The AG paper on Creation and Ken Ham

According Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis, it’s a sad day in the Assemblies of God in America.   Ham writes on his blog:

The general presbytery of the Assemblies of God (AOG) denomination, in session August 9–11, 2010, adopted a revised statement on “The Doctrine of Creation.”  Here is an excerpt from the official AOG position paper, that opens the door to evolution and millions of years, and the various compromise positions on Genesis held by some in the church (such as gap theory, day age, progressive creation, theistic evolution, etc):

The advance of scientific research, particularly in the last few centuries, has raised many questions about the interpretation of the Genesis accounts of creation. In attempting to reconcile the Bible and the theories and conclusions of contemporary scientists, it should be remembered that the creation accounts do not give precise details as to how God went about His creative activity. Nor do these accounts provide us with complete chronologies that enable us to date with precision the time of the various stages of creation. Similarly, the findings of science are constantly expanding; the accepted theories of one generation are often revised in the next.

As a result, equally devout Christian believers have formed very different opinions about the age of the earth, the age of humankind, and the ways in which God went about the creative processes. Given the limited information available in Scripture, it does not seem wise to be overly dogmatic about any particular creation theory.

Whatever creation theory we individually may prefer, we must affirm that the entire creation has been brought into being by the design and activity of the Triune God.  Moreover, we also affirm that the New Testament treats the creation and fall of Adam and Eve as historical events in which the Creator is especially involved. We urge all sincere and conscientious believers to adhere to what the Bible plainly teaches and to avoid divisiveness over debatable theories of creation. (“The Doctrine of Creation,” 2010, http://ag.org/top/beliefs/Position_Papers/pp_downloads/PP_The_Doctrine_of_Creation.pdf)

I have no problem with the AG not taking a literal stand (or declaring any position) on creation in the Genesis creation narratives.  Unfortunately, some cannot handle this and see it as compromise, when it is no such thing.   Ham goes on to compare this with the position paper that was written in 1977 where at that time the AG did take a more literal stand on the Genesis narrative (insisting on a literal 6 day creation only, all other views or possibilities are man made, etc).   He continues:

…..the difference between the 1977 AOG statement on creation and the revised 2010 statement reflects the battle that has been raging ever since events from Genesis 3 took place. In Genesis 3, Satan tempted Eve by getting her to doubt God’s Word.  Eve was asked, “Did God Really Say?”  The apostle Paul warns us in 2 Corinthians 11:3 that Satan will use the same method on us as he did on Eve—to get us to a position of unbelief regarding God’s Word.  What Satan was doing was getting Adam and Eve to question God’s Word, and to act as “gods.”  In essence, Adam and Eve decided to make fallible man the authority over God’s Word, instead of judging everything against the absolute authority of God’s Word.

Not taking some strong stand on a specific view of creation is to take a position of unbelief?  Hardly.  Besides, the position paper doesn’t say science (so-called man made opinions) trumps Scripture (God’s Word).  Rather, merely that the rise of different (viable) viewpoints should lead to less dogmatism and more unity.  Kind of hard to argue with that.  Though for some it is compromise and not a step towards unity.

So, according to Ham, moving from a literal interpretation of the creation narrative is a big reason young people, especially college students are leaving the church – without being armed with effective apologetics in creation science the kids get mowed down by their professors and other students and the leave the faith.  Well, if you ask me, if they leave the faith over such an issue, I wonder if they really had much of a faith or a real weak faith in God.

Ham goes on to say the AG has:

now succumbed to the view—prevalent in the church todaythat is undermining the authority of God’s Word, and ultimately is significantly contributing to the collapse of Christianity in our Western world.  The AOG with its August statement is now saying we have to take the fallible ideas of fallible humans and use these in authority over the Word of God.

He goes on and on and on.  You can read it for yourself if you want – but far as I am concerned its a GREAT day in the AG and a GREAT day to be a member of the Assemblies of God.

comments are now closed. thanks for the interaction.

In the Mail: The Deep Things of God

With thanks to Angie Cheatham of Crossway Books, I just received a review copy of Fred Sanders’ new book: The Deep Things of God: How the Trinity Changes Everything (Crossway, August 2010).  Sanders is a specialist on the Trinity and in this book he “explains how the gospel is inherently Trinitarian.  Readers will see that recognizing the work of the Trinity in the gospel adds depth to faith and the Christian life.”   Here is more of a description:

The doctrine of the Trinity is widely taught and believed by evangelicals, but rarely is it fully understood or celebrated. Systematic theologian Fred Sanders, in The Deep Things of God, shows why we ought to embrace the doctrine of the Trinity wholeheartedly and without reserve, as a central concern of evangelical theology.

Sanders demonstrates, with passion and conviction, that the doctrine of the Trinity is grounded in the gospel itself. Written accessibly, The Deep Things of God examines the centrality of the Trinity in our salvation and the Trinity’s presence in the reading of the Bible and prayer. Readers will understand that a robust doctrine of the Trinity has massive implications for their lives. Indeed, recognizing the work of the Trinity in the gospel changes everything, restoring depth to prayer, worship, Bible study, missions, tradition, and our understanding of Christianity’s fundamental doctrines.

Looks to be a good, interesting and useful read!  Wished I could have linked it here though.  Ah well.