Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pentecostal Perspectives on Creationism

By J. Paul Dill

I found an interesting article in "The Enrichment Journal," on the beliefs of the faculty and students at Assemblies of God institutions of higher learning. Having been involved with the Assemblies of God (A/G) most of my life, I know that there is quite a bit of liberty in the denomination for various points of view. Nevertheless, within A/G circles, the Bible has been accepted as an historical narrative, rather than legends and myths as proposed by liberal theologians of the "times." It is important to note, that the Pentecostal movement developed within the fundamentalist camp. Fundamentalists take the Biblical writings literally where they think they are supposed to be taken literally (as do Evangelicals). I know this seems obvious, but there are many skeptics who naively think that Christians believe it should all be taken literally. Truth be told, the Bible has a lot of symbolism in there too. At any rate, it would appear that the creation story in Genesis has proven to be a little less definite in how it should be interpreted in regards to science and what is deemed “science.” Of course, another question is, should we try to interpret this ancient text, in our twenty-first century understanding? While it may be easy to say that Jesus literally died on a cross and rose from the dead, the details of Genesis’ chapters 1 and 2 seem to be more complex.

According to the study:
35% hold to young earth creationism (YEC)
31% hold to old earth creationism (OEC)
16% hold to evolutionary creationism

Unfortunately, 18% are unaccounted for in the article. I tried to find the original report, to no avail. If someone has it, please post it. In the past, many have also adopted the Pre-Adamic theory. Traditionally the Assemblies of God has maintained the YEC position.
A Brief Overview Of Pentecostal Views on Origins, Mike Tenneson and Steve Badger

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