Hugh Ross is one of the most influential Old Earth Creationists alive. The founder of Reasons to Believe, he has had a profound influence on putting forth Old Earth Creationism from a concordist–that is, the notion that the Bible and science will agree where they overlap [often including the notion that the Bible explicitly speaks on scientific issues]–perspective. A Matter of Days is perhaps the magnum opus of his position.
The book provides a huge amount of material for those wanting to interact with topics of creationism. Ross begins by surveying the contentious way the issue is often argued and noting that we as Christians ought to strive for more tolerant attitudes towards each other. Alongside this, he notes various statements by evangelicals allowing for some openness on the topic.
The book covers a massive range of arguments for and against young earth creationism, but the real meat of the text is dealing with various scientific arguments on either side. These are surveyed in a kind of question and answer or objection and rejoinder format in which Ross clearly explains a huge amount of scientific data for an ancient universe and deals with the major objections to such a position from the young earth creationist perspective.
Ross also confronts textual issues in a number of places, including much discussion on the concept of “day” and its meaning in Genesis 1. This, he covers from different perspectives including historic theology, exegesis, and science. He also puts forward a canonical view of how to see Creation in the Bible rather than limiting it simply to Genesis 1-2. There are a number of other texts that he argues also teach on creation.
Although he is an “Old Earth” believer, Ross is also clearly a creationist and puts forward several brief arguments about the faultiness of evolution. This is not a focus of the work, but through such arguments he establishes a clearer picture of his own position related to origins of both life and speciation.
One issue that might be raised with the book is whether the seemingly strict concordism Ross advocates is necessary. For example, rather than arguing that entropy and decay are spoken about in the Bible (100-102), could one not simply note that the human biblical author almost certainly had no concept of entropy and therefore was not addressing it? That is to say, a concept of divine condescension might be easier to hold to than one of future scientific knowledge revealed in the Bible.
The new edition is expanded and has noticeably featured references to some recent works as well as more arguments. It is a rather large re-write with much new information. Readers considering purchase should get this edition.
+Major point-by-point explorations of evidence for and against an old earth
+Strong defense of the Old Earth Creationist/Concordist position
+Many technical issues explained in understandable ways
+Expanded arguments and new information for the new edition
+Really cool cover
-Some questions about concordism remain
-Perhaps too brief on some objections
A Matter of Days remains a tour de force for old earth creationists. It is one of the broadest yet clearest defenses of the old earth creationist position which both answers young earth arguments and puts forth in brief an OEC perspective. Moreover, the updated edition is a true update rather than just having some corrections throughout. This is a book worth having for anyone interested in the controversy over origins in the Christian world.
Disclaimer: I was provided with a review copy by the publisher. I was not required to write any sort of review whatsoever thereby.
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Hugh Ross, A Matter of Days (Covina, CA: Reasons to Believe, 2015).
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While I don’t agree with the day-age view, or the level of concordism Ross espouses, I think this is one of his best books. He makes a good case against the idea that the text of Genesis 1 requires a 24 hour interpretation.
Ten years ago I thought Hugh Ross and Reasons to Believe were the greatest things since sliced bread. Then I read a number of books about biological evolution and also ran across Denis Alexander, R. J. Berry, Francis Collins, Simon Conway Morris, Peter Enns, Daniel Harlow, Tim Keller, Denis Lamoureux, Kenneth Miller, John Polkinghorne, John Schneider, Christopher Southgate and other Christian scientists and theologians who don’t seem to have as much of a problem integrating biological evolution with their Christian faith as Hugh Ross did (does?).
Has Hugh Ross changed his tone toward biological evolution at all in the Second Expanded Edition of “A Matter of Days”? I am referring specifically to passages like “No Time to Fear” at the end of Chapter 11 (“Young Earth Darwinism”) on page 129 of the 2004 edition of “A Matter of Days.”
Ross remains anti-evolution and that section does remain at the end of the 11th chapter. Ross remains an OEC as opposed to one of the other origins positions like evolutionary creationist/theistic evolutionist.
Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging.
You’re welcome J.W.!