food for (science and faith) thought

   Posted by: liz   in faith

Lately, I’ve seen versions of the following phrases used over and over to describe a particular Christian scholar who has written a bible curriculum for homeschoolers and/or sunday schools:

“twisting scripture to fit a worldview” and
“doesn’t believe the Word of God is inerrant” and

I’m sure that Dr. Peter Enns, author of “Telling God’s Story” didn’t know that he would soon become a household name among the large contingent of Christian homeschoolers in the world, who homeschool using texts from Answers in Genesis or Ken Ham.

I thought it might be interesting to note that Dr. Enns isn’t the first Christian who writes about his belief in an old earth (millions of years old, not thousands of years old), Theistic Evolution and the Big Bang:

Billy Graham, Personal Thoughts of a Public Man, 1997.  p. 72-74:

“I don’t think that there’s any conflict at all between science today and the Scriptures. I think that we have misinterpreted the Scriptures many times and we’ve tried to make the Scriptures say things they weren’t meant to say, I think that we have made a mistake by thinking the Bible is a scientific book. The Bible is not a book of science. The Bible is a book of Redemption, and of course I accept the Creation story. I believe that God did create the universe. I believe that God created man, and whether it came by an evolutionary process and at a certain point He took this person or being and made him a living soul or not, does not change the fact that God did create man. … whichever way God did it makes no difference as to what man is and man’s relationship to God.”


Chuck Colson, The Big Bang, According to Atheist Sir Fred Hoyle

“Today, advocates of the Big Bang think that their theory is a substitute for God. But it’s just the opposite. Hoyle rejected the Big Bang in spite of the evidence because he knew that the Big Bang pointed irresistibly to the existence of God…

As we read the obituaries about Sir Fred Hoyle, the man who named the Big Bang, we might ask our skeptical neighbors: If there was a Big Bang, isn’t it reasonable to recognize what Hoyle did-that there behind it [is] a Big Brain. And might that not be the God of the Bible and of all creation?”


Hank Hannegraff (Bible Answer Man): “The Creation Story: How Old is the Earth?”

The question of whether the earth is 4.5 billion years old (as modern geology affirms) or roughly 10,000 years old (as some evangelical scientists and theologians are now maintaining) hinges largely on whether the “days” of Genesis chapter one are to be taken as indicating literal 24-hour days or as poetic references to indefinite periods of time. An analysis of the biblical material reveals that the answer to this is not eminently clear, and that some justification can be found for both positions.


Francis Schaeffer, Genesis in Space and Time p. 59:

What does day mean in the days of creation?

The answer must be held with some openness. In Genesis 5:2 we read: “Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.” As it is clear that Adam and Eve were not created simultaneously, day in Genesis 5:2 does not mean a period of twenty-four hours.

In other places in the Old Testament the Hebrew word day refers to an era, just as it often does in English. See, for example, Isaiah 2:11,12 and 17 for such a usage.

The simple fact is that day in Hebrew (just as in English) is used in three separate senses: to mean (1) twenty-four hours, (2) the period of light during the twenty-four hours, and (3) an indeterminate period of time. Therefore, we must leave open the exact length of time indicated by day in Genesis.

This entry was posted on Monday, March 28th, 2011 at 8:57 pm and is filed under faith. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

8 comments so far


AMEN!!!!!!! My God is so amazing, I have no problem believing He came up with the Big Bang. I’m also not proud enough to think I could understand all of God’s mysteries, and I am open to acknowledging He could do it & then impart the story to Moses or whomever however it was easiest for them (& us) to comprehend.

March 28th, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Sam and I have been talking about the whole old earth/young earth thing lately! We actually just got back from an AIG conference this weekend! Sam loves this stuff!

March 28th, 2011 at 9:34 pm

hank fleshes out his thoughts on gen. 1 vs. evolution a bit more clearly here http://www.equip.org/hank_speaks_outs/does-the-theory-of-evolution-conflict-with-the-book-of-genesis-

March 29th, 2011 at 12:11 pm

thanks, alison! he also touches upon (or at least hints at) his stance in the link i included above.
the quote that included of his is a HUGE step for a lot of christians who support an AiG teaching of Creation: that it’s heresy to even entertain the possibility of a non-literal 24-hour day. in other words, even though i don’t believe in a literal 6-day (24-hour) creation, i would never call those who do believe in the literal translation of Genesis a heretic.

March 29th, 2011 at 12:30 pm

“in other words, even though i don’t believe in a literal 6-day (24-hour) creation, i would never call those who do believe in the literal translation of Genesis a heretic.” Agreed.

March 29th, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Hear, hear!

March 29th, 2011 at 11:03 pm

In the end, does any of this Really matter? It doesn’t determine our salvation through Jesus Christ. I (thankfully not a heretic here) :) believe the Bible literally – what is the point of it if it’s not literal?

Doesn’t the argument against it being literal then make Exodus 20:11a a lie? “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is and rested on the seventh day:”

I personally don’t care much what others say – it’s what the Bible says that matters. How the Bible lines up with itself. People (on both sides) try to make the Bible say what they want it to say on all manner of topics.

Honestly, I never realized there was such a division among Christians regarding Creation. My head must have been in the sand. lol Nor am I saying anyone here is wrong for believing what you believe. I just wanted to share my thoughts from “the other side.” :)

March 31st, 2011 at 11:39 am

i don’t think in the end it does matter, but many six-day, literal interpreters of scripture DO think it matters that there are christians who do not take the Genesis account of creation “literally.” ken ham is one of them. He claims that if you can’t read the Genesis creation account literally, how then could you believe in a literal savior who died and resurrected?
We say he is (and those who agree with him are) missing the whole point of scripture interpretation.
Since you read Genesis 1 and 2 literally, you have no problem literally interpreting the Exodus verse you listed. But what do you do with the account of the 10 commandments in Deuteronomy where he refers to the Israelites being led out of Egypt rather than the six-days of creation when referring to that commandment (Deut. 20)?
The reason I listed these particular christian leaders in this blog post is my reaction to the homeschooling community who claim to be shocked at the beliefs of this “wolf in sheep’s clothing” (Ken Ham’s words, not mine) who is teaching “false doctrine.” at homeschool conventions. he’s not the first christian to not believe in a literal six-day creation.

March 31st, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Leave a reply

Name (*)
Mail (will not be published) (*)