Fundamentals of the Faith
By William Dudley Nowlin, D.D., LL.D.
THE TRUE GOD
One God in Three Persons; Perfect in Holiness; Supreme in Authority,
Unlimited in Power; Matchless in Mercy; the Creator of the Universe
and All That in It Is; the Giver and Preserver of All Life, and the Author
of the Divine Revelation - the Bible.
The Bible starts with the words "In the beginning God-." Man must have a God. The souls of men cry out for God; the living God. The search of the ages has been a search for God. Men of every nation have sought after God, if haply they might find him, and yet God is very near to every one.
THE BEING OF GOD
The being of God is a mystery. The finite cannot comprehend the infinite. The mystery is as great today as it was in the days of Job. when the question was asked, (Job 11: 7, 8, 9) 1 Canst thou by searching find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea."
What we know about God we gather from his Word, from nature, from experience and from Providence. While an eternal and self-existent Being, perfect in holiness, supreme in authority, unlimited in power, and matchless in mercy is a mystery, the acceptance of this mystery is the solution of a multitude of mysteries. Many things are explicable only on the ground that there is such a Being. The acceptance of God makes possible all other things.
The Bible first sets forth the unity of God, saying "The Lord our God is one Lord," then later he is set forth as a Trinity,, as "the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit." Thus God is represented in the Scriptures as one --God in three Persons, equal in their divine attributes and working harmoniously together in man's redemption. While the Trinity is a mystery, hard to understand, it is no greater mystery than the existence of God. We accept and believe the doctrine because it is clearly taught in the Bible, and without which Christ is not divine, and, therefore, no Savior. All that is necessary for us to know of God is revealed to us. Where knowledge is attainable, ignorance is culpable, and the more important the knowledge, the more culpable is the ignorance. Knowledge of God and our duty to God is attainable, and this knowledge, being the most important of all knowledge, ignorance of God and our duty to him is the most culpable of all ignorance.
God is not only God, but he is THE GOD. "Thou shalt have no other God before me." God is a jealous God. He will have no rival in any heart. It is a joy to him-think of our giving joy to God!-to have the first place in the poorest,: weakest heart of an intelligent creature. But he will take no second place-not even in the heart of the Archangel.
GOD THE CREATOR
The first declaration made of God in the Bible is "God created the heavens and the earth" (Gen. 1:1). John starts his Gospel with, the words "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made" (John 1:1, 2). Moses and John both start their writings with the sublimest of all truths - the existence of God and the creation of matter. Paul says "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of . God, so that things which areseen were not made of things which do appear" (Heb. 11:3).
We are told in the Book that "God is a Spirit" (John 4: 24), and that "His understanding is in- . finite" (Ps. 147:5), that "His name is Jehovah and that he is the most high over all the earth" (Ps. 83:18). Hear Paul's deliverance on God, (Acts 17:23-31) "For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom, therefore, ye ignorantly worship, him I declare unto you.
"God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is the Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
"Neither is worshiped with men's hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things ;
"And bath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and bath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
"That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he ' be not far from every one of us:
"For in him we lie, and move, and have our being, as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
"Forasmuch then as we were the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.
"And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent: "Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he bath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he bath raised him from the dead.
"And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked : and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter."
The statement of our articles of faith on "The 'True God" is as follows: "We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, whose name is Jehovah, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth; inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there a.c e three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost; equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption."
Certainly such a God as is set forth in that article is capable of creating "the universe and all that in it is." The Hebrew word translated create in Gen. (1: 1) is a word which means to bring into existence without the use of preexisting material. The word translated "made" after that, for example, where it says "God made the firmament" is a different word; one which means to form or fashion out of materials already existing.
The Creation was preliminary to the making, or forming, of the world and the producing of life on it. As clearly as human language permitted, the author of Genesis makes this distinction by the use of different words. Just how much time elapsed between the Creation Act in ' Gen. (1: 1) and the forming or fashioning of the world and the giving of life on it we do not know, for it is not revealed.
The author finds no difficulty in accepting the Bible account of Creation. In fact, it is the only account of creation that is acceptable. Neither does this author find any difficulty in accepting the Bible account of the origin of man. Man is here, and he came into existence somehow. Now the question is how? The easiest, simplest, safest, most sensible and satisfactory way to account for the origin of man is to accept the account as given in the Bible. (Gen. 1: 27) God says he "created man in his own image." Now that statement is either true or it is not true. If it is true, the so-called "scientific method" of accounting for the origin of man is false. If that statement is not true, then the Bible is false, and we have no Bible, no Christ, and no salvation.
The so-called "scientific method" of accounting for the origin of man is the most unscientific thing that was ever palmed off on a credulous public `in the name of science. Science is "knowledge gained and verified," or "knowledge demonstrated-proven. " And yet these so-called scientists, from Darwin down, admit that they have never demonstrated a single case of one species developed from another. The so-called ",'missing link" is still missing-this they all admit. Then it is not science, but philosophy, which they are trying to establish in their effort to overthrow the Bible, which is their main purpose.
Some years ago a higher critic wrote thus of their purposes. "We intend, first, to reconstruct Bible history in harmony with the theory of evolution; second, to elimate by this process all that is supernatural ,in the record; third, to unite scholars in support of sweeping changes In the orthodox views of the Holy Scriptures." This is a frank, honest statement of their purpose.-A professor in a Baptist university has recently published a book, "Introduction to the Principles' of Sociology," in which he says: "As to - how man originated, we are even more uncertain than we are in regard to when or where." If this young professor had only been educated in the Bible he could have so easily turned to the book of Genesis and found out just how man originated. The record is perfectly plain, (Gen. 1: 26, 27; 2: 7, 21, 21:) Why doubt God and believe every man who doubts God?
The spade and archaeological research have completely discredited the "scientific method" (evolution) of accounting for the origin of man. Every new discovery sustains the Bible and discredits the critics. Dr. A. H. Sayce, Professor of Assyriology in the University of Oxford, England, and one of the world's greatest archaeologists, says: "The whole application of the supposed law of evolution to the religious and secular religion of the ancient world is founded on what we know to have been a huge mistake. The actual condition of the Oriental world in the age of Moses, as it has been revealed to us by archaeology, leaves little room for the particular kind of evolution of which higher criticism has dreamed. But in truth the archaeological discoveries of the last dozen years in Egypt and Crete have once for all discredited the claims of criticism to apply its theories of development to the settlement of chronological or historical questions. The skepticism of the critic has been proved to have been but the measure of his own ignorance of it. The spade of the excavator in Crete has effected more in three or four years than the labors and canons of the `critic' in half a century. The whole fabric he has raised has gone down like a house of cards, and with it the theories of development of which he felt so confident. "
The destructive critics who have been so vociferously declaring that the Bible account of Jonah and the Big Fish is false, "for the very good reason that no fish existed which was big enough to swallow a man," have become a laughing stock since Capt. Thompson captured, near Miami, Fla., a fish forty-five feet long and weighing 30,000 pounds, and which had in its stomach a sea monster weighing 1,700 pounds. This fish, which the writer has seen, could easily have swallowed a Texas steer. It seems that almost every new discovery in nature reinforces the truth of the Bible, and puts to confusion the critics.
STATEMENTS OF SCIENTISTS
Many of the greatest scientists of the country have no patience with Darwin's hypothesis. Here are statements of a few of them:
SIR DAVID BREWSTER, the great scientist whom the British Encyclopedia describes as "a painstaking and accurate observer of facts, rather than a theorizer": "We have absolute proof of the - immutability of species, whether we search for it in historic or geologic times."
PROF. FLEISCHMAN: "The Darwin theory of descent has in the realm of nature not a single `fact to confirm it. It is not the result of scientific research, but purely the product of imagination."
DR. CHARLES ELAM :"The hypothesis of natural selection is not directly supported by any fact in the whole range of natural history or paleontology; but on the other hand, every fact which is known with any certainty in those sciences, so far as it bears upon natural selection, directly disapproves it."
CUVIER, of whom it was said before the close of his life, "By the unanimous consent of the learned world he was now regarded as the most eminent of naturalists, and the scientific honors which he received are beyond enumeration",: ."That such transformations as are claimed- by the evolutionists are wholly unknown to the realm of nature is a point upon which the most distinguished geologists and anatomists are unanimous."
SIR CHARLES LYELL, the great English ` geologist: "The species have a real existence in nature and each was endowed ' at the time of creation with the attributes and organs by which it is now endowed." No evolution there.
PROF. WILHELM MAX WUNDT, of Leipsic, in his younger days wrote books in support of evolution. In a later publication he refers to these writings as "The great crime of his youth that will take him all the rest of his life to expiate. "
PROF. LIONEL BEALE, who stood with Lord Kelvin at the head of the English scientists, said before the Victoria Institute of London in 1903: "There is no evidence that man has descended from one, or is, or was, in any way specially related to any other organism in nature through evolution or by any other process. Inn support of all rationalistic conjectures concerning man's .origin there is not at this time a shadow of scientific evidence."
DR. ETHERIDGE, of the British Museum, "one of England's most famous experts in fossilology" :"In all this great museum there is not a particle of evidence of transmutation of species. Nine-tenths of the talk of evolution is sheer nonsense, not founded on observation, and, wholly unsupported by fact. Men adopt a theory and then strain facts to support it. I read all their books, but they make no impression on my belief in the stability of specials. Moreover, the talk of the great antiquity of man is of no value. Some men are ready to regard you as a fool if you do not go with them in all their vagaries; but this museum is full of proof of the utter falsity of their views."
PROFESSOR HAECKEL, of Jena, one of the greatest German evolutionists, who did more than any other man to popularize the teaching of evolution in Germany and in the rest of Europe, at last bemoaned the fact that he was standing almost alone. Hear him: "Most modern investigators of science have come to the conclusion that the doctrine of evolution, and particularly Darwinism, is an error and cannot be maintained."
DR. VIRCHOW, "the highest German authority in physiology" and "the foremost chemist on the globe," who at first accepted evolution, and gave much of his life to teaching it, and who, probably next to Haeckel, did more to fasten it on Germany and the rest of Europe and even America than any other man, afterward utterly repudiated it. Hear him: "It is all nonsense. It cannot be proved by science that man descended from the ape or from any other animal. Since the announcement of the theory all real scientific knowledge has proceeded in the opposite direction."
LORD KELVIN, the greatest living scientist, said at a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, of which he was president: "One word characterizes the most strenuous of the efforts for the advancement of science that I have made perseveringly for fifty-five years. That word is failure." ("The Other Side of Evolution," p. 18.)
Evolution has no claims to being a science so long as it is unable to account for the origin of matter, the origin of life, the origin of force, the origin of motion-movements of the planets. To say these are the results of the laws of nature is no explanation at all. Laws must have lawmakers and law-enforcers. Laws neither create nor enforce themselves. God is the author of all life. In John (1: 4) it is said, "In him" (God) "was life and that life was the light of men." In Prov. (8:35) "Whoso findeth me findeth life." John (5: 26) "For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself." Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life." These Scriptures teach that God is the source of all life. God is also the preserver of life, for we are told that "by him all things consist." God is matchless in his mercy. We are told that God is the "Father of Mercy," and that he is "plenteous in mercy unto all," and that his "mercy endureth forever." God's mercy is amply and beautifully illustrated in the gift of his Son for the sins of the race; but God does not abandon Justice in order to be merciful. Yes, God created the heavens and the earth and all that in, them is; is the giver and preserver of all life. No man can accept both the Bible account and the evolutionists' account of the origin of man. God is also the giver of the divine revelation -the Bible- which is discussed in the next chapter.