This week, Corban students enjoyed a trio of lectures by the renowned Dr. Robert W. Evans. With doctorates in both psychology and theology, Evans spent three days sharing his knowledge and sense of humor, beginning with a joke about being a “pair o’ docs.”
This play on words was not the only paradox he discussed, however. While presenting the topics of human life, marriage and postmodernism, he explained the inconsistencies in secular worldviews on these issues – and how most of them cause negative repercussions for society.
Evans began his series with “Playing God: Making, Faking and Taking Human Life” on Sept. 26, in which he attempted to answer the question, “How do we ground the dignity and worth of humanity?”
As he discussed the various secular theories of self-consciousness, sentience, viability, and physical similarity, Evans argued against each in favor of the Scriptural view. Human life does not have moral standing based on what it looks like, feels, or thinks: the fact that humans are made in the image of God grounds our worth.
“To make, take or fake human life is to interfere with the image of God, which reduces our value to the level of commodity,” Evans said.
Contrary to secular views that objectify humans and allow for compromises in the laws regarding human life, the biblical view upholds the purpose and worth of human life, which is to bring glory to God.
The theme of glorifying God continued in Evans’ next lecture, “On the Meaning of Marriage,” on Sept. 27. While the question of kissing before marriage caused a ripple of chuckles through the audience, the overall message was clear: marriage’s purpose is to reflect Christ and the church, and to glorify God. This purpose can only be accomplished in a union between a man and a woman, he said.
“Construing marriage as a legal contract rather than a sacred covenant,” results in all sorts of negative social ramifications, he said. “God created us anatomically, biologically, and spiritually to fulfill union and procreation, which no other union can, to glorify God.”
In today’s lecture, “Moral Decision Making in a World Without Absolutes,” Evans discussed why the relativistic truth found in postmodernism does not stand up to its own argument. To say “There is no absolute truth” is an absolute in itself, and thus postmodernist thought must exclude itself as a worldview, along with all the others. Evans discussed how Christians can answer the questions of origin, meaning, morality and destiny from a biblical perspective. Evans reminded us that biblical truth is “propositional, not personal and not inclusive but exclusive.”
Why were these lectures important to the Corban community? By nature, a Christian campus does not encounter the secular ideas that saturate other academic institutions. Students here may tend to forget these postmodern ideas so heavily promulgated in society. The fact that the majority of academia and America’s general public does not believe in the “image of God” is no surprise to us, but meeting someone who believes in our accidental origins may still shock us. Here at Corban, we forget that our ideas are challenged by much of society.
The Caulkins Lectures served as a much-needed reminder about the underlying worldviews so prevalent in America. At the same time, they helped us realize just how much the secular worldview has crept into our own. How often do we think of our bodies not belonging to ourselves?
In his lectures, Evans noted that 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 is a verse that Christians rarely live by: “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”
We are not our own. Yet we live for ourselves, from the clothes we wear, to the things we eat, and the relationships we have with one another. This is what the world tells us, and we buy into that message. But that is not biblical. The Christian should live self-sacrificially to honor God in everything, because we are temples of God.