must have evolved elsewhere in the universe. Brown's article praises Darwin's theory of natural selection, which even Creationists agree is a natural biological process. But instead of focusing on how evolutionary belief affects Biblical doctrines, Brown has instead chosen to focus on the social and moral impact of the theory upon today's society. A bit of a cop-out for a Reverend of the Church of England. Only once does Brown question the compatibility of Darwinian evolution with a faith in a Creator God, but then quickly dismisses these thoughts as just an "emotional response" to an unsavoury philosophy...   

Quote: "Darwin's meticulous application of the principles of evidence-based research was not the problem. His theory caused offence because it challenged the view that God had created human beings as an entirely different kind of creation to the rest of the animal world. But whilst it is not difficult to see why evolutionary thinking was offensive at the time, on reflection it is not such an earth-shattering idea. Yes, Christians believe that God became incarnate as a human being in the person of Jesus and thereby demonstrated God's especial love for humanity. But how can that special relationship be undermined just because we develop a different understanding of the processes by which humanity came to be? It is hard to avoid the thought that the reaction against Darwin was largely based on what we would now call the 'yuk factor' (an emotional not an intellectual response) when he proposed a lineage from apes to humans.

I'll give you several reasons why this special relationship between God and man is undermined through a belief in evolution. If God used the process of evolution to create the world, then death is as much a part of creation as life is. There never was a time when death, disease and bloodshed did not exist. The earth did not start out "good" and "very good" like God said. Evolution is a blind process so man cannot be the pinnacle of God's creation, nor could he be created in the image of God. Death is not the natural consequence of Adam's sin. Murder is just survival of the fittest. Rape is an instinct to help ensure the survival of the species. Selfishness and other sins are just leftovers from the evolutionary process. Professor Richard Dawkins said it himself on the God Delusion Debate, the theory of evolution is 'amoral'. Not immoral, but amoral. The concepts of right and wrong cannot arise from a naturalistic process. Society only decides itself what is acceptable and what is not acceptable for the benefit of everyone as a whole. If a politician thinks it is acceptable to kill unborn children for the benefit of society, who is to argue with them? If someone like Hitler thinks it is acceptable to wipe out 6 million Jews because they are an inferior species, who is to tell him it is 'wrong'? The question then must be asked, why did Jesus Christ die on the cross? Did He die for our sins? If I am an evolutionist then I must answer that with another question, what is sin? Did He die to bring us everlasting life? Death is an essential part of the evolutionary process. Did He come to restore our relationship with God? How can you restore something which never existed in the first place?

Praise God that He did not use evolution to create the world! God is a loving Creator Who created everything to be "good" and "very good". He is a God that desires to have relationship with His creatures. It was mankind that broke that relationship. It was Adam's sin that brought death and bloodshed into the world. But it doesn't have to be that way. Jesus Christ died so your sins could be forgiven and your relationship with your Creator could be restored. He bore the curse (Galatians 3:13), He swallowed up death in victory (Isaiah 25:8). Why don't you turn away from the demonic theory of evolution, and turn to your Creator Jesus Christ. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved (Acts 16:31).

Source Christian Post, Church of England, Times Online

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