Norman Geisler – this bright, strong advocate for the Christian faith. One of the greatest apologists, defenders of Scripture, in our age. I just saw an article posted on his website… entitled, “Does Believing in Inerrancy Require One to Believe in Young Earth Creationism.”
In this article, he claims numerous times that it is possible to have gaps between the days of the Genesis accounts of creation (Alternating Day-Age Theory). He claims it is possible to have a HUGE gap between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 (Gap-Theory). He claims it is possible that each day is lengthy epochs of time (Day Age Theory). All of this is true. Anything is possible. He then rips all the arguments of a 24-Hour Day interpretation of Genesis 1. He then provides arguments for all of the other theories. He concludes by saying that the age of the earth doesn’t matter – it’s not important to salvation – it’s never been an essential doctrine or creed in church history – UNTIL NOW, of course.
What Geisler doesn’t do a great job of mentioning is that all of the views besides the “Young Earth” view have death reigning in the world before the fall of man into sin! He also fails to mention that these other views (as of today) are arising not from Scripture Alone, but from the process of inserting prior beliefs into the reading of Scripture and performing interpretative gymnastics to pull out of Scripture the beliefs that were inserted into the text.
Please, read the article linked above, and then read my response.
I think we should note his hermeneutic – his formal principle. Norman Geisler writes near the end of this article, “If the Young Earth view is true, then so be it. Let the biblical and scientific evidence be mustered to demonstrate it.” This is not Reformation sola scriptura at work! That is my biggest complaint against the Old Earth crew. Members of this growing elite, such as Hugh Ross, claim that God has given us two books! Ross actually says “two books.” By this he means natural knowledge (general revelation) and revealed knowledge (special revelation). Since when does God’s revelation of himself through what he has created become on par with Scripture? I think that the Old Earth Creationists are starting with their conclusion that the world is very old based on their interpretation of what they see in the physical world and then interpreting Scripture in light of that presupposition.
From strictly reading the Bible, why would we suspect that there are gaps between the days in Genesis or that there is a gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2? From strictly reading the Bible, why would I suspect that there were millions of years of death in the animal kingdom with entire species being wiped off the face of the planet before the creation of Adam and Eve and before their fall into sin?
I agree with Geisler that one does not have to believe the earth is a certain age to be a follower of Christ – to trust in the salvation that comes through Christ’s work alone, but using “science” to interpret scripture is a bad hermeneutic and teaching death before the fall does not sit well with a very good world created by God. Many of the leading Christian apologists today are making claims that death in the animal kingdom was in the world before the fall of man and that there is where the huge problem lies! Death without sin is not Scriptural. God did not create a world of death. Teaching this as the Old Earth Creationists teach can very easily lead people away from Scripture and therefore away from God.
Go to www.contradictmovement.org to find links to my book, other merchandise, my Facebook page, and my Youtube Channel.
6 thoughts on “Norman Geisler – Science and Scripture? Nooooooooooooo!!!!”
First. let’s be clear that Geisler is not speaking of the ‘Gap Theory’ which is a speculative view (which has no true support in Scripture) which posits that after God created a perfect world, then Satan fell and as a result of that ‘war’ and God’s judgement, we then see the result of that in the description of the earth in verse 2. So, we have creation (verse 1), and what is, in the gap theory, called “Ruin [verse 2] and Reconstruction of Creation” [verses 3 and following]. Geisler believes no such thing. I think this article would represent his view on the first two verses. http://textsincontext.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/in-the-beginning/
On natural revelation see this 5 min. clip from R.C. Sproul
and also Augustine on Genesis. http://noanswersingenesis.org.au/saintaugustine.htm
It was Adam that was told he would die. That says nothing about the animals that preceded him.
“Therefore, just as as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned ..” Rom. 5
I’ll write a post on this topic Michael, but here’s an article that explains a lot of what I would write. I would add a few things, so I’ll write a new post later, but for now: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2010/03/02/satan-the-fall-good-evil-could-death-exist-before-sin
We recognize that vegetation death existed pre-fall.
I am not totally convinced that the “young earthers” are using Scripture as their formal principle either. They have some pre-suppositions that are based on Lightfoot-Ussher’s work that many conservative biblical scholars reject. My biggest problem is when people focus solely on Genesis 1&2 through the creation/evolution debate lens and don’t allow scripture to speak on it’s own terms. Genesis 1&2 were not originally written as an apologetic to Darwinian evolution. A better way to get at these chapters are to seek to understand them in their ancient Neat-Eastern context. Some good conservative biblical scholarship has come out in recent years looking at these early chapters through that lens, which is not a denial of the scripture interprets scripture principle that so many misunderstand.
I disagree that he’s an advocate for the Christian faith. Every time I see his name it is associated with heresy or diverting attention from truth – whether it is portrayed that way or not. Yet another point on the board for studying scripture for ourselves and not taking everything a teacher says as truth. God has already given it to us, as you stated. I wrote a rebuttal on a sermon of his from over 10 years ago and it made me sick to my stomach about how he portrayed God. This sums it up for me – 2 Peter 2