“Some people, in order to discover God, read books. But there is a great book: the very appearance of created things. Look above you! Look below you! Read it. God, whom you want to discover, never wrote that book with ink. Instead He set before your eyes the things that He had made. Can you ask for a louder voice than that?”- St Augustine
Sunset Over the Sahara-Courtesy of NASA
Starting Monday, we will be reviewing and discussing two fascinating books dealing with spiritual abuse and abuse recovery. We believe there is new and previously overlooked information, both historical and current, that will be of value to our readers.
If you read yesterday’s post, perhaps you were left wondering whether Ken Ham and his camp actually label those who do not fall in lock step behind them as heretics. The Reasons to Believe website brought this matter to the fore in an article entitled: “Old-Earth Creationism: A Heretical Belief?” which can be found here.
It begins as follows:
As expressed in our previous post, we are grateful that the Assemblies of God denomination recently amended its position on creationism and approved a statement that encourages unity and fellowship despite differing view on creation. Will other denominations follow their example?
Scholars in the Southern Baptist Convention are beginning to debate creationism, as reported in a Florida Witness article entitled “HOW OLD? Age of the earth debated among SBC scholars”, which can be found here.
Of particular interest to us was the following excerpt regarding Al Mohler. The article states:
“Christians who seek to be theistic evolutionists are in the awkward position of trying to adopt a cosmology that has theological ramifications that, in my view, do nothing less than catastrophic damage to the Gospel.”
Even though the disagreement between old- and young-earth creationists is a less important issue, it still has crucial implications, according to Mohler.
“Theologically, the historical Adam as the common ancestor of the human race is the most important issue. But the question is, how in the world do you end up with an historical Adam if you have an old earth?” he said. “It’s becoming increasingly clear that an old earth implies something other than an historical Adam.”
Mohler worries that most Christians who hold to an old earth are not thinking through all the logical implications of their position.
By using the term “naturalism” to describe “Theistic Evolution”, Mohler demonstrates either his ignorance or his ability of obfuscation. The philosophical definition of “naturalism” is “the view of the world that takes account only of natural elements and forces, excluding the supernatural or spiritual,” according to Dictionary.com. Wikipedia even gets the definition right by stating: “Naturalism is a philosophy that posits a particular picture of reality, being, and existence that typically excludes the supernatural.”
Naturalism is synonymous with atheistic evolution, and we find it highly disconcerting that Mohler lumps theistic evolutionists together with atheistic evolutionists. By using rhetoric like “naturalism is the chief enemy”, Mohler has demonstrated that creationism appears to be moving toward a primary doctrinal issue within the Southern Baptist Convention.
According to the article, Mohler “worries that most Christians who hold to an old earth are not thinking through all the logical implications of their position.” We find it astonishing that Al Mohler would accuse universally respected theologians such Walt Kaiser and Bruce Waltke, along with much of the faculty at Wheaton College and Baylor University, of “not thinking through all the logical implications of their position”. Such claims are divisive rhetoric that demonstrate deliberate disdain for the unity and love we should be demonstrating to one another in the faith. Mohler is well aware of the beliefs of his fellow Christian theologians, and one might conclude that he is being intentionally deceptive when making such claims about his fellow brothers and sisters who have a deep love and respect for God’s Holy Word. How dare Al Mohler marginalize Christians who hold to a different view of creation, yet who share his commitment to a high view of Scripture.
As the Florida Witness article explained, Mohler spoke at the 2010 Ligonier Ministries National Conference on Creationism (at the behest of R.C. Sproul), confirming that he considers this to be a hot-button issue. Mohler’s message “Why Does the Universe Look So Old” is available on video here.
Our beloved Michael Spencer, who blogged as The Internet Monk prior to his passing on April 5, 2010, wrote an excellent post on Creationism in 2007 which we highly recommend.
Interestingly, Spencer’s post contains the following statement:
“Good men, like R.C. Sproul and J. Gresham Machen, are outside of the young earther’s definition of orthodoxy on this issue. The Presbyterian Church in America has been painfully divided over this issue, an issue that no creed or confession in classical orthodox Christendom has ever taken sides on.”
We wonder what Michael Spencer must have thought when he read about R.C. Sproul Sr.’s sudden conversion from Old Earth to Young Earth Creationism. Reformation Faith Today published an article on October 5, 2008, with this headline: Reformed Theologian RC Sproul Changes his Mind about Creation
The article begins as follows:
For most of my teaching career, I considered the ‘framework hypothesis’ to be a possibility. But I have now changed my mind. I now hold to a literal six-day creation. Genesis says that God created the universe and everything in it in six twenty-four-hour periods.”
We are left wondering why Sproul, who turned 69 in 2008, suddenly changed his mind after accepting the theory of evolution as valid science for most of his ministry. It’s definitely a conundrum…
As previously stated, it seems to us that the accusations of HERESY are coming from only one side. While the other side may argue strongly over scientific evidence proving that the earth is old (which Mohler acknowledges), they never characterize this as a salvific issue. Here’s a case in point. In May 2010 Dee visited the Lattimer House, located in Birmingham, Alabama, to hear Hugh Ross. Larry Taunton, who heads the Fixed Point Foundation made these concluding remarks to those in attendance:
Although we have serious disagreement with our Young Earth brothers and sisters, we should commend them for wanting to have a high view of Scripture. (not an exact quote but accurate to the best of Dee’s recollection)
Sadly, it appears that the converse is not true. Young Earth Creationists claim that Old Earth Creationists and Theistic Evolutionists do not hold to a high view of Scripture and are willing to throw out the Bible in favor of science. Well, if that’s true, then why in the world did Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary invite Walt Kaiser (Old Earth Creationist and President Emeritus at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) to address students in chapel for the Page Lecture Series which took place October 19-20, 2010?
We want to leave you with a convicting comment written by one of our loyal readers, Stunned.
Stunned challenged us with these piercing words, which we all need to take to heart.
“But the minute these discussions cross the line of love, that’s another matter all together. I don’t think for one cotton pickin’ second that God is pleased in the least, no matter how hard someone things they are “defending” either God or truth or anything else. Seems to me that since Jesus said that the greatest commandment was to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” and the second was to love your fellow man, then the moment we step outside of those boundaries, no matter how “right” we are, we’re wrong… Mohler missed the mark of love in trying to prove a point. And if he missed the mark on love, heck, even if he talks in the voice of angels, but has not love, what is he (or any of us?)”
Lydia’s Corner: Leviticus 14:1-57 Mark 6:30-56 Psalm 40:1-10 Proverbs 10:11-12