Yesterday we began to look at the foolishness of the world. Today we will look at specific examples of such folly.
There should be a connection between wisdom and results, and this is precisely the point at which the world’s wisdom, which is foolishness to God, is found wanting. In recent generations, a great deal of hope was put on the field of psychology and psychiatry, at least ever since Sigmund Freud introduced his theories. Through our great schools of psychology and the training up and practice of psychologists and psychiatrists in their disciplines, we have given ourselves the idea that we have been able to gather data and understand how people function. Yet, it is an obvious fact – to anybody who looks around at our culture – that in spite of this supposed wisdom, we have even more psychological misfits today. We have more intense problems. We have more unresolved anxieties than we have ever had in our history. If psychology is the wisdom that is supposed to solve all things, why are our problems not solved?
We can turn to the field of sociology, the study of how people function in relationship to one another in homogeneous groupings. It seems to be a very popular discipline today, I suppose for very logical reasons. For one thing, what sociology does is deal with relationships, and things, and movements, and housing, and all of the kinds of concrete, tangible things. It is a little hard to get a handle on what is happening in your head. But these are things we can deal with a little bit better, we think. And besides, we can subject all kinds of sociological phenomena to our analysis, gather data, and project all sorts of things. Yet, our social problems are not being solved. If anything, they are worse today than ever. Is it not true, as Paul says, that God is bringing to nothing the wisdom of the world? “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise. The intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
I suppose there is no greater example of the folly of this world in its profession of wisdom than the great hope and trust that is put in the theory of evolution. Now, when I mention evolution, I do not want to deny that there may well be certain evolutionary relationships between things that do not in any way contradict the essence of Christianity or creation. I think it is a complex issue. My point is that it is not the data that is at fault in the theory of evolution. We can gather all the data we want and if we can find relationships between them, that is all good. But what is really foolish about evolution is that people use it to explain things that evolution cannot possibly explain.
A great example of that in recent years has been the book and the television series by Carl Sagan called Cosmos, which appeared first on television in 1980. Many people watched; it was even required viewing in many of the public schools in our land. The program is a presentation of evolutionary theory. As such, if that is all it is, there is nothing objectionable about that. Certainly people who believe in that should be able to present it. Sagan has done it and done it well. But what Sagan has done is make evolution more than it could possibly be. He has used it as an explanation of all things. Here is where the folly comes in. Carl Sagan said in the series that the cosmos is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be. You notice – was, is, will be. He is using biblical language. But instead of saying, “God is yesterday, today, and forever, the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the One who is, who was, and is to come,” he is saying that the universe is all; it takes God’s place. “It is the universe that made us,” Sagan says. “And we are creatures of the cosmos.” That is religious language. He even finds moral significance and moral obligation in the fact that we are so creative. Sagan said that our obligation to survive and flourish is owed not just to ourselves but also to that cosmos, ancient and vast, from which we spring. I maintain that is utter foolishness.