Thursday, September 17, 2009


(Photos by Neil Cullan McKinlay)

I was reading in a newspaper about a film that failed (as of Sept. 14, 2009) to find a distributor in the United States. It is a film about Charles Darwin. It is called Creation.

According to a Gallup poll taken in February, 2009 39% of Americans believe in the Theory of Evolution. I suppose this is an amazingly low number seeing that we've had the Theory of Evolution sermon preached to us in school, museums, books, magazines, documentaries, movies, - at every turn since Darwin had his The Origin of Species published 150 years ago!

According to the newspaper article the Creation movie details Darwin's "struggle between faith and reason."

The following is (another) excerpt from my book The Nexus: The True Nature of Nature:

We have seen [ie, in a previous chapter] what Theology and Philosophy have to do with each other. They are distinct but interconnected – i.e., two railway carriages that have access to each other. But what do Theology and Philosophy have to do with Faith and Reason? It is commonly thought that Faith and Theology are on one hand, and Reason and Philosophy are on another hand, but that these two hands can never shake. This is to say that Faith, as viewed by some, involves itself only in the supernatural, whilst Reason encounters only the natural. And, it is not an overstatement to note that Faith and Theology are, derogatorily, seen by some as dealing in fiction, whilst Philosophy and Reason deal only with fact.

Science today has come to mean that which deals only with the natural, that which deals only in fact. Therefore modern ‘science’ is thought of as that which deals only with physical things. Thus modern ‘science’ is equated with Reason, and religion, regardless of whether it is Christian religion or not, is equated in the modern mind with Faith – i.e., faith like the little train called ‘The Power of Positive Thinking,’ that against all the ‘evidence’ to the contrary, still says, as it faces the steep incline, ‘I think I can. I think I can.’

It is widely believed that Faith and Reason are incompatible in that they are thought to deal with different things. However, we have already taken note that both Theology and Philosophy are dealing with revelation of God – whether that revelation comes written in a Book or through the things God has made. Faith and Reason deal with the same revelation of God.

Here is the rub: All men reason according to presupposition. Which is to say that even those who engage themselves in scientific study base their results on assumptions. Their conceptions are based upon their preconceptions. Assumption is simply Faith by another name. Thus all men conduct their scientific study according to Faith.

Greg Bahnsen was a disciple of Cornelius Van Til, the father of what has come to be known as Presuppositional Apologetics. Dr Bahnsen says,

"For Van Til, like Augustine, reason is not the platform (precondition) for faith, but vice versa."[1]

Van Til, therefore, like Augustine before him, pulls the rug of Reason from beneath the feet of those who believe in neutrality in scientific study.

If Faith were built upon Reason, and not the other way round, then man would be autonomous and Reason would be the measure of all things. This is, of course, the prevalent Philosophy in today’s West. Reason has become estranged from Faith and has filed for divorce. If this divorce is permitted to come through man will effectively set up himself as his own god.

It should be clear by now that unbelievers’ Philosophy, (i.e., their life and worldview) is built upon their Faith and not upon their Reason. Thus ‘Reason’ is simply the foxhole from which fallen man attacks the revelation of God, which constantly bombards him on all fronts.

[1] Greg L Bahnsen, Van Til’s Apologetic, p. 54

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