Saturday, January 25, 2014

Unraveling the Origins Controversy: The Preface

Yep, I'm going to write a reply to the Preface.

The author (who I'll refer to as DeWitt unless he writes me and asks me to call him something else) starts off with Genesis 1:1.

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."

Few statements are as profound as the opening sentence of the Bible.

OK, so based on this, we already know where this book is going. I'm not sure I'm with him regarding his sentiments either. There are plenty of other books that start off with a bang.
"Call me Ishmael."

"Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show."

"This is the saddest story I have ever heard."
 All great starts.  I'll give the Bible a 7. It's not bad.
"The creation/evolution debate is not science vs. religion or fact vs. faith but a battle over interpretation. The facts do not speak for themselves; they are interpreted within a framework."

I disagree. I think it's exactly science vs. religion. Evolution is science and creation is religion. Claiming it's a battle over interpretation only seeks to put the two on equal footing when that's not remotely the case. One is the result of more than a century of scientific study, the other the uneducated attempts to explain the Universe by a Bronze Age Middle-Eastern culture. It's not based on fact. It's a glorified camp fire story.
"I have taken an approach that is based on presuppositional apologetics. Presuppositional apologetics seeks to defend the foundational beliefs and premises of Scripture while challenging alternatives."

I think this is a very bad idea, and not for any differences that I have with DeWitt theologically. It's my opinion that this is the fastest way to lead to a "Preaching to the Choir" situation, where the people who already agree with DeWitt will read the book, and the people who don't will stop at the Preface. I don't think that DeWitt's goal is to preach to people that already think he's right, but maybe it is. I couldn't say for certain. I do know that his choice to base his approach on presuppositional apologetics already puts me off on his subject matter. He does use the last chapter (which I haven't gotten to yet) to focus on "creation evangelism", so maybe he is expecting this book to be read only by people that already share his views.
"For those who have doubts about Biblical creation, I hope that they will seriously consider the arguments presented in this book."

That's the last line of the Preface. All I can say is, based on his presuppositions, it seems highly unlikely for that to be the case. I'm making an effort to withhold my judgement until I'm further into the book, as it's never a good idea to judge a book by it's cover (or Preface for that matter).

And I turn the page.