Many times since 2004, when young-earth creationist Jonathan Sarfati published his book Refuting Compromise: A Biblical and Scientific Refutation of ‘Progressive Creationism’ (Billions of Years) As Popularized by Astronomer Hugh Ross, I have been asked to provide a point-by-point response to his charges. My answer has been, and still is, I see no need for such a response. Any (nontrivial) biblical and scientific objections raised by Sarfati in that book had already been addressed in my book, A Matter of Days: Resolving a Creation Controversy, in advance of the release of Sarfati’s widely publicized book attacking my views. For the record, he has never met me nor spoken with me.
Sarfati and the rest of the young-earth creationist community have yet to respond to, or even acknowledge the existence of, A Matter of Days, despite the book’s having resided at the top of Amazon.com’s list of “books young-earth creationists do not want you to read.” Thus, we’ve never been able to dialogue about its contents. Long ago, swordandspirit.org featured a humor piece entitled “Refuting Refuting Refuting Compromise,” a not-so-subtle hint at the folly of my wasting time on a response that would simply generate further invective. And I do mean “invective.”
Much, if not most, of Refuting Compromise attacks my character, my training and education, and my competency as both a scientist and a Bible interpreter. In A Matter of Days, I make no attempt to defend myself against such criticisms. Nor do I think I should. Others who know me personally and have observed my life and work closely with me can offer their assessment of my Christian character, academic achievement, and Bible literacy.
Though I won’t respond to Sarfarti’s personal attacks against me, I would like to make a few suggestions that I hope will be helpful to anyone open to questioning Sarfati’s vilification of day-age creationism and its adherents, myself included.
- Given that both old-earth and young-earth creationists make predictions about what scientists and Bible scholars will discover as research advances, keep an eye on the findings to see which predictions more closely align with what’s discovered. (See some examples at reasons.org/resources/predictions.)
- View for yourself one or more of my debates with young-earth creationist leaders (unaltered versions, please) and also debates (theirs and mine) with skeptics and atheists. Several are available on DVD.
- See The Genesis Debate for a formal written exchange among Ligon Duncan and David Hall on the young-earth creationist side, Lee Irons and Meredith Kline on the framework side, and Gleason Archer and myself on the day-age side.
All sides would do well to heed the biblical principles to “test everything” (1 Thessalonians 5:21) and, even in disagreement, to offer reasoning with “gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).