And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.
IF ANYONE who
has read this paper concludes that I am, after all, merely presenting
a kind of theistic evolution, the fault will be entirely mine
in not having made clear what the fundamental difference is between
my own views and this rather popular alternative. As I understand
it, theistic evolutionists are essentially orthodox evolutionists
-- except that they believe God was behind it all, from the appearance
of the first amoeba to the appearance of the first man. The term
"evolution" is still taken to mean the gradual transformation
of one species into another by natural means without any genetic
discontinuities. These means are understood to be explainable
in the terms of natural processes, the only supernatural element
being the initiation of the process and the evidence of purpose
throughout; the only intervention on God's part was a kind of
nudging of events. In due course it is hoped to demonstrate this
in the laboratory. When this happens we shall know "how
God did it." The Creator started it all off, and then withdrew
from any further direct interference in it except on very rare
and special occasions when miracles occurred, having assured
Himself, as it were, that it would end up as He planned.
Because science must, of necessity, reject any appeal to the supernatural, the scientific account must accordingly give only a partial view of the meaning of the earth's past history, and of the universe as a whole. Revelation is essential to make the picture complete, and part of revelation is the method by which God redeemed man, a method which throws light upon his origin, and has a direct bearing on the structure and functioning of the bodies of all other animals. If man is evolved, I believe it can be shown that he is not redeemable at all, for his capacity for redemption is dependent upon the nature of both his spirit and his body.