Review: “Inerrancy and the Undermining of Biblical Authority”

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In this video presentation, Dr. Mortenson addresses the apparent lack of consistency that has become evident among many of the signers of the 1978 Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. Article XII of the Chicago Statement includes the following denial:

We deny that Biblical infallibility and inerrancy are limited to spiritual, religious, or redemptive themes, exclusive of assertions in the fields of history and science. We further deny that scientific hypotheses about earth history may properly be used to overturn the teaching of Scripture on creation and the flood.”

But the fact is that a number of the signatories to this important declaration have expressed agreement with the findings of evolutionary geologists and cosmologists, who hypothesize that the world came to its present condition through a process of development that has been ongoing for millions of years.

Mortenson addresses some very important questions in this presentation. First of all, he asks, “Is it possible to believe in the inerrancy of Scripture while at the same time accepting a form of evolution over millions of years?” And his answer is “Yes, it is. Thousands of seminary professors and other Christian leaders do.” But he follows up that first question with this one: “Is it actually consistent to believe in inerrancy while at the same time holding to the idea that the universe has evolved over millions of years?” And his answer is a good one: “No!” The fact is, that inconsistency undermines the authority of God’s Word.

Mortenson provides a number of examples, and an able refutation of the conclusions that many have drawn. I’ll just mention one of those examples for the purposes of this review, that of Dr. Norman Geisler. Dr. Geisler was one of those who signed the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, but he has shown a real inconsistency in his own subsequent writings. In rejecting Dr. William Lane Craig’s “limited inerrancy” view, Geisler wrote: “Unlimited inerrancy contends that the Bible is inerrant not only on all matters it address, not only on redemptive matters, but also on historical and scientific matters as well.”

However, in his book Unshakable Foundations: Contemporary Answers to Crucial Questions about the Christian Faith, Geisler wrote the following:

In terms of the order of nature and appearance of new life forms, the fossil record indicates that they appear in the following order:

  1. Invertebrates
  2. Fish
  3. Amphibians
  4. Reptiles
  5. Mammals
  6. Humans”

Geisler goes on to state:

In presenting the design model, we are not interested in assigning exact dates and ages to all of these events; we will leave that up to you to decide. We will offer a suggested time scenario later, but our purpose right now is to show that the Genesis account of the origin of living things is essentially in accord with modern science.”

Geisler continues:

Now, let’s assume that the order of appearance is correct but that the corresponding dates, as proposed by gradualist macroevolutionary geologists, are in error… after carefully considering all the evidence, the progressive view of the design model (or something like it) appears to be a viable model of origins. Three independent fields of study support its integrity: cosmology, molecular biology, and paleontology.”

Mortenson points out a number of problems with Geisler’s approach, including his gross simplification of the order of the fossil record. But the overarching problem is Geisler’s inconsistency. While holding to the Chicago Statement’s denial that “scientific hypotheses about earth history may properly be used to overturn the teaching of Scripture on creation and the flood,” Geisler goes on to use these “independent fields of study” to do just that.

It is an inconsistency, and it is a serious one, because the conclusions drawn on the basis of an interpretation of the physical evidence completely undermine the authority and trustworthiness of Scripture. It is inconsistencies such as this one that strike at the foundation of our faith: God’s Word.

It is important that we use Biblically-informed discernment when dealing with all sides of the issue of creation and origins. We must be critical readers and watchers, whether we’re studying the message of evolutionary science or that of “creationists.” Not all material that is labelled as “creationist” is equally helpful, and some creationists, in their zeal for defending Scripture, have ended up misusing Scripture or overstating their conclusions. With that in mind, I do not hesitate to highly recommend this video for high school students and Bible study groups, as a springboard to further instruction and discussion of these vital issues.

“Inerrancy and the Undermining of Biblical Authority” is part of the “Answers in Genesis Creation Library Series” of videos. Dr. Terry Mortenson has a PhD in history of geology from Coventry University, and he has also written a very helpful book on the history of geology, The Great Turning Point: The Church’s Catastrophic Mistake on Geology – Before Darwin.

DOCUMENTARY REVIEW: Incredible Creatures that defy Evolution I

creatures2bthat2bdefy2bevolutionDocumentary
47 min / 2006
Rating: 8/10

As narrator Dr. Jobe Martin explains to us, he was once an evolutionist. He became a creationist when, as a professor at a dental college, he gave a lecture on the evolution of the tooth – teaching that fish scales eventually migrated into the mouth and became teeth – and was challenged by a couple of his students to investigate creation science. He’d never heard of it, but was willing to take a look. And the closer he looked the more he realized that much of the evolution he believed in was based on assumptions.

His study led him to investigate animals and other creatures, and in this short documentary he shares with us some of the most incredible features of some pretty incredible creatures that forced him to acknowledge that there was a Master Designer behind all this. For example, did you know:

  • …the bombardier beetle repels attackers by shooting a fiery liquid out of its rear end?
  • …the giraffe’s heart is strong enough to pump blood all the way up to its head? But what happens when it lowers that head to take a drink? The same strong stream of oxygenated blood will now be traveling with enough pressure to blow out its brain…except for the shut off valves in its neck that kick in when it dips its head.
  • …the woodpecker has a barbed gluey tongue that sticks to bugs but doesn’t stick to its own beak? And it has a skull that is designed to do the work of a jackhammer without giving the poor fellow a headache.

Dr. Martin shows us why we should be amazed by many other creatures including: the beaver, the Australian incubator bird, the platypus, the chicken egg, the chuckwalla lizard, the gecko, and us humans.

My preschool daughters were amazed, and while this is a video primarily intended for children, my wife and I were also engaged. We were floored by just how creative God is. It is good family viewing, with enough pictures and film footage to keep the attention of the very young, and for parents, a narrative that highlights just God’s sense of fun and genius.

This might not be a good one to hand to any hardened evolution-believing folk you might know. It is just a children’s video – it isn’t meant to offer an overly detailed or complete argument against evolution, and hardened critics will seize on that lack of depth to dismiss it entirely.

So get it for your own family, or your Christian school. And if you know someone dead-set on evolution, then consider Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels and its more adult anti-evolutionary argument. I review it here.

I should add that there are two more films in this series, all of them quite good, and this one the very best of the bunch. You can buy it by clicking here or rent it online by clicking here. And for a four minute peek, check out the trailer below.

This review originally appeared on ReelConservative.com.

FREE VIDEO: Buddy Davis Amazing Adventures: I DIG DINOSAURS!

Family / KidsBuddy Davis
26 min. / 2011
RATING 7/10

Buddy Davis is a musician, dinosaur sculptor, and children’s entertainer. In this children’s video Buddy invites along to go on a dinosaur bone dig to see how paleontologists find them and take them out of the ground, and then put them on display.

Davis really knows his stuff. Dinosaurs have long been promotional tools for evolutionists, but Davis will have none of that. He approaches the topic of dinosaur and their fossils from a thoroughly Christian, creationists perspective. In a number of instances he contrasts the biblical position with the evolutionary one. So, for example, he explains that fossilization doesn’t need to take millions of years – as he explains, they’ve even found fossilized teddy bears! And kids are also told about how elastic blood vessels have recently been found in dinosaur bones that shows they couldn’t possibly be millions of years old. These animals aren’t as old as they have been made out to be!

Our host is enthusiastic and energetic and keeps things hopping without it getting frantic. While I enjoyed this, I’d recommend it more as a kid’s video than family viewing. I mean, parents won’t be bored, but they likely won’t want to watch this as many times as their children!

I Dig Dinosaurs! is the first of four in the Buddy Davis Amazing Adventures series (so far) and it can be watched for free online here: www.answersingenesis.org/media/video/science/i-dig-dinosaurs/.

The others three episodes aren’t online, but you can buy them at www.answersingenesis.org/store/ (just search for “buddy davis amazing”).

This review was originally published on www.ReelConservative.com.

DOCUMENTARY REVIEW: Mount St. Helens: Modern Day Evidence for the World Wide Flood

Documentarydvd1
2012 / 36 minutes
Rating: 7/10

Thirty-four years ago Washington State’s Mount St. Helens blew its top. The eruption on the morning of May 18, 1980, knocked 1,300 feet off the top of the mountain, sending a massive landslide down its slope, clearing out a forest of trees, and washing out the lake at its base. For nine straight hours it put out the energy equivalent of about one Hiroshima-type atomic bomb every second.

The sheer power of this eruption makes it interesting, but this event is of particular interest to creation scientists like Dr. Steve Austin. The eruption scoured the area clean, but also lay down layers and layers of rock strata from the volcanic ash. The eruption also caused the creation of deep, new, instantaneous canyons, that – if we didn’t know better – looked to be many thousands of years old.

In other words, the Mount St. Helens eruptions showed that catastrophic events can rapidly create huge geological features. Dr. Austin shows how this has implications for the Flood, showing how it too could have rapidly laid down many layers of rock strata, and carved out even huge features, like the Grand Canyon. Just because its massive does not mean it took long to form!

I gave this a 7/10 rating, because it is well done, but I do want to note that if you aren’t already interested in this subject matter, this isn’t the sort of documentary that will just grab you. There is clearly a professional behind the camera, but overall the visuals are pretty tame (no computer graphics and no visualization of the actual eruption). So this is one you get for the fascinating information.

The DVD can be ordered at AnswersInGenesis.org and Creation.com or at FloodGeologySeries.com.

This post was originally published on www.ReelConservative.com.

Documentary review: LIVING WATERS

Documentary
69 minutes / 2015
Rating 8/10

This is one part nature documentary and one part evolutionary takedown. Illustra Media understand that a great way to expose evolution is to take a close in-depth look at some of the creatures that God has made. In Darwin’s day scientists didn’t have the ability to look inside the cell, and only had a glimmering of how incredibly complex even the simplest living creatures are. Now we know so much more – it turns out that even the simplest cell in our body has astonishingly complex and coordinated inner workings. Some have compared the complexity of a cell to the complexity of an entire city! In other words, the more we know, the more apparent it is that evolution can’t be so.

In previous films Illustra Media took a close look at butterflies (Metamorphosis) and birds (Flight). This time they have turned their attention to four maritime creatures: dolphins, sea turtles, pacific salmon, and humpback whales.

Time doesn’t allow a full detailing of just how awe-inspiring this investigation is. But I’ll give you a small sampling of what the documentary shares about the complexity of dolphins. These creatures can distinguish between a ping pong ball and a golf ball via echo-location. This is a form of sonar, and better than anything man has ever constructed. The dolphin’s sonar system can spot fish up to six inches under the sand and can find a BB at the bottom of a swimming pool.

Dolphins also have a complex air return system which allows them to make the high frequency sounds they need for echo location by blowing air past two sets of “phonic lips” and then recoup that air and redirect it back to its lungs. This air return system allows it re-use this air and to echo locate for more than ten minutes without needing to surface for air.

This is only scratching the surface of the dolphin’s complexity but this is already enough to expose the impossibility of evolution. The dolphin is able to:

  • make the sonic sound
  • focus and direct it
  • receive it
  • and, finally, have the ability to interpret and understand the signal they are getting back

All four of these elements are needed or else the system won’t work at all. So how could evolution – random mutation and natural selection – be responsible? The idea that all four elements evolved to be at the very same time is beyond fantastic. So too is the idea that they would evolve one after another and be selected for, despite having no function (despite having no evolutionary advantage) until all four are finally developed and the whole system is up and running. Evolution simply can’t account for systems such as this, which are so obviously and clearly designed.

Living waters is a remarkable documentary with wonderful visuals of all the creatures discussed. My pre-school children weren’t able to follow the discussion, but the close-up videos and computer animations kept their attention. Meanwhile their mom and I were stunned by the sheer brilliance and creativity of God!

I should add that while mention is made of an Intelligent Designer, He is never specifically named as the God of the Bible. That is disappointing, but every Christian watching this will most certainly give God glory. I can’t recommend it enough – this is a amazing look at some seemingly simple but incredibly complex creatures.

This review was originally published on www.reelconservative.com.