World takes on evolution
This year’s recipient of World magazine’s ‘Daniel of the Year’ award—who is featured on the cover of its 13 December issue—is prominent anti-evolution author and speaker Phillip Johnson.
World is a weekly news magazine known for its biblical worldview emphasis in its news reporting and editorials. ([We have] often placed major ads in this magazine, including a full-page ad on Ussher’s Annals of the World in the 6 December edition.) This is the sixth time the magazine has awarded its annual ‘Daniel of the Year,’ which is bestowed on Christians who, like Daniel in the lion’s den account in the Old Testament, have ‘refused to bow down to the idols of the time.’ The magazine’s idol this year is the evolutionary belief system.
During his sabbatical fifteen years ago from his position as a professor at the prestigious law school of the University of California at Berkeley (he was also first in his law class at Harvard and clerked at the US Supreme Court), Johnson began reading about evolutionary theory—specifically the best-known work of rabid anti-creationist Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker. As a lawyer trained to spot poor arguments and logic, he was struck by the book’s sloppy arguments for Darwinian evolution, which he found in the many writings he devoured on the subject. In 1991, Johnson wrote Darwin on Trial, which has been followed by other books and numerous articles on the bankruptcy of molecules-to-man evolution.
Although aligned with the Intelligent Design Movement (IDM), a group of scholars who promote the idea that life is so complex and appears so well-designed that it requires an intelligence behind it, Johnson has recently become more public about his beliefs in biblical Christianity (and the accuracy of the book of Genesis) than many in the IDM, some of whom are not even Christians (such as the prominent author of Icons of Evolution, Jonathan Wells, who, as a member of the Unification Church or ‘Moonies,’ will not even call himself a Christian). In addition, at a recent talk he gave at a Christian teacher conference, Johnson spoke favorably of a ministry present at the conference that, like [our ministry], takes a stand on straightforward Genesis creation.
In the World article, Johnson echoed [our] frequent refrain about the importance of believing in Genesis and combating compromise within the church. While he has, not surprisingly, received opposition from evolutionists, World reports that Johnson has been frustrated more by ‘Christian college and seminary professors. The problem is not just convincing them that the theory [of evolution] is wrong, but that it makes a difference. What’s at stake isn’t just the first chapter of Genesis, but the whole Bible from beginning to end, and whether or not nature really is all there is.’
In the final analysis, the battle, of course, is not just creation/evolution, but between two camps: whether you accept the authority of the words of the Bible, or the authority of the words and opinions of man (i.e. evolutionary humanism).
We find it encouraging that a man of Johnson’s stature and eloquence is promoting more than intelligent design, but is taking big steps towards what is essential: upholding biblical authority. Johnson’s stand shows, too, that you don’t have to be a trained scientist to understand the flaws in evolutionary theory, and then try to make a difference. All of us, whether lawyers, teachers or laborers, can have an impact in our local church community, school boards, etc. when we are properly equipped with answers.