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Prof. Dr. Werner Gitt

From Reasoning to Faith

Der Informationswissenschaftler Dir. und Prof. a.D. Dr.-Ing. Werner Gitt (Braunschweig) ist überzeugt, dass alle Aussagen der Bibel wahr und vertrauenswürdig sind. In seinen Büchern betrachtet er oft die Wunder der Schöpfung aus naturwissenschaftlicher Sicht.

Dr. Joachim Cochlovius stellte Fragen an Werner Gitt zu diesem Themenbereich wie z.B.: "Ihre Homepage wernergitt.de ist mit dem Motto „Vom Denken zum Glauben“ überschrieben. Wie ist das gemeint? Kann man durch Nachdenken Gott finden?"

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From Reasoning to Faith

Information scientist Professor Dr Werner Gitt is convinced all of the Bible’s assertions are true and trustworthy. His evangelistic books often explain the wonder of creation.

Interviewer: Pastor Dr Joachim Cochlovius

JC: Your homepage at wernergitt.com has the hea­ding “From Reasoning to Faith”. Can one find God through reasoning?

WG: The achievements of science and technology over the last 50 years—think only of the moon landing, the sequencing of the human genome, or the rapid advances in computer technology—have led to a strong faith in science. Through this cultural conditioning, for many, the plain words of the Bible are barely accessible any more. Paul says: “For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom” (1 Corinthians 1:22); we could add: “Our generation looks for scientific credibility”. You can’t refute belief in evolution just by quoting the Bible. But if we can show the error of evolution through scientific arguments, it removes a major obstacle on the way to God; there is no longer any factual basis for shutting one’s ears to the Gospel.

JC: The scientific facts in your book The Wonder of Man fill one with sheer amazement. The second part, on the nature of man, is extremely fascinating, too. What’s special about biblical anthropology?

WG: Secular anthropology is based on materialism, and thus on the theory of evolution. Human beings consist solely of matter, and life is only a state of matter explainable within physics and chemistry—so claims Nobel chemistry laureate Manfred Eigen. In this sort of approach, everything is reduced to exclusively material phenomena, and there is no room for our continued existence after death. Man is reduced to a biological machine, and the death of the body means the absolute end of one’s existence. In the machinery of evolution, death serves to advance the generations that follow. The only value of a human life is the contribution it makes to evolutionary progress.

Biblical anthropology stands in complete contrast to this. In it, the God of the Bible is the originator of mankind. Through the breath of life breathed into him by his Creator, man has a non-material component—our soul. The breath of God is eternal; we were created as eternal beings. So, bodily death is not the end, but the beginning of eternal life. In the Bible’s portrayal of humanity, at the Fall into sin, mankind plunged into lostness. Through what Jesus did on the Cross, we can find salvation and thereby attain eternal citizenship in Heaven. God describes our worth in Isaiah 62:3: “You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.”

JC: Thinking of your book, If Animals Could Talk—how is it that an information scientist is so involved with the animal kingdom?

WG: After my conversion, the strongest challenge I faced concerned creation. So any details that particularly well illustrated the Creator’s ingenuity and wealth of inventiveness caught my attention. An engineer and information scientist can only stand amazed at the huge variety of design concepts within the incredible diversity of the animal kingdom. And very few of the ideas employed in nature are able to be copied. The concept of an egg, for instance, is completely inimitable. Consider: industry has to make each diesel engine individually. But if the Creator wanted to make diesel engines, He would create only a single one, with the capacity to lay ‘diesel eggs’. So I’ve been fascinated by such things as the precise energy computation involved in the Golden Plover’s flight from Alaska to Hawaii, or the high energy efficiency of bioluminescence, or the sperm whale’s capacity to surface rapidly from a depth of 3,000 metres without suffering the bends.

It is God who bestows worth and dignity upon a person: “You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God” (Isaiah 62:3).

JC: Your latest book, Information: the Key to Life,[1] is meant to “contribute to overcoming the constraints placed on thinking by methodological atheism in science”. For scientists like Isaac Newton, the cosmos was a clear indication of the wisdom of God. Why did atheism triumph so resoundingly among scientists, who are confronted daily by God’s creative intelligence?

WG: Science’s considerable accomplishments in the realm of inorganic nature exerted a strong influence on the disciplines concerned with life, e.g. biology, physiology. Given the advances in physics, it was felt that life, too, could and should be similarly explained in exclusively mechanistic terms. So, in the middle of the 19th century, reductionistic materialism, which assumes that all causes and effects involve exclusively physical phenomena, was in full bloom. Prominent exponents of this view were Emil Du Bois-Reymond (1818–1898) and Hermann Helmholtz (1821–1894). The latter claimed: “The ultimate aim of science is to determine the motions, and their driving forces, which underlie all phenomena, that is, to resolve them into mechanics.” This agenda was adopted by many biologists of his time. Ernst Haeckel (1834–1919) called for the science of living organisms to be elevated to the level of the inorganic sciences (physics, chemistry) “through mechanistic-causal reasoning”. So the life sciences went off course quite early in the piece. Also, in attributing the evolution of living things to natural selection, Charles Darwin (1809–1882) allowed for only a purely mechanistic principle to operate.

With this background, it’s easy to understand the worldwide development of materialistic ideologies—e.g. fascism, humanism, and various manifestations of communism such as Marxist-Leninism, Stalinism and Maoism.

JC: Your website offers 12 tracts in more than 70 languages. Are tracts still appropriate today?

WG: In our information-saturated culture, very few people read big books any more. So, we find that appropriately designed tracts are well-suited to our times. If a tract is too short, the essentials of the Gospel can’t be adequately communicated. We’ve found the format of no more than 8–10 pages of 21 x 10 cm (c. 8 x 4 in) to be more or less optimal. Topics such as: ‘How do I get to Heaven?’ or: ‘Who is the Creator?’ can be explained well enough, can be read in a few minutes, are easily passed on at many opportunities and can be readily sent in common envelope sizes. We began with this concept in 2003. In 2016, some 850,000 copies were distributed. For the 12 separate tracts (in German and other languages) the current total in print is over 12 million.

JC: How did this evangelistic tract outreach come about?

WG: When approached by one of the associates of the German missionary organisation Bruderhand[2] to write a tract, I declined, saying: “What with writing books, I’ve got too much on my plate already, I don’t want to launch into a whole new field.” Asked on a subsequent occasion, I demurred again. The third time I was asked, I gave in on the condition I would only write one. So I had to consider; which is the single most important topic? I decided upon ‘How do I get to Heaven?’ After only a short time the first printing had run out and it had to be reprinted. Soon this had run out, too, and the first translated version (Russian), was similarly in demand. Pastor Heinrich Kemner would often say: “We’re not pushing, we’re being pushed.” It became obvious that God had thrust me into this work.

JC: Many Christians have made their peace with the theory of evolution, concluding that God created, and still creates, by evolutionary processes. Is such so-called theistic evolution a danger to Christian faith and one’s spiritual life?

WG: I reject the whole notion of ‘theistic evolution’ on biblical grounds, because it turns the Gospel squarely on its head. According to the biblical account, through His almighty power and wisdom God created a “very good” creation,[3] i.e. complete and perfect. Then the Fall into sin occurred, and death only entered the world through sin. It is because of our sin and the reign of death and decay that Jesus came into this world, to save us and bring us eternal life. In the evolutionary system, death has a wholly different function: it is absolutely essential for the ongoing development of organisms. The contrast with the Bible is obvious.

If we assume theistic evolution, then God has used what the Bible calls “the last enemy”[4]—death—to create life. From a biblical perspective, that is an anti-God absurdity. It places death before the Fall, which undermines the Gospel and renders it meaningless. Consider, too—fossils portray death, suffering and massive bloodshed. If they did not form through catastrophic processes (in particular, the global Flood), but rather over millions of years, death must have existed before the Fall into sin. In discussions with theistic evolutionists, it’s noticeable that there are many parts of the Bible which they don’t take seriously or try to ‘reinterpret’—or even reject entirely. Compromise with evolution is strongly correlated with the abandonment of core biblical teachings.

JC: In the testimonies of faith I’ve read in your books, an Australian writes that she rejected her Christian upbringing because of evolution. Does that sort of thing happen at times?

WG: In fact, it’s the logical outcome! If someone accepts the idea of evolution, they can no longer follow the biblical principle affirmed by Paul: ‘I believe everything written in God’s Word’.[5] From conversations with many, the first thing to go is the Bible’s creation account. The teaching that “in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them” (Exodus 20:11) is the first to be thrown overboard. Having departed from this foundation, it’s only a matter of time before many other biblical ‘dominoes’ fall. In my view, teaching evolution as the only viable option regarding origins inflicts untold damage upon schoolchildren. It crushes at an early age the ability God has given each person—to be able to unmistakeably conclude the Creator’s existence from His works of creation (Romans 1:20).

JC: A final question: With all your many lecture tours and evangelistic trips, what left the greatest impression on you?

WG: One unforgettable address was in a lecture theatre at the University of Karaganda (Kazakhstan), filled to overflowing with Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Tartar, Uzbek and Russian people. In the second part of my talk ‘Why are there stars?’, I focussed on the One who had created the stars: Jesus Christ. The Creator is also the Saviour, who forgives sin. At the end, I asked: “Who would like to accept the message of Jesus for themselves? Who wants to be saved through Jesus?” I could scarcely believe it; an astounding number of people stood up. They were all given evangelistic books and a Bible. Flying home from such trips, I often ponder; is the effect of the message just quickly dissipated, or is there lasting fruit?

Two years later, again in Karaganda at the same university, I was greeted by a professor named Pavel Kulikov, who introduced us. I couldn’t believe my ears at his opening words: “I greet German scientist Professor Gitt ... . He was already here before, two years ago, to give a lecture. I was seated among the students then. There has never been anything like it in this lecture theatre. With a friendly but resolute voice, he invited us to make a decision for Christ. At the time, many students stood up to show their acceptance. I, too, rose from my seat—I made a decision for Christ.” Then he went on: “You know me. For many years, I taught the subject ‘scientific atheism’ at this uni. Now I am a Christian. Today, you, too, will have the chance to decide. Do it!”

God had overpowered someone who had been a convinced atheist, who had for years been using scientific arguments to teach the students there was no God. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the subject ‘scientific atheism’ was abolished, and replaced with ‘the history of atheism and religions’. Lacking teaching materials for this new subject, he was using my book What about the other religions?, also available in Russian. This former professor for atheism was now evangelising in his lectures—what a transformation! He later founded a radio mission for Kazakhstan to reach many people with the Gospel in their national language.

Prof.  Dr-Ing.  Werner  Gitt,  born  in  Raineck/East  Prussia, Germany, was Head of the Faculty of Information Technology at the Federal Institute of Physics and Technology (Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt), in Braun­schweig, Germany, where he later became Director and Professor. He has written numerous books in the area of biblical faith and science

[1]             Without Excuse in English.

[2]             Lit. ‘Brother-hand’.

[3]             Genesis 1:31.

[4]             1 Corinthians 15:26.

[5]             See Acts 24:14.