Follow-up on Rice Lectures

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In an earlier post, I announced that Dr. Terry Mortenson, from Answer in Genesis, was to lecture at DBTS‘s annual William R. Rice Lectures. His lectures have been uploaded to DBTS’s website.

Dr. Mortenson gave three messages on “Millions of Years and the Compromise of the Theologians.” He also spoke the following day in chapel: “Ape-men: The Grand Illusion.” To listen to these lectures or download them, click here.

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Fifty Years since the Publication of the Genesis Flood

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Though I did not become familiar with The Genesis Flood until the early 1970s when Dr. John Whitcomb lectured at Temple Baptist Theological Seminary (the above picture of Dr. Whitcomb, on the left, and Dr. Morris is taken from Acts & Facts), it is hard to believe that it has been almost forty years since his lecture and fifty years since the original publication of this profound book. I am thankful for the effect that this book has had upon me as well as many others. Further, I consider it a privilege to consider Dr. Whitcomb not only as a former mentor but also as a friend. As a result, I attempt to keep track of his ministry and publications by him and about him.

As it turns out, last night I read an intriguing article about Dr. Whitcomb and Dr. Henry Morris, co-authors of The Genesis Flood. This article appears in the latest issue of Acts & Facts, published by the Institute for Creation Research. The article, “The Creation Movement’s Firm Foundation,” is written by Dr. John Morris, son of Dr. Henry Morris. In this article Dr. Morris, a teen ager in 1961, recounts some of the details surrounding the publication of this book as well as the impact that the book had on the lives of Drs. Whitcomb and Morris and the evangelical world. In the words of Dr. John Morris, “The 50th anniversary of the publication of The Genesis Flood, co-authored by Dr. John Whitcomb and my father, Dr. Henry Morris, brings back poignant memories. A teenager when it was being written, I can testify to the concerted effort that went into it, from focused study to diligent prayer. God blessed that effort and answered those prayers with lasting fruit. Almost every day’s mail and every public meeting bring unsolicited testimonies from individuals who read the book. Many say the information within removed roadblocks in their path to salvation. God used this rather technical book on science and theology in numerous ways, not just to catalyze the creation movement, but to launch a new era of concern for biblical inerrancy and authority.” To continue reading, go here.

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2011 Rice Lectures

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On Wednesday, March 2, Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary will host its annual William R. Rice Lectures. This year we will be privileged to have Dr. Terry Mortenson from Answers in Genesis. His lecture relates to the compromise theologians have used to reinterpret biblical texts to support an old-earth.

Dr. Mortenson has earned an M.Div. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and a PhD in the history of geology from the University of Coventry in England. He has used his dissertation to write a helpful book entitled The Great Turning Point: The Church’s Catastrophic Mistake on Geology–Before Darwin.

Here is an announcement that Dr. Claude Wiggins sent out to friends of DBTS.

The Seminary is hosting the 2011 William R. Rice Lectures on Wednesday, March 2nd. We would love to have you join us for the morning (8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.). Feel free to bring with you staff members, other church leaders, and college students. The lectures will be followed by a luncheon fellowship.

This year’s theme is “Millions of Years and the Compromise of the Theologians.” Our speaker will be Dr. Terry Mortenson, a researcher and lecturer with Answers in Genesis.

A special chapel session will be held on Thursday, March 3rd (10:30-11:20 a.m.). At that time, Dr. Mortenson will speak on “Ape-men and the Compromise of the Theologians.”

Additional information about the 2011 Rice Lectures, and Dr. Terry Mortenson, can be found on the Seminary website. Media resources will be available on the website following the lectures. There is no cost to attend the lectures or the luncheon. However, advance registration is requested.

I am looking forward to Dr. Mortenson’s lecture and can highly recommend that you will profit from his lecture. To sign up for the lecture, contact the Seminary at (313) 381-0111, or by email at info@dbtsedu.

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A Few Thought about our Creation Consultation Meeting at ETS

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Because I have been overwhelmed with some domestic, ministry and academic issues, I have been impeded from posting much on my blog. In any event, I have been planning to do a post about my participation with a creation fellowship at the Evangelical Theological Society this past November and figured that I should upload this post before the spring semester begins at DBTS.

For the past three years, I have been a part of a Creation Consultation group at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society. The format of these meetings involves the presentation of three papers with differing views on creation (30 minutes for a paper plus 10 minutes for questions) followed by a panel discussion (40 minutes). The panel discussion is comprised of three biblical scholars who present a paper along with another who does not present a paper but has done writing on creation and a moderator for the panel discussion.

When we met for the first year, I presented a paper and this past year I was part of a panel discussion as the one who did not present a paper. The theme of this year’s meeting was “Intertextual Issues Relating to the Exegesis of Genesis 1″ (to see the program for last year’s ETS meeting, click here). The three papers presented this year were “The Role of Genesis 2-4 in our Understanding of Genesis 1″ by Dr. C. John Collins, “The Role of Psalm 104 in our Understanding of Genesis 1″ by Dr. Richard E. Averbeck, and “The Role of Proverbs 8, Job 38-40, and John 1 in our Understanding of Genesis 1″ by Dr. Bruce K. Waltke. Since I was a participant on the panel discussion, I prepared a response for each paper. Dr. Bill Barrick was the moderator of the panel discussion.

As it turned out, my responses turned out to be for my own personal edification since I only had time to state what I believe about literal days in the creation week. When our panel discussion started, it was opened up for questions from the floor and all attention and the majority of time focused on Dr. Waltke because of all the issues surrounding his involvement with the Biologos blog and his resignation from Reformed Theological Seminary. The focus on Waltke in the panel discussion was unfortunate. I suspect the format for next year’s panel discussion will change so that this type of thing does not happen again.

Though I had various reservations with each paper, my strongest disagreement was with Dr. Waltke’s paper defending theistic evolution. The thesis of his paper was that the biblical cosmogony found in Proverbs 8, Job 38-40, and John 1:1-5 as they relate to Genesis 1 allow for God’s creation by natural selection. While Waltke clearly affirms that Adam and Eve are historical figures, distinct from animals, and directly created by God (to see his statement on this, go here), his support of theistic evolution undermines the traditional, literal reading of the early chapters of Genesis and the overall theological message of Scripture (for an earlier critical and beneficial assessment of Waltke’s paper, see Dr. Terry Mortenson’s blog entry).

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Origins Breakthroughs about Astronomy

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Often new scientific discoveries elucidate the past. The Institute for Creation Research goal focuses on studying cosmogony with Scripture as its foundation. Brian Thomas, Science Writer for ICR, discusses a 2010 discovery that contradicts a prediction of the Big Bang hypothesis “that galaxies should look younger the farther out into space they appear from earth. The ‘mature’ galactic clusters are only supposed to exist close-in, but more were discovered in the far distance this past year, adding to similar observations from prior years.” To continue reading his article “Origins Breakthroughs of 2010: Astronomy,” go here.

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Defending Biblical Origins

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Since I began doing research and teaching on biblical creationism, I have at times been disappointed because of the seeming evangelical indifference toward the subject of origins. However, I have been pleased to see a few evangelical voices speak with clarity about the importance of this biblical issue. The winter edition of Southern Seminary Magazine addresses the topic of cosmogony and its foundational significance for a Christian worldview. This tenet is that our Triune God created the heavens and earth ex nihilo, “out of nothing.”

The following articles in this magazine relate to this basic tenet.

“The New Shape of the Debate” by R. Albert Mohler Jr.

“The New Atheism and the Dogma of Darwinism” by R. Albert Mohler Jr.

“All Things Dark and Terrible: Our Fearful Fascination With Wild Things and Other Monsters of God” by Russell D. Moore

“Evolution and Creation in Higher Education” by Mark T. Coppenger

“Creation and American Christianity” by Greg A. Wills

To read this issue of the Southern Seminary Magazine, click here.

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Geologists and Biblical Creationism

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Since the 19th century secular geologists have argued for an old earth. Unfortunately, this old-earth a priori has become an assumption of many professing evangelical geologists, as well as theologians. According to current “scientific thinking” the earth is 4.6 billion years old. In effect, this assumption is considered by many to to be the same as “general revelation.” As a result, the “general revelation” of an earth that is 4.6 billion years old has motivated many influential evangelicals to reinterpret the early chapters of Genesis. This recently surfaced in the May/June 2010 issue of Modern Reformation when eight PCA geologists wrote an article, “PCA Geologists on the Antiquity of the Earth,” that minimizes biblical revelation on the basis of a naturalistic worldview.

In response to this, Dr. John K. Reed wrote an outstanding article refuting the eight old-earth PCA geologists. Since Dr. Reed holds a PhD in geology and is committed to the primacy of Scripture, I highly recommend that you read his article “A Response to the Old-Earth Advocacy of Campbell et al., PCA Geologists on the Antiquity of the Earth.”

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The Conclusion of PhD Seminar on Biblical Creationism

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I lead a seminar on Biblical Creationism (see this post) at Central Baptist Seminary that finished earlier this month with our final classroom meeting. However, I did not complete grading their papers until last evening. I am glad to wrap up this profitable seminar.

The three students in my class turned in their required papers for the class on October 4 and profitably interacted with each required subject and their fellow students (to see course requirements, go here). The three PhD students pictured above (from left to right, Brett Williams, Mark Bruffey, and Christopher Watson) did a good job in meeting the requirements for this seminar. The work of each man made this a profitable seminar on biblical creationism. I am thankful that Central Baptist Seminary, like Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary, takes a solid position on the biblical doctrine of creation that is foundational for other major biblical doctrines.

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Our Day at the Creation Museum

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Last Tuesday morning I spoke to the staff at Answers in Genesis. I integrated a presentation about the ministry of Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary with a brief message from Psalm 104:31–35. After chapel, we spent the day touring the Creation Museum. Besides meeting some of the people who work at the museum, we enjoyed a walk through biblical history, Noah’s ark construction site, and the dinosaur den. What fascinated me most was the Stargazer’s Planetarium. As I reclined under the dome, I was amazed by the digital technology that guided us through outer space.

Along with with our visit, my wife and I had a great evening on Monday as we ate dinner at the home of Dr. & Mrs. Terry Mortenson (the above picture is of Dr. Mortenson & I in the museum). They are gracious and engaging people. So we had a delightful time getting to know them better.

We had a profitable time at the museum. I would highly recommend that you plan a trip to visit the Creation Museum in Petersburg, KY.

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Was There Rain Before the Global Flood?

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While I was writing the second part of my journal article, “A Critique of the Framework Interpretation of the Creation Week,” I developed some reservations about whether or not the water vapor canopy was necessary for young-earth creationism. Subsequently, I came to the conclusion that it was not (to read more, click here, here, and here). Dr. Tommy Mitchell explains why the water vapor canopy hypothesis is not an argument to use. To read this helpful article, go to “There Was No Rain Before the Flood.”

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