Vol. 7, No. 4
~ Page 15 ~
Some people look on baptism as a sprinkling, whereas in the New Testament baptism is a "washing." The New Testament does use "sprinkling" in relation to salvation, but it always refers to the blood of Jesus, not baptism.
"Arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins" (Acts 22:16). "[H]aving...our body washed with pure water" (Hebrews 10:22). "[B]aptism...now saves you, not the removal of dirt from your body" (1 Peter 3:21). "[H]aving cleansed her [the church] by the washing of water" (Ephesians 5:25-26). "[Y]ou were washed" (1 Corinthians 6:11). "He saved us...by the washing of the new birth" (Titus 3:5).
"[O]bey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with his blood" (1 Peter 1:2). "[H]aving...our hearts sprinkled" (Hebrews 10:22). "[Y]ou have come...to Jesus...and to the blood of sprinkling" (Hebrews 12:22,24).
It is refreshing, after one has become despirited with the pessimism of blind evolution, to examine the positive, optimistic, thoughtful design seen in the human eye.
First, the chemical elements making up the eye had to have a cause for their being in existence. Second, that those elements are arranged to form an optic nerve, a retina, lens, pupil, iris and cornea means there was an arranger. Third, that all the caused and arranged parts cooperate to give sight appears to be the purpose of the designer. For nine months, the parts being made and arranged in a dungeon are useless. Then, all of a sudden, the design is obvious, which design had to precede the making and the arranging of the multiple parts, and design reflects intelligence. An intelligence capable of producing sight cannot himself be blind: "He who forms the eye, can he not see?" (Psalm 94:9).
In order to keep the eye moist and clean (which qualities are necessary to its brightness and its use), a wash is constantly supplied by a secretion for the purpose; and the superfluous brine is conveyed to the nose through a perforation in the bone as large as a goose-quill; or, more properly speaking, along two capillary tubes, one from either eyelid, which enter a duct, lodged in a canal passing through the bone. When once the fluid has entered the nose, it spreads itself upon the inside of the nostril, and is evaporated by the current of warm air which, in the course of respiration, is continually passing over it. Can any pipe or distillery be more mechanical than this is? It is easily perceived that the eye must want moisture; but can the want of the eye generate the gland which produces the tear, or bore the hole by which it is discharged--a hole through a bone? (William Paley, apud Irwin H. Linton, A Lawyer Examines the Bible, p. 119).
Charles Hodge wrote that the eye "was fashioned in the darkness of the womb, with a self-evident reference to the nature and properties of light, of which the creature for whose use it was fashioned had neither knowledge or experience" (Systematic Theology I, 218). A "blind and unconscious adaptation of means to an end is inconceivable," wrote Hodge, but evolution is a blind and unconscious adaptation of means to an end.
John Stuart Mill was no friend of theism, but he was fair to make the following acknowledgements: "The particular combination of organic elements called the eye had, in every instance, a beginning in time, and must therefore have been brought together by a cause or causes." Further, "inasmuch as the elements agree in the single circumstance of conspiring to produce sight, there must be some...causation between the cause which brought the elements together and the fact of sight...Not sight itself, but an antecedent idea of it must be the efficient cause. But this at once marks the origin as proceeding from an intelligent will" (apud G. Frederick Wright, The Logic of Christian Evidences, pp. 85-86).
Skeptical David Hume also was fair to write: "Anatomize the eye: survey its structure and contrivance; and tell me, from your own feeling, if the idea of a contriver does not immediately flow in upon you with a force like that of sensation. The most obvious conclusion surely is in favour of design" (Hume Selections, p. 316).