"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6 "...in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." Colossians 2:9
John 1:10 tells us that everything seen and unseen was created ex nihilo by the spoken Word of the Son of God, which means that Jesus Christ was active and present long before His incarnation, therefore eternally co-existent with the Father. (1) Jesus Christ is therefore God just as the Father and Holy Spirit are God, thus the Word of the Old Testament's creation account is Jesus Christ of the New Testament. Jesus Christ is the Word. His Word is Truth even as He Himself is Truth, the same today as yesterday and for always. Thus Jesus Christ does not change and as He is the starting point for the reasoning of the faithful, then Christians must reject the neutrality principle and doubt, its' ugly twin, the long unchallenged principles in evolutionary modernism's longstanding war against the Word of God---the Book of Genesis in particular---in all its parts... historical, prophetical, geographical, linguistic, and doctrinal. (2)
When Paul affirms in the Lord that his Gentile readers should no longer live as Gentile pagans do in the futility of their darkened minds (Ephesians 4: 17-24), he speaks to all pagans from antiquity to our own age (i.e., neo-pagan modernists) who reject the pure knowledge of the Holy Trinity and vainly think of themselves as "enlightened" when in reality they are "en-darkened." Their ignorance is not a lack of education, and some of them are brilliant in their own way, but such brilliance is wasted on vain imaginings and wisdom of this world which will not get them to heaven, thus utterly foolish and futile, especially when combined with hardness of heart toward the truth of the gospel in Christ (Matt. 13:14-15; John 12:40; Acts 28: 26; Rom. 11:8)
"En-darkened" modernists claim scientific neutrality as a general operating assumption. Two applications of modernist thought evidence this: evolution (anti-creation account/relentless change/relativism), an inverted exegesis that deconstructs and reduces man in the spiritual image of the Trinity to evolved ape, and deconstructionism (destructive criticism/critical theory). Along with evolution, deconstructionism is a form of relativism or nihilism that for more than eighty years has been spilling into and contaminating our moral and culture sustaining institutions from seminaries and Biblical scholarship to academia, law, media, arts, and politics, thence our minds, individually and collectively. (2)
The origin of the neutrality principle is the Garden of Eden. Its' father is the Evil One who tempted Eve to approach the question of eating from the forbidden tree in a neutral, unbiased fashion. He slyly suggested that she adopt a neutral position in order to decide who was right, God or the snake. Like modernists of our own age Eve doubted and therefore rejected God's Word as authoritative and conclusive. As a true neutralist she determined for herself which choice to take. (Gen. 3:4-6)
Todays' Christian Church and Western culture has for so long been saturated with evolutionary modernist claims of scientific neutrality paired with intellectual and moral autonomy that the ungodly neutrality principle which forbids the existence of immutable Truth and moral absolutes has been thoroughly ingrained in us. It is so constant and we are so accustomed to it that even within the church we fail to discern it.
Neutrality Principle, Deconstructionism & the Historical-Critical Method
For evolutionary modernists of both pagan and pantheist persuasion to choose to not believe the Word of God on an individual level is one thing. But in the past few hundred years the world has been witnessing a strange yet consistent phenomenon: institutionalized Biblical deconstructionism issuing in a concerted drive,
"on an institutional level to rubbish the Scriptures altogether. It is nothing new of course. It's just the scale of the enterprise which takes the breath away. And it's not just international. It's global." (The Authenticity of the Book of Genesis, Bill Cooper, p. 7)
The first Biblical deconstructionists---the ancient "fathers" of today's Biblical deconstructionists---were various Gnostic pagans in the first centuries of the Christian era.
The methodology employed by the early Gnostic pagan Marcion for example, was to masquerade as a scholar concerned only for truth while really getting rid of everything he was offended by, especially the entire Old Testament which he deconstructed by reducing in its entirety to an unhistorical myth. In a nutshell, this is the same method employed by modern Biblical deconstructionists.
Fourth-century Fathers such as John Chrysostom, Basil the Great and Ephraim the Syrian, all of whom wrote commentaries on Genesis, specifically warned against treating Genesis as an unhistorical myth or allegory. John Chrysostom strongly warned against paying heed to Gnostic heretics,
"...let us stop up our hearing against them, and let us believe the Divine Scripture, and following what is written in it, let us strive to preserve in our souls sound dogmas." (Genesis, Creation, and Early Man, Fr. Seraphim Rose, p. 31)
As St. Cyril of Alexandria wrote, higher theological, spiritual meaning is founded upon humble, simple faith in the literal and historic elements of Genesis as Revealed by God and one cannot apprehend rightly the Scriptures without believing in the historical reality of the events and people they describe. (ibid, Seraphim Rose, p. 40)
Today it is commonplace for resuscitated Gnostic deconstructionism, otherwise known as the historical-critical method of Biblical scholarship, to be regarded as scientific, thus enlightened, neutral and objective. Recent decades however, have witnessed a much needed rising awareness that the historical-critical method serves particular ends thus always arrives at certain conclusions. In the meticulously researched work of intellectual history, "Politicizing the Bible," Scott Hahn and Benjamin Wiker greatly add to this awareness by bringing to light the appropriation, deconstruction and paganization of scripture by politically motivated interpreters.
Shining a powerful light of truth on the techniques taken for granted at divinity schools worldwide, Hahn and Wiker trace the origins of the modern historical-critical method deep into the Middle Ages and the Renaissance "showing the deliberate Erastian project of subjecting the Bible and with it the Christian faith to the power of the State." (4)
Through painstaking research Hahn and Wiker clearly demonstrate that the historical-critical method is grounded in the philosophy of Averroes, the writings of Machiavelli and Marsilio of Padua among others, together with the political projects of Henry VIII, Thomas Hobbes, and John Locke, and the quest for an empire of science on the part of Descartes and Spinoza.
The authors argue that nothing can be rightly understood about the historical-critical method and the politicization of Scripture if close attention is not paid to the great cosmological shift that occurred in the seventeenth century. What the shift yielded was both a secular (anti-supernatural and wholly naturalistic or pagan) understanding of the universe, philosophy and scientific method and a secular-pagan understanding of man and politics:
"The two occur as part of one revolution because the shift in the meaning of nature includes human nature as well." (p. 257)
With respect to the work of modern scriptural scholars, the great shift means that in order to comprehend the assumptions and methods of their own craft they have to understand the history of the philosophy and science grounded in the cosmological shift.
As a synopsis of the monumental philosophical and scientific shift and its' abominable effects on modern biblical scholarship and Christianity, Hahn and Wiker offer the following example from the highly influential nineteenth century scriptural scholar David Friedrich Strauss. Strauss is almost invariably the first of the modern critiques studied in the typical survey course taken by students of Scripture in graduate school. The key introductory chapter of Strauss's "Life of Jesus Christ Critically Examined" is entitled "Development of the Mythical Point of View." In it Strauss declares,
"...matter-of-factly that an 'account is not historical,' and hence 'the matter related could not have taken place in the manner described,' wherein 'the narration is irreconcilable with the known and universal laws which govern the course of events. Now according to these laws, agreeing with all just philosophical conceptions and all credible experience, the absolute cause never disturbs the chain of secondary causes by single arbitrary actions of interposition." (pp. 257-258)
In other words, miracles (i.e., creation ex nihilo, Christ's Resurrection) cannot happen. For Strauss, the exegetical assumption that miracles are fictions is based on naturalistic philosophical-scientific assumptions.
Underlying Strauss's assumptions is an entirely naturalistic (secular-pagan), self-generating machine-like cosmos, a mathematical-mechanical view of the evolving universe, an idol of defiant, rebellious mans' mind in continual antagonism to the supernatural Judeo-Christian cosmology.
It was Descartes, Hobbes, and Spinoza who redefined nature so that it was ontologically mathematical and mechanical, thereby paving the way for the universe to be entirely law-governed, self-contained (closed to the supernatural), self-sustaining, mechanical and evolutionary. This view necessitated that the active, living, creating, and redeeming Holy God of Old and New Testament be redefined as a deistic god that created matter, mechanical mechanisms and formative evolutionary processes that over time allows things to make themselves, or a divine evolutionary force (pantheism) within nature, or be simply rejected by the more radical of the radical Enlightenment. (pp. 272-273 &544)
In the "new pagan" god-man centered cosmology, the gap between the Mind of God and the mind of man, and the supernatural and natural were closed. Thereafter, the exalted mind of the god-man and the content of the mathematical-mechanical universe defined what method was appropriate to its illumination:
"If the universe is fundamentally mathematical and mechanical, then of course the method of illumination must be mathematical and mechanical. " (p. 545)
In the god- man centered universe, the redefined God's wisdom does not exceed man's wisdom. This being so, Unitarianism, liberal Protestant theology, Roman Catholic Teilhardism, evolutionary theism, Hugh Ross's vastly popular progressive creationism, and all other forms of evolutionary Christianity as well as New Age pantheism are the products of the exalted wisdom of god-men who adopted a man-centered universe entirely in accord with their own capacities.
The approach to the Word of God followed suit, meaning that an evolutionary modernist understanding completely defines the 'new' approach to the interpretative deconstruction of the Bible:
"Since miracles had been excised from nature, they had to be removed from the text. Since nature was entirely defined by mathematics, knowledge of mathematical-mechanical laws displaced prophecy, and so prophecy had to be removed from the text. In fact, since there was, with pantheism, assumed to be an identity of the logos of nature with the Logos of God, scientists who studied the logos of nature provided the highest revelation possible, thereby demoting the revelation contained in the Bible as at best puerile. All that was left, so it seemed, was the moral message of the text, and the focus on the Bible as merely moral reinforced its politicization." (p. 544)
All that is left is a desacralized book of moral messages for evolutionary modernist Christian intellectuals such as columnist Ross Douthat, leading Richard Dawkins to ridicule him for bracketing "Biblical fundamentalists" with atheists and accusing both of making the same mistake,
"...of thinking that the correct way to read the Bible is literally, as do Ken Ham or Al Mohler." (Ross Douthat doesn't understand atheism, Richard Dawkins, Oct. 5, 2011, whyevolutionistrue.com)
Douthat criticizes New Atheism said Dawkins, for thinking that we go after only the fundamentalist version of religion while "ignoring the sophisticated versions propounded by sophisticated theologians like John Haught and sophisticated intellectuals like himself" who see much of the Bible, particularly the Genesis account as metaphor. Douthat makes this clear in a New York Times article:
"It was a peculiar spectacle, to put it mildly: An atheist [Coyne] attacking a traditionalist believer [Shea] for not reading Genesis literally. On the merits, Coyne is of course quite correct that some of the details of the Genesis story seem to contradict what science and archaeology suggest about human origins. (For instance, the claim that Adam and Eve were formed from the dust of the ground and a human rib, respectively, not from millennia upon millennia of evolution, the suggestion that they lived in a garden near the Tigris and the Euphrates, not a hunter-gatherer community in Africa, and well, you get the idea.) But then again some of the details of the Genesis story seem to contradict one another as well, in ways that should inspire even a reader who knows nothing about the controversies surrounding evolution to suspect that what he's reading isn't intended as a literal and complete natural history of the human race." (Why Atheists Need Fundamentalists, Douthat, Oct. 4, 2011, New York Times)
Dawkins zeros in on the contradictions in Douthats' argument, pointing out that if Ken Ham, Dr. Albert Mohler, and other faithful believers, or 'fundamentalists' as Douthat labels them did not take the,
"...stories pretty literally, including the tales of Noah and the flood, the Genesis stories, the tale of Adam and Eve and their Original Sin, and, of course, the whole Jesus mythology (then) we'd have no creationism in America, and the story of Jesus would be a convenient fairy tale, like that of Santa Claus, rather than an object of universal veneration." (ibid)
Exposing Douthats' double-mindedness, Dawkins argues that while much of the Bible is dismissively relegated to the category of fanciful metaphor by Douthat,
"I'm sure that when he goes to Mass each week he recites the Nicene Creed, affirming his belief in these truths:
" Jesus is the son of God – God is the creator of heaven and earth – Jesus was the product of a virgin birth – The crucified Jesus was resurrected – Jesus will come again to judge us all – Our sins will be remitted through baptism – There's an afterlife for the good folks."
Dawkins then asks,
"Tell me, Mr. Douthat: are those allegories, too? When you mouth them in Church each week, are you saying what you really believe? If not, why do you call yourself a Catholic?" (ibid)
Douthats' embarrassing peccadillo exemplifies that of increasing numbers of modernist theologians, intellectuals and Christians throughout the whole body of the church who waver between serving the Lord and serving Baal:
"And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word." 1 Kings 18:21
In 1 Thess. 2:13 the Apostle Paul summarizes and clarifies the issue at hand, which is whether the Revealed Word of God is received by the Christian Church as the word of "enlightened" men or "for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe."
“Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?....Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand." Job 38: 2-4
Dear reader, who do you place your faith in? Is it in pride-inflated foolish modernists who with their scissors have cut apart the Bible and with their words without knowledge and vain pretensions set themselves up against the knowledge of our Lord? They are the blind leading the blind into hell. Or is it in the Lord Whose Word is Truth, even as He Himself is Truth, our Lord and Savior Who,
"if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved?" Romans 10:9
1. The Wonder-Working God, Jared C. Wilson, p. 38
2. Pushing the Antithesis: The Apologetic Methodology of Greg L. Bahnsen
3. The Authenticity of the Book of Genesis: A Study in Three Parts, Dr. Bill Cooper
4. quote from review by Prof. David Jeffrey, Baylor University, editor, The King James Bible and the World It Made; Politicizing the Bible, p. vi