On the question of purposes, we encounter a very important point of difference between biblical and evolutionary thought. In no other historical book do we find so many and such valuable statements of purpose for man, as in the Bible. As some examples illustrate:
- Man is God’s purpose with creation: “
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him” (Gen. 1:27).
- Man is the object of God’s love: “
I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness” (Jer. 31:3).
- Man is the purpose of God’s plan of redemption: “
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isa. 53:5).
- Man is the purpose of the mission of God’s Son: “
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him” (1 John 4:9).
- We are the purpose of God’s inheritance: “
So that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:7).
- Heaven is our destination: “
But our citizenship is in heaven” (Phil. 3:20).
The very thought of purposefulness is anathema to evolutionists. There are no blueprints, nor any purpose (see basic assumption E8): “There are no causes working from the future and thus no previously established purpose of evolution” (H. von Ditfurth). Similar views are expressed by H. Penzlin, a biologist of Eastern Germany [P2, p. 19]: “Evolutionary adaptations never follow a purposeful program, they can thus not be regarded as teleonomical.” In a comprehensive overview, Penzlin discussed the problem confronting evolutionary doctrine of explaining the purposefulness observed in the world of organisms, without recourse to a Creator and Master Builder; the purposefulness itself cannot be denied. What a remarkable and contradictory brashness (compare Rom. 1:19–22)! In 1861 Karl Marx wrote to Ferdinand Lasalle that Darwin’s work dealt a death blow to teleology [P2, p. 9]. Penzlin endeavored to interpret the word “teleological” in biology in such a way that it would not mean anything purposeful. Another proposal from the ranks of evolution supporters is to introduce the word “teleonomy” to replace “teleology.” C.S. Pittendrigh explains that the former word would not refer to a plan or a purpose in all known cases of purposefulness [P4].
If man is not the explicit end-product of evolution, as evolutionists believe unanimously, then man’s existence has no meaning. This aspect was developed abstractly by Carsten Bresch [B7, p. 21]:
Nature seems to be a purposeless and meaningless machine. Did we pay for our new mental freedom by sacrificing the meaning of our existence? Partially knowledgeable man stands alone, uprooted in an icy universe, lost in the chain of generations which arose from nothing, and become nothing. What is the purpose of it all? Is this the desired purpose of understanding, the last great answer to all questions asked of nature? Man has “experimented” himself out of a Godly order, away from an inner feeling of security. . . . He has made a taboo of the question of the meaning of human life—its portal has been nailed shut with planks. He no more dares to touch it, because he fears to find the dismal answer that our life has no meaning at all.
Sigmund Freud is never attacked as viciously from certain quarters as the founder of the theory of evolution, although Freud had consistently taught that belief in a god is really nothing but a form of “infantile wishful thinking.” Von Ditfurth is correct when he states that we criticize the teachings ascribed to Darwin, but it is wrong to say that we are attacking the person of Darwin. Atheism can be recognized immediately, independent of the philosophical attire it appears in, so that it is not directly dangerous for Christians. But the situation is quite different in the case of conceptual structures which appear in sheep’s clothing, and subsequently become “ferocious wolves” as described by Jesus (Matt. 7:15). In the case of theistic evolution Christian concepts are readily integrated. However, such teachings reduce the message of the Bible to insignificance and come as “savage wolves” who “will not spare the flock” (Acts 20:29). All systems which entice us away from the true gate (Jesus) into the sheep pen, are called thieves and robbers by Jesus (John 10:1). If man is unplanned, then he also has no purpose. But if he does not heed the purpose set out for him, then he will miss it. For this reason the Bible warns repeatedly:
We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. (Heb. 2:1)
Do not let anyone . . . disqualify you for the prize. (Col. 2:18)
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. (Col. 2:8)