January 4, 2008
Against God's Design - Restore Moral Ability
While spending a week in 1958 with my cousin in Woodbury, Tennessee, my aunt gave us enough money to go see a movie. My first movie was FRANKENSTEIN. Looking back it seems providential that I saw this movie.
(Wikipedia) Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus is a novel written by the British author Mary Shelley. Shelley wrote the novel when she was 19 years old. The title of the novel refers to a scientist who learns how to reanimate flesh and creates a being in the likeness of man out of body parts taken from the dead. In modern popular culture, people have tended to refer to the Creature as "Frankenstein" (especially in films since 1931).
Frankenstein is a novel infused with some elements of the Gothic novel and the Romantic movement. It was also a warning against the "over-reaching" of modern man and the Industrial Revolution, alluded to in the novel's subtitle, The Modern Prometheus. The story has had an influence across literature and popular culture and spawned a complete genre of horror stories and films. The novel raises many issues that can be linked to today's culture. These issues include the evolution of man and whether technical progress can be self-destructive.
Shelley wrote: "It was on a dreary night of November that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils. With an anxiety that almost amounted to agony, I collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet. It was already one in the morning; the rain pattered dismally against the panes, and my candle was nearly burnt out, when, by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard, and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs."
Against the Reformers' view that man is dead and without any ability to turn to God, protesters argued that man must be free to exercise his will in choosing salvation. Modern day variations insist that though depraved man has to be able to exercise free will. Like Prometheus and Dr. Frankenstein, sincere in their intentions, there had to be a shortcut to salvation. If the Bible is correct about the sinfulness of man then there had to be a modification that allowed for God's sovereignty to be intact yet allow the integrity of human choice.
Adrian Rogers was an advocate for this view. He preached against the reformation doctrines of grace, even ridiculed and mocked their views.