I have never read Rimmer, so I find this interesting.
So some ruminations on what you wrote. It fits what little I have read about
Rimmer, that he was not consistent. I have read Price though, and although he
was convinced that the flood was global and responsible for the geological
record, and that life was created recently, as I remember he was prepared to
concede an old earth and universe. Perhaps therefore it is unfair for me to
call him a true YEC, even though Morris et al are his intellectual children and
he doubtless would be at home in their company.
If this is the case then there has been a real hardening of opinion on this
matter amongst scientific creationists and their supporters. I have nearly
finished John Mac Arthur's book and nearly wept to think that this represents
the opinion of a leading evangelical pastor in the US. The SDAs have, I
understand become much less doctrinaire, many now being old earth and most of
the rest being old earth but recent creation of life, as I read them.
Ted Davis wrote:
> It is understandable why Glenn interprets Harry Rimmer as a YEC, but it is
> incorrect. At least Rimmer never unambiguously advocated that the earth is
> just five days older than the human race. He *did* defend a literal
> creation week, and did so quite often--most famously in a debate he had with
> William Bell Riley, in which Rimmer defended the gap view (which has literal
> days, of course, that's its main attraction for fundamentalists) as vs the
> day-age view that Riley preferred.
> But Rimmer was clear about his support for the gap view, as vs a "young"
> universe. In *exactly* the same year in which he argued so strongly for
> literal days vs Riley (1929), he published "Modern Science and the First Day
> of Creation," later incorporated into Modern Science and the Genesis Record.
> There he gives the same arguments for the literal day that he gave vs
> Riley, but much less dogmatically, explicitly stating that "we cannot know"
> whether the days were literal--I suspect that the context of the debate,
> which he always relished, led him to state things more forcefully to gain a
> Right after going through all this--right after endorsing literal days, but
> not dogmatically--Rimmer then lays out the gap view as his own. Speaking of
> the first verse in Genesis, he writes, "This is a simple statement of the
> primal creation, and ascribes to God the original creation, the primary
> construction of every physical thing. The clear meaning is that things
> began when God made them out of nothing that was or ever had been! [his
> italics now:] This verse, and this work of ORIGINATION [end italics] are not
> to be confused with the work of the [italics] First Week, [end italics] as
> we shall be careful to point out as we advance with this study. We are
> dealing in the first chapter of Genesis with two stupendous events, and we
> must not confuse them, or chaos will result in our thinking."
> Much later, after giving the usual fall of Lucifer scenario to explain why
> God ruined the original creation, he explicitly states: "Only God knows how
> many ages rolled by before the ruin wrought by Lucifer fell upon the earth,
> but it may have been an incalculable span of time.... It has been suggested
> [EBD: in the Scofield Bible, among other places, but Scofield was Rimmer's
> source] that the mainfold fossils the rocks contain may be a relic of that
> pre-Adamic age: but of this no man can know definitely." [Note the
> unambiguous reference to a pre-Adamic age, despite his ambiguity about the
> fossils. Rimmer was ambiguous about lots of things, but not this.]
> Whatever one may say about Rimmer, he was *not* an advocate of a "young"
> earth. He *did* constantly badger scientists to "prove" claims for the ages
> of fossils, particularly hominid fossils, but he didn't doubt the great
> antquity of the earth and the universe. He tried inconsistently to
> amalgamate Price with Scofield, just as he tried inconsistently to do
> numerous other things--inconsistency being one of Rimmer's hallmarks.
> As for Rimmer and Morris, the latter speaks directly about his debt to the
> former, in A History of Modern Creationism (1984). Morris invited Rimmer to
> speak at Rice, admired him, and says that he modeled his own career on
> Rimmer's. I also think (though can't back it up as I can for Morris) that
> Gish modeled his debating style on Rimmer's. For Rimmer's part, I think if
> he were alive today, he'd be a YEC at least for the fellowship, if not for
> the truth of it. But he wasn't, and thus (ironically) the CRS can't give
> him posthumous membership, though he more than anyone else showed them how
> to be a "Scientific" creationist.
> Ted Davis
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