Article XII and The Age of the Earth
One section from Jamin’s corrective caught my attention:
So, what does the Chicago statement on Inerrancy have to do with being a young-earth creationist? As I've pointed out numerous times before (via blog/podcast), this is a common error of association where critics of inerrancy either conflate the Chicago statement on Biblical Inerrancy (1978) with the Chicago statement on Biblical Hermeneutics (1978-1982) and assume that article XXII in the latter somehow requires YECism, or, it is simply assumed that all Chicago-inerrantists are YECists. Both assumptions are false . Nothing in the Inerrancy document requires being a young-earther, nor requires a person to agree with everything Gleason Archer has to say. The Chicago statement on inerrancy also doesn't require "sweating bullets thinking about the high number of those said to have left Egypt with Moses." [emphasis mine]
I have previously tussled with Jamin over the disconnect that exists between his defense of inerrancy and his disdain for young earth creationism.
It’s weird, really.
I find it perplexing how groups of evangelicals who claim to have a strong commitment to presuppositional apologetics, confessional, Reformed theology, and historic Christianity, would be so out-of-touch with their inconsistency on this matter.
Usually the main response by these old earth enablers is to say, “Well, B.B. Warfield (or theologian “X”) didn’t believe an old earth conflicted with inerrancy. Are you telling me this theological giant was inconsistent?”
Yes, I am.
I'll state it again: YES, I AM.
Let me go back and point out some things from Jamin’s comment and show you why I say that.
So, what does the Chicago statement on Inerrancy have to do with being a young-earth creationist?
He’s certainly correct to imply that the framers of the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy [CSBI] didn’t intend to defend YEC or OEC with their comment. That much is true. But their use of language is such when defining their understanding of the Bible’s historical accuracy and truth claims about origins, that to be an affirmer of inerrancy as outlined and defended by the CSBI, as well as adhering to OEC or theistic evolution, is woefully inconsistent, as I will explain in a moment.
As I've pointed out numerous times before (via blog/podcast), this is a common error of association where critics of inerrancy either conflate the Chicago statement on Biblical Inerrancy (1978) with the Chicago statement on Biblical Hermeneutics (1978-1982) and assume that article XXII in the latter somehow requires YECism, or, it is simply assumed that all Chicago-inerrantists are YECists. Both assumptions are false .
Perhaps there are people who "conflate" the two documents. What I have done, however, is to direct folks to the CSBI, article 12, that reads,
WE AFFIRM that Scripture in its entirety is inerrant, being free from all falsehood, fraud, or deceit.
WE DENY that Biblical infallibility and inerrancy are limited to spiritual, religious, or redemptive themes, exclusive of assertions in the fields of history and science. We further deny that scientific hypotheses about earth history may properly be used to overturn the teaching of Scripture on creation and the flood.
Article 22 under the CSBH is something of a supplement to this point. It reads,
WE AFFIRM that Genesis 1-11 is factual, as is the rest of the book.
WE DENY that the teachings of Genesis 1-11 are mythical and that scientific hypotheses about earth history or the origin of humanity may be invoked to overthrow what Scripture teaches about creation.
I believe both of those statements are clear and concise. How anyone can claim they leave open the possibility of a deep time view of Genesis is bizarre. Unless our interpretation of language has so succumbed to postmodern dribble our words no longer have any real meaning.
Moving along to Jamin’s concluding comment,
Nothing in the inerrancy document requires being a young-earther...
Maybe he means to say it doesn't require adhering to YEC because the framers didn't come out and say "Believing in inerrancy requires you to be an young-earther." But the principles of inerrancy they defend certainly demand a commitment to YEC if one is to affirm the CSBI and remain consistent.
The reason is quite simple: While I heartily agree that Genesis isn't a "science text book," it most certainly is a "history text book." Genesis 1 and 2 records the real, factual history of God Almighty creating the heavens and the earth.
According to the language of Genesis 1, God did His creating in the space of 6 days. Furthermore, if we take the genealogies of Genesis 4, 5, 10 and 11 seriously as a historical, chronological record (and there is no exegetical reason why we shouldn't), God's historical act of creation took place around 6,000 years ago.
So, as a Christian convinced of, and committed to, the infallibility and inerrancy of Scripture, I understand Genesis 1 to be revealing factually accurate history. It is, as article 12 affirms, free from falsehood, fraud and deceit.
This means God isn't accommodating a "non-scientific" minded people by giving them "theological" stories that have no meaning in reality. Moreover, Jesus and Paul didn't deceive Christians when they affirmed the history of Genesis in the NT. And, our understanding of creation (and how to read Genesis) didn't come to full flower UNTIL the 1800s when "science" broke through primitive, religious dogma.
On the contrary, modern-day scientism presents an alternate view of history that undeniably contradicts everything recorded in the first chapter of Genesis. The proponents of this alternate view insist the Scripture is, in the record of creation, filled with falsehoods, fraud, and deceit.
How then can one affirm an inerrant Bible, yet attempt to harmonize two entirely different views of creation history? It's impossible; and it is inconsistent to what article 12 of the CSBI affirms.