My enthusiastic (and unsolicited!) endorsement of Barry Werth’s book, Banquet at Delmonico’s is prompted because it is so relevant to eschatology, the study of “last things.”
Christ and the apostles warned regularly that the latter days of history would be marked by, among other things, a departure from the faith.
Werth’s research into the spread of Darwinian philosophy sheds interesting light on this subject. In the 19th century, people generally believed the Bible is true. They accepted the Genesis accounts, and that logically led to belief in the rest of Scripture.
But when pseudo-scientists like Thomas Huxley and Herbert Spencer simply added their presupposition that the Bible isn’t true to science…well, the rush to apostasy in the Church really kicked-in.
One of the first accounts to go was the flood of Noah’s day. Clever evolutionists like Charles Lyell understood that the general public would never go for a full-blown frontal assault on the Bible. Rather, it must be suggested that the earth was simply “very old.”
Once that obstacle was overcome, over time, it could be suggested that Noah was myth and so was his flood. The new science of geology would fit that presupposition, thus ushering-in the concept of a very ancient Earth.
Clergymen like Henry Ward Beecher (and later, Harry Emerson Fosdick) helped popularize such attacks on the Bible.
From there, it was a short step to reducing the books of the prophets to myth, legend, embellishment, etc.
The early proponents of Darwin never produced any real evidence that the Bible isn’t true, but they were superb at marketing.
Today, especially in America, even though Bible prophecies are more compelling with each passing week…more people miss the fact.
That is a tribute to Darwin & Friends.
Having just returned from Israel, I found NBC’s “Pledge of Allegiance” debacle extra-fascinating. I also just finished reading an absolutely extraordinary book, Banquet at Delmonico’s, by Barry Werth.
The visit, NBC, and Werth’s book all dovetailed for me, as I have listened to folks all over the country question, with outrage, how a major network could “edit-out God” from the Pledge of Allegiance.
May I offer my opinion?
Werth’s book provides more than a clue, as he traces the spreading of Darwinian philosophy from England to America, in the 19th century.
The philosophical worldview of Darwin, Thomas Huxley, Herbert Spencer & Friends was met with open arms by men like the clergyman Henry Ward Beecher, the industrialist Andrew Carnegie, political kingpin Carl Schurz, and scientist Asa Gray.
The Darwinists actually thought of the Bible as “Jewish legend.” There is your key.
For more than a century, our beloved country has marinated in the juices of Darwinian philosophy. That worldview demands a reduction of the Judeo-Christian foundations on which America was founded.
Decision-makers in several spheres of life, mostly in the East, have developed their views based largely on Spencer’s social Darwinism. That is why our political, judicial, and media institutions do what they do.
There are still plenty of Bible-believing Christians in the U.S., but few of them pull the levers of power. A media giant like NBC, in general, is staffed by liberals. Plenty of them do not believe in God, or at least the God of the Bible.
That’s why a “decision was made” to delete God from the Pledge of Allegiance in a broadcast last week. It isn’t a mystery.
NBC is simply working-out its worldview.
When I was in Israel, I visited Jaffa, the ancient seaport where, the Bible tells us, a man named Jonah boarded a ship and was later swallowed by a large fish.
I do not believe that is Jewish legend. I believe it happened exactly as the Bible describes.
If Francis Crick could believe and teach, with a straight face, that aliens had seeded Earth with life pods that eventually evolved into…us…then I can believe a large fish swallowed Jonah.
One worldview has no need or use for God; the other depends on Him desperately.
Many would say it is too simplistic to ascribe Darwin’s views to this NBC thing. Critics of my view would almost all believe in evolution, by the way, so their criticism must be taken with a grain of salt.
I am simply saying that a nation steeped in the philosophy of naturalism, for a century, will logically end up at a place in which attempts are made to delete God from the national life.
That is where we are in history.
I am reading an extraordinary book, Banquet at Delmonico’s, by Barry Werth, which traces the rise of evolutionary thought in America, in the 19th century. I can’t recommend it enough.
As with most things these days, the book reminds me of Israel and Bible prophecy, since I happen to be one of the Neanderthals that believes Scripture to be true in its history, among other things.
At one point in Banquet, Werth discusses Charles Darwin’s inner turmoil, as a young man, as he gradually abandoned belief in the supernatural. Around 30 or so, Darwin jettisoned any belief in divine revelation, i.e., the Bible, because he thought it “more and more difficult, with free scope given to my imagination, to invent evidence which would suffice to convince me.”
Invent evidence. It’s too bad he lived a hundred years too early, for the mere knowledge that Israel was re-established should have provided that evidence—the invention of which would have proven unnecessary.
I was just in Israel, and using my average intelligence, which includes reading the Old Testament and then mulling over recent history, I can see quite clearly that the existence of Israel cannot be explained by naturalism.
Time and again in the Bible, God declares that after “many days” the Jews will be re-gathered into their ancestral land.
They are back, and that is unprecedented in history.
One wonders how far the modern philosophy of naturalism would have gotten if Darwin had lived to see it.
Here’s a fun exercise that you can do in the privacy of your own mind.
Get a Bible and read, say, Zechariah 10-14. Perhaps Psalm 83. You might include Ezekiel 36-39.
There you should get the strong impression that—if there is such a thing as “the last days”—that for some reason, the whole world gets sick of the Jews. I believe Ezekiel 37 is proof enough that a sovereign Jewish state exists in the last days.
But there is some trigger to the anger of the nations. President Obama’s recent speeches on the Israeli-Palestinian issue overlay quite nicely with these prophecies. He even said that the day is coming when the international community will get tired of a peace process that goes nowhere. In today’s political world, that means it’s all Israel’s fault.
There are political issues involved here, and I won’t go into those, but a simple comparison between prophetic scriptures and modern statements from diplomats and politicians leaves one with the strong impression that the two are linked.
And this is not to say that this or that politician is evil, or in collusion with evil. It is simply a fascinating study into how the Bible really does mirror reality.