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    Evolution: Ideas Have Consequences

    October 8, 2007 by Brandy Vencel

    Si is helping teach a creation class at our church. It started yesterday. {He did great, by the way!} Anyhow, I didn’t think I’d have much to contribute to his new endeavor as most of what I am reading right now concerns educational philosophies or nutrition.

    But then I found that Charlotte Mason actually has an insightful analysis of the connection between World War One and the belief in evolution.

    But before I begin, let me explain a bit. I have heard some Christians say that evolution shouldn’t be a dividing line within the church, that what a Christian believes about origins isn’t part of our essentials, doesn’t fall into a category of the solas {the solas being sola gratia meaning by grace alone, sola fide meaning by faith alone, sola scriptura meaning by Scripture alone, sola Christus meaning in Christ alone, and soli Deo gloria meaning for God’s glory alone or glory to God alone}.

    First, I would say that believing in evolution is actually a sola scriptura issue. It is not wrong to seek out truth, and because we believe that all truth is God’s truth, as my husband is often reminding me, we need not be afraid of truth. However, deciding that the creation account is not true is the same as doubting the truth of Scripture.

    This is antithesis: Scripture is either true or is isn’t.

    But there is more here. Many folks who believe that Christians can believe in evolution and be “just fine” don’t really believe that the idea of evolution has any consequences.

    Mason would say that the idea of evolution had great consequences. In fact, she pretty much blames Darwinism for the War, among other things:

    Much thoughtful care has been spent in ascertaining the causes of the German breakdown in character and conduct; the war scourge was symptomatic and the symptoms have been duly traced to their cause in the thoughts the people have been taught to think during three or four generations….Professor Muirhead did us good service in carrying the investigation further back. Darwin’s theories of natural selection, the survival of the fittest, the struggle for existence, struck root in Germany in fitting soil; and the ideas of the superman, the super state, the right of might–to repudiate treaties, to eliminate feebler powers, to recognize no law but expediency–all this appears to come as naturally out of Darwinism as a chicken comes out of an egg. No doubt the same dicta have struck us in the Commentaries of Frederick the Great; “they shall take who have the power, and they shall keep who can,” is ages older than Darwin, but possibly this is what our English philosopher did for Germany:–There is a tendency in human nature to elect the obligations of natural law in preference to those of spiritual law; to takes its code of ethics from science, and, following this tendency, the Germans found in their reading of Darwin sanction for manifestations of brutality.

    –Charlotte Mason, Volume 6: A Philosophy of Education, emphasis mine

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