Science

Why a Commitment to Inerrancy Does Not Demand a Strictly 6000-Year-Old Earth: One Young Earther's Plea for Realism (Part 3)

Originally published in Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal (DBSJ) 2013. Used by permission. Read Part 1 and Part 2.

The 6,000-year-earth position may be questioned on the grounds of logical, hermeneutical, text-critical, and intertextual tensions. Anomalies in the biblical story line and extrabiblical historical records provide additional evidence.

Anomalies in the Biblical Story Line

The life story of Noah seems oddly truncated and his death out of place if there are no gaps in Genesis 11. When we come to the end of the ninth chapter of Genesis, we find the standard epitaph, “then Noah died.” But if the chronogenealogist is correct, Noah did not die until Abraham was 58 years old.1 Of course, it is possible to suggest that Noah had moved away and was quite forgotten by the time Abraham was on the scene, but the finality of Genesis 9:29 seems quite out of sequence if Noah didn’t die until the end of chapter 11. A natural reading of the early chapters of Genesis strongly suggests that the Noah story ended a long time before the Abraham story began.

Similarly, when Abraham entered into the land of promise, he entered into a land of well-established cities and local governments (Gen 15:19–21),2 not a land of fellow-pioneers migrating in the aftermath of the recent Babel incident (which by the chronogenealogist’s reckoning might have taken place as recently as 27 years earlier).3 One cannot escape the hermeneutical “feel” that the story speaks of greater antiquity than this.

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The Creation Reformation

Why should we celebrate October 31?

For hundreds of years, people of the western world have attributed spiritual significance to the last day of October and the first day of November.

But “doctrines of demons” (1 Tim. 4:1, NKJV) governed the celebration of these days during the Dark Ages, until God brought light out of this darkness through the pen and voice of a humble monk and priest—Martin Luther.

Historians date the beginning of the Protestant Reformation at the day that Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany—Oct. 31, 1517.

With the pounding of Luther’s hammer, the significance of All Hallows’ Eve was forever changed. A day dedicated to spirits, myths, superstition and fear now reminds Bible-believing Christians of faith alone, grace alone, Scripture alone, Christ alone and the glory of God.

With some similarities, many date the beginning of the modern creation-science reformation to 1961 and the publication of our 518-page volume, The Genesis Flood: The Biblical Record and Its Scientific Implications (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing) which I, a theologian, coauthored with Dr. Henry M. Morris, a hydraulic engineer. I thank our Lord for allowing me to have a part in this project!

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Science and Christian Faith

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CHAPTER IV SCIENCE AND CHRISTIAN FAITH

BY REV. PROF. JAMES ORR, D. D., UNITED FREE CHURCH COLLEGE, GLASGOW, SCOTLAND

In many quarters the belief is industriously circulated that the advance of “science,” meaning by this chiefly the physical sciences—astronomy, geology, biology, and the like—has proved damaging, if not destructive, to the claims of the Bible, and the truth of Christianity. Science and Christianity are pitted against each other. Their interests are held to be antagonistic. Books are written, like Draper’s “Conflict Between Religion and Science,” White’s “Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom,” and Foster’s “Finality of the Christian Religion,” to show that this warfare between science and religion has ever been going on, and can never in the nature of things cease till theology is destroyed, and science holds sole sway in men’s minds.

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The Malevolence of Nature (A Biblical Perspective on Environmentalism: Part 3)

Reprinted with permission from As I See It, which is available free by writing to the editor at dkutilek@juno.com. The series so far.

To hear some environmentalists tell it, the natural world in all its diversity is just one unending delight, pure paradise every moment of every day, all the year round. “Nature good, human bad.” Such a Pollyannaish view is incalculably far from the truth. The natural world is anything but uniformly benign and benevolent. It is all “under the curse” that was meted out to mankind as a consequence of deliberate rebellion against an expressed Divine command. Thorns and thistles are singled out by God for specific mention as part of that curse which frustrates man’s attempts to secure his food supply—his “daily bread”—from the now-cursed ground (Gen. 3:17-19). But it can be reasonably inferred that other unspecified things were also part of that curse, including insect pests, plant diseases, and inclement weather, to mention some of the most obvious. These are a curse, a hindrance to human survival (though with a definite Divine purpose—“for your sake,” v. 17—for “in their adversity, they will seek me early,” Hos. 5:15). And we have only addressed man’s agrarian pursuits. There is very much more in nature that is hostile to man than just these things.

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