Dr. Hugh Ross: What Does He Really Believe?

The following letter was received:

Hi Mr. Parkes,

While I enjoyed reading “The Revelation of God”, by John Woodward, published on November 6, 2000, I must take strong exception to one of the references at the bottom of that article, that is to Dr. Hugh Ross. What follows is summary of some of what Dr. Ross teaches and what the Bible teaches. Did you know that his teachings have split many churches? He has both written and verbally acknowledged many times that he does not believe many portions of the Bible, especially many of the teachings in the book of Genesis.

CREATION AND TIME – Does It Matter What I Believe?
“IT MATTERS” {Taken with permission from a Fact Sheet
produced by “Films for Christ” }

Dr. Hugh Ross (President of Reasons to Believe, Inc., Pasadena, California) opposes atheistic evolution and teaches Progressive Creationism.

Some of his main beliefs are highlighted below and are particularly foundational to his teachings. The purpose of this article is not to criticize Hugh Ross as an individual, but we are concerned with certain biblically erroneous teachings concerning Progressive Creationism.

Teachings of Hugh Ross
(1) Assumes a Billions-of-Years-Old Universe:

This is the central belief that guides much of his teachings. Hugh Ross claims that the universe began with a God-engineered “Big Bang” around 17 billion years ago. He has taught the theory so strongly that if it is ever abandoned by the majority of scientists, (as one day will surely be the case), he claims this will be a major embarrassment to his ministry. He also believes that “… each of God’s creation days is several hundred million years long.” Dr. Ross teaches that we are currently in the 7th Day, which will not end until the beginning of the New Heavens and New Earth.

Teachings from the Holy Scriptures
(1) The Universe is Closer to 6 Thousand Years:

Was Dr. Ross there billions of years ago? The Creator is the only one existing who was in a position to know with certainty the age and true history of the universe. The Bible indicates that all Creation was completed during six revolutions of the earth. Actually the great majority of scientific age estimation methods indicate a young earth. Dr. Ross’s bias is apparent in his willingness to accept only those scientific methods that agree with his belief in billions of years. God’s Word provides lists of generations between Adam and Jesus Christ. Even if there were a few gaps in the lists, it would be absurd to accept insertions of tens of thousands (or even millions) of years in the genealogy.

Teachings of Hugh Ross
(2) Death and Suffering have Always Existed:

Dr. Ross does not believe the world was created in perfection. According to Dr. Ross, there was no original paradise, except in the sense that Adam walked with God, experienced less pain than we do, and experienced no sin initially. Dr. Ross claims that God used “random, wasteful, inefficiencies” to create the world into which Adam was placed. He teaches that the Garden of Eden was created with death, pain, suffering and degeneration, since the beginning for billions of years. Dr. Ross strongly teaches that the existence of physical death in our world is not due to Adam’s sin. He says, God created death, suffering and animal predation as a basic part of earthly existence since the beginning of life.

Teachings from the Holy Scriptures
(2) The Bible says that Paradise was Lost:

This is one of our greatest concerns about Dr. Ross’s teachings. It is in stark contrast to the gospel which says that the second Adam came to conquer the spiritual and physical death that entered paradise due to the sin of the first Adam — and that Christ will one day restore the paradise we lost. According to God, death (both physical and spiritual) entered the world through man’s sin (Romans 5:12). The Bible clearly teaches that animals were not created carnivorous, since God originally commanded them to eat plants (Genesis 3:18 & 9:3). Because of sin, God cursed the ground and physical creation. The global Flood judgment changed earth even more.

Teachings of Hugh Ross
(3) The Origin of Man initially began as Man-like Animals:

According to Dr. Ross, Adam and Eve were created from dust after the majority of earth’s history had already taken place and after billions of years of animal death. Dr. Ross believes that, “starting about 2 to 4 million years ago, God began creating man-like mammals”. They were actually animals and “had no spirits”. The hominid species may have gone extinct before, or as a result of, the appearance of modern man.

Teachings from the Holy Scriptures
(3) The Bible says that Man was made Perfect and
in the image of God:

Note the words of Jesus Himself, which say that “from the beginning of the creation (not 17 billion years after the beginning) God made them male and female.” (Mark 10:6).

{ Note also Genesis 1:26 (KJV), “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” }

Teachings of Hugh Ross
(4) The Flood and the Ark:

Hugh Ross teaches that the Flood did not cover the entire earth nor all the mountains of the day. Rather, Noah and the animals floated on a shallow, temporary inland sea (22 feet deep) somehow covering the Mesopotamian region. He claims the earth’s entire human population was limited to this area.

Dr. Ross teaches that most of the animals of the world were not affected, only those animals in Mesopotamia. According to Dr. Ross, all of today’s animals and birds are not descended from the creatures on the Ark.

Teachings from the Holy Scriptures
(4) The Flood and the Ark:

The Bible clearly states that every land animal and bird on the face of the earth was wiped out.

In Dr. Ross’s scenario, dry land is just over the horizon all along.

Despite the lack of necessity, God keeps Noah trapped in this boat full of animals under these strange circumstances for over a year.

In other words, God required Noah to consume 120 years of his life building a huge boat to save representative animals which really didn’t need to be saved, because most, if not all, of these animals were alive and well in other parts of the world.

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Note how compromising the Word of God in certain places forces one to continue compromising the Scriptures in other places. Hugh Ross is forced to twist, modify and reinterpret God’s Word is his attempt to make everything fit together (i.e. his version of biblical inerrancy). Why don’t we just trust what Scripture teaches, believing that God’s Word is straight forward, understandable, and true from beginning to end.

I ask you, if man’s sin is not the cause of ‘death’, as Dr. Ross teaches, then is not sin a fiction? And if sin is then a fiction what need have we of a saviour?

If the Bible does not mean what it says in Genesis, as Dr. Ross teaches, one must wonder how many other parts of the Bible does it not mean what it says? How are we know which verses to trust and which one we cannot?

Is not the Book of Genesis the foundation of over 90% of all Christian beliefs? If one doubts the Word of God from the very first book, with which book do we start trusting?

Jesus made reference to the Book of Genesis many times, are we to discount his words too?

Dr. Ross teaches that God created ‘death’ to be good (Genesis 1:31). Is this really what we believe the Bible teaches? What does this say about God character? Is not ‘death’ an enemy?

Are we to let the so-called ‘science of the day’ interpret the Word of God for us? (Man has continually done this throughout the centuries.) Or should we let the Word of God guide are science and use it as a template?

If you would like to do some further research on Biblical Creation I would encourage you to review the following Christ centered and God honoring web-sites:

The Institute for Creation Research: http://www.ICR.org
Answers in Genesis: http://www.AnswersInGenesis.org
Christian Answers: http://www.ChristianAnswers.Net
Dr. Kent E. Hovind: http://www.DrDino.com
Dr. Walter Brown: http://www.CreationScience.com

Please help me understand your position. I need to know if you believe and support the teachings of Dr. Hugh Ross?

Do not feel rushed to respond, I know you are very busy.

Troubled Spirit,

John Zaluski

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Response:

Neither I, nor FCET, supports the teachings of Dr. Hugh Ross as you have outlined them above. FCET’s clear statement (which will become more clear in a future statement of faith) is that we believe is six literal creation days. Please see my article entitled, “The Six Days of Creation”, published April 7, 1998.

As a side note, I honestly did not know about Dr. Hugh Ross’s beliefs before sending out the article. That is “ignorant me” (still learning)! The footnote with the reference to Dr. Hugh Ross was included by the author (John Woodward) who I have a great deal of respect towards. John himself has stated to me in a letter that he is not yet “dogmatic on the method of harmonizing Genesis one and the evidence of science”. So he is open to becoming convinced and I trust that your letter will serve to help him in this area.

God bless you for sending in this response. One other person had written to indicate his dismay with the teachings of Dr. Hugh Ross, as well. I trust that your response, and my response to that response, has cleared up in anyone’s mind concerning what FCET actually believes.

Thank you for writing.

Readers are encouraged to pass this article on to others, as they see fit.