This article was also published at SBC Voices
by Ken Hamrick
Recently, I came across a paper in the Journal for Baptist Theology & Ministry, written by Dr. Kenneth Keathley in 2013, entitled, “Confessions of a Disappointed Young-Earther.” The piece is well done and gives an informative summary of the various arguments and supposed problems of the Young-Earth Creationism movement. After reading it, I must say that I’m just as disappointed as Dr. Keathley, but for different reasons. I’m disappointed that the enemy, who is delegitimizing the truth-claims of Christianity by undermining the authority of Scripture, is often met with so little resistance and so much well-meant, reasonable-sounding cooperation. I’m disappointed that not even the best among us are immune from a skeptical evidentialism. And I’m disappointed that one so capable of competent reason would falter in thinking that evidence has bearing on the question of a recent miraculous creation.
I’m no scientist, and I do not claim to be able to present all the scientific intricacies of the various arguments. To be fair, there do seem to be some valid points brought against Young-Earth “creation science” and even a few points in support of it. Nevertheless, I do not argue for a “young” earth, but for an old earth recently created—what Dr. Keathley presents as Philip Henry Gosse’s “Omphalos argument” or the mature earth view. The Bible clearly and explicitly reveals a recent creation by divine fiat. Miracles being what they are, we should not expect to find proof in physical evidences for this recent miraculous act. But, neither should we expect the secular scientific view to be free from error, overconfidence, and overreaching. Ultimately, though, the scientific argument is irrelevant to the vital question at hand—and that fact is sadly missed by Young-Earthers and Old-Earthers alike. Continue reading
by Ken Hamrick
In the ongoing debate over the Genesis creation account, one supposed problem that seems particularly troublesome for many is the question of the length of a day prior to the creation of the sun (on Day 4). Since the sun is the means by which a day is usually measured, then it is objected by Old-Earthers that we are left without any sure understanding of what God might possibly mean by the term, “day,” when it is used to describe the first three days of creation. Here’s the text:
Genesis 1 ESV
1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. Continue reading
by Ken Hamrick
Old-Earth Creationists, who accept the evidence-based claims that the earth is billions of years old, ought to honestly acknowledge that their view does not rest on natural evidence, but upon their own prior skeptical denial of creation by divine fiat (or, command). It is dishonest to put forth such a view as being based on the evidence. Without first denying that a miraculous creation by fiat might have occurred, they would have no basis for giving weight to any natural evidence. This doesn’t mean that they have properly thought this out and realized that they must first deny the plausibility of a miraculous creation by fiat; rather, for most of them, their preconceived skeptical denial remains unrecognized, like a hidden assumption.
To answer the question, How long ago did God create the world?, they immediately look—as a matter of course—to what the scientific evidence ‘reveals.’ Ostensibly, this supposes to give equal weight to all sources of truth, whether God’s revelation in Scripture or God’s revelation in the physical world (nature). However, the bias of the scales toward nature becomes evident: whenever the two (the plain reading of Scripture and natural evidence) seem to contradict, they never opt for reinterpreting natural evidence in light of the inerrant Scripture, but always insist on reinterpreting Scripture in light of the inerrant natural evidence (at least where creation is concerned). Continue reading
by Dr. Terry Mortenson on December 22, 2014
Recently, Dr. Jonathan Hill, professor of sociology at Calvin College, published on the BioLogos website the results of his national survey of 3,000 American adults to study the beliefs of Americans on issues related to human origins. The summary of his research is entitled “The Recipe for Creationism.”1 His research was done to see if previous surveys done by Gallup and others over the past few decades were giving us an accurate picture of what Americans believe.
Those other studies, the most recent published by Gallup in June 2014, have indicated consistently over the past 30 years that
- about 45% of Americans believe that “God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so,”
- about 35% believe that “human beings have evolved over millions of years from other forms of life and God guided this process,”
- about 20% believe that “human beings have evolved over millions of years from other forms of life but God had no part in this process.”2
Those statistics are challenged by Hill’s new research.
Let me say at the outset of my analysis that Dr. Hill and the other people associated with BioLogos are undoubtedly kind and sincere Christians. Continue reading →
by Ken Hamrick
When it comes to understanding the Bible, the intended meaning of the author ought to be held in such importance that the text is allowed to speak for itself—with every effort made to not read into the text ideas that were not intended—and to get our clues as to what was intended only from the text itself, rather than permitting ideas, claims, evidences and authorities from outside of the text to tell us what the text means. This is why we go by the axiom, If the plain sense makes sense, seek no other sense. When it tells us that Christ physically rose from the dead and left the tomb, we don’t allow science to weigh in and tell us that He must not have actually died, but only “swooned,” since dead bodies do not reanimate (CPR might work for a few minutes, but not three days after death). Certainly, science has a legitimate stake in the matter, since what is claimed is above and beyond all natural laws and a physical impossibility. Nevertheless, science must be ignored in this, since it is a supernatural matter outside of their ability to explain, detect, or prove. For us today, it is a matter of pure revelation—the eyewitnesses are dead and unavailable for examination. Continue reading
by Brian Thomas, M.S. *
During an October 28 meeting of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences held in the Vatican, Pope Francis said, “Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve,” according to The Telegraph. He also asserted that the Big Bang “doesn’t contradict the intervention of a divine Creator, but demands it.”1 If the Pope says it’s okay for Catholics to embrace the Big Bang and evolution, does that settle the controversy?
Those who simply take the Pope’s words as authoritative may find no reason to doubt his recent assertions, but attempts to square Pope Francis’ statements with science or the Bible will encounter some serious red flags. Continue reading →
Pope Francis is not the first religious leader who has endorsed evolution and the big bang, but he is certainly one of the most influential.
Following in the tradition of other recent popes, Pope Francis has compromised biblical authority in favor of man’s ideas in the area of origins. He said, “The Big Bang, that today is considered to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the creative intervention of God; on the contrary, it requires it. Evolution in nature is not in contrast with the notion of [divine] creation because evolution requires the creation of the beings that evolve.”
About the account of creation in Genesis, the pope stated, “When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so . . . Continue reading →
by Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell, Dr. Georgia Purdom, and Dr. Tommy Mitchell on October 20, 2014
The Ebola epidemic in West Africa has already claimed over 4,000 lives—more than all previous Ebola epidemics combined—and it is showing no sign of slowing. The first (and we hope the only) Ebola death on American soil occurred in Dallas, Texas, on October 8, 2014. Two nurses who cared for that patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, soon developed Ebola. In Spain a nurse exposed in Madrid to a priest who contracted Ebola in Africa recently developed Ebola.1 These incidents represent the first time Ebola has been transmitted outside of Africa.
In the past, outbreaks have remained geographically confined to the regions where the organism that harbors them lives.2 Why is this one different? Is Ebola wielding the power of Darwinian evolution over medical science? Continue reading →
My short presentation tonight is titled, “A personal story from a Millennial.” Ironically, as I wrote this speech, an article popped up on my news feed by Relevant Magazine called, “15 books Every Christian Millennial Has Owned.” Initially, I was offended at being stereotyped, and then I read the article and realized I owned every single one of the books. Christian Millennials are a much more diverse bunch than we are given credit for, but I have found that there is a shocking amount of consistency in our experiences–especially among those who grew up in the golden years of conservative Evangelicalism. While my Millennial friends have landed all over the religious landscape, not one of them thinks that we can ever go back to the simpler world of VeggieTales Christianity. What we need is a way forward.
I say all this to frame my own story as a Millennial, because I hope my own journey can help others realize that the way forward for the evangelical church is not only possible but deeply exciting and interesting. Continue reading →
I have been invited to dinner. BioLogos published an article this week with the following headline: Ken Ham, We Need a Better Conversation (Perhaps Over Dinner?)
But should I go to this proposed dinner?
Dr. Deborah Haarsma, president of the theistic evolution organization BioLogos, was responding to my recent blog about statements made by Dr. Hugh Ross (known for aggressively disseminating a compromise view of Genesis called progressive creation) on a Canadian talk show, where he was discussing his new book. (AiG writer/researcher Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell also published a review of Hugh Ross’s new book on our website.) Continue reading →
Two weeks ago I attended a “Celebrating Creation” conference hosted by the BioLogos Foundation. As many readers know, BioLogos is an organization of evangelicals who accept theistic evolution (or evolutionary creationism, EC, as many prefer to call it). Evangelicals hold to a wide range of views concerning creation and evolution, and I’ve had the privilege of engaging with a number of groups representing positions across the spectrum, including intelligent design proponents (ID) and old-earth creationists (OEC). Similarly, I’ll always be grateful to Answers in Genesis (a young-earth creationists organization, YEC) for the opportunity a few years back to float down the Grand Canyon on an eight-day rafting tour and hear them present the case for the young-earth view. Personally, I hold to old-earth creationism. I affirm the historicity of Adam and Eve and believe the original couple were the special creation of God. When the invitation came from BioLogos to attend this event, I was glad to take part. I’m thankful to Debra Haarsma, Jeff Schloss, and Jim Stump of Biologos for the opportunity. Here are a few of my takeaway thoughts.
1. BioLogos deserves a place at the table, taking part in the conversation. Continue reading →