Louisville, Kentucky (June 16, 1999)-The 27th Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) General Assembly today continued for another year its Creation Study Committee (CSC). Created by last year's Assembly, the CSC is charged with studying "the exegetical, hermeneutical, and theological interpretations of Genesis 1-3 and the original intent to the Westminster standards' phrase 'in the space of six days.'" The Committee was formed because of widespread controversy over the doctrine of creation.
The CSC was unable to complete its work, and so requested the one-year extension. Perhaps the most controverted matter which it faces is the meaning of the Confessional Standards' phrase, "in the space of six days."
Although there was no lengthy report, the Committee did authorize one of its members, Dr. Morton H. Smith, to read a consensus statement from the Committee. The original Stated Clerk of the PCA General Assembly, Dr. Smith read the following: "Your committee has not completed its work. While there is a diversity of viewpoints on the committee, our working together leads us to affirm our confidence in each other's acceptance of the text of Genesis 1 and 2, as of all Scripture, as the inerrant Word of God and in each other's integrity in the exegesis of the text. The Assembly should know that the members of the committee have unanimity as to some foundational issues. The committee unanimously affirms the historicity of Genesis 1 and 2 as a self-consistent and true account of God's creation of the universe and of mankind in six days, and deny that Genesis 1 and 2 represent a mythical account of creation without reality in space and time, or that they represent two accounts that are without reality in space and time, or that they represent two accounts that are inconsistent with each other. Every person on the committee affirms that God created the heavens and the earth ex nihilo, out of nothing (Hebrews 11:3-"By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible"), and deny that the universe or anything in it was eternal, existing alongside the eternal God. We affirm God's special creation of Adam and Eve as real, historical individuals (Romans 5:12-14; I Corinthians 15:21-22, 45-49), and deny that Adam and Eve were the products of evolution from lower forms of life."
The Assembly ordered this statement spread on the minutes.
The motion to extend the life of the Committee was not automatically approved. Several commissioners spoke against the motion. In the end, however, the court decided to let the CSC to continue its work.