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by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached on Lord’s Day Morning, July 8, 2007
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”
(Genesis 1:1).

When I was a little boy I asked my mother, “How did the world begin? Where did we come from?” Mother was not a Christian. She had been taught evolution in the public schools. She told me that everything began in a big explosion and, over millions of years, man developed. I believed what she said until I was over twenty years old. But I gave up the ideas of evolution and accepted the first chapter of Genesis as the truth when I was converted.

Later, when my mother was eighty years old, she also became a Christian. She was led to Christ by one of our deacons, Dr. Cagan. Shortly after that I asked her what she now thought about evolution. Mother said, “Robert, I don’t know how we could have believed such a crazy thing!”

My uncle Porter Elliott had also believed in the evolutionary theory. He read a lot of science fiction books by men like Isaac Asimov. One day he became a Christian. A short time later, he said to me, “Well, I used to believe in science fiction. Now I believe the Bible.”

“I don’t know how we could have believed such a crazy thing!” “I used to believe in science fiction. Now I believe the Bible.” Those were the words of my mother and my uncle. What they said shows two things. First, the reality of faith.

“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Hebrews 11:3).

When my mother and my uncle were converted they quickly understood “through faith” that the universe and all that is in it was created by God. “Faith” refers to the opening of a sin-blinded mind to the reality of God’s sovereign power in creation.

Second, what they said shows that the evolutionary theory is also a “faith” – but a false “faith.” My uncle transferred his faith from science fiction to the Bible. My mother intuitively called her former belief in evolution “a crazy thing,” as indeed it is!

Evolutionists do not truly base their belief on “scientific research.” They may say they do, but there is no scientific proof that the world began as they say, or that life evolved the way they tell us it did. The scientific method was not used in formulating the ideas of evolution. Dr. George S. Hawke is a meteorologist in Sydney, Australia. Dr. Hawke said,

Science can only reliably deal with the present world; it cannot reliably deal with the past (such as origins) or the future (such as ultimate destinies), as it cannot directly observe these. I believe all scientists should be wary of their assumptions, as these can largely determine their findings. They should be wary of extrapolations [inferences or guesses] outside the range of observation… Therefore, scientists can only speculate, imagine, and guess about the origin of life (George S. Hawke, Ph.D., In Six Days: Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation, edited by John Ashton, Ph.D., Master Books, 2002, pp. 349-350).

A National Geographic article on “The Rise of Life on Earth” (March, 1998) said, “Science is the study of testable, observable phenomena” and Christian faith is “an unshakable belief in the unseen.” Dr. Hawke pointed out that this statement “ignores the fact that there are no obvious ‘testable, observable phenomena’ on the origin of life. [Their view] also relies on faith in the unseen” (ibid., pp. 344-345).

No one can test or observe the creation of the world! Therefore, the view of the evolutionists is based on philosophy, not on observable, testable science. Take, for instance, astronomer Carl Sagan’s famous statement, “The cosmos [the universe] is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be.” How did he know that? How could Dr. Sagan test and observe that? He could not. Therefore his statement rests on philosophy, not the scientific method. It was a faith statement, based on Sagan’s “faith” in the theory of evolution.

My mother and my uncle were not highly educated, but they were both quite intelligent. They read everything they could get their hands on. Many of those who were born before television were like that – reading all the time. Thus, in their own way, they knew that the evolutionist idea of the origin of the universe was only a theory. When they became Christians they discarded this groundless hypothesis and embraced the Bible’s account of Creation.

Dr. John MacArthur, though wrong on the Blood of Christ, was correct in his assessment of Carl Sagan’s famous statement:

“The Cosmos [the universe] is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be” was Sagan’s trademark aphorism, repeated on each episode of his highly rated television series, Cosmos. The statement itself is clearly a tenet of faith, not a scientific conclusion. (Neither Sagan himself nor all the scientists in the world combined could ever examine “all that is, or ever was, or ever will be” by any scientific method.) Sagan’s statement is perfectly illustrative of how modern materialism [evolutionism] mistakes [their] religious dogma for true science (John MacArthur, D.D., The Battle for the Beginning, W Publishing Group, A Division of Thomas Nelson, 2001, pages 12-13).

Both the National Geographic article and the position of Carl Sagan were based on “faith” in their philosophy rather than resting on a testable, observable, scientific observation. When a person understands this there should be no reason to back away from the plain statement of the Bible,

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” 
      (Genesis 1:1).

Naturalistic evolutionists like Dr. Sagan often belittle those who believe the Biblical account. Rather than proving their position scientifically, they tend to mock and ridicule those who believe the Genesis record rather than offer solid proof for evolution.

This becomes evident in secular college classrooms when William Jennings Bryan and the Scopes Trial are discussed. Bryan was the Democratic candidate for President three times – in 1896, 1900, and 1908. When Woodrow Wilson became President in 1912 he named Bryan Secretary of State. Bryan worked ardently for peace. In 1915 he had the moral courage to resign rather than back President Wilson as he pushed America toward World War I, the “unfinished war,” which history shows did not “make the world safe for democracy” as Wilson promised. America should have stayed out of World War I, as Bryan said, and let the European nations settle their differences by themselves. World War II might never have occurred if President Wilson had listened to Bryan. Bryan was right. Wilson was wrong.

During his career, as leader of the Democratic Party, Bryan supported better conditions for farmers and laborers and opposed “big business” (which is why he lost the presidency – “big business” put lots of money in the campaigns against him). He worked for the popular election of senators, women’s right to vote, and international peace. In other words, Bryan was a social progressive, but his liberalism was rooted in Christian charity. His famous “cross of gold” speech was an eloquent plea for the “little man” in American life.

Believing that faith in the Bible was the underpinning of a great society in America, Bryan made many famous speeches, and wrote several books, opposing the teaching of Darwinian evolution in the public schools. He often said, “Why should Christian people be forced to pay taxes to support the undermining of their children’s faith by the teaching of evolution in our schools?” It is interesting that his argument goes on to this very day. It just won’t go away!

In the Scopes Trial of 1925, Bryan “defended the reliability of the Bible against the attacks of [the agnostic attorney] Clarence Darrow. Although he was unprepared to deal with scientific questions, Bryan supported the Bible reasonably and coherently… [But] the national press [led by the atheist H. L. Mencken – an anti-Semite who later supported Hitler] pictured Bryan as a redneck buffoon embarrassing himself and all orthodox Christians before the cultured and [so-called] ‘scientific’ Darrow…Bryan died a few days after the trial” (M. A. Noll, in Who’s Who in Christian History, edited by J. D. Douglas, Tyndale House Publishers, 1992, p. 112).

H. L. Mencken and other newspapermen lampooned Bryan for his faith in the Bible, and shamefully ridiculed this fine man. Many of Bryan’s progressive ideas to help the poor were incorporated, directly from him, in President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” during the Great Depression. Mark Noll said, “It is one of the great injustices of American history that Bryan should be remembered mainly for the Scopes trial. His entire life – as a social reformer, dedicated Presbyterian layman, and thoroughly Christian politician – offers a worthy model to modern evangelicals for Christian involvement in public life” (Who’s Who in Christian History, ibid.).

Thirty years after Bryan’s death, Jerome Lawrence and Robert Lee wrote a play titled Inherit the Wind, which further attacked Bryan for his opposition to the theory of evolution. This play was later made into a Hollywood movie that portrayed Bryan as a bigoted, narrow-minded fool for his beliefs. I have in my hand a copy of the play, Inherit the Wind, published by Ballantine Books in 2003, from the Random House edition in 1955. This play, which was based on the Scopes Trial, repeatedly portrays Bible-believing Christians as dangerous bigots. On page 121 the play calls Bryan, “a balding orphan [which he was not], an aging adolescent.” On page 125 it says of Bryan, “You know what he was: a Barnum-bunkum Bible-beating bastard.”

And that is the way the liberal media in America has treated Bible-believing Christians like Bryan ever since. Think of the outcry that would be made today if a Muslim leader, or a famous rabbi, were called “a balding orphan, an aging adolescent…a Barnum-bunkum Bible-beating bastard”! I certainly hope no one ever does that! The bigotry displayed in the writings of Mencken and Inherit the Wind should have no place in our society!

H. L. Mencken, the journalist who wrote the major newspaper stories against Bryan, said when he died, “Well, we killed the son of a bitch” (William Manchester, Disturber of the Peace: The Life of H. L. Mencken, Harper and Brothers, 1951, p. 183). But Mencken was wrong. We must understand that such name-calling against Christians by the evolutionists simply displays their weakness. Today, over eighty years after the Scopes Trial, Bryan has hardly been “killed.” Yes, they crucified him on a cross of bigotry and scorn, but he has not stayed dead. His cause goes right on, and is gathering force – and the evolutionists know it! Books like Dr. Michael J. Behe’s Darwin’s Black Box: a Challenge to Biochemical Evolution and Dr. Michael Denton’s Evolution: a Theory in Crisis are a serious threat and challenge to the theory of evolution today. I have in my library a book that gives essays from fifty scientists, with Ph.D.s in biology, biochemistry, physics, genetics, botany, theoretical chemistry, geophysics, zoology, geology, meteorology, and astronomy (to name a few). All of these leading scientists have given up on the theory of evolution. All of them believe in the Genesis account of Creation (see John F. Ashton, Ph.D., In Six Days, Master Books, 2002).

Thus, the theory of evolution is under constant attack today in the scientific community itself. Why? Simply because, after 150 years, Darwin’s theory has yet to be proved – scientifically. It is full of holes, and coming apart at the seams. And yet the Bible stands, with its simple, straightforward statement,

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”
      (Genesis 1:1).

And when you come to Christ by faith you will, like my mother, say, “Why did we ever believe such a crazy thing?” And, like Uncle Porter, you will say, “I used to believe in science fiction. Now I believe the Bible.”

Come to Christ. His death on the Cross will atone for your sins. His bodily resurrection from the dead will give you eternal life. When you come to Christ by faith you will be “born again” (John 3:3, 7). When you are thus converted you will choose the Bible instead of the science fiction of evolution, and you will know the truth of the age-old proclamation,

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”
      (Genesis 1:1).

You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
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Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Hebrews 11:1-3.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“How Big is God” (by Stuart Hamblen, 1908-1989).