Archive for the ‘Sproul’ Category

C. Michael Patton discussion Sproul on 6 Day Creationism

May 22, 2008

Even while astrophysicists are rejoicing at the observation of the birth of a supernova, a much more interesting cosmological discussion is being had by C. Michael Patton over at Parchment and Pen (link).

The author explains that apparently noted Reformed author R.C. Sproul has taken (in 2006) a stand in favor of the traditional, literal six day creation account. The reason is obvious: if you read the text exegetically, there is no other conclusion you can come to.

I realize that, as Sproul notices, there are other possibilities for interpretations of Genesis 1 vetted: but none of them can stand on an exegetical method. Thus, those who advocate other views really ought to try to come to grips with the fact that they have not derived their view from Scripture, and consequently that they should perhaps rethink their view.

Objection 1: The Day-Age and/or Gap Theories are not Inconsistent with the Text

I realize that the immediate objection from those who hold alternative theories of the text will be that their theories do not conflict with the text. They may argue that they can build a consistent interpretation of Genesis 1 (and the rest of Scripture) based on their theory.

We Answer:

Yet those theories are not derived from the text. Indeed, such a “not inconsistent with” standard is the standard used by “traditionists” for every novel doctrine that they wish to impose. It is not a valid way of doing textual interpretation. That one can interpret the text of Genesis 1 in some non-exegetical way, and then craft an answer (using similar mechanisms) for the rest of Scriptures does not surprise us. It simply shows a willingness to make the theory fit — it does not demonstrate the theory actually fitting. It does not let the text speek for itself.

Objection 2

The other main objection we are wont to hear is “the Bible is not (at least primarily) a Science textbook.”

We Answer:

We agree, but distinguish. While the Bible is not primarily a Science textbook, the Bible is an historical source. While it certainly is treated as though it were “Science” in the popular media, Cosmology is an historical study – and claims (such as the claims that the recently observed supernova birth is 80+ Million years old) about cosmology are historical claims.

Natural sciences, by definition, exclude the supernatural. Thus, it is more proper to turn this objection on its head and respond that Science is not primarily an historical method. This is especially true when it comes to miracles. From the Bible, we know that miracles do occur. The account of the world’s and man’s creation in Genesis is portrayed in supernatural terms. God spoke – and it was so. Thus, we should not expect purely naturalistic investigations to jive with the account of Creation, just as we should not expect purely naturalistic investigations to jive with the account of the Resurrection of Christ, or the Virgin Birth.

Praise be to God, the Maker of Heaven and Earth!


Premature Exultation – Semi-Augustinianism

March 18, 2008

David Waltz seems excited by a quotation from R.C. Sproul regarding labeling Roman Catholic doctrine.

Waltz writes: “The fact that the Catholic Church maintains that it is impossible to accept the gospel without grace (gratia praeveniens), this separates Her teaching from “all forms of semi-Pelagianism”; instead, embracing “moderate-Augustinianism, or of what might be called Semi-Augustinianism, in distinction from Semi-Pelagianism.”” (first quotation is from Sproul, second quotation is from Schaff, and the emphasis was provided by Waltz) (source)

Waltz’s exultation at being distinguished from “all forms of semi-Pelagianism,” is a bit premature. You see, Sproul – like the others we’ve examined (link) (link) – is careful to distinguish between Augustine’s correct position and Rome’s incorrect position – although I do not think that Sproul was necessarily thinking of Rome in the discussion he was conducting.

What one wishes to call the position is the wrapper: Semi-Augustinian with Sproul or Schaff (in his narrowest sense, see here, for example); Semi-Semi-Pelagian with Warfield; or Semi-Pelagian with Schaff (in the broadest sense in which he uses the term). The content inside the wrapper is the problem: the erroneous position of Rome. It’s not wrong because it disagrees with Augustine, of course. It’s not wrong because it leans toward Peliagius, either. It’s wrong because it disagrees with Scripture, as noted here (link).


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