Science, Evolution 129
not enemies but friends of the College, and their leaders were Wake
Forest alumni. They were sending students to the college, and they
had with them the great majority of the Baptists of the State. They
made it plain that their purpose was to unite the Baptists of North
Carolina in support of the College and other Baptist educational
institutions in the State. They believed that they could effect this
purpose only if the denomination was assured that nothing subversive
of the Baptist faith should be taught in the colleges, and was given a
larger measure of control by a change in the method of electing
trustees for them.
The first part of this purpose they sought to effect at the meeting of
the Convention in Charlotte in 1925, when they brought forward a
statement called the Bateman Resolutions, since they were understood
to have been prepared chiefly by Rev. R. J. Bateman, at that time
pastor of the First Baptist Church of Asheville. When they were read
to the Convention they were found to be surprisingly sober. There
was no denunciation of Poteat in them; no denunciation of the
teaching of evolution, not even the word "Evolution"; they disclaimed
any desire "to retard the conclusions of honest investigation in the
field of Nature." The statement that might be construed as referring to
evolution, with the addition of an interpretative phrase or two, would
probably be accepted by nearly every Baptist in the State; they
interpreted "Genesis not as a myth, but as God's inspired revelation,"
and believed it unassailable as to the fact of creation by God; and they
warned against the use in schools and colleges of "terminology which
might commit us to forms of thought at variance with God's Word,
"but with no intention to bar investigation of all discoverable facts."
The conclusion as expressed in the fourth section of the Resolutions
may be taken as a summary of the whole; it reads:
That since Baptists have always maintained liberty of conscience, and the open
mind, under the guidance of God, we commend without fear or anticipation every
man for his effort in searching to know more fully the mind of God in nature and in
Grace; that believing in the harmony of truth we will ever be ready to adjust our
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