Disclaimer: I am not saying that outside evidences are without value. My concern is, in the building and articulating of the Scriptural worldview (including this present discussion of how many “days” are “6 days”), which kind of evidences are exhibit A and which are exhibit B.
A lot of coined words are born out of frustration and a perceived need for the term. I wrote “eology” in the subject line to differentiate a purely Biblical discipline from a science that mixes “Thus saith the Lord” with “This just in…”. I believe that in all areas of Bible study there should be a discipline that is foremost (and preferably exclusively) a Scriptural investigation of the study at hand and not a borrowing from Athens, Alexandria – or Cal Tech.
When Christians who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible discuss, say, eschatology or soteriology, they do not usually accredit current events/commentary or pop-psychology, respectively, with the same authority on those two topics as they do.
But when it comes to beginnings, well, the attitude is often different. Methodology of argument is different. It bothers me when many well-meaning Christians hitch their wagons to dubious scientific apologetics instead of putting Scriptural evidences first. Which evidence should be more important, for instance:
A. Exodus 20: 11 “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth” or
B. the geologic table and it’s “index fossils”
For Christians the answer, it seems to me, should be A. But how many Christians weary themselves trying to untangle the knots and strands of contradictory outside evidence (often shifting as fashions change, as cow replaces sacred cow) instead of using the same effort to really attempt to plumb the depths of God’s Word, taking Him at His
word when He said that He really did say the last – and the best – word on our origins and on all things that have to do with life and holiness?
John Owen’s words, though given in a somewhat different connection, seem appropriate here:
“The revelations that he has made of himself, and of the glorious
properties of his nature, in the works of creation and providence,
are, in themselves, clear, plain, and manifest: Psalm 19: 1, 2;
Romans 1:19, 20. Those which are made in Christ are sublime and
mysterious. Howbeit, the knowledge we have of him as he is
represented unto us in Christ is far more clear,
certain, steady, effectual and operative, than any we can attain in
and by all other ways of revelation. The reason hereof is, not only
because there is a more full and extensive revelation made of God,
his counsels and his will, in Christ and the gospel, than in all the
works of creation and providence; but because this revelation and
representation of God is received by faith alone, the other by reason
only: and it is faith that is the principle of spiritual light and
life in us. What is received thereby is operative and effectual, unto
all the ends of the life of God. For we live by faith here, as we
shall by sight hereafter.”
“It is the knowledge of “God in Christ” alone that is effectually
powerful to work the souls of men into a conformity unto him. Those
alone who behold the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ are
changed into the same image, from glory to glory.”
These are taken from his “Christologia”.
Instead of fighting Goliaths in Saul’s armor, I believe Christians should use the Sword with more confidence and precision, instead of being embarrassed (as some seem) or concessionary to the spirit of the age. It is only the application of God’s Word in this area of beginnings that we can make true headway and get people (and ourselves) more conformed to the image of Christ (Col 3:10).
Oh, I am almost forgot. By “eology”, I mean the study of beginnings -to match the “eschatos” of eschatology. Both look primarily to the Word for their proofs. I would have chosen “archaeology” first, but the pottery people got to that word first and are squandering it in their misnomered application to something that should have been named something else. ; )