Re: The death of the RTB model

From: Terry M. Gray <>
Date: Wed Feb 22 2006 - 11:12:37 EST

On Feb 20, 2006, at 2:27 PM, <>
<> wrote:

> And, surprisingly, Ramm would seem to allow for my position of
> seeking to find the origin of Adam via science rather than theology
> as many on this board are want to do:
> "The Bible itself offers no dates for the creation of man.
> We mean by this that there is no such statement in the text of
> the Bible at any place. We may feel that 4000 B.C. or 15,000
> B.C. is more consonant with the Bible than a date of 500,000 B.C.
> But we must admit that any date of the antiquity of man is an
> inference from Scripture, not a plain declaration of Scripture.
> "If the anthropologists are generally correct in their
> dating of man (and we believe they are), and if the Bible
> contains no specific data as to the origin of man, we are then
> free to try to work out a theory of the relationship between the
> two, respecting both the inspiration of Scripture and the facts
> of science." ~ Bernard Ramm, The Christian View of Science and
> Scripture, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1954), p. 220
> But many TE's and OECs have fallen into the mtDNA trap and then
> have difficulty changing their theology when the facts change.


While you may find support from Ramm on this question, I'd suggest
that most Biblical scholars today (even conservative minded ones)
would disagree with his conclusion that "the Bible itself offers no
dates for the creation of man." The irrelevance of the antiquity of
the human race but the importance of its unity goes back at least to
B.B. Warfield who wrote an essay along those lines in the late 19th
early 20th century. My own theological biases make me very
sympathetic with this line of argument. However, I think that there
are serious problems with this view exposed in part by Davis Young in
the article from Christian Scholars' Review about 10 years ago
(available on the ASA web site at
CSRYoung.html) and by others. I don't think Davis Young's issues have
been resolved by your (Glenn's) work. I think Dick Fischer's work
comes closer to addressing the concerns, but leaves behind the whole
unity of the human race argument. I personally don't share Glenn's
concerns about racism somehow coming out of Dick's view, but I think
that Dick's view does give short shrift to the unity of the race that
scripture seems to teach.

Of course, we've been over all this before and we're just saying the
same old stuff over and over again. I've long ago taken a rather
agnostic attitude toward successful reconciliation. My motto has been
"let's not twist scripture to make it fit science and let's not twist
science to make it fit scripture". There's an uncomfortable lack of
resolution and certainty in where I'm at today that many aren't
willing to live with.

BTW, the word I used was "anticipation" (not "foreshadowing"). For
anyone who cares this notion is part of the philosophical/theological
system of the Dutch Reformed philosopher Herman Dooyeweerd. Some
contemporary expressions of Dooyeweerd's ideas can be found in the
writings of Roy Clouser.

Terry M. Gray, Ph.D.
Computer Support Scientist
Chemistry Department
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523
(o) 970-491-7003 (f) 970-491-1801
Received on Wed Feb 22 11:14:06 2006

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