I am submitting this to you all for a little cloud source editing. If you are in basic agreement with the sentiments presented here, and see a way the expression of them might be improved, please feel free to say something in the comments. I will incorporate them later and present you all with the final product.
As classical Christian educators:
We believe the doctrines of creation and fall rightly understood are foundational to the doctrine of salvation;
We believe the most natural reading of Genesis is that God created the heavens and earth, not in deep time, but at the beginning of recorded history, in six days of ordinary length;
We believe that this natural reading does not and cannot exclude other important aspects relating to the Genesis text that must be taken into account as we read and interpret, including poetry, typology, the hermeneutics of the apostles, literary structuring, cuneiform styling, etc.;
We believe that Genesis 1-2 are primitive texts, written possibly by Adam, and so cannot be fitted within genre studies without gross anachronism. These passages must be interpreted sui generis;
We believe that many genuine brothers in Christ do not accept these views of creation as stated here, and we gladly accept them as brothers in Christ nonetheless;
We believe that not all alternatives to our reading of Genesis 1-2 are created equal. Some could be consistent with virtually everything stated here (e.g. Wiseman) and some positions would be inconsistent with virtually everything stated here (e.g. theistic evolution);
We believe that notwithstanding our fellowship and friendship with brothers who differ, affirmation of the biblical doctrine of a recent creation ex nihilo is a pedagogical necessity for us in our task as classical Christian educators;
We believe that through one man, an historical Adam, all agonistic death entered the world, including the agonistic death of sentient animals, and through one man, an historical second Adam, the fact of resurrection entered the world;
We believe that plant death is not only consistent with the goodness of God but is a manifest display of it. The same thing applies to non-sentient creatures (e.g. bacteria);
We believe that denial of this understanding of creational realities has four destructive effects in the education of Christian young people, and this is why we see affirmation of these truths as a pedagogical necessity in our time;
We believe, first, that such denial tends over time to erode the confidence of the students, teachers, and institution in the infallible clarity of God’s Word;
We believe, second, that such denial undercuts the ability of instructors to declare the gospel with confidence. Such a confidence simply says that just as the first man brought death into the world, so also the final man conquered death in the world. We cannot have the second Adam without the first Adam;
We believe, third, that such denial takes away from a Christian educational institution the ability to provide answers to the students concerning the problem of evil. This argument is one of the central challenges mounted against the faith today, and we must prepare our students to meet the challenge. But if agonistic death existed before the fall, and if God called it good, who are we to call it bad?
We believe, last, that denial of ex nihilo recent creation leaves our graduates singularly ill-equipped to deal with our culture-wide insistence that we blur all fixed creatioBut if agonistic death existed before the fall, and if God called it good, who are we to call it bad?nal boundaries, whether between beast and man, between male and female, or between whatever else is next and what is after that;
We believe these affirmations are consistent with the plain reading of Scripture, a grateful reading of the created world, an informed reading of the teaching of the historic church, a wary reading of the current cultural rebellions against God whether involving sex or science, and a submissive reading of the crucial task we have been assigned as educators.