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 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 →
The Christmas season comes each year with the expected flurry of media attention to the biblical accounts of Christ’s conception and birth. The general thrust of the secular media is often incredulity toward the fact that so many people still believe the Bible’s accounts to be true. This year, the Pew Research Center released a report on Christmas Day indicating that almost 75% of the American people affirm belief in the virgin birth of Christ. Meanwhile, the Public Religion Research Institute found markedly lower levels of belief, with just under half affirming the historical accuracy of the biblical accounts. The PRRI research indicated that four in ten Americans believe the virgin birth to be part of a “theological story to affirm faith in Christ.” Continue reading →
by John MacArthur
We cannot expect the world to accept the fact of Christ’s virgin birth. As with all essential doctrines of the Christian faith, sinful humanity resists embracing the truth of His unique birth.
Tragically though, it’s no longer just the unbelieving world that fails to accept the biblical account of Christ’s parentage. The scientific age and the emergence of modern and postmodern theologies during the past two centuries have eroded many professed believers’ confidence in the reality of the virgin birth. (Along with that trend has been a noticeable decline in the percentage of “Christians” who believe in the deity of Christ.) But such skeptical thinking is foolish and directly contrary to the explicit teaching of all four gospels, the epistles, and the historical testimony of the entire early church that Jesus was none other than the virgin-born Son of God. Continue reading →
I was doing some research a while back and I ran across this perspective by Bill Bishop in The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart.
The promise that religion would fall victim to modernization “has been regarded as THE master model of sociological inquiry,” one of the “key historical revolutions transforming medieval agrarian societies into modern industrial nations,” wrote political scientists Pippa Norris and Ronald Inglehart. Which means, of course, that a central tenet of the social sciences, over the past three hundred years has been proved spectacularly wrong.
The idea, known as the Secularization Thesis, is that as societies “progress” through industry, technology, and modernization and the rise of rationalism, then religious belief will lose its grip on people as an authority in society and culture. This is one reason why Progressive Secularists have basically deified the role of Education in modern society. They believe that education will free people from old beliefs and superstitions that hold the human race back. Through education, we can reshape the mind and thus reshape humanity. 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
Matthew 16 reveals another of Jesus’s encounters with the Pharisees and Sadducees. This has become a running battle with those who are looking for some way to frame Jesus and to remove him from the scene in Israel. This time, immediately following Jesus’s miracle of feeding the four thousand with the loaves and fishes, they ask for him to show them a miraculous “sign from heaven” (vs. 1). Ok, you fed four thousand people with a few loaves of bread and a few fish. Now, show us a sign from heaven. Jesus knows who he is dealing with and what their motives are and he tells them that no sign will be shown them except the “Sign of Jonah.” Jesus was saying that their sign would be him rising from the dead. He called them an evil and adulterous generation for looking for a sign (or, another sign). Continue reading →