A Matter of Days

Resolving a Creation Controversy

Hugh Ross

p9 Forward by Jerry White, President, The Navigators.

p11 Introduction, The Dawn of a New Day

p11 In trying to argue that the Bible and nature must both give true information about the creation, he bemoans the fact that the bitterest attacks he has gotten came from Christians rather than from non-Christian scientists. He points to the word "day" as the focal point for the presumption that "the facts of nature cannot possibly line up with the truths of Scripture."

Ch 1 Flash Point

p14 brief story of his coming to Christ, and of his first angry encounter with young-earth creationists.

p14 "solidity of the scientific evidence for both Earth's origin (a few billion years ago) and the universe's beginning (a few more billion years ago) raised not a moment's doubt about the necessity of a Creator. Nor did it cause me concern when I first read the Genesis 1 creation account. It honestly did not register with me that anyone could or would see a need to propose that the earth and universe are only a few thousands of years old or that the Genesis days are consecutive calendar days. The truthfulness of the text and the necessity of divine intervention faced no threat from the facts about Earth's or the universe's age."

p15 list of those accused and denounced as "men and women whose lives and work "do not lead to soul-winning or spiritual growth, but to apostasy."

p15 four fundamental issues which have been debated for 200 years, but last 40 years veered to just the age of the universe and the Earth.

p16 good statements on the irony of discovery which magnificently affirms biblical cosmology, yet is rejected because it threatens belief in a recent creation date.

p16 "The young-earth viewpoint and the desire to avoid science have inoculated a large segment of society from taking seriously the call to faith in Christ."

p17 Steve Allen quote.

p18 Michael Ruse quote "Creationists are at the bottom of the scale."

p18 Priority Who, How and When in that order in the Bible's 21 creation narratives. Discusses closeness with God and concludes "misidentifying the timing of God's past works in the cosmos has little or no bearing on that closeness."

Ch 2 The Gathering Storm

p21 The chronologies of Lightfoot (1642) and Ussher(1650) leading to creation dates of 3928 and 4004 BC.

p23 1780s beginning of fossil examination and relation to strata, assumption that deeper strata were older.

p24 In 1800s Lyell, Phillips, Lord Kelvin, John Joly came to conclusion that Earth was at leasts in the tens of millions of years old.

p25 in 1857 arose Gosse's argument for creation with "apparent age".

p26 1859 Darwin's Origin of Species.

Ch 3 The Clouds Burst

p29 Interesting that Ross attributes truth to the standard Wilberforce-Huxley exchange while other authors insists that these statements were manufactured later.

p30 Milton and Lyman Stewart question the 24hr creation day, citing Augustin and Aquinas. But they were countered by the Fundamentals Assoc which included the Ussher chronology as a way to defend against Darwinism.

p31 Scopes trial in 1925. Ross discusses how this affected the fundamentalists and caused them to "bolt the door on the geologic time scale" as their only hope for "upholding the Bible as true."

p32 "molecules to man" exascerbates the polarization

p32 Morris and Whitcomb published "The Genesis Flood" in 1961.

p33 In 1963 10 fundamentalist scientists banded together to form the Creation Research Society. Swelled to 450 members in 10 years. Splintered in 1970 but with forming of Institute for Creation Research in 1972 and Creation-Science Research Center its influence actually increased until it affected most American evangelical churches and schools by 1980 according to Ross.

p34 AAAS in Science81 insert challenging creationism as nonscience and it was distributed to 100,000 members of NSTA.

p35 "Appearance of Age" resurgence North, includes statements of Whitcomb.

p36 ICR and Answers in Genesis as most prominent advocates of young earth. Quotes Morris as saying "no tool of science can ever yield real information on the age of the earth."

p36 Ross does a good job at showing how preposterous the "appearance of age" hypothesis is.

p37 discussion of biblicism

p38 3 core ideas that could help heal the rift.

p39 John Morris - exclude old-earthers from leadership in churches.

Ch 4 Wisdom of the Ages

p41 Lignon and Duncan claim we have always believed 24hr creation days!

p42 Philo Jewish scholar 13bc - Josephus 45ad neither clearly indicated actual days.

p43 Irenaeus about 120ad forward used the thousand years.

p44 Clement of Alexandria from about 150ad - days didn't give time but order

p44 Origen 185-254 brought up the fourth day problem.

p45 third century Lactantius and others tended to the 1000 year day.

p45 Augustine.

p46 Eusebius, brings up "yom", Basil days as distinctions of states, not times.

Ch5 The Creedal Climate

p51 If early Christians had held strong views on the length of the creation days, it would likely have shown up in the creeds.

p54 Westminster confession - 33 chapters,

p56 Newton's view.

p57 PCA in 90s conceded possibility of long creation days.

Ch 6 Toward Better Interpretations

p59 List of scriptures attesting to the trustworthiness of God's word.

p60 Psalm 19 and Rom 1:18-20 attest to the fact that God speaks to us in nature.

p61 'eres, shamayim and yom usually translated as earth heaven and day.

p66 Table of the 21 creation narratives.

Ch 7 Anchored in Scripture.

p73 Discusses yom and its flexibility in use.

p76 Young earth discussions of days 1-3

p77 why p76 won't work.

p83 Biblical clocks, passages indicating great antiquity.

Ch 8 Guided by Theology

p85 God does not trick or deceive

p86 "For created things to show a deceptive appearance of age would violate God's own stated character and purpose."

p89 Psalm 19:1-4, Job 12:7-8, Psalm 50:1-6, Psalm 97:6 assert that the creation gives us faithful information abou the Creator.

p89 Central truths of the Christian faith are revealed only by the Bible, but the truth about some things is revealed only in nature because the Bible does not address them.

p90 "we have no reason to reject either the facts of nature or the Bible's word."


Ch 9 Good God, Cruel World

p97-98 Interesting discussion of the "no death before Adam" position of Morris & company and other YECs. Includes the idea that all death is the result of Adam's sin.

p98 "Such a view of Adam's sin, however, seems to imply that God meted out sudden punishment on plants and animals who did nothing to deserve His wrath, or that He couldn't or wouldn't protect the rest of creation from man's offense. Either possibility calls God's character and power into question."

p98 Romans 5:12 is verse used to support no death before Adam.

p100 argues for limiting Rom 5:12 and 5:18-19 to men, and argues that neither these verses nor 1Cor 15 compells belief that there was no plant or animal death before Adam.

p101 Box "Does Genesis I Command a Vegetarian Diet?"

p102 Job 38:39-41, Psalm 104:21,24-28 say that carnivores receive their food from God's hand, and calls it "good".

p102 In section on suffering, he notes that for humans "The awareness and anticipation of future agony, physical or spiritual or both, greatly intensifies human pain. Animals. by contrast, neither anticipate nor worry about the future." Sounds like statements early in C. S. Lewis' Problem of Pain.








In a discussion among the RTB Apologists in December 2013, the following quote was made as a quote from this book summarizing one of the PCA Church's summary statements about Genesis and the relation of science to scripture.

From page 243 of A Matter of Days. The panel which prepared the report started with an assumption of strict biblical inerrancy. The four views they came up with quoted from A Matter of Days were:

  1. Calendar-day: creation days consist of six consecutive 24-hour periods that are historical and chronological.
  2. Day-age: creation days are six consecutive long ages that are historical, sequential, and chronological.
  3. Framework: the creation week is a metaphor to narrate GodŐs actions in creation with the days to be understood as topical rather than sequential and the durations as unspecified.
  4. Analogical-days: creation days are analogous to, but not necessarily identical to, human days, that is, broadly consecutive but of unspecified length.

Here's the International Conference on Biblical Inerrancy statement agreed upon by everyone there except Henry Morris (see page 242 of A Matter of Days):

  • We affirm that any preunderstandings which the interpreter brings to Scripture should be in harmony with scriptural teaching and subject to correction by it.
  • We deny that Scripture should be required to fit alien preunderstandings, inconsistent with itself, such as naturalism, evolutionism, scientism, secular humanism, and relativism.
  • We affirm that since God is the author of all truth, all truths, biblical and extrabiblical, are consistent and cohere, and that the Bible speaks truth when it touches on matters pertaining to nature, history, or anything else. We further affirm that in some cases extrabiblical data have value for clarifying what Scripture teaches, and for prompting correction of faulty interpretations.
  • We deny that extrabiblical views ever disprove the teaching of Scripture or hold priority over it.
  • We affirm the harmony of special with general revelation and therefore of biblical teaching with the facts of nature.
  • We deny that any genuine scientific facts are inconsistent with the true meaning of any passage of Scripture.
  • 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.

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