Category: How should we understand Scripture?

Unassailable: A Simple Faith in the Bible

file-3By Ken Hamrick

“For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.” (Ex. 20:11 NASB).

“When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son […] and named him Seth […year 130…]
Seth lived one hundred and five years, and became the father of Enosh […year 235…]
Enosh lived ninety years, and became the father of Kenan […year 325…]
Kenan lived seventy years, and became the father of Mahalalel […year 395…]
Mahalalel lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Jared […year 460…]
Jared lived one hundred and sixty-two years, and became the father of Enoch […year 622…]
Enoch lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Methuselah […year 687…]
Methuselah lived one hundred and eighty-seven years, and became the father of Lamech […year 874…]
Lamech lived one hundred and eighty-two years, and became the father of […] Noah […year 1056]

Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.” […year 1556.] (Gen. 5:3-32 NASB). Continue reading

Admonitions to a Disappointed Young-Earther

This article was also published at SBC Voices.

By Ken Hamrick

Recently, I came across a paper in the Journal for Baptist Theology & Ministry, written by Dr. Kenneth Keathley in 2013, entitled, “Confessions of a Disappointed Young-Earther.”[1] The piece is well done and gives an informative summary of the various arguments and supposed problems of the Young-Earth Creationism movement. After reading it, I must say that I’m just as disappointed as Dr. Keathley, but for different reasons. I’m disappointed that the enemy, who is delegitimizing the truth-claims of Christianity by undermining the authority of Scripture, is often met with so little resistance and so much well-meant, reasonable-sounding cooperation. I’m disappointed that not even the best among us are immune from a skeptical evidentialism. And I’m disappointed that one so capable of competent reason would falter in thinking that evidence has bearing on the question of a recent miraculous creation. Continue reading

Justin Taylor’s Doubts About 24-Hour Days of Creation – In Retrospect

by Jim Pemberton

A couple of weeks ago Justin Taylor posted an article entitled “Biblical Reasons to Doubt the Creation Days Were 24-Hour Periods”. Since that time, many have posted articles refuting Justin’s arguments. In this article I will post links to some of the ones I know about and make a couple of observations myself.

First, let me start off by saying that in general I respect Justin. He’s a well-reasoned man of good character and genuinely strives for biblical accuracy. I just think he missed the mark on this one. Nevertheless, his article seems to have given many of us the incentive to hash this issue out. Continue reading

Shedding Light on the Length of Pre-Sun Creation Days: A Text-Based Approach

by Ken Hamrick

In the ongoing debate over the Genesis creation account, one supposed problem that seems particularly troublesome for many is the question of the length of a day prior to the creation of the sun (on Day 4). Since the sun is the means by which a day is usually measured, then it is objected by Old-Earthers that we are left without any sure understanding of what God might possibly mean by the term, “day,” when it is used to describe the first three days of creation. Here’s the text:

Genesis 1 ESV
1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. Continue reading

Of Science and Faith: Natural Theology

By Jim Pemberton

In the last article we discussed faith based on reason from the teaching of Augustine. It follows as to ask what the relation is between faith and reason. For this we will jump ahead in time from Augustine to Thomas Aquinas.

Of Science and Faith

As it is, I’m not generally a Thomist. That is, I don’t generally follow the teaching of Thomas Aquinas. However, he brought up a concept that is helpful for us to think about in answering our question. Continue reading

Of Science and Faith: Faith and Reason

By Jim Pemberton

Augustine’s Two Streams of Faith

Scholarly analyses of Augustine tend to differ widely. These can be distilled down to two significant streams of thought.

Of Science and Faith

The first is a famous quote of his, “Crede, ut intelligas.”1 It is an admonition to “believe, so that you may understand.” This may sound similar to the famous philosophical proposition, “I think, therefore I am,” made by philosopher René Descartes. This is in line with Augustine’s thinking that more directly serves to demonstrate him as a predecessor to Descartes when he wrote, “Si… fallor, sum” (“If I am mistaken, I am”)2. But I mention the first statement for a reason that will become clear soon. The point is that in this analysis of his thought Augustine pointed forward to Descartes. This was the direction of his philosophical thought.

Continue reading

Helping Old-Earth Creationists Face the Supernatural Question

by Ken Hamrick

Instead of arguing for or against the scientific evidence, or arguing the merits of possible exegetical ways to reconcile Scripture with a billions-of-years chronology, I propose that—for the sake of argument-–we eliminate the evidence question all together. We can do this by accepting all the scientific claims at face value, and still insisting on a recent supernatural creation out of nothing. In other words, we would not posit a young earth, but an old earth that was recently created by divine fiat. When God creates out of nothing, He is not limited to creating things “new.” God created Adam and Eve as physically mature adults and not as infants. He created mature, fruit-bearing trees for immediate food. “He made the stars also”—and made a universe with mature light-trails already existing so that the stars were already visible. All of these imply a time-consuming natural process that was well under way at the first moment of creation. God chose to create not at the beginning of these natural processes, but somewhere in the middle—as if these processes had been going on long before the moment of creation. Continue reading

Young Earth Creationism and Presuppositionalism: A Response to J.W. Wartick

by Ken Hamrick

“Young Earth” creationism (YEC), as part of the Christian faith, stands on certain presuppositions, such as the existence of God and the divine, verbal inspiration of Scripture. The kind of apologetic argument that acknowledges that such presuppositions are assumed, and does not attempt to prove them, is presuppositional apologetics. Such presuppositions cannot be proven else they would not be matters of faith but of science. Only God can prove such things to a man. No matter how well-intended, those apologists who try to prove such things to unbelievers are wasting their efforts. The proper goal of the apologist should be to establish the validity of the Christian worldview when it is given that our presuppositions are true, and not to try to prove that these presuppositions are true. Continue reading

How We Lost the High Ground: The Delegitimizing of Christian Truth Claims

by Ken Hamrick

As we approach 2014, Christianity is under attack as never before in this country. These are troubling times. The evangelical Church has always been in the minority, and the world has always been opposed to the Church; but, here in America, at least, the world seemed to tolerate the Church… until recently. While sinners disagreed with our faith, they had in general a certain grudging respect for the strength of our worldview—not that they admired it, but that they could not disprove it. The large numbers of those who attended a Christian church of some kind, together with the possibility that the Book on which our worldview is based might actually be true, served as a kind of collective conscience of our society. But something changed that. The collective conscience is being seared. The respect is gone, and the world’s tolerance for the true Christian faith is disappearing. Continue reading

Why Do We Die?

By Ken Hamrick

The answer to the question of why we die is one of fundamental importance to Christianity. Death can only be correctly understood when traced to the first sin of man in the garden of Eden.omahabeach Beyond this, it is necessary to determine the relationship that death has to individuals–whether it falls on men as a personal penalty or as a natural consequence.

The Physical Results of a Spiritual Sin

Adam and Eve had a conditional physical immortality. They were immortal only because there was no principle of death operating in the world. Continue reading