Greg Strand is EFCA executive director of theology and credentialing, and he serves on the Board of Ministerial Standing as well as the Spiritual Heritage Committee. He and his family are members of Northfield (Minnesota) EFC.
Does the EFCA have a position on the age of the universe, either young-earth or old-earth?
In Article 1, God, in our Statement of Faith, we affirm the following: “We believe in one God, Creator of all things [who has] limitless knowledge and sovereign power [and who] has graciously purposed from eternity to redeem a people for Himself and to make all things new for His own glory.”
These are the explicit essentials of creation we affirm. But when addressing the age of the universe, i.e. the timing question, we have intentionally placed that in the category of silence. What this means is clarified in Evangelical Convictions: A Theological Exposition of the Statement of Faith of the Evangelical Free Church of America, 34:
To be sure, Genesis 1 expresses truth about God as Creator and his creation, but because of the uncertainty regarding the meaning and literary form of this text and the lack of Evangelical consensus on this issue, our Statement does not require a particular position on the mechanics of creation. However, to be within the doctrinal parameters of the EFCA, any understanding of the process of creation must affirm:
1. That God is the Creator of all things out of nothing (ex nihilo)
2. That he pronounced his creation “very good,”
3. that God created with order and purpose,
4. that God is the sovereign ruler over all creation which, by his personal and particular providence, he sustains,9
5. that God created the first human beings—the historical Adam and Eve—uniquely in his image,
6. and that through their sin all humanity along with this created order is now fallen (as articled in our Article 3).10
9 We deny the notion that God is simply the Creator of the universe but is no longer active in it, as is espoused by deism.
10 This Statement does not speak to the precise process of creation or to the age of the universe. To be acceptable within the EFCA any views on these specifics must completely affirm this Statement of Faith and align within these essential parameters.