Over eighty years ago, Rev. C. Leopold Clarke, a lecturer at a London Bible college, wrote a book entitled "Evolution and the Breakup of Christendom" in which he foretold the collapse of Christendom under the weight of "the intellectual and moral topsy-turvydom of Modernism...." (Evolution and the breakup of Christendom, Phillip Bell, creation.com, Nov. 27, 2012) Modernism was inspired by tendencies prevalent in liberal Protestantism and secular philosophy:
"It was influenced by nineteenth-century studies by Kant and Hegel, by liberal Protestant theologians and biblical critics (such as Schleiermacher and von Harnack), by the evolutionary theories of Darwin, and by certain liberal political movements in Europe. The centers of Modernism were in France, England, Italy, and Germany. Two of its leading figures were Fr. Alfred Loisy, a French theologian and Scripture scholar, and Fr. George Tyrrell, an Irish-born Protestant who became a Catholic and a Jesuit, though he was dismissed from the Jesuits in 1906." (Modernism, James Akin, http://www.ewtn.com/library/HOMELIBR/MODERSM.TXT )
In 1907 Pope Pius X dubbed Modernism and its' principle doctrine evolution, "the synthesis of all heresies" in his encyclical Pascendi Dominici gregis.
Twenty-three years later Rev. Clarke described Modernism's principle doctrine evolution as,
"... the greatest and most active agent of moral and spiritual disintegration. It is a battering-ram of unbeliefâ€”a sapping and mining operation that intends to blow Religion sky-high...Already a tremendous effect, on a wide scale, has been produced by the impact of this teachingâ€”an effect which can only be likened to the â€¦ collapse of foundations." (ibid)
Clarke pointedly observes that the,
"....faith of the Christian Church and of the average Christian has had, and still has, its foundation as much in the [truth] of the account of Creation, as in that of the person of Christ."
Genesis speaks not of evolution over vast periods of time but of creatio ex nihilo--six immense instantaneous creative acts of God. Commenting on the First Day Early Church Father Ephraim the Syrian writes:
"...both the light and the clouds were created in the twinkling of an eye..." (Genesis, Creation, and Early Man, Fr. Seraphim Rose, p. 138)
St. Basil the Great likewise emphasizes throughout his commentary on the Six Days the instantaneous nature of God's creation. On the Third Day of Creation he writes:
"At this saying all the dense woods appeared; all the trees shot up...Likewise, all the shrubs were immediately thick with leaf...and the..garland plants...all came into existence in a moment of time, although they were not previously upon the earth." (ibid, p. 138)
In his commentary against the Arians, St. Athanasius writes:
"All the visible creation was made in six days; in the first, the light which He called day; in the second the firmament; in the third, gathering together the waters He bared the dry land, and brought out the various fruits...in the fourth, He made the sun...moon and all the host of stars; and on the fifth, He created...living things in the sea...birds in the air; and on the sixth, He made the quadrupeds on the earth, and at length man." (Four Discourses against the Arians 2.19, NPNF 2 4, p. 358)
Church Father Ambrose observes that when Moses says so abruptly, "In the beginning God created," he intends to express "the incomprehensible speed of the work." And having the cosmological speculations of Greek nature philosophers in mind Moses writes words that apply equally to the contemporary evolutionary materialist and modernist speculations of Protestant liberal theologians and their Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Emergent followers:
"He (Moses) did not look forward to a late and leisurely creation of the world out of a concourse of atoms....fittingly (Moses) added: "He created," lest it be thought there was a delay in creation. Furthermore, men would see also how incomparable the Creator was Who completed such a great work in the briefest moment of His creative act, so much so that the effect of His will anticipated the perception of time." (ibid, p. 139)
The Church Fathers regarded the early chapters of Genesis as a Divinely inspired prophecy of the past telling of real events and real people. Although the ancient Church Fathers were not refuting Darwinism per se, since it had not been invented until recent times, they were nevertheless explicitly rejecting the ground out of which it emerged---the nature-based scientific speculations of nature philosophers, sages, and priests positing a naturalistic origin of the cosmos together with the idea of transmigration and reincarnation. Against all of this the ancient Fathers steadfastly affirmed that God created ex nihilo and His supernatural acts of creation were instantaneous.
The most common means employed by Modernists and contemporary Christian evolutionists to make evolutionism and Christianity appear compatible is to de-historicize the book of Genesis in order to view it as merely a parable, allegory or mythological narrative.
Evangelicalism arose during the early 19th century to combat this heresy and restore sound doctrine. Secular historian Alan Gauld commented:
"It seemed to conservative Christians quite appalling that at a time when the impregnable rock of Holy Scripture was being undermined by Darwin and his allies, a group of those whose sacred duty should have been to shore it up again had conspired to hammer their wedges not under it but into it." (Alan Gauld, The Founders of Psychical Research, Schocken Books, New York: 1968, p. 50)
In reaction, Benjamin Jowett and six liberal Churchmen published a volume entitled Essays and Reviews in 1861 in which they expressed alarm lest,
"â€¦the majority of Churchmen, by holding fast the narrow, fundamental beliefs, should estrange themselves more and more from contemporary thought." (Alan Gauld, p. 49)
From Modernist theologians to our own day there exists an unbroken line of Christian theologians and intellectuals more eager to be contemporary, to be well-thought of by seculars than to earnestly contend for the Faith once for all delivered unto the saints. In their eagerness to be well thought of, each and every one has de-historicized the book of Genesis in order to view it as merely a parable, allegory or mythological narrative.
The de-historicizing of Genesis is not a heresy unique to our own times. The early Fathers had to deal with it as well. Fathers John Chrysostom, Basil the Great and Ephraim the Syrian specifically warned against treating Genesis as an unhistorical myth or allegory. Speaking specifically of those who de-historicize the book of Genesis, John Chrysostom warned:
"Let us not pay heed to these people, 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 dogma." (Seraphim Rose, p. 41)
Rev. Clarke concurs. The trend of present day evolutionary science is not to help men find God, said Clarke, but to lose Him, and Church leaders more eager to be "abreast of the times" than to be earnestly contending for the faith (Jude 1:3) help people to lose God rather than find Him.
Those who de-historicize Genesis contradict the Divine Redeemer, and this is the essence of unfaithfulness. Furthermore said Clarke
"That it should be done while reverence is professed, is an illustration of the intellectual and moral topsy-turvydom of Modernism. â€¦ â€œHe whom God hath sent speaketh the Words of God,â€ claimed Christ of Himself [John 3:34], and no assumption of error can hold water in the face of that declaration, without blasphemy."
The â€œfalling awayâ€ of Christendom from the faith of God could not proceed while the Bible held its rightful place in the judgment of the generation. Now it has been displaced said Clarke,
"...as was foretold [2 Thess. 2:11], by the invasion of the modern intellect with the â€œstrong delusion that shall believe a lie.â€ There is no evidence against the Bible, but there is the violent prejudice of the modern spirit and the modern cast of mindâ€”the spirit that reckons God Himself to be out of date. "
The ascendancy of universal evolutionism as a naturalistic origin story was celebrated in 1959 at the University of Chicago's Darwin Centennial. Scientists came from all over to share in the triumph. The religious implications of this intellectual revolution were emphasized by one of the most prominent speakers, British biologist, philosopher and world statesman Sir Julian Huxley, the grandson of Thomas Henry Huxley, 'Darwin's bulldog.' In keeping with Modernist heresy, Huxley remarked:
"In the evolutionary pattern of thought there is no longer either need or room for the supernatural. The earth was not created, it evolved. So did all the animals and plants...including our human selves, mind and soul as well as brain and body. So did religion." (Seraphim Rose, p. 23)
In short, the triumph of Darwinism implied the death of God and set the stage for replacing Biblical theism with a new faith based on evolutionary naturalism. The triumph of evolutionary thinking is in both the triumph of heresy draining inevitably into apostasy and of strong delusion. Seeing this, Rev. Clarke observed:
"If the teaching of Evolution â€¦ is inconsistent with the Revelation of God in the Deity of Jesus Christ; if it is another Spirit, teaching another Gospel; if it is a frank apostasy from â€œthe Truth as it is in Jesusâ€; no considerations of Christian charity, of tolerance, of policy, can exonerate those Christian leaders or Churches who fail to condemn, and to sever themselves from such teachers and such teaching. Under the shelter of â€œscholarshipâ€ there stands a compromising, cowardly, shilly-shallying company of men today â€¦ "
Rev. Clarkeâ€™s words are a wake-up call to the church today. True Christians must choose whose word they will believe: the Word of God or the heresies, apostasy, and strong delusion of the modern spirit that reckons God Himself to be out of date.
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