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Green Eye Of The Storm

Category Articles
Date February 7, 2006

Green Eye of the Storm, by John Rendle Short.

This well-known author from Australia has defended the creation narrative in Genesis 1 by describing the “controversy between science and Christianity” in the lives of Arthur Rendle Short (1880-1953), Philip Henry Gosse (1810-1888), George John Romanes (1848-1894), and the author. The lives of these four men roughly correspond to the development of evolutionary thought from 1750 to the present.

Philip Henry Gosse

Philip Gosse was a self-taught biologist who acquired a reputation for extensive knowledge in the field of biology. He was personally acquainted with Charles Darwin, had talked with him about his views, but was somewhat troubled by Darwin’s harsh views of genetic mutations, transferal of mutations to offspring, and survival of the fittest. He attempted to soften the effect of Darwin’s views by writing a book with the strange title Omphalos, which is the Latin word for navel. In this book he also took issue with Lyle’s theory of uniformitarianism which was, in his judgment, the foundation of all evolutionary theory.

While Gosse attempted to defend creation from science, he did, toward the end of his life, make his final court of appeal the Scriptures.

After his death, his son Edmund wrote a cruel biography which ruined his father’s reputation.

George John Romanes

George Romanes was born into wealth, went mostly uneducated, but later in life turned to science. He was heavily influenced by Darwinism and also met Darwin personally. He was, in fact, so intimate with Darwin that he was Darwin’s anointed successor.

Romanes, after Darwin’s death, was converted from Darwinism over a very long period of time, being troubled mainly by Darwin’s atheism.

In connection with the life story of Romanes, the author makes an interesting observation concerning the explanation of Darwin’s influence on “a wide variety of disciplines and professions in all countries and on all cultures from 1859 to the present.”

Not because of the scientific excellence of his theory. It has had to be revised more than once. The reason, I suggest, is because the theory destroyed the trustworthiness of the Scriptures, and especially the very foundation of the gospel in the first chapters of Genesis. And above all because Darwinism abolished the need for God and the Christian verities. Thus certainty was swept away. Nothing on the earth or in the sky could be guaranteed any more; everything was in a melting pot. Reality was nowhere to be found.

Arthur Rendle Short

Arthur Short was the father of the author, an Assembly of God minister and a medical doctor. He accepted Lyle’s uniformitarianism, Darwin’s evolutionism, and Scripture and became a theistic evolutionist. He was heavily influenced by the notion that Christ was a great moral teacher.

In the course of time, Arthur Short came to see that the real battle was between evolutionism (in whatever form it came) and the infallibility of Scripture. Sad to say, he never resolved the problem in his own mind and heart.

John Rendle Short

In this concluding section John Short gives us the details of his own struggle. He was an evolutionist in his student days, but entered a long and bitter struggle as he gradually turned from evolutionistic theory to the creationism of Scripture. This struggle he describes in detail in this book.

Several aspects of this emergence as a creationist are interesting and enlightening. John Short suggests that the radical changes in culture from pre-World War II days to the present are due to almost universal acceptance of evolutionism.

In the biography of his father, John Short expresses his own opinion that any form of evolutionism (including, presumably, the Framework Hypothesis) is only another form of higher criticism. He castigates the Hodges and Warfield for making concessions to the doctrine of evolutionism.

For the author, the obstacles of theistic evolutionists were always especially three in number: 1) God’s pronouncement of “good” on all that He had made – a pronouncement totally incompatible with a creation “red in tooth and claw” and in which was death; 2) man’s fall and death upon the human race and the creation; 3) the creation of Eve. The author came to the conclusion that a commitment to theistic evolutionism would not enable him to accept as literal these three teachings of Genesis 1 and 2.

The book makes for some fascinating reading, even though it is not entirely clear why the three men whose biographies are included should have such an honored place in his book.

If one criticism could be leveled against the book, it is that the author does not emphasize with sufficient force that the Scriptures are so completely our rule of faith, also in the matter of creation, that the doctrine of creation does not (and ultimately cannot) depend upon scientific evidence or the ability to answer scientifically all the notions of scientists, it rests on faith alone. The battle between us who believe in the truth of God’s Word in Genesis 1 and 2 and those who have adopted some form of evolutionism, particularly theistic evolutionism, is a spiritual battle between faith and unbelief, and must never be construed as a battle over the scientific evidence supporting the one position or the other. The same is true of the Framework Hypothesis.

Yet, in an important footnote the author shows us his willingness to take his stand on Scripture. He quotes with approval the author Dr. Werner Gitt in a book entitled, Did God Use Evolution?

“The basic principle of creation is that any understanding of the original creation can only be obtained through a biblical ‘temper of mind’ [from a biblical viewpoint, the author]. Biblical revelation is the key to understanding the world. The Bible is the basic, irreplaceable source of information. It is a fact of creation that we may not extrapolate the currently valid natural laws into the six days of creation (a major concession to Lyle’s uniformitarianism, but a crucial concession which any theistic evolutionist has to make, HH). Our present experiences do not allow us to really evaluate something that has just been created. Example: All adults were children. But Adam could not have been created as a baby, he was a grown man. He never was a child, and it does not make sense to extrapolate a number of years into his life, just because our present experiences require that every adult should have been a child. Similarly all the stars were immediately visible in spite of immense distances. Trees were not made as seedlings; they were fully grown and complete. Neither did birds hatch from their eggs and eventually grow up. The old question of “which was first – the hen or the egg?” has a clear and unambiguous biblical answer.

To that, any child of God committed to the doctrine of scriptural infallibility will answer with a resounding, Amen.

Taken from the Standard Bearer, Vol. 78, No.10, February 15, 2001

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Green Eye of The Storm (ISBN 085151 7277) retails for $12.00 (US), £9.00 (UK and ROW) and can be purchased from the Banner of Truth book catalogue

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