In The Bible, Rocks and Time (IVP Academic), geologists and Reformed Christians Davis Young and Ralph Stearley try to convince young-earth creationists (YECs) to abandon their position. First, they argue that the Creation account in Genesis 1 need not be understood as a historical narrative documenting the creation of the universe and its inhabitants in six normal (rotational) days. Second, they argue that the data from geology point unwaveringly to a planet of exceedingly ancient age.

I particularly appreciated Young and Stearley's historical overview of church beliefs on Genesis and Creation. Their careful documentation puts to rest the claims of other old-earth proponents that the church fathers held views compatible with an ancient earth. They likewise present the origins of modern geology well, particularly within the broader historical backdrop of Christian influences on scientific thought.

But BR&T is essentially a negative critique. Theologically, the authors seek to show that Genesis 1 need not be understood as describing six rotational days. But if so, which competing view should we adopt? They clearly dislike the "ruin-reconstruction theory" or "gap theory" (there was a large gap of time between the first and second verses of Genesis), and display reservations about the day-age view (the six days were much longer periods). The authors favor some kind of allegorical view (e.g., the "framework hypothesis"), but are steadfast that they will not make a positive case for any of these. The result is that the authors do not present their own views clearly enough for critical evaluation.

The authors' discussion of Noah's Flood is similarly vague. They argue strongly against the Flood as a global, geologically formative event ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

July/August
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Read These Next
Also in this Issue
The Giant Story Subscriber Access Only
Rob Bell on why he talks about the Good News the way he does.
TrendingKay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Kay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Through God's work in our lives, we've beaten the odds that divorce would be the outcome of our ill-advised union.
Editor's PickFinding My 'True Self' As a Same-Sex Attracted Woman
Finding My 'True Self' As a Same-Sex Attracted Woman
In my young-adult struggle with sexual identity, both legalistic condemnation and progressive license left me floundering.
Christianity Today
Storming Young-Earth Creationism
hide thisApril April

In the Magazine

April 2009

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.