The “Boxing Match of the Millennium,” a head-to-head debate that pits the teachings of Reformation leader John Calvin, born 500 years ago this year, and evolutionist theory author Charles Darwin, born 200 years ago this year, is being planned during the Reformation 500 Celebration in Boston starting July 1.
It’s far more than just a clash of words.
“We’re trying to point out that there needs to be a debate, a public discussion on the elitist philosophy that currently dominates and would suppress that debate,” said Doug Philips, president of Vision Forum Ministries, the sponsor.
“And we’re trying to point out that there are two world views, one largely coming from Christianity and the second from evolutionary humanism. … The future of our nation really rests in part on how we respond,” he said.
The “debate between two re-enactors” falls during a year in which millions around the world are celebrating two distinct birthdays: Calvin’s in 1509 and Darwin’s in 1809.
The event will take place in Boston just days before atheist Richard Dawkins and dozens of other Darwin apologists will gather in Cambridge, England, to celebrate the 2009 Darwin Festival.
“This debate will feature an intense crossfire of ideas as the contrasting worldviews of Calvin and Darwin collide in a great conflict,” Philips said.
“The major media is having a field day extolling Charles Darwin’s ‘virtues’ during this 200th anniversary year of his birth,” Philips said. “And it’s high time that the Father of the Modern Theory of Evolution be given a firm counterpunch by the Father of Modern Liberty, John Calvin, whose 500th birthday is also being celebrated this year.”
Calvin, Philips said, sometimes is called the true founding father of America, even though the nation arose hundreds of years after his death, because of his dedication to the doctrines of liberty, governance and the proper response to tyrannical authority.
His beliefs were among those filling the discussions during the crafting of the U.S. Constitution, he said.
In fact, Calvin is credited with planting the seeds of modern democracy.
Among the events recognizing his birth 500 years ago and life is an observance in Geneva, Switzerland, his hometown.
“Calvin’s teachings are still profoundly influential,” the report said.
Darwin released his ideas in book form in “Origin of Species,” 150 years ago. He concluded that the “natural selection” of species allows them to survive, that all life came from a single, apparently accidental, source, and specifically, there is no necessary role for God in human life.
A multitude of so-called “links” that supposedly prove evolution have been announced over the years, and virtually all later were shown to be faulty claims.
Proponents of such thought, Philips said, generally don’t offer a legitimate debate of the issue. Instead they tend to attack Christian belief and ridicule God.
A prominent evolutionist who has declined opportunities to debate recently is Dawkins. WND reported when Dawkins even declined a substantial monetary offer to debate.
Dawkins will, however, be on hand at the Cambridge celebration of Darwin that follows the Vision Forum project by only days.
“No two men of the millennium have done more to shape the thoughts of mankind or to affect the political and social destiny of nations than Calvin and Darwin – the former for great good and the glory of God, and the later for unimaginable evil,” Philips said.
“The children of Calvin and the Reformers gave us the rise of nation states that embraced republican representative government. The children of Darwin gave us Marxism and totalitarianism,” Phillips explained. “Calvin’s legacy included respect for life, a defense of the biblical family, and the rule of law under God. Darwin’s philosophical progeny introduced the world to the horrors of eugenics and legalized widespread abortion on demand.
“Where Calvin insisted that law was transcendent, being created by God for the good of man and as a reflection of his unchanging righteousness, the followers of Darwin would insist that laws evolve, that the Bible is non-applicable to matters of the state, and the transcendent standards of morality do not even exist,” Philips said