An Apologetics Facepalm

Posted: January 23, 2015 in Apologetics, Creation
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I had the very special privilege to hear a fairly well known apologist recently.  He was speaking on the reasons behind why the church is losing its youth and young adults.  After the first presentation she was asking about material for kids.  As is my wont, I suggested the book Living Loud by Norman Geisler and Joseph Holden.  This is an outstanding book written for high school age kids, though my 5th grade son is able to understand and process the ideas it presents.Pillars-of-Creation

For those who don’t know, Norman Geisler is one of the most brilliant Christian apologists alive today.  His book Christian Apologetics is a standard text at University and Seminary.  His in a skilled debater often on the front lines defending the faith against skeptics and atheists.  Yes, he had that unfortunate feud with Licona, but his scholarship in apologetics is nevertheless brilliant.

So what is the facepalm in this?

The response to my suggestion by the questioner was, “Oh, but he believes in an old earth.”

Pardon me?

What does that have to do with the question of whether God exists?  Or the problem of evil?  Or the resurrection of Jesus?  Or His divinity?  Or… Or…

The presenter’s display of grace when he heard the young earth reply was truly amazing, though I could see the inward cringe. One of the golden rules of apologetics goes something like this: “In essentials, unity.  In non-essentials, liberty.  In all things, charity.” The speaker had charity well on display that evening.

People!  The age of the earth is a very secondary question compared to these issues.  Based on that criterion we would have to throw out Augustine.  After all, he believed in an instantaneous creation.  Cyrus Scofield (as in the Scofield Study Bible) and Clarence Larkin were old earth proponents of the Gap Theory.  If you’re going to base orthodoxy/heresy upon a secondary issue, you better be ready to empty your library.  There are plenty of Young Earth believers who are friendly and open to those holding an Old Earth view.  Most prominent among these are:

  • Josh McDowell (Ok, he only leans towards a young earth – his words)
  • Adrian Rogers (Committed to Young Earth, but nevertheless respectful to Old Earthers)
  • R.C. Sproul (very congenial towards Old Earthers; actually he says, “I don’t know“)
  • Dr. Jay Wile (writer of the Apologia science curriculum)
  • Ravi Zacharias (Though his ministry will not take a position and has people of both positions)


Then there’s the list of those supporting the Old Earth perspective:

  • Gleason Archer (The greatest Old Testament linguist of modern times)
  • F. F. Bruce (brilliant commentator and proponent of biblical inerrancy)
  • William Jennings Bryan (from the Scope Trial)
  • John Ankerberg
  • John Battle
  • Michael Behe (actually, the Darwin’s Black Box author is an evolutionary creationist)
  • James Boice
  • Walter Bradley
  • D.A. Carson
  • Jack Collins
  • Paul Copan
  • Chuck Colson
  • William Lane Craig (one of the greatest living apologists and on the front lines debating atheists)
  • Michael Denton (the author of Evolution: A Theory In Crisis)
  •  James Dobson (pitch those Focus on the Family tapes)
  • William Dembski
  • Robert Godfrey
  • Guillermo Gonzales (author of The Privileged Planet)
  • Norman Geisler (one of the greatest living apologists)
  • Billy Graham (Now that was a surprise)
  • Wayne Grudem (How many of you have his Systematic Theology?)
  • Hank Hanegraaff (The Bible Answer Man was at one time YEC, but has shifted to the OEC view)
  • Mike Horton (from the White Horse Inn broadcast)
  • Jack Hayford
  • Fred Heeren
  • Charles Hodge
  • Walter Kaiser
  • Kenneth Keathley (Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Molinist proponent)
  • Rebecca Keller (author of the Gravitas science curriculum)
  • Greg Koukl
  • C.S. Lewis (Better burn your Chronicles of Narnia!)
  • Paul Little
  • J. Vernon McGee
  • Stephen Meyer
  • Patricia Mondore
  • J. P. Moreland (the one and only)
  • Robert Newman
  • Greg Neyman
  • Mark Noll
  • James Orr
  • Nancy Pearcey
  • Perry Phillips
  • William Phillips
  • Arthur Pink
  • John Piper
  • Mike Poole
  • Bernard Ramm
  • Jay Richards
  • Pat Robertson (of the 700 Club – cause quite a stir, as I remember)
  • Hugh Ross (Ok, so this one’s a no-brainer)
  • Francis Schaeffer (the great crusader in the Culture War)
  • C.I. Scofield (Hope you don’t have his study bible)
  • Chuck Smith Jr.
  • David Snoke
  • Lee Strobel (yes, The Case for Christ author is Old Earth)
  • Ken Taylor
  • Frank Turek (well known apologist and lecturer)
  • John Walton
  • B. B. Warfield (proponent of biblical inerrancy, one of the writers of The Fundamentals)
  • Phillip Yancy (wrote the notes for the NIV Student Bible, among other things)

I’m sure there are many names here that you don’t recognize.  I’m just as sure there are many more that you do.  I am also sure that you probably have more than one of their books in your library.  I have a very strong feeling that this list is far from complete (but thanks to Reasons to Believe, Answers In Genesis and a thorough scrubbing of the internet for help in compiling this list).

Let the book burnings begin…

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