Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Adam Quest - Tim Stafford

Tim Stafford is senior writer for Christianity Today and has written The Adam Quest (Thomas Nelson, 2013).  This book highlights the life, work and views of eleven scientists who are believers.  Thankfully, the first three are creationists (Creation In Six Days = CISD, YES = Young Earth Science, Global Flood).  Chapters 1-3 cover the stories of Kurt Wise, Todd Wood and Georgia Purdom.

Stafford is misinformed in that not all geologists buy into OEF’s – Old Earth Fallacies (p. 2).  Some YES supporters don’t want to be outed (as in Expelled with Ben Stein).  Geologist Steven Austin has superb credentials. Austin’s research on nautiloids in the Redwall Limestone of Grand Canyon and its catastrophic origin is unassailable.  A recent survey of 312 leaders of Christian colleges and universities showed that 57% of Science Dept. chairs support Young Earth Science (YES)‼
Stafford’s parents were open to the view that Noah’s Flood was local (p. 3).  In contrast,Sacred Cows in Science, edited by Norbert Smith (Ph.D. Zoology, Texas Tech), who appeared in a BBC documentary, has one chapter that defends the Global Flood.  Dr. Smith’s book covers many worldview issues (climate change, ID, gay marriage etc.).  Smith recently appeared on Today’s Issues (AFR radio), it starts at the 32:00 minute mark.

Tim’s parents were “not dogmatic about details of God’s creation” (p. 3), but Jesus was:

“from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female” (Mk 10:6).  Adam and Eve did not arrive billions of years after the start (Ge 1:1). 

"These are going to be hard days - nothing like it from the time God made the world right up to the present … (Mk 13:19, Msg).  Human suffering & the beginning both map to the start (no gap of billions of years).

“The blood of all the prophets shed from the foundation of the earth, from Abel to Zachariah…” (Lk 11:50,51, Philips).  Prophets and the Beginning are not separated by billions of years.

Stafford should follow the example of Intelligent Design (ID) pioneer Phillip Johnson (pp. 3, 70-72) who went to the Creation Museum (KY), accepts the possible change of fundamental constants (just like the RATE team) and went on a speaking tour with Flood Geologist Andrew Snelling in the UK.  How many of the scholars in Adam Quest (other than the first 3) have gone to the Creation Museum?  ID leader William Dembski now accepts the Global Flood!

I’m glad Stafford has decided to “pay closer attention” to origins (p. 3).  I would recommend the following:
1) read Coming to Grips with Genesis – Mortenson and Ury
2) read Earth’s Catastrophic Past – Snelling (~1100 pages)
3) watch the Ken Ham v. Bill Nye debate.

Additionally, I hope Stafford reads Persuaded by the Evidence which contain the testimonies of 37 scientists and scholars who became convinced of the traditional creation WorldView.

Microbiologist Bob Messing (p. 3), who is struggling with crevo, should contact Nathan Jeanson (Ph.D. Cell & Dev. Biol., Harvard) and Jeffrey Tomkins (Ph.D. Genetics, Clemson).  They are currently doing research at the Institute for Creation Research (icr) that supports the fixity of kinds.

Kurt Wise had a discussion with Stephen Jay Gould (d. 2002) who made an astonishing admission, “If what you are saying is true, then the Bible’s story about a Flood may be true, and that God who punished sin is likely still alive” (p. 18, emphasis added).  If only Gould had investigated the Scripture more deeply.

Stafford claims that “Conventional geologists and paleontologists have shown no detectable interest in the theory [Flood Geology], except to heap it with scorn” (p. 22).  In contrast, Stokes and Lee state in their Geology text Introduction to Geology (pub. by Prentice-Hall), that, "A catastrophist might contend that the twisting and breaking of strata, the transportation of huge blocks of rock, the violent cutting of canyons, and the wholesale destruction of life is within the power of a great universal flood - and he would be right." [1]  Stafford’s objection regarding fossil order has been dealt with in an earlier post (Dec. 2010).

Here are some Ph.D. scientists in Geology (or Earth Sciences) who hold to the Global Flood:
Of course, this list could be extended if we include Geophysics and Paleontology.  Terry Mortenson has a Ph.D. in the History of Geology from Coventry University (UK).

Stafford, who favors “Theo Evo” - theistic evolution (p. 205), should have spoken with professors of History of Science and Philosophy of Science.  Many of them freely confess that evolution is not proven.  Consider the words of David B. Kitts (d. 2010)who was a Professor of History of Science (and Geology) at the University of Oklahoma:

Evolutionary theory compels us to see the fossil record as evidence of evolution. The paleontological record supports evolutionary theory if you presuppose evolutionary theory. It is consistent with evolutionary theory, but it does not compel us to accept evolutionary theory. The fossil record is consistent with an astronomical number of theories [including traditional creation]. The fossil record does not prove evolution; nothing proves evolution. Evolution is a scientific hypothesis.

Kitts was no creationist and in fact debated Duane Gish and Henry Morris in 1973.[2]  Furthermore, hundreds of scientists have signed the Dissent from Darwin list.  It is likely that thousands of scientists reject evolution, but only a portion of those are willing to admit this publicly.  Slaughter of the Dissidents documents the tragic consequences of those who have.

Stafford seems to think that baraminology is a new thing (p. 23).  Frank Marsh (Ph.D. Plant Ecology, Univ. of Nebraska) actually coined the term baramin in 1941.  Marsh corresponded with leading evolutionist Theodosius Dobzhansky (d. 1975) in 1945 defining the limits of the Genesis kinds. [3]

Stafford breaks down the major views on origins as follows (p. 7):

1)  Young Earth Creationist.  We prefer OPGHN (“opgane”)- Orthodox Protestants who take Genesis as Historical Narrative.  This term was inspired by Harold Lindsell who said, “Believers in the view that Scripture and the Word of God are synonymous can always use an alternate label such as Orthodox Protestant …” [4]
2)  Intelligent Design Creationist.  ID also includes atheists who doubt or deny evolution.  The term creationist should be dropped.  Even Clinton Richard Dawkins admitted that ID is possible (in the film Expelled).

3)  Evolutionary Creationist.  A better term would be “Theo Evo.”  Sadly, theistic evolution is still popular among Christian academics.Francis Schaeffer said Theo Evo is not an option,

… I will now mention two limits that seem to me to be absolute. … The Bible gives a specific limitation:  Adam was created by God, and then Eve was made from Adam by God. … I have never heard anyone holding any form of theistic evolution who follows these two limitations [the 1st was that bara means original creation]. …even if I were still an agnostic, as once I was, I would not accept the concept of evolution from the molecule to man in an unbroken line. …this concept is weak and certainly has not been proven … [5]

Is rejecting the traditional creation view going down the “path of ungodliness” (p. 2)?  Charles Templeton worked with Billy Graham in the 1950’s and preached to thousands (up to 30K).  Both Templeton and sociobiologist E.O. Wilson credit evolution for their walking away from the Lord.  Look at Princeton Seminary, look at Davis A. Young (DAY=yom) – the slippery slope is real.  Young once held to a Global Flood (a tranquil flood).

As a clear and present example of the Slippery Slope Syndrome, let’s examine Fuller Seminary.  At the beginning, Fuller was influenced by these scholars:  Carl F. H. Henry, Harold Lindsell (The Battle for the Bible), Gleason Archer (Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties) and Charles Woodbridge, to name a few. [6]

Does taking a weak stand on the authority of Genesis lead to other errors?  Consider this bold stance from Harold Lindsell:

The simplest reading of Genesis and the rest of the Bible makes it plain that Adam and Eve are regarded as historic personages and the first parents of the human race.  The genealogical tables include them, and their sons and grandsons are named as though they too were real persons.  When critics declare that the biblical accounts here are myth or saga and not real history, they are allowing extrabiblical data and personal opinions or hermeneutical dodges to sit in judgment on the Bible. [7]

Gleason Archer said, “… The Battle for the Bible has put its finger upon the most urgent issue facing evangelicals today [inerrancy] …” [8]  Gleason Archer supports a global flood!

Lindsell’s prediction from the 1970’s still holds:

I asserted that once an institution surrenders biblical inerrancy it will sooner or later scrap other basic doctrines of the Christian faith.  I asserted in the 1976 book [The Battle for the Bible] that it has already happened at Fuller.  … I also said that down the road, Fuller Seminary will make further concessions and allow for other more marked departures from historic orthodoxy. [9]

Is the slippery slope a reality at Fuller?  Richard Mouw, former President of Fuller Seminary, spoke this shocker,“While I am not prepared to reclassify Mormonism as possessing undeniably Christian theology, I do accept many of my Mormon friends as genuine followers of the Jesus whom I worship as the divine Savior.”  Recently, Fuller officially sanctioned an openly homosexual student group (OneTable)!  What’s next in the slide downward?
If Genesis fails to teach us the truth about origins, then where else has the Bible deceived us?  Give careful thought to this wisdom from Francis Schaeffer:

… from Barth onward they [theological liberals] tried to say that you could have a Bible with mistakes in it, and yet a religious word broke through.  The older theological liberals pressed this; so they went from Barth to Brunner, to Niebuhr to Tillich to the “God is Dead” theology.  Just when it was proven bankrupt on the side of the liberals, some evangelicals seem to think that they’ve found something new, which is a bit curious. [10]

How can you say, “We are wise, for we have the law of the Lord,”
when actually the lying pen of the scribes has handled it falsely?
The wise will be put to shame; they will be dismayed and trapped.
Since they have rejected the word of the Lord, what kind of wisdom do they have? (Jer. 8:8, 9, NIV)

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1) Introduction to Geology: Physical and Historical by William Lee Stokes and Sheldon Judson (Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1968),p.296.
2)  Creation:  Acts, Facts, Impacts ed. by Henry Morris et al (Creation-Life Publishers, San Diego, CA, 1974), pp. 1, 40, 41.
3)  Variation and Fixity in Nature by Frank Marsh (Pacific Press, Mountain View, CA, 1976), pp. 36, 37.
4)  The Bible in the Balance by Harold Lindsell (Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI, 1979), p. 321, emphasis in original.
5)  The Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer, Vol. 2, 2e (Crossway, 1996), pp. 136, 137.
6)  Reforming Fundamentalism: Fuller Seminary and the New Evangelicalismby George M. Marsden (Eerdmans, 1987), p. 1.
7)  Lindsell, p. 285.
8)  “The Right Battle” by Gleason Archer in Lindsell, p. 356.
9)  Lindsell, p. 184.
10)  Francis Schaeffer:  An Authentic Life by Colin Duriez (Crossway, Wheaton, IL, 2008), p. 206, from an interview in 1980.

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