Review by Greg Neyman
© Old Earth Ministries
First Published 12 August 2005
Morris starts out with an experiment. He says walk into a shopping mall, and tell someone "Hi. I believe God created people and the whole universe in six days a few thousand years ago." He says they will laugh at you. Then he says "Those who stood up for Jesus Christ and the authority of God's Word in the 1st century were crucified upside-down, burned at the stake, boiled in oil, and tossed to the lions. He compares this to today..."What happens to Christians who stand up for Jesus Christ and the authority of God's Word in the 21st century? People laugh at them.
I'm sorry, but you can hardly compare getting laughed at with being martyred! Not only that, by making the statement in the shopping mall, you are not standing up for Jesus...you are standing up for young earth creation science. These two scenarios are not equal.
Suppose on the other hand, I decide to "stand up for Jesus and the authority of God's Word." I go into a mall, and say, "I believe God created the universe 13.7 billion years ago with the Big Bang, and He created the world 4.5 billion years ago." I'm much more likely to get a response like, "Really, tell me more," than the young earth creationist is.
Morris says that God warned us about rejection due to the creation account (2 Peter 3:5). Since I accept God's creation account and God's judgment on mankind's sin, this applies to my encounters with people as well. No problems here.
On page 86, he argues that the "mind" came before the "matter." First there was God, then God created. We old earth creationists agree...even the theistic evolutionists. Morris is still showing his lack of understanding old earth belief systems.
"In the Beginning" Means in the Beginning (Page 87)
Hey...that's just what us old earthers believe too! What's the point?
"Create" Means Create! (Page 88)
Hey...that's just what us old earthers believe too! Morris argues that God could have used other words to indicate "things that grow" (as in evolution), or to happen (by accident). But He didn't. As humans, we cannot understand why God wrote the way He did. We cannot speculate about what might have been.
When it comes to "create," if God used evolution to bring about a creature, and God started and guided the evolution process, then there is no problems saying "God created it." When God created, the Bible says, "And God said, "Let there be"", and then the Bible says, "and it was so." Between the command "Let there be" and the final product, we have no indication of how much time there was (or wasn't).
Morris says that "in no passage anywhere is there a hint of a time of unknown ages." All ages are known to God, and thanks to geology and astronomy, we understand these vast ages. They are not unknown.
A discussion of time may be appropriate here. What is time? Or, more importantly, what is time to God? Since man did not exist until at the very end of Day Six, the length of the six days of creation is from God's perspective, not man's. God, being eternal, is outside of time. To him, a second is like a million years, and vice versa. God put the events of creation into days so that we could better understand it, but that does not mean they were twenty-four hour days. The length of the days is not given in the Bible.
Day Means "Day" (Page 91)
Alas, here is where we differ. The word for day in Scripture is used to represent anywhere from 12 hours to eternity. In the end, we can interpret it as long ages, without breaking any Scriptural rules, and despite the fact that YECs hate it.
Again, he hammers home the idea that if we don't accept it then you are not taking God at his word...a further admonishment for young earth believers to stay true. You can take God at his Word....day means "day." But "day" can be long ages...so that is taking God at His word also.
Morris rambles on for several pages about day, without giving any valid reason why you cannot interpret it as long ages. His arguments are generic, and not specific. The first thing of importance comes on page 94, where he uses Exodus 20:11, where God wrote the fourth commandment, referring to the six days of creation, and the seventh day of rest. If one interprets it as long ages, God is merely referring to these long ages...it makes no difference. He says "Disconnecting the fourth commandment from the creation week takes some serious hermeneutical gymnastics!" I'm not disconnecting them at all...God is referring to six long creation days, and a seventh day of rest, which is still ongoing today. Together, these seven days set the perfect pattern for our week.
Morris then calls on the example of Jesus working on the Sabbath. This refers to our work week, and we get the pattern from creation...so, what's the point? It adds Jesus into his argument, which brings the young earth reader further into the emotional web he is weaving. The story does not help his cause.
To this, he tells a story about how a scientist would answer "How long did it take for the earth to form." His fabricated answer, in short is, "I don't know, but if you want to know, find a reliable observer." Then he refers to the record of Genesis. I agree, but this same record that he uses, I use to equal billions of years. Who is right? Since science states with 100% certainty that the universe is old, I win. It's not that I care to win, though. How one feels about the creation is not important. What is important is how one feels about Jesus Christ. But, as long as young earth believers keep spreading their false creation science, they must be confronted.
He does not address several of the arguments young earth creationists use to argue for a 24-hour day. He does mention the ordinal argument. Young earth creationists say that anytime the word day is modified with a numeral (i.e. six days) or with an ordinal (i.e. first day) then it always means 24 hours. I have two problems with this.
First, in Zechariah 14:7-9, the "one day" refers to a period of time when the Lord shall be king over the earth. In other places, some say that Isaiah and Hosea have numbers with the word day which are figurative (External Link). Thus, this denies the ordinal argument.
Second, there is no ordinal rule. In other words, young earth creationists noticed that the times in the Bible that "day" was used with a number, it referred to a 24-hour day, so they claimed this was a rule for interpreting the word day. Does such a rule exist in Hebrew? I cannot find it. It apparently was created by a young earth creationist scholar in order to prove their point.
Why Do So Many Object to God's Written Words? (Page 97)
Here Morris goes ever so slightly into different methods of reading scripture, i.e. "dynamic equivalence," "literary framework", etc. I cannot speak for all old earth creationists, because all do not believe in inerrancy and infallible scriptures, which I do. As such, myself, and progressive creationists, have no problems with God's words...we accept them 100%, just like young earth creationists do.
The main argument here, however, is that Morris is saying so-called experts need more "humility before the living Word of the living God." This section is an admonishment of the academic community that has "compromised" in his eyes. This all goes back to his previous claim about faith...just accept it. Now Morris wants the more learned at colleges and universities to "check their brains at the door"...no thinking is required to understand the Scriptures. Isn't it amazing that Morris claims that YECs have such a profound understanding of Scripture, that we should all just forget about thinking and trust them! Using this logic, all YECs must be the equivilent of Einstien!
I for one am not that smart. I will always struggle to fully understand the Bible. Yes, it is written in simple to understand language, but there is so much there, that not even in a lifetime will I be able to understand it all.
Why Did God Create Anyway? (Page 99)
Morris gives a two page dissertation on why God created. The "why" of God's creation has absolutely nothing to do with the length of God's creation. It is merely more emotional fluff for the young earth reader.
Morris gives a very limited discussion of the word "Yom." To read more, see Word Study: Yom.
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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