Part 2: The Age of the Earth: An Appraisal of Some Current Evangelical Positions -- By: Frederic R. Howe

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 142:566 (Apr 1985)
Article: Part 2: The Age of the Earth: An Appraisal of Some Current Evangelical Positions
Author: Frederic R. Howe


Part 2:
The Age of the Earth:
An Appraisal of Some Current Evangelical Positions

Frederic R. Howe

[Frederic R. Howe, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, Dallas Theological Seminary]

In exploring the positions held by evangelicals on the age of the earth, the real issue of the importance of this question must be faced. In the light of the Christian theistic system and the message of God’s redeeming grace, the dialogue between young-earth and old-earth advocates must be set in context. Both positions hold to the radical truth of the Creator’s work in supernatural power, and both positions appeal to the reasonableness of the Creator’s work. In facing the intellectual bankruptcy of total macroevolution, the special creationist, whether old-earth or young-earth advocate, offers to the world the truth of the Creator God in all His power and redemptive love. In this question the doctrine of creation is the real issue, and this doctrine is closely related to and even foundational to the doctrine of redemption.

The early believes’ first recorded public prayer began with these words: “O Lord, it is Thou who didst make the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them” (Acts 4:24). This is a quotation from Exodus 20:11, which links this work of God’s creation to the chronometric framework of the six-day creation week. Acts 14:15 repeats the phrase, this time in a context of direct and open proclamation of the gospel: “We…preach the gospel to you in order that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them.” Here the work of the Creator is related to the word of the gospel, and the whole truth is grounded on the words of the Old Testament in Exodus 20:11. The importance of the question is

this: What is the most consistent position on the age of the earth in keeping with the meaning and implication of all the Word of God?

A Survey of Two Creation Models (Continued)

The comparison between the two positions continues (see “The Age of the Current Evangelical Positions, Part 1,” Bibliotheca Sacra 142 [January-March 1985]: 23-37), and the identical framework in the outline used for surveying the old-earth model will be followed, to give the reader as accurate an appraisal as possible.

A Young-Earth Model

The approach to Scripture. Defenders of a young-earth model rest on the truth of the inerrant Word of Go...

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