According to the Theory of Evolution, the eternal destiny of every human being is to die and to never live again. Everything people experience in life is temporary and meaningless, since humanity is nothing more than a chance freak of Nature in a random material universe. Life is a hopeless struggle for survival and significance, and death is the final reality. This is the story of an individual's search for the meaning of life, and his awesome discovery and personal encounter with "inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell" -- a truth so unimaginably awesome that it surpasses the ability of words to tell.
"Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,Old Time is still a-flying; And this same flower that smiles today Tomorrow will be dying..." -Robert Herrick
As a child, I remember sitting alone in my doctor's waiting room. It was small, old-fashioned, and dark. But the most memorable thing about the room was an old human skull that sat on my doctor's desk. As I sat there in the room, I wondered about the skull and the person to whom it used to belong. How sad, it seemed, that this skull was all that was left of this person. I wondered if some day in the future my skull would be sitting in someone's office and somebody would be thinking the same things about me.
As I grew older, I tried to avoid thinking about death. I assumed that the meaning of life was to be successful in whatever one does and to have fun. After all, unless there is a way of discovering what really happens after death, then perhaps it is best not to think about such things. Or so I thought up until age twenty-one.
It was during my second year at college that I began to take life more seriously. I realized that if life is only what it appears to be -- if death is the eternal end of our "souls" and if our destiny is to return to dust forever -- then life is totally meaningless. Iff death is really the end of everything, then everything we have and everything we do is meaningless. For if death is the final reality, then of what benefit are hard work, school, fame, riches, good works, or acts of kindness? Is it not because of our culture's underlying belief in a higher reality, whether conscious or intuitive, that we pursue the above ideals? What is the purpose of anything that we do, if our destiny is to inherit the wind? Will not even the memory of what we have done be forgotten? And how shall our benevolence help anyone, since they too are destined to become dust?
As I thought about these things, I was filled with increasing despair and hopelessness. Subconsciously, I began to wonder what was the purpose of spending long hours in study, or in exhausting myself for any goal higher than pleasure. And I was further distressed by the apparent ignorance of my peers who were diligently studying for meaningless goals, rejoicing over meaningless accomplishments, and all the while remaining oblivious to the fact that nothing they were doing would have any eternal significance whatsoever. But while I was thinking these things, I could not help wondering if there was something foundational that I too was missing... Something awesome beyond comprehension... A final reality far greater than manmade religion or even the great advances made in science. And I wondered... "If a man dies, will he live again?"
I discovered later that although science might be able to point me in the right direction, it would never be able to provide the absolute answers that I was looking for. Nevertheless, it was my research and studies in the earth sciences that first got me interested in the awesome possibility that God might be real. It was not so much the fear of dying that drew me towards God; but rather a deep inner longing and a powerful outward progression of fact. My college classes were revealing astonishing truths about a world far more complex and wonderful than I had previously imagined. And even before I read from the Bible or any other "religious" book, I saw much convincing evidence for a Designer. As a leading research scientist systematically reveals in his well-documented and up-to-date book, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, the "puzzle of perfection" is so everywhere present in nature that time and chance alone could not possibly be responsible for the origin of the universe in which we live (Denton, 1985). And even if an unusually slick evolutionist should be able to come up with impressive-sounding arguments for the chance origin of life, the rock-solid evidence of the fossil record would oppose him to his face. For in spite of the many evolutionist scientists who wish that it was not true, the fossil record is so full of gaps and so devoid of "missing links" between often distinct kinds of plants and animals that it is a wonder that Evolution is ever taught in universities at all, except that it seems to be an alternative religion sacred to people who consciously or subconsciously wish that God is dead. Of course, this is not to say that much of biology, paleontology, geology, etc. is not true. But it is the extrapolation of "micro-evolution" into macro-evolution, the belief that homologous relationships in paleontology show common ancestry instead of a common purpose or function, and the exclusive use of uniformitarianism in geology without allowance for the possibility of supernatural intervention, that reveal how a scientist's underlying faith in naturalism can influence the way he interprets the actual facts of nature. In other words, by killing God, unbelieving scientists have sought to build their theories upon the foundation of naturalism, which denies the possibility that God has acted in history and seeks to create a reality devoid of God.
A scientist's philosophy or world view goes a long way in determining how he will put together the individual "particulars" or pieces of the puzzle of life. Indeed, the power of the will to distort or bias the interpretation of facts is a force to be reckoned with! In my experience, theories regarding the origin of life are often tainted more by one's beliefs regarding the meaning of life (his faith) than by one's understanding of the facts. A theory is only as good as its underlying assumptions, and if these are false, error multiplies exponentially with the extrapolation and interpretation of data! It is of little wonder that scientific theories are always changing.
No believer worth his salt can prove that there really is a God. But no atheist can prove that there isn't a God, because no one person can have infinite knowledge. Therefore, both the atheist and the believer must live by faith. But I am sure that at this point in my life as a non-believer, I too would have felt uncomfortable equating scientific theory with "faith". Like my peers, I felt that Evolution was a historical fact and that religion was "suspect", even if the Bible did have some truth in it. But I had not yet read the Bible, and no one I knew even mentioned it very often, except possibly to ridicule it or otherwise misuse it. (Most people would be surprised to discover that the Bible does not say that the Earth is 6000 years old. In fact, my experience is that most people haven't the foggiest notion of what the Bible does say!)
As a pilgrim journeying down life's diverse passageways, I spent some time weighing various evidences both for and against God. However, I did not become a believer by suddenly concluding through my studies that God existed, because this would prove nothing at all! For if my faith depended on human reasoning, it would be a very weak and vulnerable faith. Since no one person has infinite knowledge, I too would have had to include myself among the agnostics, who claim "not to know". In fact, humanly speaking, this would indeed be the only "true faith" if God did not exist. But as I was soon to discover in a powerful and living way, the believer's faith does not depend on human reasoning alone.
During my junior year at college, my intuition that the world and life were "too perfect" was steadily increasing. At the same time, I was beginning to read the Bible and meet a few people who were in my own words "normal, yet beautifully different". No one tried to seduce me into believing their religion, or to condemn me as a sinner. All that happened was that they occasionally invited me to their activities such as game nights, meals, and an occasional church service. What I found were real people who were much like me and my peers except for a noticeable difference in character and in heart. They were fun-loving, intellectually sound, and joyful! But perhaps most curious of all was an uncanny sense that they had something that I didn't have.
The evidence continued to mount, while my insufficiencies became increasingly more and more wearisome. It was not that I was especially "sinful"-- people would have said I was a nice guy. But inside my world was slowly falling apart. Not only was it dawning on me that my career in meteorology wasn't going to provide what I was looking for, but also I was realizing for the first time that I was alone in a world that was cruel, selfish, dangerous, and largely devoid of real satisfaction and purpose. In brief, I felt as if I had no future. But while despair was on the increase, a distant light was dimly illuminating my world from afar. And as the yearning of my soul slowly intensified, I began to pour out my feelings in what I wrote. "Island in the Sky" told of the magnificent beauty of the out-of-doors as seen from a high mountain in Vermont. "The Awakening" contrasted the hopelessness of nuclear oblivion with the joy of waking up and discovering it was only a dream. "The Ultimate Mystery of Life" compared and contrasted the theories of modern science with the age-old wisdom and moving drama of Scripture. It plainly revealed the intellectual battle that I was engaged in at the time. I was torn between two pillars of faith: evolutionary humanism versus the authority of "God's Word".
"...Evolution requires intermediate forms between species and paleontology does not provide them..." (David B. Kitts, Ph.D.,"Evolution", vol. 28, September 1974). "We (paleontologists) fancy ourselves as the only true students of life's history, yet to preserve our favored account of evolution by natural selection we view our data as so bad that we never see the very process we profess to study." (Stephen J. Gould, Natural History, vol. LXXXVI(5), May, 1977). "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1:1) "But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgement and destruction of ungodly men." (2 Peter 3:5-7).
The above quotations suggest that Evolution is an example of flawed reasoning with disastrous consequences (Readers doubting the fallacies of evolutionary theory are encouraged to read Evolution: a Theory in Crisis by Michael Denton (1986 by Adler and Adler, Publishers, Inc.) Dr. Denton is a leading micro-biologist from Australia and his book is intellectually stimulating and well documented.) Evolution is perhaps the greatest deception ever foisted upon the human race. If it is true, then God would indeed be dead, because it so thoroughly denies God's sovereignty, goodness, character, and love as to make God into an insane madman in a category with the devil of Hell. But if the Evolution of man is a fable, then it follows by logic that universal truth is not a matter of public opinion, but rather a matter of "thus sayeth the Lord". And if the Lord is indeed God, then it is wonderfully true that a person can know that he has eternal life! "We (people) accept man's testimony, but God's testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life." (1 John 5:9-12) But before I run the risk of scaring away seekers with "thus sayeth the Lord", let me share my personal encounter with the only Person who is fully qualified to say what "truth" is.
Never in my wildest dreams had I ever anticipated such a God! He was so much bigger, so much more intimate and loving, and yet so much holier than words could express! And on that wonderful night on November 12, 1988, I saw myself more completely than ever before! I saw the ugliness of my pride and the selfishness of my goals and ambitions. I hated myself because of the man that I knew I was. I was at a grand junction in which I was willing to give up anything in order to escape from the cycle of lust, futility, and despair that had increasingly characterized my life. And without persuasive words or fine-sounding arguments, I suddenly came "face to face" with Him who I knew had miraculously been arranging the events of my life to bring me to Himself. It was like a thousand atomic bombs going off, bathing my world in an awesome light that revealed a love beyond the power of words to convey. Suddenly I was rocked by an explosion of love that shattered and blew away the guilt and shame of a life lived in darkness. I "saw" Jesus Christ on the cross, in my place, dying for my sin. And as His love filled my whole being with new life, I realized in an instant that Jesus Christ had culminated my life-long search for meaning, satisfaction, and value. It was the grand climax of my whole life; the glorious culmination of a lonely sinner's search for his place in a world that did not care. For there was Someone who did care, and I had finally found Him! "For God so loved the world ("world" includes you and me) that he gave his one and only Son (Jesus Christ), that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
Spiritual birth opens up a whole new reality to the believer that skeptics cannot see. Obviously, there is the reality of miracles (I know, because I was there!) which many "objective" people in secular institutions vehemently oppose. And there is the reality of "Christ in us, the hope of glory". God's Holy Spirit indwells every true believer, testifying to the truth of Scripture and the reality of Salvation. True Christianity is a supernatural faith that is vitally concerned with the workings of God in and throughout history. It is based not only on individual experience such as answered prayers and being filled with the Spirit of God, but also on historical facts such as Creation and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Although it would be way beyond the scope of this essay to attempt to give every evidence for the truth of God's Word, there are many respectable books that give sound, credible answers to the many questions raised by skeptics. (Check your local Christian bookstore.) But perhaps no better book was ever written on the subject than the Bible itself! If a person is really interested in truth, then certainly the Bible deserves a fair chance!
Consider some of its qualifications: It is the most read book in the world, it has influenced and changed more lives than any other book, it is historically sound, it contains numerous fulfilled prophesies (Read Isaiah 53 and then look at the gospels), it has existed unchanged for thousands of years in the form of manuscripts, scrolls, etc., and for those who have actually read it through, it gives amazing insights into the nature and problems of humanity, as well as trustworthy instructions regarding how to live a joyful, fulfilling, and truly successful life.** Finally, it has the authority and boldness to claim time and again to be "The Word of God". It just may be that through its pages you will finally discover what you have always been looking for in life but have never been quite able to find. "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."
For honest questions about the trustworthiness of the Bible read A Ready Defense by Josh McDowell and Bill Wilson, published by Thomas Nelson, Inc.