Monday, May 23, 2016

The Chicago Statement, ICBI, Walter Bradley & Henry Morris (Pt. 2)

The inerrancy movement led to the Chicago Statement generated by the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy (ICBI).  To get the background read Part 1.

Walter Bradley, former Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M, wrote a very influential paper “The Trustworthiness of Scripture in Areas Relating to Natural Science” which abandons Creation In Six Days (CISD), Young Earth Science (YES) and the Global Flood.  Unfortunately, Bradley claimed in another work (Three Views on Creation and Evolution) that bacteria death is a problem for traditional creation.  Not so, as Andrew Kulikovsky explains:

However, this is a straw-man argument. To be frank, it is common courtesy to learn what people actually teach before criticizing them (but to be fair, the choice of creationist spokesmen might not have given him the chance, at least as far as the book was concerned). The major creationist organizations like Answers in Genesis and the Institute for Creation Research have never taught that plants, microbes or individual cells didn’t die before the Fall, but only nephesh (soul) creatures.

Our review of Three Views on Creation and Evolution can be found here.
The companion book to the Chicago Statement on Hermeneutics was Hermeneutics, Inerrancy, and the Bible (1984).  In that book, Bruce Waltke states, "... many Evangelicals err egregiously against the text [Gen. 1:1 - 2:3] by reading it as a scientific treatise. ... it is not history in the proper sense of that term because no man was present to record the events at the time of creation." [1]  This is not a real stumbling block for Orthodox Protestants who take Genesis as Historical Narrative (OPGHN, "opgane").  God was present and active during Creation Week.  The Lord communicated with Adam in the cool of the evening (Gen. 3:8). [2]  Furthermore, it's very reasonable that Adam himself wrote the early part of Genesis with Moses as editor.  In 2001 Waltke said this,

The days of creation may also pose difficulties for a strict historical account.  Contemporary scientists almost unanimously discount the possibility of creation in one week, and we cannot summarily discount the evidence of the earth sciences.
Now we can clearly see that the Slippery Slope Syndrome is real.  Bruce Waltke (formerly at Reformed Theological Seminary - Orlando) now favors theistic evolution and warned evangelicals that rejecting evolution earns the label “cult.”

Once believers see that the Deluge really happened, a young earth is obviously the best option.  Consider these timely words from Henry Morris:

... the whole geological-age system is based squarely on the philosophy of uniformitarianism ... the actual data of the geologic column can be explained at least as well in terms of recent catastrophism ... [3]
Morris also points out that widely accepted dating methods deserve closer scrutiny:

... the few physical processes that seem to point to an old earth (e.g. uranium decay) in terms of the uniformitarian assumptions on which they are based will show that these assumptions are not only unproved but are also untestable and unreasonable.  All the real history we have (that is, written human records) goes back only a few thousand years. [4]

YES - Young Earth Science is a great book that defends a youthful planet from History and Science.  This work documents numerous natural processes that indicate a young earth.

A Biblical WorldView requires us to take a strong stand on Genesis because Jesus did as well (Mk. 10:6, Mk. 13:19, Lk. 11:50,51).  Genesis and true Geology do not contradict! 

Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. ... It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones" ... In the last time there will be mockers ... But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit ... And have mercy on some, who are doubting ... (Jude vv. 3, 14, 18, 20, 22)
If you have not read The Genesis Flood by John Whitcomb and Henry Morris, I highly recommend it!

1) Hermeneutics, Inerrancy, and the Bible ed. by Earl Radmacher and Robert Preus (Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI, 1984), p. 108.
2) Bing Crosby even sang a song about it, "Shore! said the dinosaur."
3) Radmacher and Preus, p. 345.
4) Ibid., p. 346, emphasis in original.