Westminster Seminary Continues Its Attack on Scripture and Christianity

February 2005

Dear Friends,
Westminster Seminary, founded in 1929 by J. Gresham Machen, the leading American Christian theologian and educator of the early 20th century, publishes a semi-annual theological journal. Its Fall 2004 issue contains an essay titled "Noah's Flood: Its Date, Extent, and Divine Accommodation" by Paul H. Seely, "an independent scholar specializing in biblical history and the relationship of science to Scripture."

Seely is a graduate of Westminster Seminary, and he has published several essays on science and the Bible, including four previous essays in the Westminster Theological Journal (1991, 1992, 1997, 2001). Because of his long career denying the inerrancy of Scripture, Seely had been cited almost 30 years ago by Harold Lindsell in his bestselling book, The Battle for the Bible:

"In the first issue of the Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation that [Richard] Bube edited, an article by Paul H. Seely appeared. Seely said that 'the Bible assumes that the universe consists of three stories [sic].... The earth is presumably, but not necessarily flat...but we do not believe that Christians are bound to give assent to such a cosmology, since the purpose of the Bible is to give redemptive, not scientific truth. The relationship of science to Scripture is this: The Bible gives redemptive truth through the scientific thoughts of the time without ever intending that those scientific thoughts should be believed as inerrant.... The aim of the Bible is to give redemptive truth. It never intended to teach science; nor does it ever claim to be "inerrant whenever it touches on science." It does not correct the errant science of the time in which it was written, but rather incorporates that pre-scientific science in its redemptive message.... To insist that the Bible be inerrant every time it touches on science is to insist on an a priori doctrine that has been read into the Bible' " [130-131].

In his latest Westminster Theological Journal article, Seely applies his Antichristian notions that the Bible contains errors and that science furnishes truth to the account of Noah's flood in Genesis 6-9. Seely concludes that

(1) The Old Testament teaches that the earth is flat (295);

(2) Geology proves indisputably that there was no global flood (299);

(3) Noah's flood was regional, riverine at best, and the Old Testament is false when it suggests that it was global;

(4) "We have no archaeological evidence for the Flood as it is described in Scripture," not even in the Near East (299);

(5) "Consequently, we can see from the archaeological data that the description of the extent of the flood in Gen 6-9 is not at all supported by archaeology. It is, in fact, falsified by archaeology" (301);

(6) "The empirical data of geology, glaciology, and archaeology...clearly testify that no flood covered the entire globe or even the entire Near East (the 'earth' of Gen 6-10) at any time in the last 11,000 years. Glaciology and geology agree that there was no global Flood at any time in the last 100,000 years and more. Geology, glaciology, and archaeology thus falsify the extent of the Flood as it is described in Gen 6-9" (303).

(7) "Archaeology also shows that the peoples of the Americas, Australia, and Japan were untouched by a Flood" (304).

(8) "There is good archaeological evidence that there really was a serious riverine flood in southern Mesopotamia c. 2900 B.C., which is probably the basis for the account in Genesis. But archaeology, glaciology, and geology falsify the catastrophic dimensions of the Flood as given in Gen 6-9" (309).

(9) "Its purpose [the Biblical account of the flood] is not to teach history but theology" (311).

Throughout his brazen attack on the truthfulness of Scripture, Seely repeatedly refers to the "biblical account" and the "scientific facts" or "scientific truth." He does not reverse those phrases, speaking of "biblical truth" or "biblical facts" and the "scientific account." Quite clearly Seely thinks that it is science that provides us with truth, and that Scripture is "falsified" by science. Obviously Seely has no grasp of what science is or does, as well as no grasp of what Scripture is or does.

When will the Christians and churches that fund Westminster Seminary wake up and stop subsidizing infidelity and the infidels that publish it?

John Robbins
The Trinity Foundation
February 5, 2005