Since I started working with the Aquila Report at the beginning of the year, I haven’t had the time to write like I usually do. I am working on a handful of posts, and I hope to publish them soon. Until then, here are a handful of the best articles I’ve read this last week. Enjoy!
Adam and Eve and Pinch Me: Carl Trueman hits one out of the park with this one:
Dr. Tim Keller, one of the two most senior TGC leaders, also sees the church’s attitude to evolution as a watershed issue for the gospel. Unlike Dr. Mohler, however, he has made it clear over the last few years that he is not only committed to some form of theistic evolution (though maintaining an historical Adam, reconstructed in light of evolutionary theory) but also regards the church’s failure to take evolution on board as potentially catastrophic. His comments to this effect at a Biologos-sponsored colloquy were reported by Christianity Today here; and Mike Kruger offers an excellent response to that particular gathering here.
Our Regard for Scripture: Too Low, Too Human, Too Safe: Tim Challies on how we should treat Scripture:
More than once I have been accused of being a bibliolater, a person who idolizes the Bible, who has excessive reverence for the letter of the Bible. I’m sure many other Christians have been accused of this as well. In my experience, this charge tends to be leveled against those who affirm the infallibility or inerrancy of Scripture; it may also be leveled against those who affirm the sufficiency of Scripture. People who level such a charge are objecting to what they see as a woodenness of faith and practice that stems from an understanding of Scripture they deem too literal. I am quite sure that I do not idolize the Bible and I am quite sure it is far more difficult to do than the accusers may think.
What Your Pastor Tells His Wife about You: Megan Hill with an excellent article on what Pastors share with their wives:
While pastors and their wives are wrestling with the issue of how much and which confidential information to share with one another, the general public is shocked . . . shocked to find that we share anything.
Against the Objectification of Females: Marty Duren on how women are treated in our culture:
The differences between the woman in the revealing swimwear, drunken coeds on Girls Gone Wild, a prostitute, a stripper or a sexually exploited child are only in the extremes and opportunities. The mindset is the same. Objects have no opinion, no right of refusal, no humanity, no femininity. Like a tire or a piece of lumber they are only good for as long as needed, then discarded. Human waste.
Could a Split Be Good for the PCA?: Sam DeSocio with an idea whose time may have come:
A break up of the denominational continent would forces churches to ask, “who should we be? What do we want our denomination to be know for?” For most of us it is easier to look back and say, “this is what we were about”, rather to look forward and say this is what we want to be about. Each of the new denominations would look slightly different and it would give local churches the chance to say who do we best fit with, and whom do we best partner with in our local ministry.
4 thoughts on “Have you read these?”
The Trueman article sounds wonderful on first reading. But, is simply being against evolution and for the special creation of Adam and Eve enough? Lots of Reformed scholars are “against evolution” and “for the special creation of Adam and Eve”, but it stops there. What sort of “evolution” does Trueman oppose? Does he hold to a God-directed notion of punctuated equilibrium? Did this “special creation” of Adam occur some 25,000 years ago? Did Adam and Eve and their children immediately set out exterminating the Neanderthals as some paleoanthropologists suggest? As I scratch beneath the surface of much of the recent Reformed chest-thumping “against” evolution and “for” the special creation of Adam, I find it to be almost as problematical as the position espoused by Tim Keller and Biologos. The anit-evolution chest-thumpers still hold to the Big Bang, billions of years, death before the fall, and no global flood as scientific fact. Dr. Trueman rejects evolution. He demands the special creation of Adam and Eve. He endorses Al Mohler and wishes him the best. But, does Trueman also endorse Dr. Mohler’s views on the historicity of Gen. 1-11, including recent creation, no death before the fall, a global flood, a common language until the tower of Babel? What does Dr. Trueman think of Answers in Genesis, Creation Ministries International, or ICR? Can you get a word of clarification from Dr. Trueman? Dr. Trueman raises bold questions. Hopefully he affirms the historic, orthodox, confessional view of creation which clearly excludes such things as billions of years, death before the fall, and the notion of only a local flood. But, if he, like so many other Reformed evangelical scholars, does not, then, the article is only so much hypocritical, hollow chest-thumping.
Jon, above is a link to the Mohler article referenced and linked to by Trueman, which Trueman appears to whole-heartedly approve, describing it as “persuasive, compelling, and timely.” The position taken by Mohler does not leave room for billions of years, local flood, etc. It is about as historically orthodox as anyone could desire.
Trueman’s point appears to be that the grand poobahs of evangelicalism will have to make a choice, that they cannot “run with the hares and hunt with the hounds indefinitely.” In other words, the frequent excuse to avoid dealing decisively with theistic evolution, that creation is not a “gospel-distinctive” issue, is clearly silly in light of Mohler’s arguments regarding the ultimate soteriological/Christological defects of the “theistic evolution” position.
Trueman appears to be calling evangelical leaders to look at, and actually deal with, the theistic evolution elephant in the room. The theistic evolution crowd, of whatever stripe, is always very careful to contend that creation is not a gospel distinctive, and that wide diversity of opinion regarding creation is therefore permissible within the fold of evangelicalism. If Trueman is a member of that crowd, the position he has taken here makes no sense.
As for what Trueman thinks of various creation-science organizations, it doesn’t seem relevant. I’ve never heard of two of the organizations you mentioned, but I assure you that I embrace a very literal six-day-creation cosmology. Affiliation with various parachurch groups should not become a test of orthodoxy. Christians are not called to become part of the ICR, the Salvation Army, or the Red Cross. They are called to be a part of the church, to seek her purity and her peace. Trueman has called the church to seek greater purity, and he should be commended for it.
Thank you so much for your response to my comment. You’ve obviously been thinking about these issues. I certainly could have been more clear. So, please allow me this occasion to clear things up a bit.
In no particular order:
1. I did not assert affiliation with various YECist organizations as a test of orthodoxy. When someone, especially a seminary professor, tells me they have not heard of AIG, ICR or CMI, it gives me some indication as to their acquaintance with YECism, its key figures and its literature. Many OECists have read virtually nothing in the realm of creation science. The Creation Research Society provides creation science articles of the highest technical level. When an OECist tells me he has read extensively from YEC technical journals, it tells me something about the depth and breadth of his scholarship. That’s all I had in mind. I want to know what Trueman is reading.
2. Over the last 25 years, I have conversed with and/or read many seminary students, pastors and scholars who “embrace a very literal six-day-creation cosmology” only to find out they are employing a form of double-speak. I assume you to hold to recent creation, no death before the fall, a global flood, the chronometric reliability of the genealogies in Genesis, etc. Your statement leaves very little room for any other conclusion. Am I correct?
3. In the article, Mohler is silent on recent creation, though in other places he leaves zero doubt as to where he stands. He did argue that the Bible does discuss the “how” of creation, and not merely the “Who” and “why” only, as some theistic evolutionists posit. So, very many OECists who perceive radical theistic evolution as a threat to Biblical Christianity would find Mohler’s article “persuasive, compelling, and timely” without having it call into question their own old-earth cosmology. The Bible not only addresses the “who”,”why”, and “how”, but it also addresses the “when” of creation. Who knows why Mohler did not include the “when”? Often times, YECists are immediately excused from the debate table when they begin to press the age of the universe, no death before the fall and/or a global flood.
Trueman is not endorsing Mohler’s YEC cosmology. Only Mohler’s assertions about the new shape of the debate are declared to be “persuasive, compelling, and timely”. I simply raised a question: Does Trueman also find Mohler’s recent creation cosmology as “persuasive, compelling, and timely”? The average Joe Q. Christian, after reading his article, would think Trueman embraces Mohler’s recent creation cosmology. I hope he does. It makes all the difference in the world, because it makes all the difference in the world (i.e. universe)…as we know and understand it through the lens of Scripture. Does anyone know if Mohler and Trueman share the same cosmology?
4. I agree with you. Trueman “appears to be calling evangelical leaders to look at, and actually deal with, the theistic evolution elephant in the room”. I would suggest that the REAL elephant in the room is the Old-earth cosmology, a cosmology diametrically opposed to the clear teaching of the first 11 chapters of Genesis, and secondarily, a body of scientific research done by creation scientists spanning over 50 years.
Anyone who has carefully read the OECist literature is aware that almost to a man (or woman), they admit that the findings of modern science drive them to re-interpret the Bible in such a manner as to bring concordance between the two. The Bible is the supreme authority over the “findings of modern science”. Trueman understands the gravity of the issue. The church is at a watershed moment in its history. We either bow to God, or we bow to the secular scientist.