The Clouds Burst
In this chapter, Ross attempts to plant the idea that “young-earth creationism” is a modern day cult. On p30 he writes
By 1980, nearly every American evangelical church and the school had been swayed by young-earth creationist teachings…Societies along the lines of the CRS (Creation Research Society) and ICR formed in more than two dozen nations.
Simply by reading God’s word, one sees the that “young-earth creationism” is the logical conclusion. With deeper and more comprehensive Bible study, a Berian finds that the “simple” reading is confirmed. It’s even a fabulous bonus that organizations committed to the authority of scripture in their scientific research (Answers In Genesis, Creation Ministries International, and the Institute for Creation Research [ICR] ) find that the evidence is in perfect alignment with both the simple reading and the comprehensive study of God’s special revelation.
In an inset on p33, Dr. Ross inadvertently destroys his only basis for knowledge when he ridicules presuppositionalism. He writes:
According to some of its advocates, presuppositionalism says all human reasoning and interpretation of scientific evidence must be subordinate to a “biblical” interpretation of reality.
It might have sounded hyperbolic to say that presuppositionalism is the only basis for knowledge. Much has been written on this topic, and you can see an example of this apologetic method here, but I will provide a short primer below
- Since all of humanity suffers from the influence of sin, even our reasoning and senses are subject to the curse of sin. (Genesis 3:17-19, Romans 1:18-23,Romans 8:18-27). So, trying to place one’s epistemological foundation on human reasoning or scientific observations of a corrupted creation is insufficient for true knowledge. By the gift of grace, when a person repents of their rebellion, a person can have an epistemology that is uncorrupted (Pr 1:7, Isa 33:6, Ps 111:10, Col 2:3).
- God has revealed Himself in creation, which has since been corrupted by the curse of sin. God has revealed Himself in his special revelation, which is the eternal Word of God. God has revealed Himself in Jesus
- God is the foundation of truth, morality, induction, knowledge & logic, which are immutable, abstract, & absolute. All of these things are necessary for empiricism. Empiricism works because these absolutes are unchanging. (Prov 1:7, Isa 33:6, Psalm 111:10, Col 2:2-3)
- God is immutable, transcendent and absolute, so He provides a sufficient and necessary justification for truth, morality, induction, knowledge & logic.
- Presupposing God is necessary to know anything, and because God has revealed Himself in the uncorrupted person of Jesus and His Word, we can be certain of everything He has revealed in his word. If outside sources (corrupted) have authority over the interpretation of God’s Word (uncorrupted), then the perfect epistemic foundation is no longer the highest authority but subject to those outside sources.
From pages 32-34 the “appearance of age” theory is panned by Dr. Ross. The “appearance of age” theory was a model introduced by a few biblical creationists in the early 1970s. Dr. Ross quotes Dr. Gary North, who pushed the model:
The Bible’s account of the chronology of creation points to an illusion…The seeming age of the stars is an illusion…Either the constancy of the speed of light is an illusion, or the size of the universe is an illusion, or else the physical events that we hypothesize to explain the visible changes in light or radiation are false inferences.
Today, most creationists reject this model because there are too many time-limiting “clocks” that limit the age of the earth to under 10,000 years…just like the Bible says.
- DNA in fossils
- Salinity in the oceans
- Genetic entropy
- Polonium radio-halos
- Hydrogen still trapped in diamonds and zircons
Also in this section, Dr. Ross quotes Dr. Marvin Lubenow who said, “There is no general Bible-science conflict if one recognizes the domain of science to be primarily in the present and involving the investigation of present-day phenomena.”
I agree with Dr. Lubenow on this point. Scientific concepts can assist with finding out about past events, but not at the expense of eye-witness testimony from the Almighty…which Dr. Ross tries to do time and again.
On a side note, I highly recommend Dr. Lubenow’s book, Bones of Contention. It has been one of my favorite books. If you have an interest in fossils and completely refuting the old earther’s story about human evolution, you will appreciate this book too.
On pg35 Ross introduces the idea that young-earth creationism drives people away from God.
Many people who have never looked into the matter for themselves assume that Scripture clearly says God created everything in 144 hours, just 6,000 to 10,000 years ago. Given the scientific implausibility of such a position, many people reject the Bible without seriously considering its message.
- Ross pans biblical creation because of its “scientific implausibility”. Can anyone else think of other things (besides creation) recorded in scripture that are scientifically implausible?
- Exodus 14:21-22 The waters of the Red Sea parted at God’s command (scientifically implausible)
- 2 Kings 6:6 Axhead floats (scientifically implausible)
- Matt 1:18 Virgin gives birth (scientifically implausible)
- Luke 24 Jesus rose from the dead after 3 days in the grave (scientifically implausible)
- There are many other examples of “scientifically implausible” events that God brought about for his glory. So for Dr. Ross to hinge his argument on the “scientifically implausible” account of creation, brings his unbiblical old earthism into serious question.
- If one cannot trust God’s account of creation, why should they trust his ability to forgive rebellion? The same Creator, Jesus, provided his own body as the vessel to take on God’s wrath for sin, so that salvation for mankind could be achieved. Trusting the Creator (even if that account of creation seems implausible) is faith. And without faith, it is impossible to please God.
- Ross gives an example “One physician I know, though hungry for spiritual truth, ignored the Bible and the Christian faith for years because he couldn’t get past some believer’s insistence that the Bible’s first page taught a recent 144-hour cosmic creation.”
- Could this physician get past a virgin getting pregnant?
- Could this physician get past complete & instantaneous healing of a quadriplegic man?
- Could this physician get past the resurrection of a body after being dead for 3 days?
- The problem for this physician and with others who reject the miracles of the Bible (including creation) is not miracles, but the God of miracles. If miracles could be explained naturally, they wouldn’t be miracles that bring glory ONLY to God. God revealed his great power over nature, and by having faith in God’s revelation, we praise Him.
To close chapter 3 Dr Ross says:
Now is the time to make every effort-short of compromising either the words of the Bible or the facts of nature-toward a peaceful resolution.
As I spoke about in my review of the Introduction, Ross again erroneously claims that the “facts of nature” have the same authority as God’s eternal Word. All facts are interpreted according to one’s worldview. So, if Ross assumes modern academic paradigms are the highest authority, he will use that framework to interpret scripture. But as I’ve already said, nature has been subjected to corruption (Genesis 3, Romans 8), and so any interpretation one gets from observations of nature are also subject to that corruption. Trying to elevate the corrupted “facts of nature” over God’s eternal Word is an exegetical no-no!