9.2 To Understand the Intellectual Mind of the Post-Christian Era

A Christian must strive to understand the intellectual mind of the post-Christian era that allows the wide acceptance of the general theory of evolution. Bernard Ramm suggests several salient observations that brought about this post-Christian era (1):

1. Since medieval times a continuing revolt away from the religion and authoritarianism of the Roman Catholic church has taken the form of deep-moving secularism ? life without God, philosophy without the Bible. Thus a community without the church surfaced in the Renaissance and in the modern scientific era and became hostile to both Catholic and Protestant orthodoxy.

Evolutionary theory, though accepted by some Christians as God's way of creation, in its popular form is largely atheistic. However, the intellectual mind of the post-Christian era welcomes this explanation of life, for it fits very nicely into the secularistic outlook.

2. Since the inception of the scientific era, the rapid advance of science has come to dominate the lifestyle of modern people. The scientific method was proposed by the humanist to be the only reliable way to truth. Anything religious, theological, or metaphysical was debased as unintelligible. This form of skepticism, or scientism, finds many practical apologists who are employed in such areas as the aerospace industry, industrial chemistry, and biomedicine.

3. Division in Christendom stands in sharp contrast to the unity of science. The major cleavages of Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, and Protestant denominationalism disillusion the secular world. Science, on the contrary, has developed a sense of unanimity. Newton formulated the law of universal gravitation, and it was checked and accepted by fellow scientists. Pasteur disproved the theory of spontaneous [297] generation, and the scientific world accepted his conclusion. The anti-Christian philosophies preempt the apparent unity of science and impress the populace that orthodoxy and science are divorced.

4. Most recent scientific achievements have been made by non-Christians. Christians have moved away from science since theologians lost the battle to the scientists in the classic debates over evolution. In the last few decades the proportion of American scholars with an evangelical background in institutions of higher education and in major research-oriented universities is much smaller than their proportion in the general population (2). This has many ramifications. The prestige of science goes to the scientists and to their philosophical and religious beliefs. Presently science develops on non-Christian premises. This forms a vicious cycle. Most science faculties of higher institutions of learning are made up of non-Christians with atheistic ideas, and they recruit new people with their perspectives. When Christian students join the scientific community, these faculties often shatter their beliefs.

References 9.2

1. Ramm, B. The Christian view of science and Scripture. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans; 1954: 15-21.

2. Press Digest. Current contents, life sciences. Philadelphia: Institute for Scientific Information; 1975. Also see Ladd, E. G., Jr. Chronicle of Higher Education. 11(2):2; 9-22-1975.