Theistic Evolution

Essential Elements of Young Earth Creationism and Their Importance to Christian Theology, Part 3

"Earthrise." NASA photo, Apollo 8.

By Matthew A. Postiff, from DBSJ. Read the series.

Non-Essentials of Young Earth Theology

Although various authors over the past decades have expressed strong beliefs in one or the other details of young earth theology, many such details are extraneous to the system, mainly because of limited biblical revelation. In this section, I briefly list a few such details that are not essential to young earth creationism.

For instance, it is not necessary to believe in an exact age of the earth, such as 6,000 years, or to adhere to Ussher’s Chronology. Dogmatism on the precise age is not necessary as long as the age is “young.”13 It is not required that one be dogmatic on an absolute absence of gaps or missing names in the Genesis genealogies.

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Essential Elements of Young Earth Creationism and Their Importance to Christian Theology (Part 2)

"Earthrise." NASA photo, Apollo 8.

From DBSJ. Read the series. Part 2 continues the Spectrum of Views on Creation begun in Part 1.

Scientific Creationism

Compared to biblical creation views, scientific creationist views expand the role of science in the understanding of creation. The views that fall under this heading are normally connected with a uniformitarian view of earth history that extends billions of years, punctuated by occasional catastrophic events.9 These are old-earth understandings of creation. The scientific views are different in another way from biblical creation: most do not posit a completed creation. The processes of creation (evolution) are ongoing today in most of the following views and therefore there is no “completion” or “cessation” of creation as there is in the biblical creation views.

The day-age view is an old-earth explanation that teaches that the six days of creation were not regular days but rather were a sequence of geological ages, giving time for the several-billion year age of the earth taught by secular science.

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Essential Elements of Young Earth Creationism and Their Importance to Christian Theology (Part 1)

"Earthrise." NASA photo, Apollo 8.

From DBSJ 21 (2016): 31–58. Republished with permission.

Matthew A. Postiff1

For about 15 years I have had the privilege of studying under William Combs, Bruce Compton, and Robert McCabe. More recently, I have benefited from their advice concerning local church ministry and their mentorship as I assisted two of them in their teaching responsibilities at Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary. Their interaction as personal friends has been a great encouragement. I am indebted to all of them for their careful and conservative scholarship in exegetical, biblical and systematic theology as well as the biblical languages. I trust this essay will be a fitting honor to them as I offer further support for one of Dr. McCabe’s areas of special interest: the important biblical doctrine of young earth creationism.

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How Did We Get Here? Competing Theories of Origin

“How did we get here?” This is one of the great questions of life, and its answer sets the direction for so many other answers to great questions. If we are descended from animals, then are we not justified in living as animals? If we are generated merely by chance, then is there any meaning to life, or do we simply make our own? If we are created by a non-involved creator, then are we accountable to that creator? If we are created by the Creator described in the Bible, then are we not accountable to Him, and should we not look to Him to guide in our understanding of existence in His universe?

How we answer the origin question in large part predetermines how we view and answer questions of our own personal meaning and responsibility. We really can’t know what we should do unless we know who we are. And we can’t know who we are unless we know from whence we came.

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Timothy Keller’s View on Creation (Part 3)

FBFI National Meeting workshop presented by Matt Recker June 14-16, 2016, with permission from Proclaim & Defend. In Part 1, we defined Timothy Keller’s view of theistic evolution and offered his rationale for holding his position. In Part 2, we considered a more thorough discussion of the ERRORS Keller makes in his compromised theology of Creation.

4. Keller’s Theistic Evolution: An Answer

Here are four points to answer the theistic evolutionary position. Of course, this is not all that can be said but it is a strong beginning to refute this erroneous view.

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Timothy Keller’s View on Creation (Part 2)

FBFI National Meeting workshop presented by Matt Recker June 14-16, 2016, with permission from Proclaim & Defend. Read Part 1.

In Part 1, we defined Timothy Keller’s view of theistic evolution and offered his rationale for holding his position.

3. Keller’s Theistic Evolution: His Errors:

The following quote from his book, The Reason for God, highlights some deep flaws in Keller’s thinking. In the quote, Keller replies to the concerns of a young intellectual who is terribly bothered by the “unscientific mind-set” of the Biblical teaching that God directly created the world by His wisdom and power in six days. Keller responds to this struggling young person with these words:

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Timothy Keller’s View on Creation (Part 1)

FBFI National Meeting workshop presented by Matt Recker June 14-16, 2016, with permission from Proclaim & Defend.

Tim Keller is the highly influential founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. My first introduction to Dr. Keller’s evolutionary position was in a New York Times article, January 25, 1998, which quotes him saying:

On Creationism: ‘‘I don’t think Genesis teaches that the world was created in six 24-hour days. Evolution is neither ruled in or ruled out at Redeemer.”1

At the time I read the article, I was not sure why he took that view. My goal today is to explain what he meant by it, and why I believe he is in error. In taking on this task my goal is to fairly and respectfully define his theistic evolutionary view, give his reasons, show errors in this position, and finally attempt to provide an answer to his views.

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Twelve of the Most Annoying Arguments Used Against Biblical Creation, Part 3

(Read Part 1 and Part 2.)

9. The days in Genesis do not have to be 24-hour days.

Why It Sounds Good

In passages like Zechariah 14:20, which talks of the day of the Lord, and 2 Peter 3:8, the word “day” is used for more than a twenty-four-hour time period and 2 Peter 3:8 teaches that, for God, a “day is like a thousand years.” Therefore, the Bible student is not tied to interpreting the Genesis account of “day” in a twenty-four-hour fashion.

Why It Is Annoying

It is true that the Bible uses the word “day” in many different ways. It speaks of day as twenty-four hours, as signifying a time period, as describing the difference between day and night. So, how would one know which use is being used? Context, always context. When Genesis 1 and 2 are examined, it can readily be seen that even it uses the word day in different fashions. But this is actually an argument against playing fast and loose with the word. For if the context itself indicates that it is using day in a different sense, then it will determine its own meaning. So how is day used in the passage?

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