Trinity Western University's Statement on Creation: A Critique (short version)

by Richard Peachey

In 2002, Trinity Western University in Langley, BC (Canada) crafted a document titled, "Statement on Creation, the Bible, Science, and Our Response," which is currently distributed with other "community documents" to people who ask for information about TWU. We offer the following brief assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of this document. (A more detailed critique is also available on our website.)


STRENGTHS:

  • emphasizes that Scripture is inspired, inerrant, sufficient, and authoritative.
  • affirms that God's creative acts are "trustworthily recorded in the biblical account and necessary for our understanding of His redemptive purposes."
  • declares that "a doctrine of divine creation based on Scripture is the first element of a Christian worldview," thus indicating that creation is foundational, logically as well as chronologically, to all other Christian thinking.
  • describes Adam and Eve as historical individuals, "the first human beings . . . the culmination of God's distinct creative acts," noting that "they were created in His 'image' (Genesis 1:26-27), a characteristic that distinguishes human beings from all other creatures and bestows on them unique significance and value in the eyes of the Creator." Furthermore, "the first human beings fell into sin through a historical act of disobedience to God (Genesis 3)."
  • asserts that the universe "evidences in itself an intelligent design that reveals something of the 'invisible qualities' of its Designer (Rom. 1)."
  • clearly opposes naturalistic (atheistic) evolution.

WEAKNESSES:

  • fails to specifically address unbiblical positions such as the "Gap Theory," Theistic Evolution, Old-Earth Creationism, Progressive Creationism, a "Local Flood," the "Big Bang," a chemical "origin of life," and macroevolution.

(TWU might respond that they have to be selective and can't deal with every possible creation-related issue. Some of the omissions, however, are rather significant; and the reader may easily be left with the impression that TWU tolerates any number of well-known unbiblical positions that the statement doesn't specifically rule out. After all, what is the purpose of a statement like this, if not to clarify where the institution stands on major issues of the day?)

  • proposes a "double revelation" view in which there are "two sources of information: biblical revelation and natural revelation." This view is fraught with danger: What tends to happen is that the interpretive historical reconstructions of evolutionary scientists, formulated within the framework of a naturalistic philosophy (and using data gathered from a cursed Earth) are placed on a par with (or worse, elevated above) clear statements found within God-breathed Scripture! Creation evangelist Ken Ham is correct when he urges Christians to examine all data (and claims about data) through the "spectacles" of the Bible. "Let God be true, and every man a liar!" (Romans 3:4).
  • allows for interpretations of the word "day" in Genesis 1 other than the straightforward meaning of a normal 24-hour day (or the light portion thereof).
  • explicitly allows instructors to hold differing positions on "1) the timetable for creation in Genesis 1 and whether God's whole collection of creative acts occurred over a shorter or longer-term span of time. 2) young or old earth. 3) the extent of limited changes in life forms over time (e.g. speciation)." This is highly regrettable! TWU faculty are hereby permitted to hold the "Day-Age" view, "Progressive Creationism," or other theories that allow for millions of years of suffering and death prior to God's declaration of a "very good" completed creation!

For a more detailed critique of Trinity Western University's Statement on Creation, go to <http://www.creationbc.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=57>