Reformed Reflections

Christian Sciences' Responsibility

How do we preserve our freedom as Christians in our secular society? The pervasion of humanism in all facets of North American society and culture is becoming alarming. It borders on the establishment of a state religion – the deification and worship of man.

The religious humanist claims the truth for himself and applies the epithet "error" to everything that opposes his faith. Humanism as a religion is now a well organized and well financed movement which has become intolerant toward the practice of Christian faith in public life.

Dr. Bernard Ramn wrote in his book The Christian View of Science and Scripture: "If we were to go from one department to another in our modern American universities we would discover that considerably more than ninety percent of the faculty are either completely naturalistic or materialistic in creed, or very nominally religious. In many schools not a single firm believer in the trustworthiness of Scripture can be found; in others there maybe two or five at the most."

Christianity Today reports that Christian students at the University of Missouri at Kansas City are prohibited by the administration from meeting together on campus in their free time or distributing literature of a religious nature to other students. And at the university's Saint Louis campus, speaking of religious matters from the "free speech platform" is forbidden.

In Sacramento, California, an evangelical Christian brought suit contending that state was teaching evolution as a fact, thereby violating the rights of children, who believe the Biblical story of creation. Superior Court Judge Irving Perluss's verdict declared that the State Board of Education must include in future guidelines a 1973 policy statement that Darwinian evolution be taught as a theory.

Creationists are making themselves heard in many states in the U.S. and in Canada. In the U.S. they have been able to persuade textbook commissioners, legislators, school officials to either set up an equal-time policy or buy supplemental text books on scientific creationism.

Brian Smith, the BC minister of education, was asked whether or not creation could be discussed in the science classes. Some of the minister's comments were as follows: "I do not think that it would be practical to introduce a two model approach in the study of origins. Teachers are now being encouraged to teach more than one approach to origins but they are not required to do so."


The teaching of creationism in the public educational system has stirred up strong controversy. Many are not kindly disposed to this model of origins and approach to science. In Livermore, California, the board of education voted early this year to suspend the teaching of scientific creationism by Ray Bird at the Emma Smith Elementary School. An article in Time magazine raised the question whether or not school boards and legislatures should yield to the creationist "innocuous-sounding request for equal time." And the answer given makes it clear that since evolution is an established fact, creationists should not be accorded equal time. "Creationism," the article states, "may belong in social studies or the history of religion, but it should not be pushed into biology classes or textbooks, especially not by legislative fiat."

Is academic freedom and free inquiry possible within the public educational system? This is an issue of major concern. It seems to me that academic freedom is a doctrine reserved only for humanists. This is not liberty for all but humanistic totalitarianism. Humanists may claim that truth is with them and falsehood with the creationists.

It is their privilege to interpret the findings of their scientific endeavour according to their philosophy of life. But a doctrine advocating freedom for humanists only goes directly against the democratic principle – the protection of the rights of the minority.

Dr. Rousas John Rushdoony comments in Law & Liberty: "Truly free education means that colleges must have the freedom to be themselves, to establish colleges based on a particular philosophy and to maintain that position against subversion. Atheistic colleges do not allow orthodox Christianity to be taught by their professors, but they call it a violation of academic freedom if a professor in a Christian college is not allowed to teach atheism."

Modern science has developed largely on non-Christian premises. And it appears that these premises are not even debatable anymore! But the opposite is the case in point. The third chapter in the second division of Abraham Kuyper's Encyclopedia of Sacred Theology is entitled The Twofold Development of Science. In this chapter Kuyper points to the antithesis in the sciences. He argues that the principle of "regeneration" divides humanity into two. Rebirth establishes a "radical change in the being of man." The faith of a Christian leads to a different starting-point in any scientific endeavour. It is inconceivable that science should be free from the influence of the subjective factor.

In the current creation-evolution debate, Christians should not just snipe at the theory of evolution. The antithesis principle must be stressed. A responsible Christian interpretation of the natural sciences should be held before the public. Let humanists own up to their faith commitment and let Christians be free to interpret their scientific findings from their Biblical perspective.

Johan D. Tangelder