The Gathering Storm
In this short chapter, Ross attacks who he thinks is responsible for the conflict between biblical creationists and old earthers.
In the mid-seventeenth century, however, two British scholars, John Lightfoot and James Ussher, produced commentaries that seeded the clouds of dissention. In their zeal for exactitude (and personal competition), they inadvertently opened the gates for a drenching dogmatism that divided Christian from Christian, and faith from fact, for centuries to come.
- Why would Ross use the term dissension? Ussher was reading his Bible and making use of his reason to learn about history. It is only dissension if someone disagrees with the Bible, and Ussher is in direct agreement with the Bible.
- “Zeal for exactitude” Should we not all desire to be zealous for truth? Ross is being pedantic here by criticizing a biblical scholar for wanting to be studious and careful in his research
- It’s hypocritical that Ross would criticize these biblical scholars for their “exactitude” because Ross is routinely quoted online and even in this book (p150) “the age of the universe is 13.79 billion years +/- 0.06 billion years”. It’s not ok for 17th century biblical scholars to propose an age of the universe with 4 significant digits, but Ross can do it?!?!?!
- Ross builds this up as if Ussher created a schism within Christianity, but is that really the case? The Hebrew calendar year is 5780 in January 2020 when this blog was written. Interesting that the Hebrew calendar is set to have begun at creation and is counting forward in time. So, is Ross’s claim that Ussher created a schism within Christianity, or have the old-earthers like Ross created the division to accommodate the modern academic paradigm? Given the evidence of the Hebrew calendar year, it appears as if Dr. Ross is the one who has diverged from the biblical teaching in order to be acceptable to modern academic scholars.
On p22 Ross writes
Both Lightfoot and Ussher ignored Hebrew scholarship and assumed no generations were omitted from the biblical genealogies. They assumed the Genesis 1 creation days to be six consecutive 24-hour periods.
While Ross’s book is filled with citations (92 pages), nowhere does he cite why he thinks Lightfoot and Ussher “ignored Hebrew scholarship”. Should Ussher be alive today, he might consider that accusation something of a slight…especially when Hebrew scholars confirm over and over the interpretations that Ussher used.
UPDATE: In Chapter 20, Ross again fails to make a compelling case for missing generations. In that chapter, I provide a more detailed rebuttal.