Re: More than Three views?

Howard J. Van Till (
Wed, 24 Feb 1999 20:10:52 -0500

Allan Harvey was correct to note that the "Three Views on Creation and
Evolution" offered in the recently published Zondervan book do _not_
constitute an exhaustive list.

Allan also proposed the following 6-point scale that covers a broader

1) Theology requires "gaps"
Theology requires young Earth

2) Theology requires "gaps"
Preference for young Earth

3) Theology requires "gaps"
Preference for old Earth

4) "Gaps" or "no gaps" both theologically OK
Preference for "gaps"

5) "Gaps" or "no gaps" both theologically OK
Preference for "no gaps"

6) Theology requires "no gaps"

Allan provided this definition for _his_ use of the term "gap."

>In the following, I use "gap" as shorthand for a (preferably detectable)
>direct action of God in natural history that is outside God's "normal"
>means of nature.

It should be noted, however, that this is a substantially different definition
for 'gap' than I employed in my chapter. (Nothing wrong with that; it just
needs clarificaton.) I focused attention on the question of whether or not
there are _gaps_ (because of _missing formational capabilities_) in the
creation's formational economy. These are the sort of gaps that would make
episodes of 'special creation' or 'extranatural assembly' _essential_
components in the creation's formational history.

The absence of gaps in the creation's formational economy would not, however,
rule out the _possibility_ of God's direct action. Yes, such acts might be
_unnecessary_, but not _forbidden_. It would be God's choice--and thereby an
expression of the character of God's being and the character of God's
relationship to the creation.

As I see it, Allan's 'no gaps' category would rule out miracles. Is that what
you meant to do, Allan? I suspect not.

Finally, with _my_ meaning of 'gaps,' Allan would be correct to place me at
about 5.5 on his scale.


Howard Van Till