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American Seminaries and the Days of Genesis

Author
Category Articles
Date March 1, 2001

“Christian Renewal” (January 29, 2001), listed the position of some of the Reformed and Presbyterian seminaries in North America on the length of the days of Genesis 1.

CALVIN THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY IN GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN, allows for a diversity of views, limited only by reports and decisions adopted by the 1991 Synod of the Christian Reformed Church, Professor John Cooper said. Those decisions limited interpretation of the Genesis creation account from denying an active creation by God through atheistic or naturalistic evolution and called for subjection of all exegetical views to limits of the analogy of Scripture and confessional guidelines.

COVENANT THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY IN ST LOUIS, MISSOURI, has for its 40 years of existence taught a variety of interpretations of the Genesis account, from a literal view to the framework hypothesis to the analogical day theory, President Bryan Chappell said. None of the theories endorses any form of evolution, Chappell said.

GREENVILLE PRESBYTERIAN THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, IN GREENVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA, approves a faculty statement in 1998 affirming a literal, six-day interpretation of the creation account based on exegetical, historical and confessional grounds.

KNOX THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY IN FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA, has no official policy or statement on creation views, but administrator R. Fowler White said each of the professors holds to a literal six-day view of the Genesis account.

MID-AMERICA REFORMED SEMINARY IN DYER, INDIANA, recently adopted a faculty statement explaining that all faculty members adhere to and teach a literal, six-day view of creation but leaving final judgement and control over student views to denominational assemblies.

NEW GENEVA SEMINARY IN COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO, has no official policy or statement on the matter, but professor Carroll W. Powell said the faculty has an unspoken agreement on the validity of a literal, six-day view of creation. however, the matter is not used as an acid test for visiting speakers or others involved with the seminary, Powell said.

PURITAN REFORMED THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY IN GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN, has had little reason to address the matter, said President Joel R. Beeke. However, he said the seminary adheres to and teaches a literal six-day understanding of the Genesis account.

REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY IN PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA, has no official position on the matter. President Jerry O’Neil said the professor who teaches the course dealing with God’s creative work explains all of the prominent views but holds to a literal view, as does O’Neil himself, although other professors may hold alternative views.

REFORMED THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY IN ORLANDO, FLORIDA, CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA, AND JACKSON MISSISSIPPI, have no official policy and allow for a diversity of creation views, provided that the historicity and authority of the Genesis account are adhered to and that evolution is not taught.

THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE OF THE CANADIAN REFORMED CHURCHES IN HAMILTON, ONTARIO, holds to a historic, six-day interpretation of the Genesis account, but Principal Jack De Jong said the seminary has no official policy or statement on the matter other than the Three Forms of Unity.

THEOLOGICAL SCHOOL OF THE PROTESTANT REFORMED CHURCHES IN GRANDVILLE, MICHIGAN teaches only a literal six-day view of the creation account.

WESTERN REFORMED SEMINARY IN TACOMA, WASHINGTON, has no official position and allows freedom of creation views. provided that the Genesis account si understood as a chronological history of creation. Adherence to the framework hypothesis is discouraged, President John battle said, because it seems to reduce the Biblical statements ‘to nearly no historical value.’

WESTMINSTER THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY IN CALIFORNIA OF ESCONDIDO welcomes any view that understands the Genesis account to be an accurate, historical account and that affirms that man was a unique creation of God, not evolved from other creatures. Most of the faculty adheres to some form of the framework hypothesis, said President W. Robert Godfrey.

WESTMINSTER THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY IN PHILADELPHIA. PENNSYLVANIA, adopted a faculty statement in 1999 that offered a historical and confessional defense for allowing a variety of views regarding the creation account. The statement affirms that creation is a matter on which the Scriptures do not speak decisively.

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