Collins might respond that he himself is not arguing for these different scenarios. In fact, he argues in his book Science and Faith that dust in Genesis 2:7 refers to soil out of which God fashioned the first man. If that is Collins view, then what is the problem? The problem is that not just the views which a person affirms are important, but also the views which a person is willing to accept are also very important. For example, what if a person affirms that he believes that Scripture teaches the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, but then he is also willing to receive as acceptable, or within the parameters of what Scripture teaches, the view that Christ only arose in a spiritual sense? Such a stance would cause major problems because it would allow the possibility for unacceptable views to be considered as acceptable. This has implications for what should be considered as acceptable views for ministers of the gospel within our churches and presbyteries. Should presbyteries accept candidates for ordination who do not hold to the view that God created the first man Adam from the dust of the ground?
Professor Belcher is free to prefer a church setting in which people like Francis Schaeffer and Benjamin Warfield would be unwelcome to minister; but let him come out and say that this is his preference. I myself cannot imagine what good would come of such an arrangement.
…I wonder whether we can conduct such disagreements without insinuating that the other party has somehow undermined the authority of Scripture. Be that as it may, I do think that we owe it to one another, and to the Church, to give an accurate representation of the views we find displeasing. I find that Professor Belcher has done neither of these. Reviews, including severely negative ones, are of course part of a fair game. But I am left wondering why, if someone comes to suspect that a brother minister in the same denomination has articulated things that seem to have compromised his ordination vows, the first thought isn’t, “That can’t be right! Let me call that guy and see if I understood him correctly before I get us into the process of public warning which calls forth a public reply.” It would sure save a lot of time.
I think he has confessed. Ambiguity is the word mush of the postmodern. Why wouldn’t a person just say, “I believe in fiat creation of Adam out of the ground.” Or, “I reject any other mediate creation of Adam?” We care less of BB or of Schaeffer, they are not the authority of Scripture. It seems clear that by authority what the professor means is what icons of the faith have said, rather than what the Scripture says. At least that is the most that one can take from his closing paragraphs.