Progressive creationism accepts the findings of modern science. The basic tenet is that since God created the world, we should be able to look at the world and universe, and with scientific investigation, determine when and how God created it. The currently held scientific view that the universe is 13.7 billion years old, and the earth is 4.5 billion years old, is fully accepted.
The creation story as told in Genesis 1 is generally interpreted using a literal framework. This means that, just like young earth creationists, progressive creationists believe the creation account to be accurate in both its historical account of creation, and it is also considered to be scientifically accurate.
The individual days of creation are interpreted to each represent millions of years. This is called a Day-Age interpretation. Many progressive creationists, using the literal approach, believe the days are consecutive days with definate beginning and ending times (see grey box for more).
|The leading progressive creationist organization, Reasons to Believe, publishes a chart which shows this belief, with the six days of creation having beginning and ending times. Although this is a good tool for reference, it is scientifically untenable. For example, Genesis says that on Day Three God created plants. The chart shows this day as ending around 600 million years ago. However, many new plants show up in the fossil record after this point, at the same time that new animal species are appearing. This clearly indicates that the days of creation are to be understood in light of the works done by God on that day (this is called a Framework Interpretation). Progressive creationists can still believe in the basics of their system, but insistence on consecutive days of creation is unworkable.|
Let's take a look at typical beliefs among PCs. The currently accepted ages for the universe and earth are accepted. The fossil record depicts many species of animals, over hundreds of millions of years. Progressive creationists do not believe in evolution. They believe that God created each species a unique creation, not evolving from a previous species. (In fact, much of the focus of the major Progressive Creationist organization Reasons to Believe is to argue against evolution (even though evolution is a valid belief system within Christianity)).
Concerning mankind, the fossil record contains many species of human-like beings, collectively called hominids. These hominids that existed over the past several million years are said to be soul-less, so that they are essentially animals. It is not until God finished his creation, with Adam, that the first man is given the gift of an eternal soul. Adam is said to have been created roughly 50,000 years ago, so the duration of the first few chapters of Genesis would contain tens of thousands of years.
The Fall of Man, as recorded in Genesis 3, is taken to be a literal, historical
The Flood of Noah is interpreted to be a real event. It is considered a local flood event, instead of a global event. This is in accordance with the geologic record, which shows no evidence of a global flood event.
The remaining events within Genesis are accepted as literal history. One question that you may have concerns the time of Adam's creation about 50,000 years ago. Young earth creationists have taught that Adam was created about 6,000 years ago, based on the genealogies contained in Genesis. This is explained by progressive creationists through the belief that the genealogies contain gaps, and do not record the name of every single individual in the family tree.
To take a closer look at Progressive Creationism, please visit Progressive Creationism: An Overview, (external site).
To learn more
about old earth creationism, see
Old Earth Belief,
or check out the article
Can You Be A
Christian and Believe in an Old Earth?
Feel free to check out more of this website. Our goal is to provide rebuttals to the bad science behind young earth creationism, and honor God by properly presenting His creation.