The latest ‘Alpha and Omega Conference’ took place on Saturday 6 October, when Professor Edgar Andrews (see p.3) delivered two lectures based on his new book What is Man? Adam, alien or ape? These half-day conferences are held usually twice a year at the Campus Church, Welwyn Garden City, and feature issues of current interest and concern to Bible-believing churches and Christians.
On this occasion, 12 local churches were represented in the audience of some 40 people. Like the book, the talks were presented in lay-person-friendly terms, with a judicious use of illustrations and humour. The two addresses were video-recorded and can be downloaded from www.campuschurch.org.uk and www.edgarandrews.podomatic.com.
The first lecture, entitled ‘Is man an accident?’, critiqued the prevailing secular narrative, which sees humanity as an accident of nature rather than a purposeful creation of God.
Working backwards in time, Prof. Andrews demonstrated the scientific and logical fallacies of thinking that man’s origin can be explained by: (1) an accident of evolution, driven by random genetic mutations; (2) the accidental creation of life by random chemistry; and (3) successive accidents of cosmic evolution that just happened to produce a universe fine-tuned to support life and a life-sustaining planet.
The second lecture was concerned with the biblical teaching that, uniquely among living creatures, man is made in the image of God. Rejecting the low views of human nature espoused by some theologians and commentators, Prof. Andrews argued that to bear the image of God, humans must share some of God’s attributes — picking out ‘mind’ and ‘language’ as examples of God’s communicable attributes that only mankind possesses in the world of living physical creatures.
The Bible, he claimed, demonstrates God’s ability to communicate with human minds by using language; and, if this is indeed the case, everyone has a duty to receive its message of human sin and the good news of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.