By What Standard? is a video showing a deleted scene from the video Collision, featuring Doug Wilson and Christopher Hitchens. I’ve been taking notice of Wilson ever since I caught An Evening of Eschatology featuring Wilson, Jim Hamilton, and Sam Storms, mediated by the delightful John Piper. I appreciate his approach here as he attempts to make Hitchens come to terms with some of his own presuppositions. Too, I love his inclusion in his notes C.S. Lewis’ idea that Wilson calls an “umpire instinct.” To date, Lewis is far and away my favorite author, and his tact and wit are unparalleled. I’m a fan of anyone who gives him a shoutout, as he laid so very many important apologetic ideas that have helped grow my faith.
Basically, the question that seems to bring Hitchens up short is “by what standard?” In context, Wilson is referring to eternal damnation being viewed as “horrible,” but it’s a simple question to apply to nearly any debate. Everyone comes to the table with something in mind, developed by their cultural milieu and refined by their life experiences. What they bring to the table always directly affects what is possible for them to take from the table. Anyone tip toeing around the philosophical question will eventually have to come to terms with all their presuppositions, including but not limited to their standard for declaring anything “real,” “higher,” or “horrible.”
As I was trekking through my usual favorite sites today, this article caught my eye. The interesting part is that as someone new to the faith, I can say with certainty that evolution, theistic or otherwise, is certainly debatable. Lacking inspiration, I may go into a list of debatable points at a later date, but for now I’d just like to share these quotes and thoughts on the subject:
” If we reject evolution then we will look foolish and ridiculous in the eyes of the world that knows it true.” (Emphasis added)
And later, “If one adopts full-blown theistic evolution, then the idea of a historical Adam and Eve from which all humanity descends must be abandoned…refusing to adopt theistic evolution also has a price. We would be mocked and ridiculed by the world. But, given the choice between these two prices—losing the doctrine of imputation or being mocked and ridiculed by the world—I will pay the latter. After all, the latter is true already.”
It’s fascinating how indisputable evolution has become. Plenty of great secular biologists and chemists see the issues with this theory, but arguing against such a bedrock idea as this is just a fast way to lose tenure these days. We learn plenty about what Darwin liked about evolution, but very little about what he didn’t like.
“The number of intermediate varieties which have formerly existed on Earth must be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.” – Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species. As nothing geology has found in the past few decades has answered this issue, Darwin’s question can still give excellent food for thought.