Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary

25 Nov 2012

A Few Thoughts about the Creation Consultation Meeting at the 2012 Annual Meeting of ETS

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On Wednesday, Nov 14, I attended the fifth meeting of the Creation Consultation at the 64th annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in Milwaukee, WI. This year’s creation meeting was entitled, “Scripture, Geology & the Age of the Earth.” Dr. Richard Averbeck, Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, moderated a debate between Drs. Gregg Davidson, an old-earth geologist, and Andrew Snelling, a young-earth geologist. Gregg, a Ph.D. in geology, is Professor in the Department of Geology & Geological Engineering at the University of Mississippi, author of When Faith and Science Collide. Andrew, also a Ph.D. in geology, is the Director of Research at Answers in Genesis, editor of Answers Research Journal, and author of the two-volume Earth’s Catastrophic Past. This debate was made up of four forty-minute sessions. The title of Gregg’s first session was “A Biblical Worldview and an Ancient Earth,” and Andrew’s second session was titled “A Biblical and Geological Defense of a Young Earth and the Global Flood.” The third session was a discussion between the two and the fourth involved both taking questions from the audience.

This was a very intriguing meeting where each participant focused on evidence and interpretation. Since the number in attendance was well over a hundred for all four meetings, I do not think I am alone in my assessment of the interesting nature of this debate. A line of evidence that Gregg presented piqued my interest. On the Hawaiian Islands there is a coral reef development along with connected submarine volcanoes. These look like they arose over vast periods of time, in contrast to the short periods of time that a young-earth creationist model would demand. Andrew reasonably presented seven evidences for a global flood, with a focus on the Grand Canyon. I suspect that the debate ended in a tie. However, when it came to the integration with Scripture, Andrew had a more effective presentation. Since the nature of this debate was out of my area of expertise, you should check out the take by a paleontologist from Liberty University: “Marcus Ross at ETS.”

13 Responses

  1. Thomas Weedon

    It is not only Geology, but Astronomy, Archeology, Cosmology and advanced physics that show by a vast quantity of individual pieces of data that the universe, and all that is in it, was created directly by God billions of years ago. (years = earth time).

    1. DMDjr

      If you hold to God as Creator (as you state above) and you hold to the Bible as divine revelation, why does God reveal his creation as a material creation taking place in seven 24 hour days?

      Are you holding that God did this billions of years ago or holding that Genesis 1 is not as it appears?


      1. Thomas Weedon

        Where do you find the idea of 24 hours?
        Is not Gods time different than Man’s (Psa 90:4, 2 Pet 3:8)?
        Is the such a thing as ABSOLUTE time, by man’s standard, in God’s creation?
        Does every mention of the word “day” in the Bible refer to a 24 hour day by man’s standard?
        How would you explain Gen 2:5 ‘it did not rain’ as an excuse for the plants mentioned in Gen 1:11 for not sprouting? It does take more than 24 hours for a seed to turn into a plant, does it not?

        1. Steve Drake

          You might check out Dr. McCabe’s very own article ‘A Defense of Literal Days in the Creation Week’ as an answer to your question. You can find it on this very DBTS website.

    2. Bob McCabe


      As you know I have worked through the exegetical details of Genesis 1 already in other posts. I would appreciate you confining your remarks to issues that are relevant to my specific blog post. I simply reported what happened at the creation consultation at ETS on the subject of geology. While I would not agree with you, I might see relevance to your remarks if the meeting had been about Astronomy, Archeology, etc. But these are off topic.

  2. Steve Drake

    1) Was the debate taped and available on-line anywhere? Would love to be able to give it a listen.

    2) In your paper ‘A Defense of Literal Days in the Creation Week’, you reference several footnotes to David W. Hall and I have been unsuccessful in tracking down and these references in your footnotes. The domain name seems to no longer exist. Do you know if it has changed names or moved to another link? I am especially interested in the articles you cite by Hall ‘The Patristics on Creation’, the open letter to William S. Barker entitled ‘Still the Only View Expressed by Westminster Divines on Creation Days, and any and all links to the

    1. Bob McCabe

      Hi Steve,

      Sorry for the delayed response. The Evangelical Theological Society will make tapes available for all four sessions. When they post them, you will be able to purchase them.

      I have noticed that website was removed from the internet some time back. To get Dr. Hall’s two articles, you might trying contacting him. He is the pastor at Midway Presbyterian Church in Powder Springs, GA. His email address is [email protected].

      1. Steve Drake

        Thanks. I’ll keep an eye out on the ets/jets website for when the tape might be available.

        I emailed Pastor Hall earlier this week. Thanks for the tip.

      2. Steve Drake

        Dr. Hall was kind and gracious to email me his entire treatise in PDF on this subject. It included the articles I was looking for and quite a bit more. I thoroughly look forward to working my way through it. Thanks again.

        1. Bob McCabe

          I am glad to hear that you received the material from Dr. Hall. Each year at ETS we have an unofficial meeting of those committed to YEC and he met with us this year as he has in the past.

          Thanks for letting me know.

  3. Steve Drake

    By the way, Gregg Davidson seems to be making the rounds. He was invited and spoke on the same topic(why the Church must adopt old earth creationism) to the PCA General Assembly, in June I think, this year.