Science in Christian Perspective
Defense of Moderate "Special Creation"
Daniel E. Wonderly
Rt. 2, Box 9
Oakland, Maryland 21550
From: JASA 35 (March 1983): 63-64.
Jerry D. Albert, in the September 198 2 issue of the Journal ASA. p. 178-179, condemns "special creationism" as a dangerous belief. His warnings seem to be based on the assumption that the only kind of special-creation doctrine is young-earth, extreme creationism. We readily agree that the latter is a great danger and disgrace to evangelical Christianity, but it is important that we encourage belief in the special creative acts of God as outlined in the first three chapters of Genesis.
To imply that the only safe (non-dangerous) alternative to atheistic evolution is theistic evolution is to tragically ignore the lives and work of many conservative Bible scholars and scientists who have accepted the evidence for long geological ages and also the Genesis account of creation as including at least several special acts of God. . . . Some Christian geologists of the past ... are respected both for their contributions to science and their defense of special creation. A few of the present-day evangelical authors who are defending special creation as well as long geological ages are Arthur Custance, Robert C. Newman, Herman Eckelmann, and Davis Young. Both the writings and the successful ministries of all the persons listed above show that they have been able to hold to their belief in special creation without becoming victims of the inconsistencies characteristic of the extreme creationist movement which is now causing so much confusion.
The ASA will be doing the evangelical community a great disservice if we continue to speak and write as though theistic evolution were the only acceptable position between the two extremes of atheistic evolution and young-earth creationism. After all, our Affiliation was founded by persons nearly all of whom held to special, fiat creation in a setting of long geological ages; and this view has not been discredited by any recent biblical, theological, or scientific research. By neglecting to recognize the dignity of the original doctrine of special creation we have encouraged those evangelicals who do not want to accept theistic evolution to join extreme creationist organizations instead of our own.
Every ASA member should read Chapters 3-5 of Davis Young's Christianity and the Age of the Earth (Zondervan, 1982) so as to gain an understanding of the reasonableness and dignity of the special-creationist views held by many conservative Christian leaders of the past two centuries. Distortion and imaginative development of special creation is harmful, but the concept of special creation itself is logical, biblical, and compatible with modern science.