Most of our readers are no doubt aware of the recent near-expulsion of William A. Dembski from the ranks of true believers. This story in the Florida Baptist Witness covered it in some detail. The basics:
1. Dembski, now a professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote an apologetics book in which he suggested that one can reconcile an old earth with the initiation of natural evil by a literal Fall of a real pair, Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden in the recent (~6,000 years) past by positing that the Fall echoed backward in time to tarnish all 4.5 billion years of earth’s history (or some such blather). Dembski mentioned en passant that Da Flood was probably a local event, not a global deluge.
2. Dembski was criticized for his apparent old earthism and deference to actual science in a book review by a faculty member at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dembski’s former employer.
3. After some to-ing and fro-ing involving (among others) the Presidents of the two seminaries, both of them young earthers, Dembski issued a clarification reiterating his belief in an inerrant Bible, etc., etc.
One thing I found of interest in this tempest in a theological teapot was Dembski’s comment on his treatment the local/global flood issue. He was quoted as writing
“In a brief section [of his book] on Genesis 4-11, I weigh in on the Flood, raising questions about its universality, without adequate study or reflection on my part,” Dembski wrote. “Before I write on this topic again, I have much exegetical, historical, and theological work to do.”
Um, Bill? You might consider that you have much geological work to do. After all, a putative global flood is geological event and geologists have been gathering relevant data for, oh, say, three centuries or so. And this is all about the science, isn’t it?