Reviews [#1] -- By: Norman L. Geisler
CAJ 11:2 (Fall 2013) p. 167
Reading the articles by Drs. Jason Lisle, Scott Oliphint, and Richard Howe was like watching ships pass in the night, except they were sailing on different seas. One is hesitant to dive into these waters, but I hope I am not too overly optimistic in my hope to bring some clarity and focus to the issue. Let me begin by giving a clear and concise response to the questions they were asked to address in their papers (though the order is altered slightly).
Answers To The Questions For Discussion
1. “Does a faithful commitment to the authority of Scripture lead one to a young earth interpretation?” No, and for a good reason, namely, they are different issues. One may believe in the authority (and inerrancy) of Scripture and yet hold to different interpretations of it. What Scripture is and how it should be interpreted are two different issues. Most of the founders and framers of the early inerrancy movement of the 1900s (e.g., Warfield and Hodge) and the contemporary movement of the 1970–80s (e.g., the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy) held firmly to inerrancy but saw no necessary tie of it to a Young Earth view.
CAJ 11:2 (Fall 2013) p. 168
Further, none of the authors of the above articles demonstrated either biblically or logically that there is a transcendental necessity for such a conclusion. Some scarcely even addressed the question. The one who did never considered the biblical arguments on the other side of the issue (e.g., those of Don Stoner, A New Look at an Old Earth1).
2. “Does a presuppositional apologetic lead one to a young-earth position?” No, not necessarily. No such necessary connection was demonstrated by Lisle. The fact is, there are presuppositionalists who are not young-earthers, and there are young-earthers who are not presuppositionalists. Further, no biblical, logical, or theological connection between the two was shown by any participant.
3. “Is it possible to be a consistent presuppositonalist and an old-earth creationist?” Yes it is, and as a matter of fact, some are. As a matter of logic, no one has demonstrated a logical connection between one’s view on presuppositional apologetics and the age of the earth. Those who have attempted to logically link presuppositionalism to a young-earth view have left gaping holes in their presentation. Since most proponents agree that presuppositionalism involves a transcendental argument, no one has demonstrated that a young earth is a necessary part of a valid transcendental argument.
4. “What role, if any, should general revelation play in apolog...
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