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 Brian Thomas, M.S. *
Every generation of believers must settle for itself the core questions of ultimate origins. Where did everything come from? Can God’s account of beginnings in Genesis be trusted as actually history? The year 2014 illustrated that this generation is still interested in answers. If nothing else, recent events make it clear that Christians remain divided and passionate about origins.
Billed as a kind of debate of the century, Bill Nye defended evolution and Ken Ham defended creation during a February event that millions viewed online.1 Long afterward, discussions swirled over who may have won the debate. The number of viewers was unexpectedly large, showing that national interest in origins has not waned. It seems that people still want to know if humans really evolved through billions of years of birth, death, and mutation, or if they descended only thousands of years ago from one man and one woman in an originally “very good” creation. Continue reading →
Newsweek magazine decided to greet the start of 2015 with a massive cover story on the Bible. For decades now, major news magazines have tended to feature cover articles timed for Christmas and Easter, taking an opportunity to consider some major question about Christianity and the modern world. Leading the journalistic pack for years, both TIME and Newsweek dedicated cover article after article, following a rather predictable format. In the main, scholars or leaders from very liberal quarters commented side-by-side those committed to historic Christianity on questions ranging from the virgin birth to the resurrection of Christ.
When written by journalists like Newsweek‘s former editor Jon Meacham or TIME reporters such as David Van Biema, the articles were often balanced and genuinely insightful. Meacham and Van Biema knew the difference between theological liberals and theological conservatives and they were determined to let both sides speak. I was interviewed several times by both writers, along with others from both magazines. I may not have liked the final version of the article in some cases, but I was treated fairly and with journalistic integrity. 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 →
NASHVILLE (BP) — The late Francis Schaeffer was known to pick up the phone during the early years of the Southern Baptist Convention’s conservative resurgence. Paige Patterson knew to expect a call from Schaeffer around Christmas with the question, “You’re not growing weary in well-doing are you?”
Patterson, a leader in the movement to return the SBC to a high view of Scripture, would reply, “No, Dr. Schaeffer. I’m under fire, but I’m doing fine. And I’m trusting the Lord and proceeding on.”
To some it may seem strange that an international Presbyterian apologist and analyst of pop culture would take such interest in a Baptist controversy over biblical inerrancy.
But to Schaeffer it made perfect sense. 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 →
The character of Christianity depends, in profound ways, on one’s beliefs concerning creation. For the first 250 years of the existence of the church in America, Christians assumed the truth of the doctrine of creation. It was revealed in the Bible and it made the most sense of the natural world. When large numbers of Christians rejected the doctrine in the 20th century, the results were astonishing.
The New England Puritans expressed their belief in creation in the confession of faith adopted in 1648 as part of the Cambridge Platform Continue reading
The area in which Calvinists and Libertarians are farthest apart is that of determinism. Yet, as we have seen in other such areas, the root of this disagreement can be found in a single faulty premise upon which both sides agree. In this case, it is the premise that if God meticulously controls the events and actions of men, then such divine determinism eliminates all alternative possibilities (and thus “freedom to do otherwise”) for men. This premise is false; and once it is eliminated, there is much room for agreement, by which the two sides can be brought closer together. Continue reading
The Southern Baptist Convention is unique in its composition of a wide range of approaches to the doctrines of salvation. As was shown in Part 3, the basic presuppositions of Calvinists and Libertarians (Traditionalists as well as Arminians) are seemingly irreconcilable; and yet, these groups have found enough on which to agree that we as a convention have remained unified for a very long time. Continue reading
The most obvious characteristic of the debate between Calvinism and Libertarians (whether Arminians or Traditionalists) is its unending futility. Very little is ever accomplished. The same old straw-man misrepresentations are continually presented, and the same old misunderstandings continually occur. Continue reading
There is currently a radical change in thought being propagated in the Church, which is destructive to the truth. It is the ever more popular idea, even within the SBC, that the truths in Scripture are so far beyond our understanding that no one can have any credible assurance that their view on any doctrinal Issue is the accurate and correct view. Continue reading