Strength 8 – PCA Tradition

Introduction:

The eighth strength of the Calendar-Day view is titled “PCA Tradition.”   The following is this point as excerpted from the PCA Report:

“The Calendar-Day view is that of the Southern Presbyterian tap root of the PCA (e.g., Dabney, Thornwell, Girardeau), which strongly resisted attempts from abroad (e.g., Chalmers, Miller), from her Northern cousins (e.g., Hodge, Warfield), and even from within (e.g., Adger) to broaden the church on this point, as is documented in the Woodrow Evolution Controversy[42] last century and the Continuing Church movement’s resistance to the action of the 1969 PCUS General Assembly.[43]”

“Calendar-Day proponents welcome structural and linguistic analyses of the Genesis account, as long as these new tools are used in the light of analogy of Scripture and the rule of faith.  Critical care, informed by a full appreciation for the exegetical and theological complexities involved, is required in order not to cast doubt on the truth, historicity, chronology, and ultimately on the meaning of the text.  Far from demanding some alternative meaning, the context and markers all support the plain reading.  Indeed, the author seems to have gone to great lengths to make it clear that it is this and no other meaning that he is trying to convey.  Therefore, unfolding the theological and apologetical richness of the passage is not at odds with, nor does it raise any necessary objections to, the Calendar-Day view.”

Background:                                                                 

The PCA has its roots in Southern Presbyterianism. This branch of the Presbyterian Church was very conservative until recently. The Southern Presbyterian Church held to the Calendar-Day view of creation. As documented by the PCA Report, the Calendar-Day view was the view of the reformers including Presbyterians. In addition, the Southern Presbyterian Church produced statements against evolution. The following was excerpted from the Background section of the PCA Report:

“In the latter part of the nineteenth-century, there were vigorous theological discussions about evolution and the Genesis account, but none of them was primarily focused on the nature of the creation days.  General assemblies of the Southern Presbyterian church declared theistic evolution to be out of accord with Scripture and the Confession on four occasions (1886, 1888, 1889, 1924).[20]  This position was renounced by the PCUS in 1969.” 

In Conclusion

The eight strength of the Calendar –Day view is that it is based on God’s PCA Tradition.   The Calendar-Day view is that church from which the PCA emerged, as well as that of Presbyterian and reformation history. This PCA tradition also includes repeated declarations that theistic evolution is out of accord with scripture and the Westminster Confession of Faith.