Was Charles Haddon Spurgeon a Liberal Evolutionist?
One of the repeated criticisms of Beyond Creation Science is that we promote "liberalism" or "evolutionism" in the book.
The root of this strategy against our material is the concept, promoted effectively by organizations like the Institute for Creation Research, Answers in Genesis, and Creation Ministries International, that any belief in an old earth or universe is compromise with Bible-denying liberals and unbelieving atheistic Darwinists. For devoted young-earth advocates the situation is as simple as this: believe our interpretation of Genesis creation and Noah's flood, or side with the liberals and godless scientists.
Those who make this accusation tend to dismiss the detailed biblical arguments we presented in BCS for a covenant context to Genesis Creation, Noah's flood, and the Tower of Babel. We showed from the detail in the Bible how all of these events make the most sense in context with details in the New Testament, most notably, prophecy. Yet, we are still labeled as "liberals" and "evolutionists" on a fairly regular basis. The basic strategy of these critics is one that you can see in any number of debates. It is easier to "tar and feather" an opponent than to think through specific arguments and offer a reasonable challenge based on the biblical text.
So the next time you witness this tactic, perhaps you can ask a very simple question. Was Charles Haddon Spurgeon a liberal evolutionist? Here is what he taught in one of his sermons:
"But if you look in the first chapter of Genesis, you
will there see more particularly set forth that peculiar operation of
power upon the universe which was put forth by the Holy Spirit; you
will then discover what was his special work. In the 2d verse of the
first chapter of Genesis, we read, "And the earth was without form, and
void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God
moved upon the face of the waters." We know not how remote the period
of the creation of this globe may be—certainly many millions of years
before the time of Adam. Our planet has passed through various stages
of existence, and different kinds of creatures have lived on its
surface, all of which have been fashioned by God. But before that era
came, wherein man should be its principal tenant and monarch, the
Creator gave up the world to confusion."
- Charles Haddon Spurgeon. Sermon delivered on Sunday, June 17, 1855 at New Park Street Chapel.
If mere belief that our universe is millions of years old defines someone as a "liberal" and "evolutionist," then our critics need to apply that standard consistently. Some of the greatest conservative Christian theologians throughout Church history explicitly denied key tenets of modern young-earth creationism. Are we ready to dismiss each and every one of them as "liberal evolutionists"?
Are you curious about the origin and development of modern young-earth creationism? Click here to read all about it!
click here to see one author's surprise at Spurgeon's sermon!
Why Doesn't Answers in Genesis Tell You the Truth?
Video: C.H. Spurgeon calls Answers in Genesis to Repentance
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