by Andrew Kulikovsky
Since the rise of uniformitarian geology in about 1800, many in the church have capitulated to this new ‘science’. Thus they have rejected the traditional plain historical-grammatical interpretation of the creation and Flood accounts. They routinely resort to erroneous reasoning to support their compromising reinterpretation. Following are discussions of the three most common errors committed.
Appealing to the ‘purpose’ of the text
Old-earthers often appeal to the ‘purpose’ of the creation account, commonly claiming that it is primarily theological rather than historical. For example, Bruce Waltke, citing Charles Hummel, argues that Genesis 1–2 is not a purely descriptive account answering the ‘what?’ ‘how?’ and ‘what is?.’ Instead, it is prescriptive in that it answers the ‘who?’ ‘why?’ and ‘what ought to be?’.1Thus, the Genesis account of creation and the Fall discusses general theological concerns rather than describing actual historical events. Similarly, Bernard Ramm states that Scripture “tells us emphatically that God created, but is silent as to how God created … . It informs us that the stars, and the flowers, and the animals, and the trees, and man are creatures of God, but how God produced them is nowhere a matter of clear affirmation in Scripture [emphasis in original].”2
However, such a view simply does not align with what the Scriptures actually state. As Walter Kaiser responds, “[this is] an obvious slighting of the phrase repeated ten times, ‘and God said’ … ”.3 Indeed, God’s creative activity is precisely described using the verbs ‘created’ ‘made’, ‘said’, ‘called’, ‘set’, ‘formed’, ‘caused’, ‘took’, ‘planted’, and ‘blessed’. Furthermore, these activities are described from start to finish, and spread out over a period of six days. In other words, the Genesis account describes exactly how God created, the order in which He created, and the timing of His creative acts—and was understood that way by the New Testament writers.4 If, on the other hand, all the author intended to communicate was that ‘God is the creator of everything’, then surely the first verse would have been enough…..
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