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1998 Issue 5

This conference is hosted, by the Southern California Center for Christian Studies (hereinafter: Study Center), and we emphasize that we are concerned with Christian studies. The Study Center is unashamedly committed to a Christian worldview.

Many Christians, including evangelicals of various stripes, proudly proclaim that Christianity offers the best worldview, the best ethic, and the best hope. The Study Center resolutely disagrees. We believe, rather, that Christianity offers the only worldview, the only ethic, and the only hope. Following after the philosophical studies and applications in the field of apologetics by Dr. Cornelius Van Til, we are convinced that Christianity is the only defensible truth system. God is one (Deut. 6:4). Therefore truth is one (Rom. 3:4). And the Christian system contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments is that unified truth.

The Westminster Divines and the long stretch of church history prior to the 19th century did have a view on the length of creation days. This historical fact is often obscured by either biased presuppositions or a research vacuum. Despite the prevalent claim from some quarters (actually relatively recent, primarily since the 1800s) that the confessional words "in the space of six days" really could mean up to 16 bi11ion years, when primary writings by the divines are consulted, it becomes very difficult to maintain that the divines were more chic than heretofore imagined.

The full significance this morning's service for our nation, Southern Presbyterian history, our congregation, and Christianity in the West is yet to be determined. Future generations will in all likelihood record that the, establishment of Reformed congregations like Covenant were instrumental in the revival of Christianity in the 21st century, for what we have in this building is the erection of another foothold for the conversion of the world to Jesus Christ. It represents not only ten years of hard work, sacrifice, and commitment, but also indicates the expansion of historic, biblical, and reformed Christianity in a growing number of God-fearing families across our land. May God be praised, his kingdom built, and our congregation used to extend his unconquerable and glorious kingdom!

The West has undergone two cataclysmic religious Reformations. The Second Reformation began in the Sixteenth Century and was a rediscovery of the Biblical doctrine of grace. The First Reformation began over one thousand years earlier and was a rediscovery of the Biblical doctrine of creation.

This rediscovery of the Biblical doctrine of creation had the effect of a nuclear bomb on the West, bringing to an end the dominance of a Classical approach to man and nature. This Classical approach originated with ancient, pagan Greek and Roman philosophies. Early medieval Christendom inherited and absorbed this worldview as the Classical world itself collapsed. But as the centuries past, the medieval world, largely rooted as it was in Christianity, could not escape the Biblical doctrine of creation that had been suppressed by Greek and Latin thought. Eventually that doctrine broke free from its chains and totally reoriented the thinking and activities of man with reference to the true character of creation and the true role of man within that creation.