Many in the church in the USA have heard of Tony Campolo (an ordained minister who served American Baptist Churches and speaks widely on Christian topics). I came across an article by him that clearly outlines his views on Genesis—I have included a quote from the article below (the article can be found at: Beliefnet—“Stages of Creation”)
I have serious problems with fundamentalist Christians and their creationist theories. Although I believe that scripture is divinely inspired and infallible, I have a hard time going along with the belief that the whole creation process occurred in six twenty-four hour days. My skepticism is due, in part, to the fact that the Bible says that the sun wasn’t created until the fourth day of creation (Genesis 1:16-19). I have a hard time figuring how twenty-four hour days could have been measured before that.
Like most Christians, I believe the Genesis account of creation is a description of six different stages of creation, each of which may have taken eons of time. Furthermore, I believe that the biblical creation story has far deeper truths for us than a historical account of how the universe came to exist—but that’s for another article.
Since Dr. Terry Mortenson joined AiG, he has been attending the annual meeting of the ETS (Evangelical Theological Society—a professional society of Bible scholars, teachers, pastors and others involved in the evangelical scholarship serving Christ and His Church) in the hope of influencing the many theological types who attend these conferences concerning a literal Genesis (six literal days, young earth, etc.).
Terry wrote this report after attending the ETS Convention in Novembemer:
ETS convention—Wednesday (16 Nov.)
Steve and I set up the AiG booth and sold some materials and gave away quite a bit of free literature. During the day, we had one disappointing and tiring one-hour discussion with a New Testament professor. He is Romanian but teaches at a seminary in Kansas. I had met him years ago in Romania and then again in seminary at Trinity. He was so confused and very plainly chooses to let “science” control his interpretation of Genesis. He refused to buy any book or video that I recommended to show him that the idea of millions of years is both contrary to Scripture and true science. He “couldn’t believe” that creation occurred in six literal days because most scientists said the world was billions of years old. But then I asked if he believed in the resurrection of Christ, which he did. I said, “But, Radu, why do you believe Jesus rose on the third day? The majority of scientists say that dead men don’t rise from the dead.” He replied, “I believe it because the Bible teaches it.” I replied, “Then why don’t you believe Genesis creation in six literal days?” He didn’t really have an answer, but he refused to become informed.
It was really sad to see this young scholar who had left the brainwashing of communist Romania and was still being brainwashed, this time by choice, by the scientific establishment. But what was equally sad was the realization that so many of the scholars at ETS are like him: ignorant of the young-earth biblical and scientific arguments and yet stubbornly resistant to becoming informed. Most of the people who bought books today were very glad that we are at ETS, but they are clearly in the minority of the 1800 scholars there. Steve and I prayed for Radu that night, that God would somehow show him the inconsistency of his thinking and open his mind to the truth.
ETS—Thursday (17 Nov.)
It was very encouraging and unexpected to see Radu return and say that he wanted to buy the new book on exposing the myth of radiometric dating (See Thousands… Not Billions and the documentary DVD). He said he wants to write a review of it and I asked for a copy of the article. So pray with me that this book will have a powerful impact on Radu. He has a master’s in physics so will have no trouble understanding this layman’s-level book.
In addition to working in the AiG booth, I lead a lunchtime meeting of the ETS Creation Fellowship. Sixteen young-earth creationists attended, most of them seminary professors. We had a good time of sharing and discussion. Several of the men shared how over the past year their convictions have deepened that they need to do more to teach and defend the truths of Gen. 1-11. That was encouraging, though the challenges we face in trying to call evangelical scholars back to the Word of God on the question of origins is daunting, because the ignorance and compromise are so pervasive.
More from Terry and the ETS conference tomorrow.
I praise the Lord that Terry is involved with the ETS, as a major part of AiG’s mission is to engage the Church concerning the importance of upholding biblical authority beginning in Genesis.
Well, I have a lot of meetings throughout the day on Monday. Also, please pray with us that the end-of-year giving to AiG will be what is needed for our budget—this year, because of high gas prices and the disaster relief funds that many contributed to, we are finding many Christian organizations saying that giving appears to be down. President Bush has signed into law a new tax incentive for giving to organizations like Answers in Genesis. It’s called KETRA and you can read about it on our website. It allows donors to claim 100% of their giving between August 28, 2005 and December 31, 2005 to qualified ministries (AiG is one of them). Please take a look at the KETRA page.
Thanks for stopping by and keep praying!