The Driscoll Essay

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BAYLOR SEMINARY

THE DRISCOLL ESSAY:
INTERPRETATIONS OF THE CREATION ACCOUNT

AN ESSAY SUBMITTED TO
DR. BOBBY GENTO FOR THE REQUIREMENTS OF
OLD TESTAMENT ORIENTATION 591
FOR THE COMPLETION OF A MASTERS DEGREE
IN MARKETPLACE CHAPLAINCY

by
Janis Betts
Lynchburg, Virginia
May 18, 2011

Introduction
Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington, composed a comprehensive and succinct essay titled “Answers to Common Questions about Creation” that puts forth many principles surrounding the age-old question of Creation. He presents several different theories regarding Creationism that allows Christians the opportunity to form their own opinions about how the world came to be. Faced with modern day science and differing ideals surrounding this question, Driscoll gracefully acknowledges the fact that the religious community can “discuss and debate” the differences without division. He also writes quite eloquently about: the timeframe of creation, literal or figurative interpretation of Genesis 1 - 3, the age of the earth and various notions of evolution. In this paper, I would like to give my personal response to his essay.

My Personal View of Creation
After reading Driscoll’s essay “Answers to Common Questions about Creation” which outlines different theories on creation, I came to the conclusion that I hold to View 1: Historic Creationism because it laces together the possibility of an old earth, which tolerates scientific theory; and the writings in Genesis regarding the Divine creation of Adam and Eve, thus young humanity. Driscoll tells us that the word re’shit in Hebrew means “beginning” which literally means a starting point from which all things follow -- without giving a timeframe. I like the idea that God set the groundwork for creation during an unspecified period of time, perhaps billions of years, and when he was ready, took six days to separate light and darkness, sky and waters, dry land and waters, then created plants and trees, the lights in the heavens, fish and birds, animals, and ultimately mankind. Historic Creationism correlates with my view as a Christian that the Bible is a poetic and historically accurate accounting of how we as humans came to be in this awe- inspiring world while holding to the scientific probability that the earth is billions of years old. Philosophers, theologians and lay people have forever debated creation, and I for one, believe there is room for more than one opinion. No one will know for sure until the day Jesus returns to shed his divine light on all his believers. Only then will the mystery of creation be revealed.

Literal of Figurative Views of Genesis 1 – 3
I have always taken the book of Genesis in a very literal way, for I believe God has the omnipotent ability of creating the world and everything in it in six actual twenty-four hour days. In the past, I based my beliefs in pure faith, but after reading Driscoll’s essay, there are specific details in Genesis 1 – 3 to solidify my beliefs. For example, Genesis 2:1 states “thus the heavens and the earth were complete in all their vast array” which gives credence to the theory that there was a completion of sorts in the physical realm, setting the stage for more work to be done. All creation was then accomplished in a sequential manner. Another thing that struck me in the reading was the mention of specific landmarks, still in existence today, most notably the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers. Also reference to “gold, aromatic resin (or pearls, depending on the translation of the text), and onyx: to be found in specific areas, possibly Mesopotamia.

The Age of the Universe
It is my position that the earth is quite old, thus the universe and everything in it are ancient – perhaps billions of years old. Scientists estimate that the age of the earth is 4.54 billion years old. I can reconcile this “fact” with what Driscoll writes, that “the period of the earth is...
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