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It has been part of the scholars' creed, since about the turn of the century, that Newton's preoccupation with theology was a result of his senility during the last 35 years of his life. Scholars were, and are, repulsed by Newton's slavishly literal belief in the Bible. So they concocted this senility explanation to get around the embarrassing fact that the world's greatest scientist was a Bible believing Christian who spent vastly more time on Bible study than he did on science or anything else.
This is yet another example of scholar-speak, which in A.D. 1995 is called politically-correct-speak, whereby, if the scholars keep saying it, it must be true because of the assured results of modern scholarship. Well, the truth is that from a boy, Newton was an avid Bible student and that in his dotage of senility he: wrote Optics, rewrote the Principia, shaped-up the British mint, solved Bernoulli and Liebnitz's challenge of the Brachistchrone problem (the curve along which a heavy particle slides down from given point to given point in the shortest time), walked in on the Tripos exams and aced them cold, etc. I should like to have an hundredth part of such senility.
It is important for scholars to besmirch, discredit and, ultimately, vilify Newton. I wonder, when will they get around to the character assassinations of Napier, Pascal, Euler, Gauss, Faraday and Maxwell? It surely must grieve the scholars that the truly great scientists were Christians. In recent decades, perhaps starting primarily with Westfall's 1980 Never at Rest, the attack on Newton has been focused on his alleged anti-trinitarianism. They claim Newton was a Unitarian, a Deist, a Free Mason, and occultist, an international schemer, London's chief pimp, and whatever the mind of the scholar can conjure as long as it vilifies Newton's Christian beliefs. This has especially been the case in recent years by Roman Catholic prone writers who wish to destroy Newton for his unequivocal stance, almost alone in the academy, against the whore of Babylon who, in 1688, under King James II, sought to bring England once again under the yoke of the Roman Catholic church and to return the control of the universities to the Jesuits.
I have read every book and article that I can find on Newton, and perhaps the most energetic demonstration of Newton's anti-trinitarianism is found in James Force's William Whiston: Honest Newtonian published in 1985. Despite its title, the book is really about Newton and his unitarianism which Force pretends to demonstrate by saying it over and over again, and by claiming that Newton's association and friendship with people like Whiston prove, by association, that Newton was unitarian.
In my reading of what Newton himself wrote, and by analyzing the claims of his biographer detractors, I find Newton to be a Bible-believing Christian who would be comfortable attending my small semi-rural blue- collar Baptist church.
Evolution destroys utterly and finally the very reason Jesus' earthy life was supposedly made necessary. Destroy Adam and Eve and the original sin and in the rubble you will find the sorry remains of the Son of God. Take away the meaning of his death: If Jesus was not the Redeemer who died for our sins, and this is what evolution means, then Christianity is for nothing.
G. Richard Bozarth