Beyond The Horizons
Sir Julian Huxley And Religion
Sir Julian Huxley of London, internationally famous biologist, has predicted that a new order of thinking will finally doom all religions to extinction.
Huxley, grandson of the famed Thomas Huxley who defended Charles Darwin against attacks on his evolution theory, made the prediction in connection with the 100th anniversary of the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species.
Huxley said: "There is no longer either need or room for supernatural beings capable of affecting the course of events in the evolutionary pattern of thought....Evolutionary man can no longer take refuge from his loneliness by creeping for shelter into the arms of a divinized father figure whom he has himself created, nor escape from the responsibility of making decisions by sheltering under the umbrella of divine authority....A religion of some sort is probably necessary, but it is not necessarily a good thing."
He denied creation, saying that all was the result of evolutionary processes, "including our human selves, mind and soul as well as brain and body."
It is too bad that the learned gentleman should have thus paraded his ignorance of spiritual things. If man is only an evolutionary creature, his reference to "soul" is both without foundation and unnecessary. Biology knows nothing of a soul based upon simple physical materials. If there be no higher nature in man than matter, a "soul" is without predicate or relationship to anything else.
His supposition that "religion of some kind is probably necessary, but it is not necessarily a good thing" is totally inconsistent with any sense of moral values or the social progress of the race. If it is not a good thing, then it is not necessary. If it is "probably necessary," then it is a good thing. His logic is as poor as his spiritual knowledge.
Religion is not doomed to disappear, but Mr. Huxley is doomed to be made a public figure of ridicule by the march of all time to come,. The Psalmist wrote, "The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God." But this time, as often before, he spoke out loud! — William S. Deal, in United Evangelical Action, August, 1960.
* * * *
A Lesson From Catholics Inasmuch as our liberal brethren are partially motivated by what the Catholics are doing in the field of institutionalism, I draw your attention to a Catholic criticism of Catholic institutionalism.
In the annual convention of the National Conference of Catholic Charities in New York City during September, 1960, a Catholic priest who is director of a Catholic organization said that charity is no longer a personal experience, but rather it has been dehumanized and re-Christianized.
Other comments by the clergyman are reported in The New York Times, September 24, 1960, as follows:
We no longer know and love our brothers through the exercise of the corporal works of mercy, we take up collections and let Catholic Charities do it for us. If we see a man lying in the street, we dutifully call the police and then go about our business. If we read about the plight of an infant left on a doorstep, we may make a donation to our favorite orphanage. If our great-aunt has become senile and incapacitated, we call Catholic Charities and let them do it.
Our liberal brethren have sought to justify their innovations by pointing to what the Catholics are doing. They have aped the Catholics in attempting to compete with the denominational world in church benevolence. Some brethren are even talking of church of Christ hospitals. All of this church-institution activity is not Bible activity, it is not based on what you read in the New Testament. It is inspired in part by Catholic activity and encouraged by denominational competition.
Among the charges we have made against the church benevolent institutions is the objection that there is a lack of emphasis on individual, personal contact and participation in the realm of benevolence. The Catholic criticism of Catholic Charities points up the problem which conservative brethren have long discussed. Perhaps our liberal brethren who are so inspired by Catholic example will be moved by the Catholic criticism.
* * *
The other day I heard Senator Robert S. Kerr remark that the rise of Harry S. Truman to the presidency proved that anyone could become president; that the election of Dwight D. Eisenhower proved that we could do without a president. I might add that the election of Senator John F. Kennedy to the presidency proves that a man who owes allegiance to a foreign power can become president of the United States of America.
Chas. Degenhart, 814 North 16th Ave., Yakima, Washington, Phone, GL 3-6351, October 20, 1960: "Since we began here with Eastside church on April 14, sixteen have been baptized and five restored. We believe there is a wonderful opportunity here for continued good, but due to migratory workers returning to Arkansas and other states after the hop and fruit harvests are over, it will be necessary to raise an additional $150 to $200 per month support, or seek to locate elsewhere. Eastside is carrying a heavy financial load due to a new building. Will you help us to continue the good work here, or are you needing a preacher to work with you? Please contact us."