“In regard to science there has often been full and cordial mutual recognition. Some eminent scientists have not failed in reverence for Christian institutions, the pulpit included; and some preachers here and there have been skilled scientists in various branches. But on the whole it must be sadly admitted that the relations between science and the pulpit have not been as friendly and mutually profitable as could be wished. If the progress of science has at times suffered from the dogmatism of the pulpit, even so the preaching of a sorely needed gospel has been sometimes hindered or harmed in effect by the dogmatism of science. Preachers have been known to assail science in an unchristian spirit, and scientists have perhaps as often denounced and discredited preaching in an unscientific spirit. Pulpit ignorance of science has been fairly matched by scientific ignorance of the aims and realities of the pulpit. Narrowness and arrogance on both sides have done their full share of mischief. It is time for a better understanding, for mutual respect, for more cordial united service between these two great agencies for human good. Reverent science seeking hidden truth should surely be no foe to earnest preaching proclaiming revealed truth; and the herald of God’s saving grace in Christ should not be the enemy of the searcher after God’s wondrous thought in creation. There is room in God’s world for both the scientist and the preacher; there should be room in their hearts for each other.”
Edwin Charles Dargan
1. We recognize the greatness and value of the service which modern science is rendering to the cause of truth in uncovering the facts of the natural world. We believe that loyalty to fact is a common ground of genuine science and the Christian religion. We have no interest or desire in covering up any fact in any realm of research. But we do protest against certain unwarranted procedures on the part of some so-called scientists: first, in making discoveries or alleged discoveries in physical nature a convenient weapon of attack upon the facts of religion; second, using the particular sciences, such as psychology, biology, geology and various others as if they necessarily contained knowledge pertaining to the realm of the Christian religion, setting aside the supernatural; third, teaching as facts what are merely hypotheses. The evolution doctrine has long been a- working hypothesis of science, and will probably continue to be because of its apparent simplicity in explaining the universe. But its best exponents freely admit that the causes of the origin of species have not been traced. Nor has any proof been forthcoming that man is not the direct creation of God as recorded in Genesis. We protest against the imposition of this theory upon the minds of our children in denominational or public schools as if it were a definite and established truth of science. We insist that this and all other theories be dealt with in a truly scientific way, that is, in careful conformity to established facts.
2. We record again our unwavering adherence to the supernatural elements in the Christian religion. The Bible is God’s revelation of Himself through men moved by the Holy Spirit, and is our sufficient, certain, and authoritative guide in religion. Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary through the power of the Holy Spirit. He was the Divine and eternal Son of God. He wrought miracles, healing the sick, casting out demons, raising the dead. He died as the vicarious atoning Savior of the world and was buried. He arose again from the dead. The tomb was emptied of its contents. In His risen body He appeared many times to His disciples. He ascended to the right hand of the Father. He will come again in person, the same Jesus who ascended from the Mount of Olives.
3. We believe that adherence to the above truths and facts is a necessary condition of service for teachers in our Baptist schools. These facts of Christianity in no way conflict with any fact in science. We do not sit in judgment upon the scientific views of teachers of science. We grant them the same freedom of research in their realm that we claim for ourselves in the religious realm. But we do insist upon a positive content of faith in accordance with the preceding statements as a qualification for acceptable service in Baptist schools. The supreme issue today is between naturalism and super-naturalism. We stand unalterably for the supernatural in Christianity. Teachers in our schools should be careful to free themselves from any suspicion of disloyalty on this point. In the present period of agitation and unrest they are obligated to make their positions clear. We pledge our support to all schools and teachers who are thus loyal to the facts of Christianity as revealed in the Scriptures.”
E. Y. Mullins, Presidential Address (excerpt), SBC, Annual, 1923.