Peace Through Paradise
In chapter 10, Dr. Ross presents the argument that stellar evolution is a continuing process and the biblical creationists resist the idea of ongoing star formation
The leaders at ICE assert that the universe is essentially static. They deny astronomers’ (even Christian astronomers’) assertion that “we can still see stellar evolution taking place in the heavens. We can see stars, galaxies, and planets in various stages of this cosmic evolutionary process.” Their response: “No we can’t! The heavens and the earth were finished” (italics original). As proof, they cite Hebrews 4:3: “[God’s] works were finished from the foundation of the world.”
I would add Genesis 2:1 as well: “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.”
Dr. Ross asserts that the universe continues to get more and more organized through the continued evolution of stars and galaxies. And while I would try to hold my view loosely (as with an open hand), I don’t see how this is possible if God completed his creative works at the end of day 6. Perhaps he views star formation similar to procreation in that humans continue to produce children, and maybe he sees stars as “procreating” new stars over time. But there seems to be too many obstacles to overcome in new star formation without God intervening.
On pg 107 Dr. Ross says:
A small sampling if verses cannot adequately support a doctrine of such significance as the future dwelling place for God’s chosen and redeemed people. Again, all relevant texts must be collected and their frames of reference identified. Using these criteria to compare interpretations reveals valuable insight.
With this paragraph, I have to agree. But not in the way Dr. Ross would like to think. If HE would employ this line of thinking more often, then this book review would not be necessary. For example, Dr. Ross believes and teaches that the Bible unequivocally mandates a small local flood in the Mesopotamian valley. He can draw from only 2 verses (which he takes out of context) in all of scripture that he claims teaches this.
Psalm 104:9 “You [God] set a boundary they [waters] cannot cross; never again will they cover the earth.”
2 Peter 2:5 “if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others.”
If you’re wondering how Dr. Ross is able to definitively assert that the Bible is teaching a local flood from these 2 passages, you’re not alone. For Psalm 104, he believes that the poetic and very figurative language inherent in Psalm 104 is teaching a definitive historical timeline of the creation week (which he also thinks is approximately 14,000,000,000 years long rather than an actual week) which redefines the Genesis narrative. Since he sees the limitation put on the water as no longer being able to cross the boundaries of the shoreline, he forms his doctrine on “a small sampling of verses which cannot adequately support a doctrine of such significance.” Psalm 104:9, though sounds so much more like Gen 8/9 when God promises never again to curse the ground or bring a flood to cover the earth. We also know from the passage in Psalm 104 that because it mentions lions as predators and the condemnation of the “wicked”, we know that this passage is speaking of a post-fall world and NOT a pre-fall world as Ross believes.
Regarding how Dr. Ross gets a local flood from 2 Peter 2:5, I still do not know. He claims that the Greek word we translate as “ancient world” is instead referring to a geographic location rather than a time period. I’ve asked him online how he is able to come to this conclusion despite every translation and Greek lexicon translating G744 archaias as ancient, he stubbornly insists on his private definition of the word. It is a limiter of time not location, but Dr. Ross asserts he knows better than all Bible translators that this verse is teaching a local flood rather than a flood that happened in ancient times.
But the point of this little sidetrack highlights Dr. Ross’s hypocritical claim that “A small sampling if verses cannot adequately support a doctrine of such significance.” He’s right. His sampling size for a small flood is too small (and deeply flawed)
Back to Dr. Ross’s specialty: wild claims
Perhaps if astronomy were more widely taught in schools, more people would know that star and planet formation is a simpler process than raindrop and snowflake formation. A person who believes in ongoing raindrop formation need not hesitate to acknowledge ongoing star formation
He doesn’t go into details about that 1st sentence, but regarding the 2nd sentence Dr. Ross has asserted a false equivocation. Star formation is specifically identified as part of God’s creative work on Day 4…not so with raindrop formation. While raindrops do glorify the Lord, they are definitely NOT on the same level as the formation of magnificent stars and galaxies.
The end of Chapter 10 is a claim that old earth models are more theologically consistent with scripture than biblical creation. Dr. Ross has been describing what he thinks the new heavens and earth will look like. He’s keen on describing the physics of the new creation. He closes with this question:
Do long creation days and an old Earth and universe really accommodate naturalistic (or even theistic) evolution?
I hear his question and I’ll raise him three more questions:
- Will the creation of the new heavens and earth take 14,000,000,000 years like you think the current creation took?
- Will the new heavens and earth be “Very good” and filled with death/disease/suffering/thorns like you think the current creation is (even prior to the sin of mankind) ?
- Since old earthism in the naturalistic flavor teaches that “anything is possible given enough time”, why is God even needed at all in theistic old earthism?
As biblical creationists, we can praise God for the consistent nature of his revelation. We do not have to redefine the words in the Bible to accommodate modern academic paradigms or cultural changes in sexuality or political revolutions as we have seen Dr. Ross do. God’s Word is eternal and we can trust God to keep his word regarding the future since we can trust his revelation from the past.