Re: ? for Glenn and Dick

Glenn Morton (
Tue, 14 Jan 1997 21:15:48

>Out of ignorance I wish to ask Glenn and Dick why specifically they feel
>Christian publishers will not publish their material even though IVP and
>Eerdmans have published VanTill's material. (Who does not hold the
>mainstream evangelical view by any measure.)

Short answer. Sales. Book publishers are in the market to make a profit and
there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I would not publish it if it
couldn't make a return on my investment. For their investment my views are
probably too risky. But it does make it hard to impact christianity where they
are wrong on geology and anthropology.

I agree with you on Van Till and I am very happy for him. He is an
exception and an exceptional person.

The standard formula for getting published in this area is either a YEC
approach or what I call a philosophical approach. The philosophical approach
does not say how the paleontological data is to be explained, where there are
numerous transitional forms. It does not explain how the Flood could occur as
reported (it is usually ignored). In short the philosophical approach gives no
explanations for the scientific data but merely says philosophically evolution
doesn't work. The other guy is wrong. An example is Darwin on Trial. This
approach avoids the problem of why the data doesn't support a classical
interpretation of the Biblical account at all. It avoids questions that a
geoscientist must face, like why I can not find a single modern mammalian
species prior to 45 million years ago. If evolution is not true then does this
mean that God created and destroyed thousands of species over the eons? Or
even why the fossils appear as a transitional sequence between the fish and

As a YEC, I published 27 items in the CRSQ, Int. Conf. on
Creationism, ghost wrote the evolution section for Josh McDowells Reasons
Skeptics Should consider Christianity_ book. I am not a novice at getting
things published. But since I have changed, it was a long while before I was
able to get anything accepted for publication even in the journals. When I
was searching for a publisher, I got this comment,

"Though I don't agree with all of your conclusions, I think you have done a
good job. You have a number of unique or unusual proposals that would be
helpful for people to consider who are trying to think through the origins
questions. I am especially glad that you are trying to treat both science
and Scripture with integrity. I don't know how many copies of the book you
have had printed so far, but I would like to keep this one if possible (let
me know what it costs) and to get a second for one of my colleagues.
"I am afraid you are going to have trouble getting a publisher. Most
of the conservative Christian houses have young-earth creationists looking
over their shoulder and are reluctant to publish anything that would get them
into trouble with that group. (Both Hugh Ross and I have faced this problem)
In general, your liberal religious publishers would only sneer at taking the
Bible seriously regarding early earth's history. "
"I'm afraid that we at [deleted by GRM} cannot publish your book. Our guys
are old-earth creationists, not theistic evolutionists, and we take enough
heat for our own position without attracting additional flack for publishing
a book we don't even agree with."

It was the nicest rejection I ever got. But it does show the YEC influence.

Another publisher called me, encouraged me, (he talked to me for over 45
minutes) but said he didn't think they could publish it either. However, he
has since bought 7 books. One for himself and 6 to give away. If the book
is bad, as one might surmize from the more than 30 rejections, why would the
guy do this?

Where I really got frustrated was when the journals also closed up to me. And
I think there are two reasons for that.

First, my views ARE different from anything else anyone has published. But
geology called for a different approach. Remember geology was the first
science that rejected a Biblical account of history. It did so prior to Darwin
and in fact laid the groundwork for Darwin. It has been the most difficult to
reconcile to the biblical account. Davis Young has given up trying to find an
explanation for the flood account because the geological problems are so
tough. As he points out concerning the flood:

"The only widely publicized contemprary flood theories available to
evangelicals are those of scientific creationism. Small wonder
that on the issue of the flood evangelicals are so attracted to
that voice; it is virtually the only one speaking among us!"~Davis
A. Young, Scripture in the Hands of Geologists, Part Two,"
Westminster Theological Journal, 49, 1987, p. 288.

I want to provide that needed alternative.

Being different makes for major problems. YEC journals and publications don't
publish evolutionary, old-earth, local flood viewpoints. This rules out
Origins, Creation Research Society Quarterly, Bible-Science Newsletter etc.
The old-earth, intelligent design journals don't publish evolutionary stuff.
Until last summer I was unable to convince anyone to publish even an article.

I am very grateful to that journal and I don't want to embarrass them in any

To show how my views are different from what is out there I have a diagram.
There is a continuum of views on this plane. I define historical as a
one-to-one correspondance of the detailed events in the Bible with history.
This goes to the details of the accounts. The more details one believes did
not happen as described, the further to the right one moves. A person who
beleives that species were created in tact in 4004 BC occupies A. A person
who believes that the entire genesis record has little correspondance to
reality occupies B-D.


historical allegorical
no evolution no evolution
YECs A-------------------------B
| |
| |
| |
| |
| |
| |
| |
| |
| X |
Historical C-------------------------D Allegorical
evolution evolution
Theistic evolutionists

I occupy the X. I do not believe the genealogies are complete and I am not
sure about the origin of life but I believe in a one-to-one correspondance
with almost all other Genesis 1-11 events even in the details.

Secondly, there is the fact that few in editorial positions know a lot about
geology or anthropology so if a view comes in which is not in the mainstream
like mine, it is hard for them to believe what you are saying. I understand
this problem. This problem is caused by apologists who only do a surficial
job of researching their area. Hugh Ross said art doesn't exist prior to
60,000 years. He used to say that it was indicative of humanity. Pre-60,000
year old art has been known since the early 60's (flutes). The problem was
that Christians were unaware of it. When this was pointed out, a change in
viewpoint was made: art is no longer indicative of humanity. The making of
stone tools is a very human act but we don't recognize it as such. Others have
claimed that Neanderthal didn't engage in any human behaviors. Shoot,
Neanderthal built walls,pavements, dug post-holes, made flutes, and engaged in
subterranean mining. Of course they aren't human according to large parts of
old-earth Christian apologetics because if they are, then humanity goes back
possibly as far as 230,000 years ago and this is unacceptable. So we call them
soulless brutes.


Foundation,Fall and Flood