Hugh Ross is the most recognizable and able defender of old earth creationism. His particular version of OEC is called progressive creationism. It seeks to interpret current scientific data as best it can while maintaining a certain type of a high view of inspiration; definitely one higher than that of most theistic evolutionists. I do think it is based upon a possible interpretation of key passages – Genesis 1 and 2 being chief among them – even if this interpretation may seem a bit less likely overall. Its advocates are generally interested in the truth of both special and general revelation.
With that being said, it would be good if more YEC advocates learned to get along better with OEC advocates. The age of the earth is not a salvation issue (although there can be certain theological ripples from either position) and it would be nice to see more cooperation between the two camps. YEC folks in times past have been especially harsh on some OEC folks and sometimes it has just been plain unfair. Sometimes the divide is even due to unfortunate forms of fundamentalism.
Case in point, The Institute for Creation Research, for example, has needlessly pushed KJV-Onlyism as part of their literature. ICR has also criticized Intelligent Design representatives in an unnecessary fashion. Things seem to be changing from the YEC side but ultra-fundamentalist/conspiracy theorist Kent Hovind (in no way associated with ICR) was making the rounds not too long ago until he landed in jail for tax evasion. Answers in Genesis, led by Australian Ken Ham, seem to be the new flagship organization for YEC scientists and have definitely made improvements in their argumentation and presentation.
Personally, I do not mind that they are becoming more openly Reformed in their theology and presuppositional in their apologetic but I do see potential signs of it closing them in too small of a box. I hope that they become more willing to work with others for the common cause of special creation awareness and research. The reason why I say this is because in times past some AIG people have shown a thinly veiled disdain for OEC organizations, specifically Reasons to Believe. This should not be; the similarities between OEC and YEC are more numerous than the differences.
There are a variety of ways in which the question of origins intersects with theology, culture, and even practice. There are several especially relevant areas I have noted from my own observations that I shared in these posts. They are as follows: evolution’s overall influence on Western culture, evangelicals whom tout theistic evolution, young earth creationism and evangelism, and the issue of sectarianism dividing young earth and old earth creationists.
I believe that reasonable cooperation between us all makes sense, especially in light of the slogan that Theodosius Dobzhansky, coined in 1973, “nothing in biology makes sense except in light of evolution”. Jonathan Wells counters this notion: “Science at its best pursues the truth. Dobzhansky was dead wrong, and so are those who continue to chant his anti-scientific mantra. To a true scientist, nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evidence”. [Jonathan Wells, Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? Why Much of What we Teach About Evolution Is Wrong (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 2000), 248.] To that, we should all give a hearty, “AMEN”!
Hugh Ross, Creation as Science (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 1998).
Hugh Ross, The Genesis Question: Scientific Advances and the Accuracy of Genesis (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 1998).
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