Dordt Biology Prof Disputes 6-day Creation, Global Flood

Tony Jelsma, Dordt biology professor has made waves in Reformed circles for his views on faith and science.  Jelsma’s views were highlighted by Hills United Reformed Church:

“The Dordt College Biology Department employs Prof. Tony Jelsma, who is not shy about promoting views that challenge the historical accuracy of the Genesis accounts… (He) claims that ‘the literal six-day/twenty-four hour interpretation of Genesis 1 is also incorrect,’ (Is Creation Science Reformed, p. 1). Along with this, Jelsma asserts that ‘the Creation Science model of a catastrophic global Flood and flood geology are not in accordance with Scripture.’ (Letter in Christian Renewal). He advances his views because, ‘(He) is genuinely alarmed at the influence that Creation Science has in the conservative Reformed community.’”

Evolution In Our Reformed Colleges?

One of Jelsma’s articles was REJECTED by editors of the Clarion. Why?

“This article suggests we ought to oppose young earth creationism on both theological and scientific grounds.”

From the article: “I am convinced, for theological and scientific reasons, that the literal six-day/twenty-four hour interpretation of Genesis 1 is also incorrect.”

Later he wrote: “Several passages strongly indicate that the Flood was local, not global… That would require the Flood to have been deeper than Mount Everest is high — an impossibility without invoking ad hoc miracles.”

And he added: “There are many scientific arguments AGAINST a global flood, but the biggest question is where all that water came from and went to. To date there is no satisfactory answer to that question despite several models put forward by the Creation Science community.”

In another article about Jelsma’s work: “Prof. Jelsma has laid down the challenge for action to be taken against him. He did not appreciate Rev. (Doug) Barnes’ response to his first letter. Rev. Barnes noted Prof. Jelsma’s position at Dordt and wrote, “We all should become well-aware of how ‘Reformed’ colleges today are teaching our children to interpret the Bible that we might direct our support and our students accordingly.”

Prof. Jelsma wrote a second letter (Christian Renewal, February 24) complaining that Rev. Barnes did not deal with his arguments and suggests Rev. Barnes should perhaps “warn the Sioux Center URC (which is well aware of my position) to prevent me from leading its Adult Sunday School, which I have done since the church’s inception.”

It certainly would be appropriate to prevent Prof. Jelsma from teaching any class in a church as long as he holds to his Scripture-denying views. But more must be done. The root of the problem must be addressed. The figurative interpretation of Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 must be seen for what it is—an attack upon the confessional view of creation and upon the inspiration and authority of Scripture. Therefore, the figurative interpretation of Genesis must be rejected. If this heresy is allowed to coexist with the simple truth of Scripture, it will not rest until it has rooted the truth out of the church and finally opened up the dam to a multitude of errors. We must insist upon one interpretation of Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 —the literal interpretation. By faith we must embrace and confess the truth of Scripture and the confessions that God created all things in six 24-hour days.”