King's Business - 1967-03

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Sc i ence and the Bible by Bolton Davidbeiser, Ph.D. TEILHARD AGAIN

A J esuit priest , Robert J. O’Con­ nell of Fordham University, was invited to speak at the 20th Annual Convention of the American Scien­ tific Affiliation and the Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship. He presented a paper on Teilhard de Chardin, heavily loaded with hero worship. Teilhard also was a Jesuit priest, but his theology was so heretical that he was removed from his teach­ ing position and the publication of his writings was prohibited by the Catholic Church during his lifetime. But shortly after his death the sit­ uation was reversed, and Catholic spokesmen praised him with such statements as, “ Teilhard will become the Church’s new philosophical sys­ tem.” Evolution is the heart of Teil­ hard’s philosophy, and in one of his essays he describes Christ as “ a presence radiating evolution.” It is reported that he “was fond of say­ ing” that “ a synthesis of the Chris­ tian ‘God-up-above’ and the Marxist ‘God-up-ahead’ is the only God whom we can worship today ‘in spirit and in truth.’ ” That the A.S.A. and the I.V.C.F. would invite a speaker to come to their convention and praise Teilhard seems almost unbelievable, considering the stated aims and com­ mitment to the Bible of these organ­ izations. It is, however, another manifestation of the trend to apos­ tasy in our times. At this meeting Teilhard was hailed as “ the prophet of the 20th century,” and the speaker said that “ in Europe, both Christians and Marxists find his thought the most hopeful bridge this century offers be­ tween what once seemed their irre- ducibly opposing views.” The delegates to the convention were told that there are three main emphases in Teilhard’s writings. One of these is to allay the fears that theologians may have for evolu­ tion and “ to show how splendidly the Christian view coheres with the evo­ lutionary view of man and the world.” Another of his emphases, which is said to have “ put Teilhard signifi­ cantly ahead of his theological time,” seems to be a message of hope to the MARCH, 1967

world that evolution has overcome the second law of thermodynamics. The physicists say that in accord­ ance with this law the universe is running down and eventually every­ thing will be cold. The speaker ex­ pressed the view, apparently Teil­ hard’s, that when word of this gets around, mankind “will simply ‘go on strike,’ lose all interest in the world, [and] stop laboring for the better­ ment of the human condition.” Actually, the physicists who are accused of “preaching this gospel-of cosmic despair” say -that the sun is in middle life after burning some billions of years already. What kind of people would lose their interest in the betterment of mankind if the word gets around that after a few thousand years of civilization man­ kind may be expected to be around for several billion more years? On the contrary, most people would no doubt sigh with relief if given any such assurance. Christians know from Scripture that this world is doomed to destruc­ tion, but there will be a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21). There will be no need for the sun there, for the Lord Himself will sup­ ply the light. The second law of thermodynam­ ics is an embarrassment to the evo­ lutionists because it is in opposition to evolution and it is one of the basic laws of the physical world. Teilhard had such faith in evolu­ tion that he turned the situation around. He proclaimed that since evolution is a fact, the second law of thermodynamics must be at fault, and that therefore the physical world is not running down after all. Teilhard a t t r ib u t e s a certain amount of consciousness to every­ thing, even to inanimate objects. The climax of his theology is that all peo­ ple, all creatures, and even all inani­ mate objects are converging toward a point which he calls Omega, and which is equivalent to God. If anyone is so unaware of the trends of the times as to doubt that this can happen at a convention of professed Bible-believers, let him read it for himself in the September, 1966, issue of the Journal of the American Scientific Association.

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