Feed on
Posts
Comments

Introduction

I did a post a few weeks ago on an upcoming debate that I was happy to see happen. Though I didn’t get any comments on the blog, I did receive a few Facebook and e-mail comments. There were questions about where I stood on some different issues as well as questions regarding the Analogical Day view which I mentioned in passing. So I thought it would be worthwhile to do a follow up to try to answer some of those questions publicly.

Setting Your Mind at Ease…

… or troubling it depending on your view.

First, I don’t think young earth creationists are stupid. Nor do I think evolutionists are stupid. There are some very bright people in both camps. However, there are also people in both camps who have not studied it exhaustively, but simply trust the guidance of certain people or groups who have done the research. I have no problem with this. All of us do that to one extent. There are things we believe that seem reasonable to us even though we haven’t exhaustively researched it. The problem I was trying to highlight is when one of these lambastes the other for being ignorant when they are just as guilty. Hopefully that is clear.

Second, I hold to the tried and true grammatico-historical hermeneutic. If this is done properly with the recognition of God as the supreme author, then a careful redemptive-historical approach is also allowable. The main issues which determine interpretations should therefore be: linguistic analysis, grammatical analysis, genre analysis, literary analysis, discourse analysis, the cultural and historical setting, the redemptive-historical setting, the author, and recipient. In addition to these, it is important that the interpreter read the text charitably. That is, he assumes that the author was competent and would not contradict himself (a necessary assumption especially with the view of God as the ultimate author). Hence, some level of harmonization is expected given the natural variation of literature.

Third, I affirm the inerrancy of scripture as it is set forth in the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. Related to this notion of inerrancy, this is how I understand the relationship between science and theology: Historically, Christians have believed that God has revealed himself in the Bible (Special Revelation) and in nature (General or Natural Revelation). Since God does not make mistakes, then Special Revelation will never conflict with Natural Revelation. But then people get involved. Theology is man’s attempt to understand the Bible, and science is man’s attempt to understand nature. We can make mistakes in either theology or science. Hence these can conflict. For greater detail, see the links below.

  1. Introduction
  2. All Truth is God’s Truth
  3. General and Special Revelation
  4. Interpreting General and Special Revelation
  5. Luther, Calvin, and Copernicus
  6. Earthly Things and Heavenly Things
  7. When Science and Scripture Conflict

Fourth, I don’t believe in evolution. Certainly the Bible doesn’t teach it. In fact, it seems that the teaching of the Bible goes against it. This taken together with all of the scientific questions I have place me firmly in the non-evolution camp.

Fifth, I am amiable, perhaps even favorable to an old earth. However, that really doesn’t enter into my interpretation much. I find the whole question somewhat misplaced. But more on that as this series continues.

Proponents

I grew up believing that everyone who was a Christian believed in a 24hr day view. The gap theorists theistic evolutionists and really anyone other than a 24hr day proponent were compromisers at best and unchristian at worst. It was enlightening for me to discover that there were many good men whom I respect that believed in an old earth, or were favorable toward and old earth. These include:

  • J. Gresham Machen       Francis Schaeffer            Millard Erickson
  • Bruce Ware                     James M. Boice                Meredith Kline
  • Mark Futato                     Henri Blocher                  Gordon Wenham
  • N. H. Ridderbos               David Helm                     Miles Van Pelt
  • Herman Bavinck              Cornelius Van Til            D.A. Carson
  • Walter Kaiser                  Paul Copan                     Gleason Archer
  • Craig Blomberg               Craig Keener                   Derek Kidner
  • Kenneth Mathews           Douglas Groothuis         Tim Keller
  • John Stott                       J.I. Packer                      Oswald T. Allis
  • C.H. Spurgeon                 John Blanchard             R. Scott Clark
  • Matt Chandler                 Wayne Grudem             Kent Hughes
  • J. Oliver Buswell             A. W. Pink                       John Piper
  • John Salihammer            Os Guinness                Donald Grey Barnhouse
  • Graeme Goldsworthy   Charles Hodge                B. B. Warfield
  • E. J. Young

Men who hold specifically to the Analogical Day view include William G. T. Shedd, John Collins, Robert Godfrey, Vern Poythress, Victor P. Hamilton, and Michael Horton.

There are of course many great teachers who can be marshaled in support of the Calendar Day view also. This by no means decides anything. It is only to say that a non-Young Earth Creationist view is not so fringe or liberal as I first thought.

Definition

From the PCA Report on Creation:

The “days” are God’s work-days, which are analogous, and not necessarily identical, to our work days, structured for the purpose of setting a pattern for our own rhythm of rest and work. The six “days” represent periods of God’s historical supernatural activity in preparing and populating the earth as a place for humans to live, love, work, and worship. These days are “broadly consecutive”:  that is, they are taken as successive periods of unspecified length, but one allows for the possibility that parts of the days may overlap, or that there might be logical rather than chronological criteria for grouping some events in a particular “day.”

2 Responses to “Clearing the Mud & Stirring Again”

  1. Randy says:

    Based on my experience, the YEC position is the fringe among Christian scientists, although the norm for home-schoolers. I struggle with some theological implications of an old earth and some scientific implications of a young earth. I’ve seen bad arguments and good arguments from both sides. I guess I could be like R. C. Sproul and bounce between the views.