Review by Greg Neyman
© Old Earth Ministries
First Published 19 August 2005
He begins by using the story of Charles Templeton again, no doubt an effort to drive home the belief in young earth minds that a belief in long ages will lead to apostasy. Morris effectively uses this scare tactic to exhort young earth creationists to remain true to young earth creation science.
To his credit, he does say that others remain firmly Christians and believe in an old earth. He says some, however, have not (such as Templeton). It is also true that some young earth proponents end up apostates as well. Believers who backslide come from all walks of life, all forms of belief.
He slips into his rapid-fire question mode on page 191, as he is prone to do on many occasions in this book. It is an effective tool for admonishing young earth creationists to remain such. Heaping apparently valid questions upon the young earther is the same as heaping emotions up, until the person is firmly on your side. There are no arguments presented...just incessant emotions.
What Does God's Nature Teach Us? (Page 190)
Morris says we can learn from God's nature to discern what is from evolutionary thought and what is from God. It can be done without the study of God's nature, however. He presents nothing here, and lists several attributes of God, which old earth creationists can agree with. While he lists several negatives in the descriptions, the attributes of God's nature itself is not a problem. As such, it is merely more emotional baggage.
Understanding God's Nature Brings Clarity (Page 192)
At the bottom of the first page, he says it's hard to "imagine why any Christian would trust the words of "experts" to interpret the words of God." This, however, is exactly what young earth creationists do! Young earth creationist experts, such as Morris and others at the Institute for Creation Research, and Ken Ham and others at Answers in Genesis, provide the "expert" opinions, and young earth creationists everywhere are expected to believe them without question.
With that said, there is nothing wrong with seeking the opinions of experts before making a decision on a topic. Young earth creationists, on the whole, blindly accept the words of their experts. Old earth creationists, who are much more critical in their analysis of things, are much less likely to blindly accept an expert opinion, as Morris claims we do. Most old earth creationists believe in an old earth because they have studied the creation and reached a personal decision, and not because they blindly accept the words of experts. The young earth crowd is much more guilty of this than we are.
At the top of page 193, Morris says, "Evolutionists and atheists (and compromisers) are horrified and mystified by the growing acceptance of biblical creationism among those with strong backgrounds in science." Wow! I'm shaking in my boots from fear! Nothing could be further from the truth. There are a growing number of scientists who accept a young earth, only because they are "home-grown." Young earth creationists teach their children from a young age that the earth is young...they are essentially brainwashed. When they grow up, they attend young earth colleges, earn degrees, and go to work in the scientific field, or work for young earth creation science organizations. These scientists are not "converting" to young earth creationism...they always were young earth creationists.
I've heard it said that not one person ever examined the earth and universe, concluded that it was young, and then went and found religion. Those who are young earth creationists, did, at some point in their past, learn this from parents, teachers, and pastors. For more on the young earth creation scientist, see Creation Scientist?
Of the fossil record, he says there are gaps of millions of mythical years missing between them (fossil deposits). No, there are not. In locations, there are rock layers missing, but you can easily see these missing rocks in other locations. The stratigraphic column for geology is well understood and provides for no valid arguments of this type.
Interpretation Can Be a Slippery Slope (Page 194)
He once again revisits the story of a person who backslid. Each of us is responsible for their own behavior, and this person made a foolish choice. Millions of old earth creationists believe in the long ages of creation, while remaining strong in the faith. Sure, examples of backsliding apostates can be told...but so can tales of backsliding young earth creationists. A story from one person does not prove that interpreting long ages leads to apostasy...millions of us are defying this claim right now!
He mentions Eugenie Scott, and how this atheist is willing to wait a generation, so that long ages and evolution are accepted, and then it will be easier to eliminate religion. He is ignoring the millions of committed progressive creationists and theistic evolutionists who are solid Christians. We are growing rapidly, and we will be here in the next generation to proclaim Christ. Young earth creationism, however, may not be. Morris knows that millions are now committed old earth believers, and we are becoming a force equal to young earth creationists. Morris is fighting for the survival of young earth creationism. He sees the decline in the acceptance of a young earth, and he is "shaking in his boots."
The real reason for this book is to strengthen people's beliefs in a young earth, not convert people to young earth creationism. As you have seen, the book is full of emotional arguments to build up the young earth creationist. I know that we will always have young earth creationists (we still have people who believe in geocentricity, and there are some who believe the earth is flat!). How long it will be before young earth creation science goes the way of geocentricity is unknown, but it is certainly headed in that direction.
Power to the Pastor and Pew (Page 196)
It certainly sounds noble, as the people in the pew should always have the power to decide for themselves. In the second paragraph, Morris says God wants us to take Him at His word, and using our intelligence, and His Spirit, we are to put God's words into practice. Exactly what portion of the creation account are we supposed to practice? The creation account requires no action. Saying we need to put God's Word into practice" concerning the creation is a stretch.
The entire section is instruction to pastors and laymen who are young earth creationists, admonishing them to accept God's Word, and act on it. (Still trying to figure out how we are supposed to act on the creation portion...are we supposed to practice creating things?).
This section is also a summary of arguments in this book...emotional appeals to tow the line on creationism. No need to get bogged down on the facts that prove young earth creationism (especially since Morris presents none throughout the book). Just stay emotionally engaged and you will not falter.
Naturally, Morris equates long ages with "the father of lies." Actually, committed Christian men have convinced the church of long ages, and not Satan. Satan has nothing to gain in proclaiming an old earth. An old earth, with the beginning foundation of the Big Bang, shows that there must be a God.
You can skip over all the arguments here, because they have already been addressed earlier in the book.
What Did Salvation Accomplish? (Page 204)
There are no problems with the paragraph headings. He does claim that progressive creationists have a problem, in that it brings uncertainty and doubt about the character of God's nature and His Word. Funny, I'm a progressive creationist, and I'm not uncertain about God's nature or His Word. Once again, Morris is only demonstrating his ignorance of progressive creationism. We accept every part of the Bible, just like the young earth creationists do...the only differences is the days of creation are long ages, and there was death before sin. No doctrines of the Bible...let me repeat that...NO DOCTRINES OF THE BIBLE ARE CHANGED BY OLD EARTH BELIEF. If Morris truly understood progressive creationism, he would realize this. Unfortunately, in his brainwashed young earth condition, he would probably never be able to understand it.
How Then, Should We Interpret Scripture? (Page 208)
He sums it up with "Perhaps the best interpretation is the least interpretation." In other words, don't think about interpreting Scripture...just blindly accept it. No doubt, he would say listen to solid young earth teachers and pastors. No thanks...I prefer not to live by the principle of "the blind leading the blind."
In summary, this book has presented no problems for old earth believers. It is mostly an admonishment to young earth creationists, trying to keep them from abandoning young earth creation science. It has many emotional appeals, with little in the way of hard evidence. As such, it is not typical of young earth books from the Institute for Creation Research. It does not try to use science, but instead argues from the Bible and emotions. Since progressive creationists fully accept the Bible as the inerrant Word of God, its arguments are totally ineffective.
Most importantly, it shows the desperation of the young earth community. They are trying to shore up the defenses, to stem the losses of young earth believers to old earth belief. This book will probably have some effectiveness in accomplishing that goal.
If you are not a Christian, and you have been holding out on making a decision for Christ because the Church always preached a message that was contrary to what you saw in the scientific world, then rest assured that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, and you can believe in Christ and receive salvation, while still believing in an old earth. Click here for more.
Are you a Christian who believes in young earth creationism? Now that we have shown the many difficulties of the young earth creation science model in this and many other articles, how does this impact your Christian life? If you are a young earth creationism believer, click here.
To learn more
about old earth creationism, see
Old Earth Belief,
or check out the article
Can You Be A
Christian and Believe in an Old Earth?
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