The Correct View of Creation? – part 2
In part one, I discussed four different elements of the debate surrounding views of creation. Depending on the question you will find two of the views under consideration (young earth, old earth, and framework) agreeing with each other. Also, again depending on the question, you will find different combinations of views that agree with each other. This observation occurred to me in the process of reading the Genesis Debate this past spring. In this post I want to explain the significance of this observation.
To begin with, one must belabor the exclusive nature of each view. By “exclusive” I simply mean that it is not possible to hold more than one view at the same time. As I discussed in an earlier post, despite the secondary nature of this question it can have a significant impact on how one approaches the Bible, apologetics and evangelism. In short, I think every informed apologist needs to have worked through this question or have a reason as to why they think it is unimportant.
Next we need to consider the criteria or process by which any given view might be rejected. The simplest or perhaps the most certain method would be if all or a majority of its supporting arguments could be dismissed. However, the various arguments that are relevant to this topic were not created to resolve which view of creation is correct. Rather they are interpretations of scripture and how scripture should interact with other areas of human knowledge. Each rises or falls on merits (hermeneutical and theological) that are quite independent of which view of creation they support. In other words, I believe, how scripture is interpreted is determined prior to or even independent of the various models creation. In other words, in order to reject a particular view of creation one must find reasons to reject the hermeneutics that undergirds that view.
But this leads us to a more difficult and perhaps more obvious question. One I must confess, simply by virtue of the time I have spent on this subject, I would find difficult to answer. Do we gravitate to a hermeneutic because of the view of creation it supports, or do we discover the view of creation that is most consistent with the hermeneutics we believe is most faithful to the Bible? It is here that I believe proponents of all views would agree, our highest goal should be the best interpretation of the Bible possible. All sides of this debate are seeking to understand God’s revelation in this area and are coming to very different conclusions. Yet what goes into these conclusions (hermeneutics, biblical inerrancy, adherence to historical Christian doctrines, even the individual arguments) are shared across the various views.
What then are we to conclude? Well I can’t speak for you, but I will share what I learned through this process. None of the views of creation, whether the three I have considered here or others are completely correct. None of the views are completely wrong in that they should be rejected. The overlap I have cited is just one way of showing how all the views are interconnected and all of them have strengths and weaknesses.
Ultimately, we must understand and defend orthodox Christian doctrines. While the specific outcome of this debate is a secondary issue, we must always be on guard that orthodox doctrines are not attacked or demoted as we struggle with this issue.
 Hermeneutics is the art and science of Biblical interpretation. The highest goal one can have is to determine the intent of the original author. This involves understanding the historical setting in which was written, the original audience, and the genre or style of writing being considered.
 I must defer to a future post examples of views not discussed here, that I believe are wrong and should be rejected for their resulting assault on orthodox Christian doctrines.