The age of the earth and the doctrine of creation are heated topics within the church. Controversy of the Ages carefully analyzes the debate by giving it perspective. Rather than offering arguments for or against a particular viewpoint on the age of the earth, the authors take a step back in order to put the debate in historical and theological context. The authors of this book demonstrate from the history of theology and science controversy that believers are entitled to differ over this issue, while still taking a stand against theistic evolution. But by carefully and constructively breaking down the controversy bit by bit, they show why the age issue is the wrong place to draw a line in the theological sand.
If I had the power to require every Christian parent, pastor, and professor to read two books on creation and evolution—ideally alongside their mature children, parishioners, and students—it would be 40 Questions about Creation and Evolution (by Kenneth Keathley and Mark Rooker) along with the book you are now holding in your hands, Controversy of the Ages: Why Christians Should Not Divide Over the Age of the Earth. Neither book intends to answer all of the questions definitively, but together they are like maps for Christians in the complex and confusing intersection of the Bible and science. We cannot bury our head in the sand, or outsource study of these issues to others. Cabal and Rasor help us sort through the issues and the options, modeling for us how to use proportion and perspective in our rhetoric and strategies of disagreement within the body of Christ. We live in perplexing days, but clear and clarifying books like this are a tremendous gift to the church. If the arguments and tone of this book are taken to heart, we will all be sharper, wiser, and kinder. I pray it is widely read.
—Justin Taylor, author, managing editor of the ESV Study Bible
When people ask for a good book to read about the age of the earth, I have a new favorite to recommend: Cabal and Rasor’s Controversy of the Ages. With remarkable clarity, this book provides historical and theological context to the young-earth/old-earth controversy. But Cabal and Rasor move beyond mere description and prescribe the way to move forward—the Galileo approach. This is an important book, and it needs to be read by pastors, college and seminary students, and all who care about science and faith issues.
—Kenneth Keathley, senior professor of theology, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary; coauthor of 40 Questions about Creation and Evolution
The time is long past when we have needed a very careful, thoroughly documented analysis and response to the claims of young earth creationists. But with this book, I am delighted to say that that time has come. Its same thoughtful handling of evolutionary creationism makes Controversy of the Ages a critical read for evangelicals wending their way through the confusion. I am very enthusiastic about the scholarship, careful treatment, and irenic tone of this book and highly recommend it.
—J. P. Moreland, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Talbot School of Theology
“Conservative evangelicals will find most troubling that BioLogos teaches (1) universal common descent should be entertained, and (2) the rejection of inerrancy can be entertained.” (Page 191)
“In spite of Coyne’s wish to ennoble the warfare model, its central thesis has been discredited for decades.” (Page 18)
“Galileo’s final methodological step, however, allows for the possibility that a scientific theory might be proven true as opposed to a traditional biblical interpretation. In such cases, one should assume the interpretation is in error. Article XX of the CSBH carefully but essentially states the same, affirming ‘that in some cases extra-biblical data have value for clarifying what Scripture teaches, and for prompting correction of faulty interpretations.’” (Page 175)
“Galileo’s position here epitomizes the conservatism principle: if in doubt, stick with the Bible. The step also assumes that scientific theories can be errant interpretations of nature.” (Page 45)
“Carl Sagan, regularly took potshots at religion in the name of science and boldly began the series with a dramatic announcement: ‘The cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be.’ With just one sentence millions of people came face to face with philosophical naturalism, the view that nature is the ultimate reality. Whatever is natural is real; whatever is considered supernatural is unscientific, hence false.” (Page 16)
Theodore J. Cabal (Ph.D., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) is professor of philosophy and apologetics at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the general editor of The Apologetics Study Bible and has written numerous journal articles, book chapters, and professional papers.
Peter J. Rasor II (Ph.D., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is a full-time faculty member at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ, where he teaches worldview, philosophy, apologetics, and ethics. His research interests include topics in the areas of philosophy of religion, science, and theology.