Creation Versus Evolution -- By: Leander S. Keyser

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 082:327 (Jul 1925)
Article: Creation Versus Evolution
Author: Leander S. Keyser


Creation Versus Evolution

Leander S. Keyser

Some persons may object to the phrasing of our subject. Their demur may be directed against the word “versus,” because they think that the doctrines of creation and evolution should not be put in opposition to each other. Has not the philosopher, Bergson, standardized the phrase, “Creative Evolution”? Ought one to challenge so high an authority?

However, every man must do his own thinking, and must not yield too much to the lure of great names. Therefore we shall first state why the word “versus” should be retained in the title of our paper. The trouble today is, too many people use the words “creation” and “evolution” in a loose and ambiguous sense, and this misuse causes much confusion of thought, and turns many a debate into a mere logomachy. No headway can be gained in any discussion unless the opposing parties come to a clear understanding relative to the capital terms employed. This is true in the present controversy over evolution and creation.

The Terms Defined

Let us therefore proceed to the definition of terms. A clear distinction should be made between creation and evolution; they should not be merged into one meaning. By creation is meant the bringing of something new into existence. In scholastic phrase it is called “creatio ex nihilo. In many places in the Bible it connotes the production of a new entity—a noumenon that had no prior existence. In this sense it must be used in Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth;” for here the evident teaching is that “the heavens and the earth” did not exist before they were created. If the verb “create” (Hebrew, bara) does not carry this meaning in this place, it has no definite sense, and therefore we are left in ignorance regarding the vital problem of the origin of the universe. Surely God would not give

mankind a revelation of Himself and His redemptive plan through Jesus Christ, and then leave the origin of things in obscurity.

In Genesis 1:27, relative to the origin of man, we have every reason to believe that the verb bara means to make something ex nihilo. If that is its meaning in the first verse, it surely must carry the same meaning in verse 27. If it does not, the Bible, instead of being a divine revelation, is a welter of “confusion worse confounded.” Its clear and positive statements do not convey the idea that it is such a book. Thus the Bible teaches that man’s soul or mind was divinely created

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