Thoughts on a Young Earth

My Thoughts on a Young Earth

KEEPING OUR PERSPECTIVE


If we believe the Bible’s greatest claim—the Incarnation, why be shy about believing in a literal Genesis? During an in-depth study of science and the Bible in 2005-2006 I decided that, if asked, I would publicly state my religious convictions that I was a creationist—even a young earth creationist (YEC). Three years later that opportunity came when a New York Times reporter asked both questions. I told her I knew my answer to the age question was an incredible claim for most people, but that I believed a lot of incredible things: “The most incredible thing I believe is the Christmas story. That little baby born in the manger was the god that created the universe.” I asked her to put it in the story and she did. That exact quote is still circulating around the internet—over 7000 hits on atheist websites! Not a bad message for their readers.

Also, teachers of a local Chinese church maintained that once the Chinese students trusted in Jesus and accepted his Incarnation that these bright students never balked at a literal Genesis account. For them it was completely coherent with the other amazing claims of Christianity. They maintained that to waffle on Genesis would have undermined those students’ new faith.

Therefore, why is it so hard for intelligent, educated American Christians to accept YEC? Why not simply accept the testimony of someone who was there instead of accommodating the “experts” who were not there and hail from one of the most pagan, irreligious institutions in our society—the University?

THEOLOLOGICAL ISSUES

An old earth view (OEC) raises serious theological problems. For God to allow eons of suffering and death to prepare the world for humans impugns his character, and then for God to call it “very good” impugns his veracity. The theological arguments that place death before Adam’s sin are incredibly weak. The denial of the judgment of all men in a global flood undermines the doctrine of a future Great White Throne Judgment of all unbelievers.

A YEC view is clearly the most coherent. The three “bara”s (translated as “created”—out of nothing—in the English versions of Genesis 1:1, 1:21, and 1:27) favor YEC. God creates out of nothing the “Cosmos” on Day 1, creates out of nothing the “breath of life” on Day 5 and creates out of nothing the “Image of God” on Day 6. You cannot have any creature life till Day 5 (fish and birds). Try fitting that into most OEC views. YEC also makes a clear distinction between us and all the other creatures; OEC views are fuzzy on this distinction. And, most progressive creation views have God waving a “magic wand” over billions of years—creating one species after another and then letting them die out—this is not very compelling picture of a wise God.

From my study of OEC views, I am convinced that the foundation for OEC’s beliefs is science and not the Bible—even though the track record of science pales when compared to the scriptures. Are we to trust in our own understanding or God’s plain testimony in the scripture? God seems to go out of his way to avoid confusion by defining and repeating that a day consists of an “evening and morning.”

FRUIT

Sound doctrine should bear good fruit. The greatest fruit of YEC is modern science itself. God’s philosophers of the Middle Ages made the crucial distinctions about God and secondary causes to affect his will, which encouraged the study of nature. Without such distinctions, theology becomes fatalistic and no science ensues. These men were YEC’s. Had they been OEC’s, would their more worldly accommodating and materialistic convictions have led to modern science? I think not. Again, YEC is more than scientific; it gave birth to science.

Since the world and the liberal church already mock and ridicule fundamentalist Christians,–whether we are YEC or OEC—we gain nothing by trying to please them. We do, however, gain everything by taking a stand on the plain reading of God’s Word. It was six YEC’s on the State Board of Education that led the efforts that, according to AAAS’ Science magazine, “struck a major blow to the teaching of evolution.”

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7 Responses to Thoughts on a Young Earth

  1. tagsp0t says:

    “For God to allow eons of suffering and death to prepare the world for humans impugns his character,” but the suffering and death occurring today do not? This spiel is crazy talk and the reason Mr. McLeroy is no longer on the board.

  2. camtimothy says:

    Mr. McLeroy’s entire problem stems from his initial premise: that the bible (OT and NT) are correct and inerrant and divinely inspired and authoritative. In other words, he starts with a suspect premise and then cites that premise as authority for the rest of his assertions. This puts him into the Ken Ham category, a religious loon who will deny any science–or ANY claim–that contradicts his belief in the bible’s authority. For him, it is religion over science. That is a shame.

  3. wood757 says:

    No matter what Don McLeroy’s religious beliefs are it has nothing to do with the issue at hand: The First Amendment. Staunch Creationists and Christian Fundamentalists will never stop asserting the Creationism is science and Evolution is a conspiracy of tens of thousands of scientists over 150 years to take “God out of our lives.” That’s just the way it is.

    McLeroy’s assertions are his religious “beliefs” but nothing more; other religions have their own beliefs that contradict McLeroy’s. Repetition of debunked claims about Evolution only shows the inability of Creationists to present a single piece of positive evidence for a deity. For instance, rather than “complexity” being an argument for a “Creator”, it’s the opposite: an “all-powerful God” could do it simply.

    The issue here is what our Founding Fathers understood well and why The Enlightenment (responsible for the scientific method) was the foundation of The Constitution: the nature and history of religions. Contrary to Christian Fundamentalist strawman claim that Christian “principles and morality” are the foundation of The Constitution they are not. Elightenment principles are.

    The wisdom behind The First Amendment to protect the freedom of all to practice whatever religion they want, or none at all, is the necessary protection of that freedom by preventing any formal influence of any one religion in government policies: the separation of church and state. Don McLeroy’s fight against the First Amendment reflects a profound lack of understanding of the purpose of The First Amendment and serves only to threaten his First Amendment rights that gives him his freedom of religion.

    But Creationists’ persistent (and losing) attempts to violate the First Amendment only underscores our Founding Fathers’ understanding the nature of religious excess. I can only hope that Don McLeroy and all other Creationists reflect that we live in a Constitutional Republic and not in a Christian theocracy. Does such persistence of Creationists reflect a lack of care and respect for our Constitution? Creationism is pure religion and will never see the light of day in public school science classrooms. Keep it in comparative religion classes and in churches where it belongs.

    Reflect on what John Adams wrote in 1788:

    “The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.”

    ~John Adams, “A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America” 1787-1788

  4. “From my study of OEC views, I am convinced that the foundation for OEC’s beliefs is science and not the Bible—even though the track record of science pales when compared to the scriptures. Are we to trust in our own understanding or God’s plain testimony in the scripture? ”

    This is a perfect example of the biggest fallacy (one of many) of the YEC argument, or the OEC argument for that matter. It requires us to accept at the outset, without thought or question, that the Bible is the literal, inerrant word of God. Notice how the he makes no attempt to qualify his statement. This is because he considers it to be a given that Genesis is literal, written by God himself. In order to accept even part of his argument, you must first blindly accept that faulty, unqualified foundation. It quite simply defies logic.

  5. And Adam and Eve rode a dinosaur to church…

  6. deminthon says:

    “Therefore, why is it so hard for intelligent, educated American Christians to accept YEC? Why not simply accept the testimony of someone who was there instead of accommodating the “experts” who were not there and hail from one of the most pagan, irreligious institutions in our society—the University?”

    Um, because that’s a fallacy that only immensely stupid people fall for?

  7. deminthon says:

    “From my study of OEC views, I am convinced that the foundation for OEC’s beliefs is science and not the Bible—even though the track record of science pales when compared to the scriptures. ”

    I’m sorry but only appallingly ignorant, and intellectually dishonest people can make such a claim.

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