From the editor: January 23, 2015

On Purpose,
Creation & Life

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I am a Creationist. I confess that God the Father Almighty is the Maker of Heaven and Earth and of all things visible and invisible.

I gave a workshop at the Eighth Day Symposium last Saturday: "Whatever Happened to Creation? How Scientism Stole the Show (and How to Get It Back)." In my prepared text I quoted from St. Basil's Hexameron:

The philosophers of Greece have made much ado to explain nature, and not one of their systems has remained firm and unshaken, each being overturned by its successor. It is vain to refute them; they are sufficient in themselves to destroy one another. Those who were too ignorant to rise to a knowledge of a God, could not allow that an intelligent cause presided at the birth of the Universe; a primary error that involved them in sad consequences. Some had recourse to material principles and attributed the origin of the Universe to the elements of the world. Others imagined that atoms, and indivisible bodies, molecules and ducts, form, by their union, the nature of the visible world. . . . Deceived by their inherent atheism it appeared to them that nothing governed or ruled the universe, and that was all was given up to chance.

Chance creates? Not by itself. It could be called chance when a man and woman meet, say, on a train, such as in the film The Railway Man, and end up falling in love and getting married. The meeting may have been chance, but two agents with free wills take what chance presents and willingly participate in the unfolding of a relationship through a dance of longing, reticence, pursuit, openness, self-giving, wondering, anxiety, joy and commitment.*

Leaving everything to chance, many materialists, atheists, and other practioners of Scientism insist, with Steven Weinberg, on the purposeless and meaninglessness of the cosmos. Yet none of them live without purpose or without resort to meaning. They write books to describe what reality is, and what it means or doesn't mean. They have purpose when trying to dissuade a college freshman from religious belief.

If there is no purpose in the cosmos, where did these writers get theirs? Purpose and meaning exist between the two ears of each scientist and anyone who wonders at the mystery of the world.

In denying a Creator, men make themselves into gods, because they know in their bones they can decide, create, motivate, judge, seduce, destroy, and kill—and no God is watching them. Like the pagan gods. Such hubris can lead a society to commit genocide, war, pillage, or oppression. It leads to Roe v. Wade and 55 million deaths. (Big number: If every person attending any NFL football over the next three years were killed, you'd be close.) Isn't human life sacred? Some is apparently more sacred than others.

On January 31, if you want to hear a purpose-driven and meaningful speaker defend human life, come to SpeakOut Illinois to hear the keynote address by Robert P. George, "Bearing Faithful Witness to Life & Facing Persecution." Registration details and workshops here. You will come away with a renewed sense of how important your life and witness are. (The talk will be taped!)

Yours for Life, Christ, Creed & Culture,

James M. Kushiner

*Further reading from the Touchstone archives—Changing Times & Permanent Things: An Inquiry into "Progressive" Ideas in Light of the Moral Universe by Thomas Howard