I want to begin by thanking Gavin Ortland for his friendly rejoinder to my recent piece on young earth creation. In the spirit of encouraging all such friendly rejoinders, let me here supply a few of my own. I will just locate a few brief comments under his numbered items.
1. First, writing as one who accepts microevolution (variation within kinds) and who does not accept macroevolution (transition from one kind to another), I cheerfully grant his point that some old earthers reject the same kind of evolution that I reject. Not every old earth creationist is a theistic evolutionist. I am happy to acknowledge that, and not begrudgingly either.
At the same time, my post was part of a series responding to BioLogos, which does support theistic evolution, and which has somehow attracted significant evangelical support. Theistic evolution of this kind creates enormous theological problems (all connected to “what is an Adam?”), and I would welcome the participation of creationist old earthers in that debate.
2. Under his second point, Gavin raises a number of reasonable questions — questions that every student of Scripture should want to see carefully addressed. As I respond, please remember that a separate book could be written on each point.
First, on the question of natural evil, my brother Gordon Wilson has written an important article on this subject, and I will supply a link here when I get hold of it. Update: that link can be found here. Gordon’s abstract starts on page 8.
Second, I do not believe that the second law of thermodynamics was introduced at the Fall. Could an unfallen Adam have seen increased entropy by shuffling a deck of cards? “Darn! Another royal flush!” I believe that leaves could rot on the ground in Eden, and that Adam and Eve could eat fruit that was broken down in their stomachs by industrious dismantling enzymes. What happened in the Fall was the river of entropy flooded its banks. The river was always there, but became universally destructive. Paul refers to this when he says that the creation was “made subject to vanity,” or “bondage to corruption.”