Dr. Jason Lisle of the Institute for Creation Research to give a seminar today

The 41st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America begins today in Greenville, South Carolina. Already several of the committees have been meeting. The assembly officially opens tonight with a worship service and then the election of the moderator. Last year’s moderator, Dr. Mike Ross will speak tonight at the worship service.

There are also a number of seminars starting today.

Last year, Dr. Gregg Davidson gave a seminar on the age of the earth from an old earth perspective:

Dr. Davidson explained that his purpose in the seminar was to equip the pastors and elders so that they can better minister to their congregations. According to Dr. Davidson, there are many in the church who are taught that the evidence for an old earth is weak and that to be faithful to Christ one must hold to a young earth. This can become a stumbling block to the faith for many, especially young believers, who grow up and are then challenged when they discover that the evidence for an old earth is very strong. The evidence that Dr. Davidson presented in the seminar is designed to help prevent this potential crisis of faith.

This year, Dr. Jason Lisle, Director of Research at the Institute for Creation Research, will give a seminar on Astronomy and creation from a young earth perspective:

Critics of the Bible have often attempted to use the methods of science to persuade others that the Bible is not trustworthy. We are told that the universe is a cosmic accident—a “big bang” followed by billions of years of evolutionary processes. However, these attempts to discredit biblical creation do not stand up to rational scrutiny. The science of astronomy confirms that the Bible is true. In this highly visual presentation, astrophysicist Dr. Jason Lisle shows powerful scientific evidence that confirms that our universe is not an accident, but has been designed and created by God as the Bible teaches in Genesis. The Christian can be encouraged that the Word of God is absolutely trustworthy on all matters. This includes not only matters of theology and morality, but matters of science and history as well.

I’m sure Dr. Lisle’s seminar will be worth attending. I encourage you, if you’re in Greenville, to stop by the ICR booth in the exhibit hall. A full list of the seminars and their descriptions is available here. A printable schedule is available here.

“There are always alternative answers”

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a seminar by Dr. Nathaniel Jeanson of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR). His talk, “Not Enough Time,” is designed to answer challenges from evolutionary science on the age and origins of the earth. He laid out a three-part framework that he believes should be used whenever evaluating evidence in the origins debate. He pointed out that in the origins debate the question really is one of forensics. Since we can’t repeat events of the past and science is limited to the study of the present, then what we have in the question of origins is a forensic question: What does the evidence say happened? The evidence we have is the same no matter which side you are on in this debate. Each side is attempting to piece together what happened using the evidence at hand. Because forensics uses both evidence and eyewitness accounts, we should remember that the Bible, and Genesis in particular, should be considered eyewitness evidence. In considering the evidence, we should remember that there are always alternative answers to the ones given by evolutionary science.

Here are the three parts to Dr. Jeanson’s framework:

  1. Bible first
  2. Big effects
  3. Bounds of science

The first thing we should consider is what does the Bible say? Second, what physical effects do we expect to find based on what the Bible says? Third, what are the bounds of science, i.e. what assumptions are made on the part of evolutionary science in explaining the evidence?

Having laid out his framework, Dr. Jeanson then uses it to address three questions from the origins debate: what is the origin of the earth, what is the origin of the earth’s surface, and what is the origin of the fossil record.

First, what is origin of the earth? Evolutionary science, and Old Earth Creationists, believe that the earth is billions of years old. According to Dr. Jeanson, in considering what the Bible says first, the Bible teaches that the earth was created in 6 days 6,000- 10,000 years ago. The Big Bang theory, one of the most commonly accepted evolutionary origins for the earth, disagrees with the Biblical account of creation in the amount of time it took (thousands vs. billions of years), in the order of creation (earth before sun and stars vs. sun and stars before earth), and in the mechanism of creation (God spoke vs. evolution).
Continue reading