Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Third Way: Is Genesis 1 Like a Story for Kids?

Is Genesis 1 historically accurate, or is it more like a story for kids?

How should one reconcile Genesis with evolutionary science? One way is to accept the plain reading of Genesis, and to modify one's science accordingly. A second way is to accept evolutionary science, and to re-interpret Genesis. Some claim to accept both as true, as we saw in a previous post,  but this entails an untenable state of cognitive dissonance.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Dr Jelsma Proposes Adam AND Evolution

Dr Tony Jelsma, biology professor at Dordt College, and one of the editors of the Reformed Academic blog, has just posted a series of three articles on, “Religion and Science – A Reformed Perspective”.  A few years ago Dr. Jelsma argued for non-literal creation days and a local Flood. Now he moves on to address the question of the historical Adam.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Creation: With or Without Compromise?

A few weeks ago a new website was launched - Creation Without Compromise. Its stated purpose is:
We are Reformed Christians concerned about the issue of origins in our midst. Through this resource site and blog, we aim to provide support to those who share our concerns. We are committed to the historic Reformed understanding of Genesis and believe that a failure to maintain the orthodox position not only attacks biblical truth in general, but the gospel of Jesus Christ in particular.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Three Special Trees

A few months ago there was an interesting post by Nicholas Batzig, A Biblical Theology of the Trees of the Garden. He contends that the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil did not have any inherent magical powers. Rather, both trees were sacramental symbols, pointing to a reality beyond themselves.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Myth of the Merely Hypothetical

A recent proposal in a Canadian Reformed classis to alter the Belgic Confession is already generating contentious discussion. The proposal specified:
God created the human race by making and forming Adam from dust (Gen. 2:7) and Eve from Adam’s side (Gen.2:21-22). They were created as the first two humans and the biological ancestors of all other humans. There were no pre-Adamites, whether human or hominid.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Canadian Reformed Classis Rejects Human Evolution

Yesterday, on March 11, 2015, Classis Ontario-West of the Canadian Reformed Churches held in Kerwood, Ontario adopted an important overture regarding theistic evolution.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Relations Between Australian and Dutch Reformed Churches

The Deputies Report to the Synod of the Free Reformed Churches in Australia (to be held in June 2015) has just been published. Of special interest is its recommendations regarding relations with its Dutch sister church, the Gereformeerde Kerken vrijgemaakt (i.e., GKV, referred to in the report as the RCN = Reformed Churches in the Netherlands).

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Review: More Than Myth?

Review: More than Myth? Seeking the Full Truth about Genesis, Creation, and Evolution, P.D. Brown and R. Stackpole, editors (Chartwell Press, 2014).

This recent book defends Old-Earth Creationism (OEC), also known as "Progressive Creationism". It consists of 11 chapters, written by 7 different authors, including one by Dr Hugh Ross. It is edited by Dr Paul Brown, science professor at Trinity Western University, and Dr Robert Stackpole, a Roman Catholic theologian.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

More Debate on Genesis

1. Creation Days - Real or Analogous?

At The Gospel Coalition website, Justin Taylor has just posted an article, Biblical Reasons to Doubt that the Creation Days were 24-hour Periods. According to their website, The Gospel Coalition is "a fellowship of evangelical churches deeply committed to renewing our faith in the gospel of Christ and to reforming our ministry practices to conform fully to the Scriptures."

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Westminster Standards vs Theistic Evolution

Dr. William Schweitzer, adjunct professor at Greenville Presbyterian Seminary, has just published a worthwhile article, The Eight Elements of the Westminster Doctrine of Creation: Why They are Incompatible with Theistic Evolution [Puritan Reformed Journal 7 (2015): 256-268].

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Biologos, Evolution, and the Bible

PCA Pastor Rick Phillips has just posted an article Is Evolution Biblically Acceptable? the Question of Genesis 1.  He is reacting to the efforts by Biologos to promote the acceptance of evolution among evangelical Christians.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Lectures in Brazil

Recently I was had the privilege of visiting Brazil. I gave a series of four lectures on "Science and Christianity", hosted by the John Calvin Institute, the seminary of the Igrejas Reformadas do Brasil (IRB = Reformed Churches of Brazil), held at the Northern Presbyterian Seminary in Recife on Oct.23-25, 2014. The IRB was originated through mission work by the Canadian Reformed Church, which still supports it by sending missionaries and mission aid workers.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Lectures in the Philippines

Recently I spent two weeks in the Philippines. I had been invited by Pastor Glimar (Glem) Melo to give a series of lectures on "Science and Christianity". I gave these lectures three times, at three different locations.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Defective Case for Biblical Faith

How should we defend the faith? Dr Douglas Groothuis, professor of philosophy at Denver Seminar, addresses this question in his recent book, Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith (IVP Academic, 2011). At 752 pages, this is a rather massive volume. It is quite readable, and contains much useful material. Unhappily, in my opinion, it has some serious flaws.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Guest Post: Herm-and-you-ticks

[This article appeared earlier in Una Sancta (Feb.8, 2014), a magazine of the Free Reformed Churches of Australia (FRCA). Dr Anderson, a pastor in the FRCA, gives another useful analysis of the Hermeneutics Conference in Hamilton. He has permitted me to post it here].

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Hermeneutics Conference Overview

The Hermeneutics Conference (Hamilton, Jan.16-18, 2014) is now long over (see previous post). This conference featured speakers from the Canadian Reformed Theological Seminary (CRTS) and the Theological University of Kampen (TUK) of the Gereformeerde Kerken Vrijgemaakt (GKV), the Dutch sister-church of the Canadian Reformed Church. The main purpose was to debate traditional Reformed hermeneutics versus the "new" hermeneutics advocated by TUK.

Monday, December 30, 2013

God's Two Books and History

In discussions regarding origins, it is often asserted that God reveals truth through two books: His Word ("special revelation") and His works ("general revelation" or "nature"). Since God is the infallible author of both, they cannot contradict each other.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Hermeneutic Showdown in Hamilton?

The Canadian Reformed Theological Seminary (CRTS) is currently advertising a conference entitled "Correctly Handling the Word of Truth: Reformed Hermeneutics Today", scheduled for Jan.16-18, 2014 in Hamilton, Ontario.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Combining Adam and Evolution

Can we harmonize an historical Adam with evolution? Many Christians believe so. Consider, for example, a recent Christianity Today article, "Where Did We Come From?", by Pastor Andrew J. Wilson. According to Wilson, Genesis says nothing about Adam and Eve that is contradicted by Darwinian evolution.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

No Bible for Christian Academia?

What role should the Bible play in Christian scholarship?

Only a very minor one, according to various Christian scholars.

Dr David van Drunen (professor at Westminster Seminary West, and OPC minister) argues that Scripture plays a major role only in theology, whose primary role is to interpret and explain special revelation.