The Double Mindedness of Evolutionary Compromise
by Willard A. Ramsey *
Willard Ramsey is a longtime friend. He and I served together for many years as co-pastors of Hallmark Baptist Church in Simpsonville, South Carolina. We had long discussions about issues in Christendom and shared hours of mutual "iron-sharpening." Pastor Ramsey's testimony of his search for doctrinal peace is as relevant today as it was during his effort to solve the double-minded conflict of his youth. I know that you will gain keen insight from his wise counsel. --Henry M. Morris III
"A double minded man," the Bible says, "is unstable in all his ways" (James 1:8). In my youth, a certain instability haunted me. I knew the blessings and assurance of salvation and trusted the infallibility of Scripture. But as a high school student in the mid-1940s, I was intellectually pressed with textbooks that, in the name of science, "debunked" the message of God's infallible revelation. This conflict created within me a double-mindedness that troubled my early years.
Living with a Double Mind
As this intellectual challenge arose, not only did I have assurance of my own faith, I had the strong support of my family and church, which both sternly denounced the school's false teaching. Yet, there was the faint question--what if...? No person in my family or church was a scientist. If there was proof somewhere that the Genesis account of creation was not true, how would they, or I, really know?
Science had done wonderful things. When I was eight, we got our first radio, and I was intrigued beyond measure. How could we hear voices in Nashville or New York right in our own living room even as they spoke the words? Then I saw television and my astonishment grew! How could I dismiss science, out of hand, as fraud? It works. I reasoned this way: If God is the author of the Bible, He had to also be the author of science. I had to find out what was going on, but that was not easy. There were no learned scientific creationist publications in those days.
After high school, I headed for Chicago. While there, I visited the Museum of Natural History, which featured displays of apelike families said to be our ancestors "millions" of years ago. The lifelike figures were depicted in minute and convincing detail. Most Christian boys of eighteen, already impressed with the wonders of science, would be impressed with this display. I supposed, naively, that the scientists who made these displays had ways to "know" these things. What I didn't know, and the displays did not say, was that all this detail had been deduced from a single tooth or jawbone dug up somewhere. So the tension of my double mind grew ever more distressing.
The next few years, I worked in close proximity with engineers and technicians, virtually all committed to an evolutionary worldview. I tried to be true to the Lord and to Scripture in witnessing to them. But as they confronted me with what they believed to be scientific proof of evolution, I had no real answers that satisfied either them or myself. I turned time and again to 1 John 5:10: "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself." That I could not deny. Still, the tension remained.
1859 to 1959: A Century of Christian Scientific Neglect
By the late 1950s, my discomfort with the double-minded life reached a peak. Now married with a family, I took a job with the NASA aerospace program. By this time, my faith had become a strong conviction, and my former double-mindedness turned to frustration that for a hundred years, Christians had neglected to meet the false science of Darwinism with the true science behind Psalm 19:1-3:
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
My early conviction that God was the author of science led me to conclude that science--when properly understood and honestly interpreted--would certainly complement the biblical position. It would relieve the intellectual conflict between the prevailing evolutionary worldview and the biblical creationist worldview. But though I searched diligently for a Christian scientific work, a book, even a tract that presented some serious scientific evidence for biblical creation and a young earth, I found nothing.1
I decided to do something about this neglected matter. If the universe was uttering speech and showing the knowledge of God's works in every language, it shouldn't be that hard to discover the scientific truth. Leaving the aerospace industry, my wife and I packed up our three little ones and I enrolled as a biology major in a Christian university, intending to give my life to teaching, research, and writing in the field of creation science.
A Light at the End of the Tunnel
One frosty morning in the early 1960s, I sat in a lecture hall waiting to hear my first real introduction to creation science. The visiting speaker was Dr. Henry M. Morris, a name I had never heard before. He spoke in a soft, unpretentious voice, but as he proceeded to discuss principles of science as they pertain to the works of God, an awesome authority was soon apparent--not in the voice, but in the words themselves. As I listened, the words eroded away the case against Scripture's truth.
All the Christian rhetoric on the subject I had heard before was either poking fun at evolutionists or hollow denunciation. Dr. Morris neither joked nor denounced, but with the spade of scientific principle began to dig around the foundation of the claims of evolution. In one lecture, I could clearly see that one day evolution would be as curious a notion as the flat earth. I was persuaded that this man, meek as Moses, would be an instrument of God to lead modern Christians out of the wilderness of double mindedness.
As Dr. Morris left the building, I caught up to him and asked: Why was there so little Christian scientific literature on this subject? He told me about the Creation Research Society and their new publication, The Creation Research Quarterly, and about a book he had written with Dr. John C. Whitcomb, The Genesis Flood.2 Today, there is rather uniform agreement that this book sparked the beginning of the modem scientific creationist movement.
The Bright Lights Are Coming On
The holy boldness was the most remarkable thing, in my opinion, about the life's work of Dr. Morris and his early colleagues. To take on the huge intellectual superstructure of the contemporary scientific edifice, to challenge the self-appointed "sovereigns" over the archives of "science," the venerable guardians of the academy of "knowledge," required unique courage and faith. For a hundred years, God had been crowded out of the sciences He had created. When godless men want to invent (with their God-created minds) weapons, rockets, or satellites, they usurp the God-created principles of order, structure, and predictability in science. Then, when considering the origin of these same principles, they ascribe them to chance! So much for integrity and scientific consistency.
Today, the light burns brighter because the intellectual conflict between biblical truth and the academic process has been relieved for millions of Bible-believing Christians through ministries like ICR. Although there remains much work to be done in the formulation of a whole and coherent body of creationist science, it would be hard to overstate the magnitude and value of what has been done in the past half-century.
- Later I found a work by Dr. Harry Rimmer (1890-1952), an early voice on behalf of creation. A Presbyterian pastor, science was not his strength, and some of his theories were neither good science nor good theology. His stand on creation science is to be commended, for it was not easy in the early 20th century, but his work in scientific creationism has not endured the test of time.
- Morris, H. M. and J. C. Whitcomb. 1961. The Genesis Flood: The Biblical Record and Its Scientific Implications. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company.
Adapted from Willard Ramsey's original article "My Double Mindedness and What Became of It."
* Mr. Ramsey is currently retired in South Carolina, but remains active in the Hallmark Baptist Church as an Elder.
Conclusion by Dr. Morris:
Although Pastor Ramsey's journey reflects the specifics of his youth and the uniqueness of his ministry, the issues remain the same. ICR speakers hear similar stories almost every time they engage others. The conflicts of a "double-minded" heart are very real, and no Christian can be effective in their walk with the Lord--much less at peace in their relationship with the Holy Spirit--when they "halt between two opinions" (1 Kings 18:21).
There is a growing effort among some evangelical leaders to develop and justify hybrid "theories" of creation in an attempt to reconcile the long ages of evolutionary science with the clear teachings of Scripture. Such efforts create an enormous conflict and "double-minded" tension among brethren, and will ultimately lead to a rejection of the words of Scripture in favor of the "tradition of men" (Colossians 2:6-8).
It is our constant prayer at ICR that those who read our words and hear our message would "let God be true" (Romans 3:4) for "the Scripture cannot be broken" (John 10:35). One of the reasons that ICR is so strongly committed to the authority of the words of Scripture is because Jesus said, "The word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day" (John 12:48).
Cite this article: Ramsey, W. 2010. The Double Mindedness of Evolutionary Compromise. Acts & Facts. 39 (5): 22-23.