What is Progressive Creationism and is it Biblical?

Question: "What is Progressive Creationism and is it Biblical?"

Progressive Creationism (also called Process Creation) is the belief that God created the heavens and the earth over a period of billions of years, not the six 24-hour days that is the basis for the traditional Creationism view. Progressive creationists can be liberal or conservative in their theological belief system, but they generally agree on the following:

* The "Big Bang" is interpreted as God's way of producing stars and galaxies through billions-of-years of natural processes.

* The earth and universe are billions of years old, not merely thousands of years old.

* The days of creation were overlapping periods of millions and billions of years.

* Death and bloodshed have existed from the very beginning of creation and were not the result of Adam's sin. Man was created after the vast majority of earth's history of life and death had already taken place.

* The flood of Noah was local, not global and it had little effect on the earth's geology, which shows billions of years of history.

It is obvious that Progressive Creationism is a belief which opposes both atheistic evolutionism and historic Christianity's understanding of biblical creationism. The teachings of Progressive Creationism are not new or original, but, in recent years have received favorable publicity through Christian radio, television, as well as Christian magazines and books.

The error of Progressive Creationism rests on the assumption that the biblical account of Creation in Genesis chapters 1-2 cannot be understood literally. According to Progressive Creationism, the "days" in Genesis chapter 1 are not literal 24-hour days, but actually long periods of time (millions or even billions of years). (See our article on the days of Creation.) Progressive Creationists accept the evolutionary viewpoint of the age of the earth, which is itself circularly based on evolution. It would take billions of years for evolution to have any chance of occurring; therefore the earth must be billions of years old. (See our article on age of the Earth.)

Another error of Progressive Creationism is that it posits that death existed prior to the Fall, which undermines the Bible's clear teaching that death is a result of sin (see Romans 5:12 and 1 Corinthians 15:21-22). Any theory which places the death of men or animals prior to the fall of Adam must be rejected.

Clearly, Progressive Creationism is an attempt by some Christians to harmonize the teachings of modern science with the Bible. However, the theory actually ends up supporting the tenets of evolutionary science and causes greater anxiety among believers about whether God's Word can be trusted. After all, the so-called "proofs" of Progressive Creationism come mainly from the field of science, not from the simple teachings of the Bible.

Recommended Resource: Reclaiming Science from Darwinism: A Clear Understanding of Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent by Kenneth Poppe.

Related Topics:

What does the Bible say about Creation vs. evolution?

What is the Intelligent Design Theory?

What is theistic evolution?

Why are there two different Creation accounts in Genesis chapters 1-2?

What is the God of the gaps argument?

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What is Progressive Creationism and is it Biblical?