A Young-Earth Creationist’s Response to Dembski’s Theodicy


Before I left for the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, I ran out of time to do a post about a good journal article I read by Dr. Terry Mortenson in the Answers Research Journal: “Christian Theodicy in Light of Genesis and Modern Science: A Young-Earth Creationist Response to William Dembski.”

While at ETS, I was keenly reminded that biblical creationism is a foundational issue for developing a biblical worldview. How can one claim to hold to a literal Fall of Adam and curse on the created world order (Rom 5, 8), yet argue that there were millions of years of pain, suffering and death before the Fall? The truth is that this type of interpretation cannot be consistently defended with the Bible. Any denial of and apathy towards this subject among evangelicals is distressing and will minimize a consistent Christian witness. In keeping with the importance of biblical creationism and its relevance for developing an exegetical and theological Christian theodicy, let me encourage you to take some time to read Dr. Mortenson’s important critique of Dembski’s theodicy.

Here is the article’s abstract

The problem of evil is always a challenge for the Christian witness. Human suffering and moral evil are relatively easy for the apologist to explain, and the Fall of Adam is a key to that explanation. But the thornier question is that of natural evil (disasters like hurricanes, volcanoes, earthquakes) that kill not only people but innocent animals. In particular, if we accept millions of years of animal death, disease, and extinction before Adam was even created, how do we explain that in light of God???s attributes and purposes? William Dembski has published a 54-page response to this question. He explains his reasons for rejecting the young-earth creationist theodicy and several old-earth theodicies and proposes a solution that accommodates the millions of years of natural evil which evolutionary scientists insist occurred before man appeared. This paper will analyze and critique Dembski’s proposal, showing it to be inadequate and inconsistent with Scripture and contending that only the young-earth view gives an adequate and biblically sound answer to the problem of natural evil. It is there a powerful apologetic ot make the Christian witness effective in our evolutionized world.

To read a PDF of the full article, go here.

HT: Fred Butler

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