Oh dear my Premier Christian Radio blog of last year has caused some upset down-under. Not content with shredding my first five questions, they have had me hung, drawn and quartered as well. Have I really touched a raw nerve with these Australian creationists?
Well, Creation Ministries International have now shredded my points 6 to 10 and I’m gutted
Much was predictable and they seem disappointed I have not taken heed of their books and articles, which they know I have read. Yes, I took head of them as far was sensible , which was not at all. Jonathan Sirfartie’s Refuting Evolution was a remarkably bad book.
Not being so blessed as them with unlimited time I make a few comments on some of their quotes from the blog.
It is essentially saying one must believe in a 6-day creation and not to do so you are compromised by secular thought and have rejected the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Over the last half century I have not found one argument for creationism which dust not turn to dust on inspection.
Here is my response to Part 1 of their crit
I give the url to their blog at the end of my response to their response, and here I pick up a few of their points.
Apostle Paul’s theology is contingent upon the Bible’s history, recognizing that the spread of death to all mankind resulted from the sin of Adam. Not only humanity but all creation suffered from the effects of sin, including animals. In a chapter dealing with salvation from sin, Paul describes the whole creation as “groaning” and being “subjected to futility” and suffering under the “bondage to corruption” (Romans 8:20–22).
CMI’s argument that all creation suffered the curse and that brought in death is not there in Genesis, however much you holler that it is. Clearly if animals, or even bacteria, have been biting the dust since the early Precambrian, then the curse is null and void. Or else the whole of science is.
The writer then appeals to Romans 8 vs 20-2. This passage is open to disagreement , especially if you take the word Ktisis in vs 20ff to mean creation/cosmos. Many theologians and NT scholars get in a fix over this and it is worrying that NT Wright almost seems to accept a curse as he does in Evil and the justice of God, where on p 117 he even thinks seasons are a sign of futility, which is very weird. https://michaelroberts4004.wordpress.com/2017/04/07/spring-is-here-but-are-the-four-seasons-evil/
In fact ktisis has a variety of meanings and after much research I prefer to follow Archbishop Ussher’s contemporary and fellow chronologist John Lightfoot and translate ktisis as humanity. It makes better sense.
In Michael Roberts’ introduction he states, “for the last 2000 years most Christians have not believed in a young earth and it is only in the last half century that it has become a big issue for some Christians”.1
This is a blatant misrepresentation of Church history. Belief in a recent creation was the default historical position of the church from the first century right up until the era of Darwin
If CMI studied what writers had written and especially from 1600 they would see that I am right. Slowly after 1660 a longer time for creation was accepted and by 1790 few educated Christians held to a young earth, and those diminished rapidly after 1800 after from the scriptural geologists (see below) . By 1859 there were hardly any young earthers in Britain , USA or the rest of Europe.
he idea that there was no “geological evidence to guide” Christians is contradicted by the fact that the scriptural geologists of the time (see next section) were men who possessed expert geological competence. However, they were ignored by the establishment (many of whom were deists), which followed the academic trend of Hutton and Lyell’s uniformitarianism.
That’s fogging it up by flipping from the 17th to 19th century without noting the difference! In the 17th and early 18th there was virtually no geological evidence as so little geological work was done. A cursory look at any history of geology will show that . It was only after 1750 that geological evidence began to accumulate. This also ignores (deliberately?) any geologist of a different perspective to Lyell and Hutton. Just take Brogniart and Cuvier in France, deLuc and de Saussure in Switzerland , William Smith (the Father of English geology), Townsend, Buckland, Coneybeare Brothers, Sedgwick and a host of others in Britain. Their inaccuracy here beggars belief.
This question borders on the fallacy of generalization, as Roberts implies that all early geologists’ views were similar and that they rejected a ‘young earth’. Terry Mortenson, in his book The Great Turning Point,3 gives detailed descriptions of seven ‘Scriptural Geologists’ who objected to ‘old earth’ (deep time) theories (see also The 19th century scriptural geologists: historical background). However, in the time of Charles Darwin, the rapidly developing field of geology became divorced from Scripture. Subsequently, many early geologists (even some Christians) pursued secular uniformitarian thinking. Sadly, then, they “deliberately overlook[ed] this fact, that … the earth was formed out of water … by the word of God, and … the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished” (2 Peter 3:5–6).
Ah Terry Mortenson! His book is based on his Ph D thesis from Coventry Univ. I had a copy of his thesis in my house for years and returned it to the the owner. It was not the best of theses. To say these anti-geologists “were men who possessed expert geological competence” is risible when you assess their grasp of geology as measured by the standards of the early 19th century. Apart from George Young, who did some good field geology in Yorkshire, the rest did their field work sitting in an armchair. Mortenson wrote “George Fairholme was quite competent to critically analyze old-earth geological theories.” as I wrote in Geological Society, London, Special Publications 2009; v. 310; p. 155-170 Adam Sedgwick (17851873): geologist and evangelical
A frequent contributor to the
Christian Observer during the 1820s and 1830s
was George Fairholme (1789–1846), who signed
himself as ‘A Layman on Scriptural Geology’. Fairholme
was a Scot and was probably educated at
home rather than university. He wrote the General
View of the Geology of Scripture (Fairholme
1833) and the Mosaic Deluge (Fairholme 1837).
The preface of the latter discussed the theological
results and scepticism caused by geology and
especially the rejection of a universal deluge:
‘there cannot be conceived a principle more
pregnant with mischief to the simple reception of
scripture’. Fairholme emphasized the universality
of the Deluge: ‘if false . . . then has our Blessed
Saviour himself aided in promoting the belief of
that falsehood, by . . . alluding both to the fact and
the universality of its destructive consequences to
mankind’ (Fairholme 1837, p. 61).
In the General View of the Geology of Scripture
(Fairholme 1833), he gave an appearance of geological
competence by citing geological works.
However, his geology does not bear comparison
with that of major geological writers of his day.
His lack of geological competence is best seen in
his discussion of the relationship of coal to chalk.
the chalk formation is placed far above that of coal, apparently
from no better reason, than that chalk usually presents an elevation
on the upper surface, while coal must be looked for at various
depths below the level of the ground (Fairholme 1833, p. 243).
He had previously discussed this (Fairholme 1833,
pp. 207–210) and concluded, having misunderstood
an article in the Edinburgh Encyclopaedia,
Nothing can be clearer than this account; and it appears certain,
that, as in the case of the Paris Basin, this lime-stone formed the
bed of the antediluvian sea, on which the diluvial deposits of
coal, clay, ironstone, and free-stone, were alternately laid at the
same period (Fairholme 1833, p. 209).
It is clear that Fairholme regarded Carboniferous
Limestone and the Cretaceous chalk as the same
formation, and he wrote that coal fields,
lie among sandstones . . . but have, in no instance, been found
below chalk, which is one of the best defined secondary formations
immediately preceding the Deluge.
Thus the Cretaceous strata were pre-Flood and the
Coal Measures were deposited during the Flood.
But during the awful event [the Deluge] we are now considering,
all animated nature ceased to exist, and consequently, the floating
bodies of the dead bodies must have been buoyed up until the bladders
burst, by the force of the increasing air contained within them
(Fairholme 1833, p. 257).
It is impossible to agree with Mortenson’s assessment
that ‘By early nineteenth century standards,
George Fairholme was quite competent to critically
analyze old-earth geological theories’ (Mortenson
2004, p. 130). Although Fairholme took it upon
himself to criticize geology, he did so from sheer
ignorance, as is evidenced by his claim that Chalk
always underlies Coal. Fairholme, like all antigeologists,
attempted from his armchair to find
fault with geology, but his ‘scientific’ objections
were simply misunderstood geology. Then, as
now, the advantage of writing such works is that
the refutation of their absurd arguments is beyond
the patience of rational people. The geological fraternity
had very little respect for the anti-geologists
and the response was frequently biting sarcasm,
often led by Lyell.
I just love the Coal measures lying above the Chalk 🙂 and dead mammals floating because of bloated bladders!! Imagine the yuk when the bladders burst.
No wonder the good evangelical parson Sedgwick had so much fun ridiculing the Scriptural geologists!! Sadly no leading Anglican has done the like in recent years. Bishops do’t seem to want to refute heresy – and it is their job.
We are not sure where Michael Roberts gets his figures “250 years” (under question 2) and here, “350 years”? In the former case, we assume he is referring to the publication of James Hutton’s 1788 Theory of the Earth (230 years ago). Hutton’s publication was a philosophical imposition upon the rocks. It was not based on extensive field observation over many years but upon an unwarranted extrapolation into the past. This uniformitarian approach followed from his a priori naturalism which, after the promotion of Hutton’s work by Charles Lyell, became the ruling paradigm through which geology has been interpreted ever since. Ultimately it comes down to a matter of authority. Both Hutton and Lyell were anti-Bible deists (who were influenced by Masonic belief). They did not ‘read the rocks’, but set out to undo the Bible’s historical credibility, which was accepted at the time of Hutton. Their aim was achieved by subterfuge.
Simples. 250 takes us back to 1760 when geology really got going and 350 goes back to Steno, Ray and Lhwyd. They have no justification to say Hutton’s publication was a philosophical imposition on the rocks, nor Lyell and overlook the fact that there was a tremendous diversity of outlook among the early geologists. some were Christians eg Michell, Towsend, Sedgwick , Buckland etc and others like the canal engineer William Smith had no philosophy at all!!
The subterfuge in this paragraph is the CMI grossly misrepresenting what happened
and so the compare the two – good ole creationism and the godlessness of Hutton and his successors, including me.
Just a wee problem, the Big Bang was put forward not by a rabid atheist but bu Fr Lemaitre, a Belgian priest. Whoops!
So just a few thoughts on CMI latest tirade against me.
Am I thick?
Maybe I’m in good company?
I am most honoured to get the response as it shows my blog has had some effect. Perhaps I have convinced some that Young Earth Creationism is twaddle
Meanwhile I remain a simple believer in God as creator and Jesus as my lord and Saviour and I delight in both the bible and geology.
Perhaps that is rather sarcastic, but groups like Creation ministries seem to delight in rubbishing the faith of Christians who do not believe the same as them. They compound that by not being rigorous in their honesty by continually misrepresenting those who accept standard views of science and rather unpleasantly calling them “compromisers”. They seems to be a lack of both love and truthfulness.
Yet, too many Christians fall under their spell.
Now read their blog and see how I am hung, drawn and quartered.