The Logos as Ordering Principle
1. Unintelligent instruments can be uniformly directed to an end only by an intelligent cause.
2. The unintelligent instruments of nature are uniformly directed to an end.
3. The instruments are therefore directed by an intelligent cause.
This demands that any discussion of order in nature must in turn recognize that mere chance does not fit the criteria for either natural order nor natural selection. It is a logical absurdity to suggest otherwise. Chance cannot guide anything to an intelligent end as it is by nature random. The abuse of the fact of natural selection or the concept of natural order, used to bolster human evolutionary theory, is simply not tenable as a result.
While the Christian might view the notion of human evolution as an innocuous theory, it carries with it some very frightening implications when followed to its logical end. For example, it would render the Creator weaker than the process of evolution itself, since the evidence would demonstrate that He had to create humanity through a process that includes many inferior, and therefore discarded, races of human before He could legitimately say His creation was very good. It would mean those homo sapiens that survived in the human family did so solely due to changes in physical ability, intellect, and the gradual evolution of one race of humans to a state superior to others. This in turn implies that even among those races that survived, there are superior and inferior races, since not every race of humans has achieved the same level of scientific, medical, industrial and architectural success. For example, if we compare the cultural heights and scientific discoveries of Western European peoples to that of the Aborigine before contact with Western European culture, we see a marked distinction. This logically indicates that, if indeed human evolution is true, some races are inferior to others, since they are either intellectually incapable of achieving similar breakthroughs (a trait passed down to their descendants) or are simply too lazy to do so. Interestingly, this theory, born of human evolutionary theory, gave rise to the pseudo-science of eugenics. Eugenics is defined as “the selection of desired characteristics in order to improve future generations”.5 As we know from history, the proponents of eugenics, when they have gained power or influence, have had devastating results for humanity. One need only point to the racial laws of the National Socialists, who reasoned that some races were inferior and that the mentally ill and handicapped could never be productive or enjoy a fulfilling life, and thus developed “racial hygiene” laws by which these people were used in medical experiments, sterilized, forbidden to marry and even outright exterminated. Closer to home, we can point to Margaret Sanger, the founder of the infamous Planned Parenthood organization, who stated her goal in advancing abortion was to cleanse society of the very same people the National Socialists targeted.6
Invoking natural order does nothing to address the logical problems inherent to human evolutionary theory, nor does it do anything to address how order, which is clearly witnessed throughout the universe, came from pure chance, since even the atheistic concept of natural order would be subject to it. Worse yet, it leaves the advocate of evolutionary theory in general at a loss to explain how order can arise quite literally from nothing. There must be an ordering principle that is transcendental to nature, and therefore not ruled by it like some sort of demiurge7 as required by evolutionary theory.
Theistic Evolution's Demiurge
The Theistic Evolution proponent shares the same weakness as his Atheist counterpart, since his god too is lesser than the God of Sacred Scripture. An omnipotent Being has no need of submitting Himself to some nebulous “natural order” as a means of creation. For example, the demiurge of the Theistic evolutionary model proposed by Dr. Timothy A. Stratton, a professor at Trinity College of the Bible and Theological Seminary, does not create as Genesis informs us He did, but instead only “chooses and actualizes” the process of evolution. The model Dr. Stratton proposes is provided for us by one of his proteges and is as follows8:
1. God exists and possesses omniscient middle knowledge.
2. The Big Bang occurs, which is followed by God choosing and actualizing all that follows.
3. The universe “unfolds”.
4. The solar system and earth form.
5. Life evolves according to God's plan.
6. Homo sapiens evolve as planned.
7. God “breathes His image” into two of the homo sapiens (a man and woman) who up until now are soulless creatures.
8. These two homo sapiens are separated from the other, soulless homo sapiens.
9. They are told not to eat of the fruit of the Tree, or they will die.
10. They fall, are expelled from Eden and now experience death.
There is more to the model, but we will focus on the important points listed. Stratton's model seems to imply his god was working from some form of pre-existing matter, upon which his demiurge “actualized” its potential, much as a potter actualizes the potential of clay. This is not the same model we find in Sacred Scripture which speaks of “Creation ex Nihilo”, or creation from nothing. The biblical model is also a creation by divine fiat, or simply by God speaking everything into existence in an instant, and not of “choosing and actualizing”. Stratton also sees the universe as “unfolding”9, rather than coming into being in an instant by divine fiat. This is where we encounter the problem of death existing before sin, since if the world “unfolds” gradually, then the death and extinction of various species during the evolutionary process would be necessary. This is, of course, a direct contradiction of Sacred Scripture, which clearly states that death entered the world through one man, not as a side effect of the evolutionary process. (Romans 5:12) Death is the result of one man's sin, that man being Adam.
Dr. Stratton advances the theory that once the lesser creatures had evolved to the state of homo sapiens, the demiurge then chose two (one male and one female) and breathed his image into them, making them the first humans-Adam and Eve.10 Up to this point they were not really human, but simply possessed the potential to be human, since they had no soul. So again, what is proposed here is nothing like the biblical model but is really more akin to the magic of the alchemist transmuting lead into gold. The demiurge then separates the single male and female homo sapiens from the soulless homo sapiens and places them in the garden where the rest of the Genesis story plays out. Somehow, homo sapiens have no experience of physical death, though the evolutionary process requires it. Furthermore, even if Stratton believes he has solved this problem by claiming (without a shred of evidence) that these homo sapiens, as a species, had not yet experienced death, he is still facing the glaring problem of death existing in the universe at all, since the apostle Paul is very clear that death entered the world only through the sin of Adam and Eve. This also leaves the glaring problem of the rest of the homo sapiens in the Stratton model. According to his theory, they are physically the same as Adam and Eve, but soulless. His demiurge is content to leave them that way until Cain murders his brother, is exiled and marries one of these soulless homo sapiens. It is only due to Cain's rebellion then that the human race has a soul, since if he had not rebelled the soul would have remained the distinct property of a small family of homo sapiens.
All of this leads to questions that the Theistic evolutionist simply cannot answer. Why would an omnipotent God choose to be hampered and limited by natural processes? If simplicity and economy of energy are intelligent in the pursuit of any action, why expend so much energy to needlessly wait for a billions of years process? Why choose just two homo sapiens to give them souls? Were the rest of this deity's creatures deemed unworthy somehow? Since they had no soul, were they actually just animals? Does this mean Cain mated with an animal and produced the vast majority of the human race from his offspring? Did their creator not love them? Was this deity simply indifferent? If this sounds like something from a Stanley Kubrick film, that is because it is entirely a work of science fiction wrapped up in a thin veneer of biblical allusions. Yet, these sorts of explanations are what is foisted on uninformed Christians as a way of reconciling the Genesis account of creation with Atheistic Naturalist presuppositions. And even in offering such neo-gnostic absurdities the Theistic evolution proponent still has no ordering principle, since the demiurge is still bound on some level to the natural order invoked by the Atheistic evolution proponent. This worldview is chaotic and as such has more in common with Hesiod's Theogony11 than the divinely revealed will and self-disclosure of God in the Old and New Testaments.
We can see the results of this chaotic worldview in the cultures of the West today, where it is most prevalent. Young people have largely abandoned faith and replaced it with political activism, mostly Leftist radical extremism. They have grown to hate their country, hate their leaders, hate their schools, hate their parents and even hate themselves. Cultural Marxism has become their religion, whether knowingly or unknowingly, and they have followed it to its logical end-nihilism. Racism is on the rise, with Blacks becoming militantly anti-White and the current culture reviles Whites, blaming them collectively for every social ill in history. Again, these are always the logical result of evolutionary thinking, as it removes the God of the Bible from public discourse, undermines the concepts of objective truth and morality and leaves people with nothing more than a cold, brutal nature in which life has no meaning. When this occurs, people invent artificial meaning through sociopolitical activism.
It is our contention as Christians that there is indeed an ordering principle at work in the cosmos, by which everything was created and through which everything is sustained. We call this ordering principle the Logos. The word Logos is Greek and means several things. It means word, speech, reason, principle, and order. In the realm of classical Greek philosophy, it refers to the divine power and reason that brings order to the cosmos. These definitions are important to our understanding of the world in which we live. Unlike the advocate of Atheism and human evolutionary theory, we understand that the universe has inherent meaning, and that we humans too have inherent meaning and purpose as a matter of our very nature. The Atheist cannot say this, since any meaning he would assign his existence would be purely subjective and arbitrary, if he were to be consistent with his worldview. If the birth of humanity is simply a matter of chance, and there is no omnipotent Creator, then it logically follows that human existence has no meaning. We are just the random product of a cold, natural process which will ultimately be extinguished as its energy depletes itself and ends in utter darkness. Any Atheist who has the audacity to assign meaning to life in such a model is lying to themselves. We, however, know that life has meaning, and that this meaning comes to us through the Logos. The opening line of the Gospel according to John is a truly incredible statement. He writes,
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the Light of all mankind.” -John 1:1-4
Our scriptures translate the Logos as “the Word”. However, the word Logos also carries the meaning of order, so the apostle is informing us that order existed from the beginning. The apostle did not say “in the beginning was chance”, nor “in the beginning was natural order”, as in an impersonal force inherent to nature and governed by chance, but instead informs us that order existed in the beginning and that, furthermore, order was with God, and this order was God. In other words, the ordering principle of the universe is not an impersonal force, but a divine Person. While modern man seeks to deconstruct or simply deny the existence of order in the world, classical Greek philosophers attempted to understand their world and their own place in it, recognizing that there is order evidenced throughout it and thus, order implied purpose. The apostle John's use of the word Logos is important, since it demonstrates that he understood what the philosophers strained to comprehend. His use of the concept of the Logos refutes entirely the notion that the universe and humanity are the product of blind impersonal forces, or even of a demiurge bound by those same forces, but is an omnipotent, transcendent Creator God who through His word alone brought all things into existence. And because everything was created through the divine Person of the Logos, everything has meaning and purpose. He is the ordering principle that sets in motion natural forces and guides them to a good end. The Logos is, as we know, Jesus Christ. This has been the historic understanding of the church, as is evidenced in the writings of the various Church Fathers. For example:
The Son of God is the Logos of the Father, in idea and in operation. For all things were made after the pattern of Him and by Him...the Understanding and the Reason of the Father.-Athenagoras12
Among the Greeks, there is one definition of logos which means “the principle that thinks.” There is also another definition that means “the instrument by means of which thought is expressed...But God is Mind and all Logos.”-Irenaeus13
He is also called the Logos, because He takes away from us all that is irrational and makes us truly reasonable.-Origen14
The Logos as Moral Law Giver
The Logos orders nature by natural laws, and humanity by moral and spiritual laws. The fact that all humans have an instinctual moral sense is evidence of order. We can reason that, if objective moral laws exist, then they must come from an objective source. That source certainly cannot be human cultures, as we see incredible variances and disagreements from one culture to the next as to what is truly good and moral. And yet, we all share some universal moral principles that we are born “hard wired” with. They work in our conscience from the time we are children. A mother tells her child not to get any cookies from the cookie jar, but the child sneaks into the kitchen and does so anyway. When the child's mother catches him, he instinctively knows he did something wrong and hides the hand with the cookie in it. The fact that we should obey our parents is built into us, as it were, as part of our very created nature. Likewise, we all share the universal moral precepts that murder, theft, adultery, child abuse, racial hatred, and a host of other social problems are moral evils. This universal moral sense cannot come from nature, since the “survival of the fittest” holds no place for moralizing. All that really matters is survival, and by whatever means necessary. Therefore, the concept of natural order cannot be the source of the moral sense. This indicates that, since these moral principles are indeed universal and objectively true, the source of these morals must be the absolute objective moral law Giver. Moral laws speak to order, not to chance. They are, then, laws guiding the conduct of humanity created as an integral part of our being by the divine Logos, who we were created through and to Whose image we are to be conformed. Part of this conformity is in ordering our lives after the perfect life of the Logos. These moral principles are in a sense the natural law by which we are to order our lives, not the misapplication of natural selection applied to human evolutionary theory. Even the pagan philosophers understood this, though in a crude form. For example, Marcus Aurelius wrote that the Logos “extends through the whole of matter, governing the universe for all eternity..”15
Atheist Moralizing is Groundless
It is interesting to note that, though Atheists will argue for human evolutionary theory, which we have seen does not possess and ordering principle, they will also engage in social and political discussion wherein they demand that any given legislation or personality be held responsible to one or more of the moral principles. One common example is the Holocaust, which Atheists like to blame on Christians, and which they rightly proclaim a crime against humanity and a moral evil. The problem they face is that, since their worldview requires them to view all moral principles and precepts to be subjective, they are merely the prevailing opinion of any given culture at a given period in their history. For such radical naturalists, morality is fluid and can change. Indeed, we have even been told by some of their more politically active compatriots that we cannot judge other cultures by our standards. So, any talk of the Aztecs slaughtering innocents as sacrifices to their pagan gods is simply our cultural arrogance imposing our moral precepts on that culture. And yet, this is exactly what they do with regard to such issues as the Holocaust. The laws of Germany under the National Socialists permitted the sterilizations and medical murders of the mentally ill, handicapped, and perceived racially inferior peoples. In fact, the prevailing culture of that time, both in Germany and in the United States, was that eugenics was a morally upright science. There were many eugenics societies in the United States that held conferences, wrote peer reviewed papers, etc. So, we can say that the actions of the National Socialists were very much in keeping with the moral values of many Germans, as well as being quite legal, and so the advocate of human evolution has no objective foundation whereby to posit his moral judgments on that culture in that time period. They are forced to admit that there are universally objective moral principles if they wish to criticize the National Socialists, which means they have to violate their own worldview and admit that there is something more than human culture and natural selection at work in the universe. They are forced to disagree with their current spokesperson, Richard Dawkins, albeit grudgingly, who accurately and honestly wrote:
In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won't find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.16
Dawkins is not a madman (well...maybe) but is simply following the evolutionary model to its logical conclusion, which is that, in this model, there is no room for morality or purpose. He goes on to say:
Nature is not cruel, only pitilessly indifferent. This is one of the hardest lessons for humans to learn. We cannot admit that things might be neither good nor evil, neither cruel nor kind, but simply callous indifference to all suffering, lacking all purpose. 17
And yet, when confronted with immorality or human evils, such as the Holocaust and racial hygiene laws of National Socialist Germany, suddenly, the cold, pitiless force of nature gives way to something transcendental. The Atheist will almost always argue for a moral absolute in such cases. And that is good. It means they recognize in their conscience the demands of the Logos for them to meet the moral good. As such, their arguing that any given legislation or historical event is good or evil is really an argument for the Logos, and thus, for order undermining the very worldview they seek to defend and propagate. The innate sense of right and wrong, good and evil is evidence of order guided by something transcendental to the material world, having the power to create within us this moral sensibility.
When Christians undermine the truth of Sacred Scripture and undermine this ordering principle by attempting to force upon the Genesis account of creation a model that at its very core is hostile to, and contradicts on multiple levels, the divinely revealed history of creation and our first parents (Adam and Eve), they find themselves rejecting the Creator God and Jesus Christ, the Logos revealed in Sacred Scripture. In fact, they reject the underlying reason and meaning of history and of human life, since it only possesses meaning, reason, intelligence and purpose if indeed the totality of creation is divinely imbued with those characteristics by the absolute source-the Logos. Christ, as the Logos, does not merely possess these qualities, as we do, but Christ is these qualities. He is reason, purpose, order, beauty, intellect, love, joy, and all the other myriad characteristics that make all life possible. These are the energeia18 of the Logos, His action in the cosmos, found in various measure in all of creation-that Logos Spermatikos of Justin Martyr. (Hebrews 1:3) He has manifest order by sharing with the created world the various characteristics that He is by His ousia19, and we participate in by His act of creation as detailed in Genesis. Everything, then, is made intelligible and ordered by the Logos. In a sense, it is these energeia in human history that permit us to have a relationship with the Logos, Who would otherwise be incomprehensible in His infinite ousia to the finite mind. (John 1:18) It is the energeia, the very actions of the Logos in the creative act, that permit the apostle Paul to write in Romans 1:19-20: For what can be known of God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For His invisible attributes (ousia), namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. (energeia) So they are without excuse. Indeed, the proponent of evolutionary theory, whether Atheist or Theist, has no real excuse for not recognizing the reality that neither model offers an ordering principle, and that only the Genesis account of creation provides a reasonable, logical framework for understanding the origin of the cosmos and all life in it. Christ the Logos is that ordering principle, who not only imbues the world with order and meaning, but entered into the very experience of humanity to provide a means by which we can more fully experience our purpose in a relationship with our Creator.
1 Heraclitus was a native of Ephesus c. 500 BC, making it quite possible that the apostle encountered his works or thought.
2 The first use of the theory appeared in the 5th edition of On the Origin of the Species, published in 1869, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica entry Survival of the Fittest.
3 Purdom, Georgia Dr., Is Natural Selection the Same Thing as Evolution?, (2008) Answers in Genesis
4 Walshe, Thomas Joseph, The Principles of Christian Apologetics (1919), p.44
5 Encyclopedia Britannica entry Eugenics
6 Margaret Sanger, 1939 letter to Dr. C.J. Gamble. “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members,”
7 A spiritual being that is merely a craftsman of a sort, and not an omnipotent deity. In Gnostic philosophy the demiurge is not the same as a Creator who brings the world into existence by divine fiat, but is itself a contingent being, sharing the same qualities as matter.
8 Evan Minton, If Evolution Were True, What Would Happen to Adam and Eve?”, crossexamined.org
11 Hesiod, Greek poet (750-650 BC), wrote in his Theogony that before the birth of the gods everything was chaos.
12 A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs, p. 405, (1998) Hendrickson Publishers
13 Ibid. p. 405
14 Ibid. p. 405
15 Marcus Arelius, Meditations, 5.32.2
16 Dawkins, Richard, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life, (1996) Basic Books
18 A term borrowed from Aristotle's metaphysics and applied to Christian theology with the meaning “divine energies which are the power that transitions the Christian as he/she lives in accord with the divine will.” It also carries the meaning of “action”, speaking of the action of God in human history. It is through these actions that we are able to have a relationship with a transcendent God.
19 A term borrowed from Classical Greek philosophy meaning “divine essence”. Here it is used to indicate the transcendental nature of God which is unseen by humanity.