Monday, August 6, 2012

Aha, an old earth creationist at Southeastern

Refreshing. That would be Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary Academic Dean Kenneth Keathley who,

...calls himself an old-earth creationist who accepts that the universe is billions of years old, but also believes that God directly intervened at certain points in natural history.

Al Mohler, of course, is a 10,000 year or so Young Earth Creationist.

We have diversity, brethren and sistren. That's good.

One searches in vain for any word by the Baptist Faith and Message on the age of the earth. Keathely explains...

...the Southern Baptist statement of faith is silent on how God created the universe. But he goes on to say that Southern Baptists’ very literal interpretation of Scripture leads many in the denomination to hold the view that God created the world in six, 24-hour days less than 10,000 years ago.
Plodder surmises that there are also many SBCers who think that any who believe in anything but an extremely young earth are heretics and reprobates. Many such folks, self-assured True Believers and followers of the One True Interpretation of the Bible, have made the slippery slope arguments of Young Earthers into El Capitan, sheer cliff arguments - if you are an old earth creationist, you are probably not even saved. Silly.

The source of the quotes above is a Washington Post article:
Evangelical scientists debate online with Southern Baptist seminary professors

The online debate is found at the BioLogos Forum. Thinking Southern Baptists will find it informative and helpful.


11 comments:

Tom Parker said...

William:

How sad it is that some want to dictate "Biblical beliefs" that are not "Biblical beliefs" and question the salvation of anyone that does not agree with them.

I think some folks would die if they did not have something to fight with others about as it relates to the Bible.

dalepugh said...

Wiiliam:
Thanks for this! I'm glad to see someone discussing something other than Calvinism for a change.....
My personal theology is built on the belief that "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" predicates all biblical doctrine. If I don't believe that, then none of the rest of the Bible matters. If I DO believe that, then I can't ignore the authority of the Bible in my life. (Of course, interpretation is never inerrant.)

Bill said...

I have often feared that YEC would be added to the BFM at some point, and to a lesser extent, dispensationalism.

Ryan abernathy said...

I say amen and may Keathleys tribe increase. The rise of YEC has done more to set back rational discussion of Christian faith and science than anything since Galileo. I hope this serves as a wake up call to the YEC movement that the old earthers are not heretics and that we have the same ideas about scripture as they do. You can be an inerrantist and an old earther and until about 60 years ago that was the dominant view.

William Thornton said...

All commenters: Well put, brethren.

Daniel W said...

I just learned a day or two ago that Spurgeon was an old earth creationist. Specifically, he held to the gap theory.

I was decidedly an old earther for a while, but now I'm an undecided young earther. I can't make the gap theory work with Hebrew grammar, I have trouble with the day-age theory because it requires animal death before the Fall, and I just don't buy the concept of revelatory days. Can any of you old earthers give me a a better theory before you lose me forever to the young earth side?

William Thornton said...

Go to the link, Daniel, you should have plenty of stuff available. I don't think the grammar deep sixes the gap theory.

The problem with YE is fitting the evidence or in just ignoring or waving it away.

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that!

We've been m's overseas with the IMB for over 15 years. Seems all this YEC and OEC stuff has really taken off (arguing) in the last 10+ years. Why do you think that is?

I don't hear it talked about among our personnel at all (even those homeschooling their kids). It's a non-issue.

I guess the issue for me is that I don't like someone telling me what I have to believe....that's not 100% spelled out in the Bible.

It should be enough that we all agree, "in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth".

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that!

We've been m's overseas with the IMB for over 15 years. Seems all this YEC and OEC stuff has really taken off (arguing) in the last 10+ years. Why do you think that is?

I don't hear it talked about among our personnel at all (even those homeschooling their kids). It's a non-issue.

I guess the issue for me is that I don't like someone telling me what I have to believe....that's not 100% spelled out in the Bible.

It should be enough that we all agree, "in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth".

William Thornton said...

My thought is that there is a considerable young earth industry operating among evangelicals. I do not discount that most of these are sincere in their beliefs but am aware that it is big business as well with numbers of traveling specialists, nonprofits, and publishers involved.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I live in Chesapeake, Va. I was once a Southern Baptist Deacon and have been a Young Earth Creationist; however, after examining the evidence, I would Old Earth Creationism: Gap Theory correct in my opinion. I cannot believe that dinosaurs and human beings could not have lived together. Dinosaurs were extinct when Adam and Eve were created.

Charles E. Miller, BA,ODU; MA Liberty University