Extra-Biblical Evidence, General Revelation, And Scripture: A Response To Davis A. Young’s “The Biblical Flood” -- By: Dennis M. Swanson

Journal: Journal of Christian Apologetics
Volume: JCA 02:1 (Summer 1998)
Article: Extra-Biblical Evidence, General Revelation, And Scripture: A Response To Davis A. Young’s “The Biblical Flood”
Author: Dennis M. Swanson


Extra-Biblical Evidence, General Revelation, And Scripture:
A Response To Davis A. Young’s
“The Biblical Flood”1

Dennis M. Swanson*

Introduction

For the last several years, Davis A. Young and his colleagues in the Science Department at Calvin College2 have been producing an impressive amount of literature dealing with the cosmological details of Genesis 1–11. For the most part the works posit cosmological theories which reject any notion of either a “literal seven, 24 hour day creation scenario,” any notion of a “young earth” or the possibility that the account of the Noahic flood in Genesis 6–9 is anything more than “hyperbolic language” used to “describe an event which devastated or disrupted Mesopotamian culture.”3 On the whole, the thrust of this literature has been to demonstrate that:

Contrary to the view held by many Christians, we believe that historical reconstruction [Young’s view of cosmogony] by modern astronomy and geology are neither uncontrolled speculations nor founded upon unbiblical presuppositions. We hold that these reconstructions

* Dennis M. Swanson is the Head Librarian at The Master’s Seminary in Sun Valley, CA.

are firmly grounded in a wealth of carefully gathered data and have been repeatedly tested by the respected canons of science.4

These efforts have seemingly been motivated by twin purposes. Young believes that “continued promotion of these ideas [young earth, global flood, et al] will in the long run damage the credibility of Christianity and thus hinder our evangelistic and apologetic efforts.”5 He insists that “there is folly in going down that path, for we will guarantee that we will lose an entire generation of scientists to the gospel.”6 He adds that to claim validity for “flood geology” will “simply drive away every knowledgeable geologist.”7 In addition, as one reviewer points out, he is clearly concerned that the traditional or literal reading of Genesis will adversely impact Christianity’s ability to “effectively witness to today’s scientifically literate society.”8 Most clearly Young states:

If conservative orthodox theology is t...

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