Covenantal Apologetic & Old Earth Creationism -- By: K. Scott Oliphint

Journal: Christian Apologetics Journal
Volume: CAJ 11:2 (Fall 2013)
Article: Covenantal Apologetic & Old Earth Creationism
Author: K. Scott Oliphint

Covenantal Apologetic & Old Earth Creationism1

K. Scott Oliphint

Reformed theology, as worked out by Calvin and his recent exponents such as Hodge, Warfield, Kuyper, and Bavinck, holds that man’s mind is derivative. As such it is naturally in contact with God’s revelation. It is surrounded by nothing but revelation. It is itself inherently revelational. It cannot naturally be conscious of itself without being conscious of its creatureliness. For man self–consciousness presupposes God–consciousness. Calvin speaks of this as man’s inescapable sense of deity.2

Christian apologetics is the application of biblical truth to unbelief. It is complicated by the fact that there are so many theological permutations of biblical truth and almost no end to the variations and contours of unbelief. So, defense of the Christian faith can become

complex. This article lays out the primary biblical and theological principles that must be a part of any Covenantal defense of Christianity.

There is no “one way” or even “five ways” properly to address objections against Christianity. But, in every case, what must be understood are the fundamental biblical and theological tenets or principles that guide, direct, and apply to whatever attacks, objections and questions that may come to the Christian. With those principles in place, a proper, Covenantal, defense of Christianity can be pursued.

The biblical and theological principles, which will be laid out below, belong historically to the theology that gained its greatest clarity during the time of the Reformation. The entire discussion will assume that Reformed theology is the best and most consistent expression of the Christian faith.3 First, however, to ensure that we are all on the same page, some basic truths about Christianity and apologetics need to be mentioned.

Required To Respond

Consider first our place in God’s cosmic battle. A non–Christian friend of mine recently returned from a trip overseas. When I asked him how his trip was, he declared to me, “There is no God.” That was the first thing he wanted me to know. For him, the suffering that he saw was so overwhelming that it was a certain indication that God could not exist. My response to him was very simple, and it stopped the conversation (at least for a while). I asked him, “What makes you think that God is responsible for such things?” That question was in itself a kind of defense; I knew that he knew that he was a sinner, and that su...

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