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Supernatural Selection

12 February, 2009

josh forrestToday is Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday, and his influence has penetrated all spheres of our shared cultural experience. Love him or hate him, befriend or alienate him, he remains deeply rooted in our consciousness. I am not a scientist, and thus I have no expertise to analyze his science qua science.  From a purely prima facie reading, the survival of the fittest is compelling.

However,  the Bible turns this Darwinian concept on its head. His scientific theory has no application to biblical salvation.  From a biblical point of view, the only people that will survive spiritual death are the weak. The only people that survive are the ones who do not try to survive on their own. God promises–in the covenant of redemption, which is worked out historically in the covenant of works and grace–that in Christ, those who look to him alone for their salvation, trusting only in his active and passive obedience, are elect. This election took place before the foundation of the world, and it was not promised to the mighty but to earthen vessels.

Although the world mocks at the weak and although weakness is disparaged in everyday life, Christ imputes his merit to the needy and rewards the spiritually weak. If people want Christ, they must become such–they must die to self in order to live. Call it contradiction. I call it truth!

Darwin’s scientifictic theory might be true from a natural description of things, but it fails to describe how people come to inherit eternal life. It is not by might nor by power, but by God’s Spirit at work in the hearts of sinful people, people who are utterly weak and helpless. Like Darwin’s theory rocked the world, I hope that the doctrine of truly free grace, i.e, justification by grace alone on account of Christ alone, would rock our churches. Instead of focusing all of our churchly efforts on trying to figure out which scientific theory the Bible endorses, the church needs to get the emphases of its doctrinal textbook down (Bible). If the church continues to be culturally relevant, instead of preaching the foolishness of the gospel, then I am afraid that it will be naturally selected out. According to Michael Horton in Christless Christianity, this natural selection has already begun.



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