It's marvelous how the Lord our God used an enemy of the Lord Jesus Christ to declare a truth about Him. Caiaphas is not alone in unwittingly prophesying a truth from God. I was reminded of this when reading an excellent article by Russell Grigg in the latest Creation magazine published by Creation Ministries International (vol. 31 No. 3, pge 39-41).
The article was about Thomas H. Huxley who was a 'mouthpiece' for Darwinism and the man who debated Anglican Bishop of Oxford, Samuel Wilberforce, in the famous Origins debate at Oxford University in 1860.
Grigg's article helpfully included some quotes of Huxley on matters of the Holy Bible and science. These were not quotes from the debate but were derived from various writings of Huxley.
Thomas Huxley had serious but incisive questions for those like many within the Sydney Episcopalian Diocese who have compromised the Bible by adopting the anti-biblical belief of evolution. He said "I am fairly at a loss to comprehend how any one, [sic] for a moment, can doubt that Christian theology must stand or fall with the historical trustworthiness of the Jewish Scriptures.The very conception of the Messiah, or Christ, is inextricably interwoven with Jewish history; the identification of Jesus of Nazareth with that Messiah rests upon the interpretation of passages of the Hebrew Scriptures which have no evidential value unless they possess the historical character assigned to them. If the covenant with Abraham was not made ... if the 'ten words' were not written by God's hand on the stone tables; if ... the story of the Deluge [is] a fiction; that of the Fall a legend; and that of the creation the dream of a seer; if all these definite and detailed narratives of apparently real events have no more value as history than have the stories of the regal period of Rome - what is to be said about the Messianic doctrine, which is so much less clearly enunciated? And what about the authority of the writers of the New Testament, who, on this theory, have not merely accepted flimsy fictions for solid truths, but have built the very foundations of Christian dogma upon legendary quicksands?"1
Further "the Universality of the Deluge is recognised, not merely as a part of the story, but as a necessary consequence of some of its details."2 And for those like the current Sydney Episcopalian Arshbishop who doubt the universality of the Flood, Huxley has this to say, "A child may see the folly of it."3
Huxley went on to say, "When Jesus spoke, as a matter of fact, that 'the Flood came and destroyed them all' did he believe that the Deluge really took place, or not? ... I venture to ask what sort of value, as an illustration of God's methods of dealing with sin, has an account of an event that never happened? If no Flood swept the careless people away, how is the warning of more worth than the cry of "Wolf" when there is no wolf? If Jonah's three days' residence in the whale is not an "admitted reality," how could it "warrant belief" in the "coming resurrection?" If Lot's wife was not turned into a pillar of salt, the bidding those who turn back from the narrow path to "remember" it is, morally, about on a level with telling a naughty child that a bogy is coming to fetch it away. Suppose that a Conservative orator warns his hearers to beware of great political and social changes, lest they end, as in France, in the domination of a Robespierre; what becomes, not only of his argument, but of his veracity, if he, personally, does not believe that Robespierre existed and did the deeds attributed to him?"4
Thomas Huxley saw through the thin veneer of defence put up by Christians embarrassed by those contents of the Bible under assault from the perceived might of science. In reality, it is bad science which has caused some Christians to falter and that is to the shame of their professed faith. Christianity has nothing to fear from good science because good science is nothing more than the revelation of God's handiwork. Huxley held to a false view of the origin of life but he was given sufficient light to see that there was no room for compromise between his view of the order of life and that presented in the Bible. He rightly exposes the compromisers.
The Lord Jesus Christ said "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves." (Matthew 7:15)
I suspect a wolf, the canine type, does not see itself as a ferocious creature. It just is what it is and does what it does. Yet it is ferocious in its effect on its prey. Likewise, the wolf referred to by the Lord Jesus Christ would not necessarily see or present him/herself as ferocious yet such is their effect on faith.
The Lord Jesus Christ did not "cry wolf" in the sense of the fable "The Boy Who Cried Wolf". His warning against the wolf is literal and must be taken with the utmost seriousness. Those who distort God's literal word in Genesis are wolves who do damage to faith by tearing at the gospel.
When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?
1. Huxley, T. Science and Hebrew Tradition, Vol. 4 of Huxley's Collected Essays, "The lights of the Church and the light of science", pp. 207-208, 1890,
2. Ref. 1, p. 214
3. Ref. 9, p. 225
4. Ref. 9. pp. 232-233