Friday, 15 August 2008

Solzhenitsyn: Freedom Comes From Creation

Alexandr Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008). Image from Wikipedia

Joel Kontinen

Russian novelist Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, who died recently at age 89, was known for his criticism of totalitarianism. After receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1970, he was exiled. In 1978, he gave an address at Harvard University. Solzhenitsyn stated, “ In early democracies, as in the American democracy at the time of its birth, all individual human rights were granted because man is God's creature.”

Solzhenitsyn echoed the view of another famous European author. G. K. Chesterton wrote in 1922: “The Declaration of Independence dogmatically bases all rights on the fact that God created all men equal; and it is right; for if they were not created equal, they were certainly evolved unequal. There is no basis for democracy except in a dogma about the divine origin of man.” (Chapter 19, What I Saw In America).

The Bible says that we are created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). In the New Testament, Paul explicitly stated that all people are descended “from one man” (Acts 17:26). Writing to the Galatian churches, he explained, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Evolution is an altogether different story. Charles Darwin believed that some people were more evolved than others. Evolutionary ideas inspired Adolf Hitler and Karl Marx, for instance, both of whom had hopes of an earthly utopia that was not based on biblical teaching.


Solzhenitsyn, Alexandr. 1978. A World Split Apart. A speech delivered on 8 June 1978 on the occasion of Class Day Afternoon Exercises at Harvard University.

Chesterton, G. K. 1922. What I Saw In America. In Quotations of G. K. Chesterton.