Reasons to Believe

A Charitable Review of 7 Truths That Changed the World

Can a young-earth creationist value an apologetics book that was written by an old-earth creationist? I’m happy to say that the answer is yes. Pastor and Bible college instructor Daniel Ruiz has written a very helpful and thorough review of my latest book, 7 Truths That Changed the World on the Sharper Iron website: http://sharperiron.org/article/book-review-7-truths-changed-world.

Pastor Ruiz exhibits a good eye for theological and apologetics detail as he summarizes the seven major sections of my book. I genuinely appreciate his fair-minded and charitable review especially since he holds to young-earth creationism and views the old-earth creationist position as “most disappointing.”

While the review of my book is very positive and balanced, Pastor Ruiz does comment briefly about what he sees as the unfortunate hermeneutical implications of Christians believing in an ancient universe (approximately 14 billion years old). It seems he believes that interpreting the Genesis creation days in any other manner than as six consecutive 24-hour periods (popularly known as the calendar-day or young-earth view) violates the historical-grammatical method of Bible interpretation.

However, I am just one of many conservative Christian theologians and apologists who do in fact affirm the historical-grammatical method but reject the calendar-day view because of its exegetical weaknesses. For example, the first three creation days could not be normal calendar-days—with “evening and morning” equating to sunset and sunrise—if the Sun was not created until the fourth day. There is no reference to evening and morning in the description of the seventh day. Plus, the Hebrew word yôm (translated “day”) is not restricted to meaning only a 24-hour period.

To appreciate the diversity among conservative evangelical scholars and denominations when it comes to interpreting Genesis’ creation days, see my article “Creedal Controversy: The Orthodoxy of Days”: http://www.reasons.org/articles/creedal-controversy-the-orthodoxy-of-days. I include statements from a number of evangelicalism’s finest seminaries and from solidly orthodox denominations that confirm that the creation days can be interpreted as being other than calendar days (e.g., day-age, analogical day, framework, etc.) and yet still be consistent with sound principles of biblical interpretation.

The conservative theologians and apologists I know who adopt old-earth creationism do so because they believe that God’s two revelatory books (the figurative book of nature and the literal book of Scripture) both point to that conclusion.

Again, I appreciate Pastor Ruiz’s gracious and evenhanded review of my latest apologetics book and I hope this response alleviates concern over the old-earth approach.

Subjects: Creation Passages