Tim Chaffey and Jason Lisle – Old Earth Creationism on Trial: Defense – A Local Flood?

by Tim Chaffey and Jason Lisle

As mentioned in the previous chapter, if they are to be consistent, old-earth creationists are forced to believe in a local flood. Can they provide adequate responses to the prosecution’s case presented in the last chapter? We shall see. Perhaps the two leading promoters of the local flood idea are Dr. Hugh Ross and Davis A. Young. Ross is the founder of a ministry called Reasons to Believe and Young is a professor of geology at Calvin College.

What Is a “Universal” Flood?

Dr. Ross often claims that the Flood was universal but not global. You may be wondering exactly what that means, so we will allow Ross to explain himself.

Any flood that exterminates all human beings, all the soulish animals with whom they have contact, and all their material possessions—except those on board Noah’s Ark—would be universal and would achieve God’s purpose in pouring out judgment.

By using the term “soulish,” Ross is referring to those creatures that are described in the Hebrew language as nephesh chayyah. His view is that the Flood destroyed all of humanity, except Noah and his family, and every nephesh creature that had come into contact with fallen humanity. He explains:

If no people lived in Antarctica [prior to the Flood], God would have no reason to destroy the place or its penguins. Nor would Noah be required to take a pair of Emperor penguins aboard the ark.

This view has some serious problems. First, Ross assumes that Antarctica existed before the Flood. This demonstrates his acceptance of the uniformitarian philosophy—the present is the key to the past. It was demonstrated in the previous chapter that the pre-Flood world was much different than the post-Flood world.

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