Students hear Creation Dialogue: Experts Hugh Ross and Marcus Ross speak at the event
Hosted by Liberty University’s chapter of Ratio Christi, an apologetics club, Creation
Dialogue presented views from both a young earth creationist and an old earth creationist. The event took place on Feb. 3 at LaHaye Event Space from 2-4 p.m. with over 500 people in attendance.
Hugh Ross is a Christian apologist and founded the organization Reasons to Believe. In addition, he is an old earth creationist and an astrophysicist.
Marcus Ross is a fellow of the Creation Studies Center at Liberty. He is a young earth creationist and a paleontologist.
Along with the two speakers, Gary Habermas, a research professor at Liberty, facilitated the conversation and prompted them with questions.
Mario Calabretta, a chapter director for Ratio Christi, explained that the tone for the event would be a discussion like the speakers were sitting in a coffeehouse and the audience was listening in on the conversation.
Dighton Head, another chapter director for Ratio Christi, explained how the idea for this event was created 10 years ago.
“It has been 10 years, but we finally have the people (who) are able to put it together and do the job,” Head said.
Through tabling for Ratio Christi, the club has found that the student body wanted an event like this.
“Many students are thirsty for this type of dialogue,” William Flippo, president of Liberty’s chapter of Ratio Christi, said.
The speakers first discussed what they both agreed on. They both talked about agreeing that God created the earth and that the book of Genesis is historical and authoritative.
“What we have then are two brothers in Christ who affirm inerrancy and inspiration who take a historical-grammatical approach, and what we will find is we will have some disagreements about what that approach is going to tell us when we take it to the biblical text,” Marcus Ross said.
The next point of discussion was the strongest scientific evidence for their respective viewpoints. During this period of discussion, both of the speakers spoke about Neanderthals and how they fit into their worldviews.
Hugh Ross believes that they lived long before God created Adam and Eve and that they are not humans created in God’s image. He pointed to evidence that Neanderthals have a different brain structure than humans do.
Marcus Ross believes that Neanderthals were descendants of Adam and Eve due to evidence of their intelligence in cave drawings and the DNA similarities to humans of European descent.
One of the main points of discussion was the fundamental split in worldview of the interpretation of the word “day” in the creation account. Both agreed on the first two uses of the word “day” in the book of Genesis. However, they disagreed on the third use. Hugh Ross stated that it showed creation to be longer, whereas Marcus Ross stated that the use of the Hebrew word is a nonspecific time and is dependent on the context of the other uses of the day, which point to a literal six-day creation.
While many other points were discussed, Hugh Ross emphasized at the end of the discussion that Christians should be focused on using apologetics to spread the good news of the gospel.
“I encourage you to be an evangelist. Go out there and take the good news of salvation to all the people groups of the world,” Hugh Ross said.
Marcus Ross’s closing thoughts came to a similar conclusion.
“We have the opportunity to speak that name with boldness and faith to those around us,” Marcus Ross said.
The conversation allowed for both opinions to be heard, and the audience was encouraged to continue to study for themselves and come to their own opinion. At the end of the event, attendees were able to ask both speakers questions.
“Coming into the event, I was more on the side of young earth, but after hearing Hugh Ross’s opinion, I am pushed more towards the middle,” Cohen Kern, a freshman, said. Kern also mentioned doing more research after the event.
For more information on Ratio Christi and upcoming events, visit www.facebook.com/RatioChristiLiberty.
Twitchell is a news reporter for the Liberty Champion