Progressive creationism, also known as theistic evolutionism, is a belief that has arisen in response to the surge in acceptance and popularity of Darwinism (the belief in common descent and millions of years). Many Christians are unfortunately convinced by the surge of propaganda and pseudoscience surrounding the issue of Earth’s past and the origin of species, and feel the need to reinterpret the Bible’s clear teaching on these issues in light of it.
Some progressive creationists attempt to legitimize their position by pointing to some early church writers who had some kind of allegorical understanding of Genesis. It’s true that some church leaders had adopted an allegorical interpretation of Genesis, but nonetheless they were not Old-Earthers in the modern sense, as they still believed the earth was only thousands, not millions, of years old. You can read more on that topic here:
I am not arguing here that people who believe in an old earth or theistic evolution are not saved and cannot be true Christians. That’s going too far. The Bible is clear that faith in Christ is the way to eternal life, not having a correct understanding of every point of doctrine the Bible contains.
The bottom line is this, however: old earth theology runs directly contrary to clear Biblical teachings, and thus should be rejected by serious Christians who claim to believe scripture. Besides that, the supposed scientific proof of long ages (and evolution) is faulty and built upon incorrect assumptions and circular reasoning.
I believe currently the best book in print refuting progressive creationism is Refuting Compromise by Dr. Jonathan Sarfati. It makes a strong case for the traditional interpretation of the Bible on the issue of Earth’s past.
In a nutshell, the biggest reason why Darwinism does not fit with the Bible is this: the Bible clearly teaches that death and suffering were not part of God’s perfect original plan and design for the world. Yet, if some theistic variation of Darwinism is true, then God purposely used death and suffering as his means of creation. That is irreconcilably contradictory to the fundamentals of Biblical teaching. God created a perfect world free of death and suffering and disease- and called it “very good”! Only after the sin of mankind which resulted in the Curse on creation did evils like these emerge, and God has promised that He will ultimately bring them all to an end.
and now, the links to the Quizlet set:
** Please note that I have included some extra-biblical quotes from very early Christian writings in this list. They are clearly marked off with (ECW) next to the citation. This is by no means because I consider them authoritative in the same way as the Bible, but rather to show what the very earliest Christian leaders themselves believed. If there is a dispute among modern believers as to how to interpret certain Biblical passages, it can be immensely helpful to consult the people who lived at the same time as the apostles themselves. As I mentioned above, it is sometimes claimed that Old Earth Creationism, rather than being a new invention, is actually a return to the historic roots of Christian belief. Nothing could be further from the truth, or easier to disprove. That’s been done here.
P.S. As a side note, I’d like to mention that I do think there is a persuasive case to be made from scripture that the Bible teaches Chilaism- the idea that the overall history of the earth is prefigured by the 6 days of creation in the Creation Week, and so the total number of years before the return of Christ will be exactly 6000. Thus each day of the Creation Week represents 1000 years of real Earth history. Check out the sermon series available here for more info:
(I do not necessarily endorse all the views of the author of the above material, but I think he has done some very interesting work on the issue of Bible chronology.)