Grudem on Flood Geology

From My Bookshelf Dec 15, 2009

[NOTE: By way of introducing counter-points to my worldview class on the issue of creation and the age of the earth, I read the following excerpt from Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology. We had quite a lively discussion that night.]

Another common view among evangelicals is what may be called “flood geology.” This is the view that the tremendous natural forces unleashed by the flood at the time of Noah (Gen. 6-9) significantly altered the face of the earth, causing the creation of coal and diamonds, for example, within the space of a year rather than hundreds of millions of years, because of the extremely high pressure exerted by the water on the earth. This view also claims that the flood deposited fossils in lays of incredibly thick sediments all over the earth. The flood geology view is also called “neo-catastrophism” because its advocates attribute most of the present geological status of the earth to the immense catastrophe of the flood.

The geological arguments put forth by advocates of this view are technical and difficult for the nonspecialist to evaluate. Personally, though I think the flood of Genesis 6-9 was world-wide, and that it did have a significant impact on the face of the earth, and that all living people and animals outside the ark perished in the flood, I am not persuaded that all of the earth’s geological formations were caused by Noah’s flood rater than by millions of years or sedimentation, volcanic eruptions, movements of glaciers, continental drift, and so forth. The controversy over flood geology is strikingly different from the other areas of dispute regarding creation, for its advocates have persuaded almost no professional geologists, even those who are Bible-believing evangelical Christians. By contrast, the books objection to evolution that we mentioned above chronicle 130 years of cogent objections to Darwinian evolution that have been raised by a significant number of biologists, biochemists, zoologists, anthropologists, and paleontologists, both explaining facts evident from observation of the created world. if present geological formations could only be explained as the result of a universal flood, then would this not be evident even to non-Christians who look at the evidence? Would not the hundreds of Christians who are professional geologists be prepared to acknowledge the evidence if it were there? It may be that flood geologists are right, but if they are, we would expect to see more progress in persuading some professional geologists that their cause is plausible one.

Grudem includes the following footnote:

The arguments against flood geology have been marshalled by an evangelical who is also a professional geologist; see Davis A. Young, Creation and the Flood: An Alternative to Flood Geology and Christianity and the Age of the Earth

Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology. PP 306-07.

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