A Man Created in God’s Image
In 1998 a dear friend prompted me to get involved working with Dr. Tom Woodward and the C. S. Lewis Society. A few months later I found myself at dinner with Phillip E. Johnson, noted law professor at Berkeley and author of Darwin on Trial. During my time with Dr. Johnson I learned two very important things. First, if we as Christians are going to enter the debate on Darwinian evolution, we must first understand who and what we’re up against—-we must know our opponents’ arguments better than they do. Second, I learned that our ultimate end is not simply to win the argument but to win our opponents to Christ, and that we must therefore be careful to win both the argument and win the man so that at the end of the debate our opponent has a place to land, a smooth runway, so to speak, where he can come down.
We’re familiar with Peter’s charge: “In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.” However, we too often forget the manner in which we are called to “make a defense” (an apologetic) for the hope within us. Peter continues, “yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame” (1 Peter 3:15-16).
This year marks the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth, and this month marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species. While it would certainly be easy for us to do an issue of Tabletalk that simply reiterated the glaring deficiencies of Darwin’s naturalism and evolutionary biology, we decided instead to follow the wisdom of Dr. Johnson. Thus, we have provided you with something that is hard to find anywhere, namely, a fair and honest biographical portrait of Charles Darwin and an overview of responses to Darwinian evolutionary theory from a Christian perspective, so that, at the end of the day, the church might be better equipped to give a defense of her hope with gentleness and respect, pointing all professed Darwinists to the undeniable Creator before whose face we live coram Deo.
Burk Parsons is editor of Tabletalk magazine and associate minister at Saint Andrew’s in Sanford, Florida, and is editor of the book John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, & Doxology.
Coram Deo by Burk Parsons introduces the theme of each month’s issue of Tabletalk and explains why everything we study should contribute to the living of a holy life before the face of God.