New York Times Review Fails to Recognize Poor Scholarship

Recently, two AiG staff members reviewed a book entitled The Anointed, co-authored by a writer who is well known for compromising the pagan religion of millions of years and evolution with God’s infallible Word.

I wrote the following in a previous blog post:

AiG scientist Dr. Georgia Purdom (who holds a PhD in molecular genetics from Ohio State) and AiG’s CCO Mark Looy have written a critique on aspects of The Anointed, particularly its introduction and first chapter. In these sections, there is a personal attack on my credibility, especially as a writer and speaker on apologetics (and other people are attacked as well). That attack plus the several outright mistakes we found in the book exhibited the poor scholarship seen in The Anointed. It’s hardly what one would expect from a publication associated with such a prestigious secular university as Harvard.

Well the New York Times today has published a book review of The Anointed.  But, because the book attacks people like me who have a high regard for Scriptural authority but supposedly lack any scholarship, I find it highly ironic  that the review does not bother to point out the poor scholarship or mistakes in The Anointed. But as usual for such books that attack God’s Word, the Times’ review speaks of it in glowing terms.

In the review Dr. Purdom and Mark Looy of AiG wrote some time ago about The Anointed, they stated the following:

This is a book that attempts to be a scholarly look at “unscholarly” Christian leaders of prominence in America. It is, after all, published by the prestigious Harvard Press. Yet we were surprised to find several mistakes in the introduction and first chapter alone—plus a generally snide tone that is unbecoming of a scholarly work. For example, the authors gave the wrong month for our Creation Museum’s opening (p. 11); they mistakenly claimed that Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, is a young-earth creationist (p. 19); the year given for the first “Back to Genesis” seminar is incorrect (p. 41); and the name of our daily radio program is incorrect (p. 11).

Misrepresentations

Also, we found many exaggerated misrepresentations in The Anointed, including the claim that the late Dr. Henry Morris of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), the founder of the modern creationist movement, supposedly drew significant inspiration from a “mentor,” George McCready Price (p. 23). This is simply incorrect and was most likely regurgitated from the book The Creationists by historian Dr. Ronald Numbers. In addition, the authors asserted that Bryan College in Tennessee is “a leader in the young-earth creationist movement” (p. 213). In reality, it is not committed to the young-earth position at all—many of Bryan’s professors reject it outright.

In addition, The Anointed authors attempt to portray Bible-believing creationists as some kind of reactionary minority within evangelicalism, declaring that creationists make up a parallel culture within Christianity. However, even with the general population of the United States, Gallup polls in recent decades have consistently revealed that at least 40% of all Americans believe that a Creator God made the first humans within the last 10,000 years.2 While many of these people surveyed no doubt hold to some views of evolutionary belief, the polls nevertheless consistently show that believing in a Creator who made human beings in the past 10,000 years is not a culturally marginalized position in America.

In my previous blog post on The Anointed, I warned people with the following about the authors of this book:

In our modern church today, there are many leaders who have compromised with the pagan religion of the day (i.e., evolution and millions of years—indeed, this really is today’s pagan religion to explain life without God). Sadly, many Christian leaders have been teaching generations in the church to accept this secular worldview and re-write God’s Word (particularly in Genesis) to fit with it.

Yes, as harsh as it might sound, today there are shepherds in the church who are also “wolves”—they have infiltrated the church with their destructive teaching. Now, I am not saying these wolves are not Christians—I suppose the term can fit Christians as well as non-Christians.

One such example is seen clearly in the writings of Dr. Karl Giberson. Until recently, he was a physics professor at Eastern Nazarene College in Massachusetts—probably leading many students astray about the Bible’s authority with his compromised teaching. He has been involved with the theologically liberal BioLogos Foundation and recently co-authored a book (The Anointed, published by a division of Harvard University Press) with Eastern Nazarene College history professor, Dr. Randall Stephens. (By the way, Dr. Darrel Falk, a Nazarene professor in biology at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, has also similarly written against AiG and the literal creation position.)

I encourage you to read my previous blog post and the review of The Anointed.

Now, I want to be very clear: I am not saying that if a person denies the creation account in Genesis as true history and believes in evolution and millions of years (as Giberson does), he or she can’t be saved. God’s Word teaches that “if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). And ultimately, only Jesus, who is the Word, can  judge peoples’ hearts (Hebrews 4:12).

You can read the review on the New York Times website.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

Ken