Review by Greg Neyman
© Old Earth Ministries
First Published August 2005
The book After Eden: Understanding Creation, the Curse, and the Cross, is by Henry Morris III. The edition being reviewed is a paperback, First Printing, 2003, ISBN Number 0-89051-402-X.
The purpose of this book is to tie the doctrines of the Bible, mainly the doctrines related to salvation, to the creation account. Its purpose is to show that young earth creationism is the only proper method of understanding creation...all other forms, such as theistic evolution or progressive creationism, detract from the Gospel message. In other words, long ages creation and the salvation message of the Bible do not complement each other.
It is easy to see the need of this book from a young earth creation science perspective. Many are leaving young earth creationism, in favor of long ages creation. This book was written in part to shore up the defenses against a real threat to the very existence of young earth creationism. Simply put...old earth creationism is a perfect fit, with both the Bible and science. As people realize this in our churches, the support base for young earth creationism will shrink even more.
You may remember the idea known as geocentricity. Several hundred years ago, the church lost the battle to science, when science proved that the earth was not the center of the universe. Eventually, young earth creationism will go the way of geocentricity. However, the church has nothing to fear. The church survived the fallout from geocentricity just fine, and we will survive just fine without young earth creationism. You can believe in an inerrant, infallible Bible, and an old earth!
The preface to this book highlights the fears of young earth creationists. Morris makes the claim that "In many churches, Christian colleges, and seminaries, the diluting down of biblical authority has been led by those who want to hybridize Scripture with the "more scientifically acceptable" view of long ages of death and struggle." The authority of the Bible is not in question, however. Your view of the creation has no bearing on your view of Biblical authority. I'm a very conservative Christian, as are many old earth believers. I hold the same view of Biblical authority as Morris does. What is happening in our churches and colleges is the replacement of young earth ideology with the irrefutable fact that the earth is old. What is threatened today is young earth creationism, not Biblical authority. Morris knows this, and tries his best to rally the troops with this book.
He blames this situation on evolutionists. On page 12, he makes the claim that they have lost two decades of debates with creationists, and thus they are turning to Christian leaders to undermine the biblical record of creation. His assertion is that the "losing evolutionists" are converting so-called Christians to a belief in Theistic Evolution.
The evolutionists are winning, not because they are evil people out to eradicate the Bible, but because they are proving that you can believe in evolution and God at the same time...there need be no conflict between the two.
Next, he takes aim at Dr. Hugh Ross, of Reasons to Believe. He takes a statement by a known naturalistic evolutionist (Eugenie Scott) who concedes that Ross is having an effect. He turns this into an endorsement of Ross by an evolutionist, however, I'm certain Scott does not endorse Ross! Ever since Ross came along, young earth creationists have been labeling him as an evolutionist, even though he is not! His progressive creationism views do not contain even the slightest bit of evolution (unlike young earth creationist's adoption of rapid evolution). This tactic of trying to mislabel Ross, so that he is painted in what they see as a negative light, is dishonest at best.
Morris uses the example of the Bereans to support his cause. Paul would not want them to be "corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ" (2 Cor 11:3). I agree, but for different reasons. During the twentieth century, young earth creationism was added to the beliefs of many churches as a doctrine, where there was no doctrine of creation in the church for the previous 1,900 years. Why? The simplicity of Christ does not require a belief in a young earth.
All we have to focus on is Christ...what we think about the creation is irrelevant. We do not need to insist upon a young earth interpretation of the Scriptures. The doctrine of creation should be eliminated, and people should be accepted in any church, no matter what their beliefs about creation are.
Do not get me wrong, however. I believe firmly in creation. What I am talking about is the method and length of time God took to create. What one believes about the length of creation is insignificant compared with his decision to follow Christ...that must be our number one priority.
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