Responding to the IEAC Reaffirmation Statement

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by brother Mike Pearson, September 2006
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(slightly edited and reformatted for the wiki)

In response to emerging discussions in our community about creation and evolution, the IEAC has recently publicised a ‘Reaffirmation Statement’. There are a number of issues with the statement that are based around points which are of “uncertain detail”. The result is that it alienates many who were NOT supporters of evolution — but simply had a different view to that of the IEAC, in that they took a non-literal approach to aspects of Genesis 1 like Brethren Sulley, Walker, Sargent, Watkins, Haywood, Carter, and WF Barling.

This paper is not intended to be an exposition of the scriptures concerned, and is entirely open to the fact that there are differing views on some of these points. Rather, the point being made in this paper, is that these matters have been under debate in our community for over 130 years, and during that time have seldom - if ever - been a matter of fellowship. So, it is simply not realistic to expect to issue a statement that will simply resolve 130 years of debate. Therefore, to insist that the IEAC Reaffirmation Statement be used as determination of fellowship is at odds with the efforts of those scholars named above.

Below is a copy of the IEAC Reaffirmation Statement as of November 2015. The Section ... links go to the section of this paper that deals with each point in more detail.



The opening chapters of the Bible describe the creation of the heavens and the earth. These chapters are infused with the majesty, holiness and truthfulness of God. Here we discover the origins of life seen all about us today, followed by Adam’s transgression and the consequences of sin. We accept the creation record as literal in its details.
Section 1: Accepting Genesis as a Literal Record

The teaching of Theistic Evolution, or Evolutionary Creationism as it is sometimes called, undermines this understanding. Theistic Evolution embraces the idea that life began under the direction of God perhaps billions of years ago and was brought to its current state by God through a process of evolutionary biological transitions. As such it has serious implications that challenge our understanding of Scripture as summarised in the Statement of Faith.

Section 2: Challenging our Faith

In response to this challenge, the undersigned ecclesias have formulated the following statement to reaffirm what we believe the Scriptures teach.


We reaffirm our belief in the first principles of the One Faith revealed in the Scriptures as defined in the Birmingham Amended Statement of Faith (BASF), with positive and negative clauses and the Commandments of Christ, and as understood in conjunction with the Cooper-Carter Addendum and the Fellowship Clauses contained in pages 13-15 of the Australian Unity Booklet.

In making this reaffirmation we observe that a number of statements in the BASF and the Cooper- Carter Addendum directly relate to the creation of man, the origin of sin and death, and the nature of man before and after transgression.

The BASF Foundation Clause states that the Scriptures are ‘the only source of knowledge concerning God and His purposes at present extant or available in the earth’. While some branches of science yield information that allows us to appreciate the eternal power and wisdom of God, the teaching of the Scriptures takes precedence over human explanations relating to the origin of life in the current creation. ‘The law and the testimony’ remain our ultimate source of truth (Isaiah 8:20).

Section 3: The BASF Foundation Clause, and the Relationship Between Theology and Science

BASF Clause 1 teaches that God ‘created heaven and earth and all that in them is’. There is no hint or suggestion in the Scriptures of a gradual evolutionary process by which God brought life to the planet. In contrast the Scriptures consistently speak of a miraculous creation of complex and complete life forms – ‘God said ... and it was so’ (Genesis 1:3, 11, 12, 15, 21-23, 24, 26, 27, 30; 2:1- 3; Psalm 33:6-9).

Section 4: The Uncertain Detail of God’s Creative Process.

BASF Clauses 3 and 4 both state that Adam was ‘the first man’, with Clause 4 adding ‘whom God created’. The reference to Adam being the ‘first man’ precludes the view that there were other humans or similar beings existing at the time of his creation (see also Genesis 2:5; 2:18; 3:20; Acts 17:25-26; 1 Corinthians 15:45, 47). This understanding is consistent with the teaching of Christ and the apostles, all of whom upheld the literal interpretation of the creation record (Mark 10:6-7; 1 Corinthians 11:7-9; 2 Corinthians 4:6; 11:3; 1 Timothy 2:13-14; 2 Peter 3:5).

Section 5: Adam as the First Man.

BASF Clause 4 teaches that Adam was created ‘“very good” in kind and condition’. This phrase means [or, is used to mean] that Adam was not created with a nature flawed by the physical and moral imperfections that we experience (Romans 7:23; 8:2).

Section 6: Very Good

BASF Clause 5 in conjunction with the Cooper-Carter Addendum teaches that the sentence passed upon Adam due to his disobedience ‘became a physical law of his being’ so that ‘he fell from his very good state’. We reaffirm that Adam’s transgression brought about both a sentence of death (resulting in a change in the condition of his nature to become a dying creature) and a proneness to sin.

The Addendum states ‘As his descendants, we partake of that mortality that came by sin and inherit a nature prone to sin’. This statement signifies that the whole human race is physically descended from Adam. This mortality and the proneness to sin came to the human race because of Adam’s sin (Genesis 2:17; 3:19; 5:3).

Paul also teaches:

  • ‘For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive’ (1 Corinthians 15:21-22)
  • ‘For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord’ (Romans 6:23)
  • ‘Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned’ (Romans 5:12).

Section 7: Adam’s Nature and Mortality


See Conclusion here.