I have been on a bit of a sabbatical from blogging during this past summer, which has allowed me to focus on another subject that is dear to my heart; the element of Time and God’s Word. The Year 2000 marks an interesting point in the evolution of religious thought in our day. Time has brought us to the point that mirrors the error in the very definition now captured by the term evolution itself. And these errors are self inflicted, mainly because of a Christian’s increasing fascination with repeating a fatal mistake in evangelism; which is always an attempt to take out the “good news” of the Gospel and replace it with some brand of orthodoxy and harmonizing logic. Is the Gospel really worthy of harmonizing logic at all?
Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.
(Romans 7:4 NASB)
Or is obedience a more suitable response to the understanding of the Gospel? I know it will be surprising to you…. But, the best intentioned of Christian men and women lose sight of obedience at times.
There is an event that is conducted at Southwestern Seminary, in the great state of Texas, called Grindstone. I love these types of proceedings, which is generally a panel of experts that discuss a topic from all sides of an argument, and then there is a time that the experts are engaged in questioning about their comments near the end. This can result in some Grinding and Sifting around the veracity of the arguments.
In October of 2010, one of the topics caught my attention. The Grindstone offered up “Young or Old Earth (Parts 1 and 2). You can find the media here under the heading “Student Forums”. What was fascinating to me about this topic,…. was what became of the faculties goal. So as I listened, it became evident that the goal of the event was not to measure the scriptures in light of “Young or Old Earth”, but the mission and intent, of this evening with the professors, was to highlight “accepted views”. It seemed more important, except for only one of the four professors, to drive the discussion to some level of orthodoxy….so that in the end, the events of “In the beginning God created” could mean “just about”, but “not quite” anything. An “evening and a morning”, a “day”, a “gap” (which some have coined as a day), or a “gapless” thought of…“give me a few million years and can’t we all just hold hands and get along” type of orthodoxy. But probably even worse than some brand of orthodoxy,…the evening seemed to highlight a decision of this institution to sponsor variety, and dodge the more difficult question about evangelism,…obedience. Needless to say the arguments around the topic seemed to dodge the more obvious question,….is a day, truly a day?
There was a bright spot in the evening of orthodoxy though. Dr. Mudliar seemed to be the only one of the teachers that took scripture seriously in this matter. He simply stated the scripture and obediently defended the text. The other three… Dr. Patterson, Dr. Blaising, and Dr. Keyes, led the students down a broad path of well intentioned orthodoxy on the subject, framing the work of amazingly intelligent Christian men like Dr. Dembski and Dr. Collins as something that must be considered.
Should obedience to the written Word compete with orthodoxy in our Seminaries?
Is it possible or satisfactory to brand yourself as a orthodox “Christian” teacher of theology while at the same time remain confused about the definition of a “day” ….when it appears as “a thousand years”, “millions of gap years” or some other strata of time? Was God confused about the day that he created?
Oh yes,…and don’t use the argument of academic freedom,….that dog of a straw man will not hunt. The freedom to speak your mind is obviously not the issue at Southwestern and the series known as Grindstone truly illustrates that fact.