Review by Greg Neyman
© Old Earth Ministries
Part Six of the War of the Worldviews sneak preview appeared in the Answers in Genesis daily feature on 21 January 2006. This summary is written by staff writer Pam Sheppard.1 This chapter in the book deals with where "millions of years" thinking came from.
Sheppard starts off with telling how the author of this chapter, Dr. Terry Mortenson, regularly prays for his "compromising" friends. This is similar to how we, as old earth creationists, pray for our young earth friends to realize the truth. Mortenson goes on to explain in this chapter that the source that adds millions of years to the age of the earth is surprisingly the seminary professors. Sheppard summarizes this by saying "He says "Sadly, they are the ones who have a great influence over the next generation of pastors and missionaries, he says. And theologians who have “bowed the knee to science” rather than trembling at the Word of God are the ones most difficult to reach." Fortunately, these seminary professors are properly teaching their students that the earth is old, and their influence on the next generation will hopefully push young earth creationism to the brink of extinction. Where Mortenson sees it as bowing the knee to science, we see it as rightly interpreting science in light of the Bible. Yes, they are difficult to reach, because they know that the young earth creation science is wrong, and they are smart enough to avoid their twisted science. Of them, Mortenson says "Many have been brainwashed into thinking that scientists have proven that the rocks are millions of years old." I would also use the term "brainwashed" to describe how young earth creationists are indoctrinated with a false science.
Mortenson says many entered seminary as young earth, but left as compromised old earth believers, or they thought the age issue was irrelevent. He says the reason for this was that they were not properly prepared to defend their belief in a young earth. This is the goal of young earth creationist organizations today...to indoctrinate young believers. If they reach them at an early age, when they are most impressionable (gullible), they know they can perhaps keep them as young earth believers for the rest of their lives. This is how Answers in Genesis and other organizations replenish their supply of believers...they are home-grown. Nobody outside of young earth teaching, examines the earth, and concludes it is young. To be young earth is to be indoctrinated with the teaching at a gullible age.
Sheppard continues painting a negative picture of these professors (who have it right!). She moves on to say that the great turning point was in the late 18th and early 19th century, when geology and astronomy caused many to question the young earth. She says "This destructive idea did not arise from an unbiased scientific investigation of the creation, but rather from anti-biblical assumptions used to interpret the creation, Mortenson writes." She goes on to say "knowledgeable Christians at that time opposed this idea." However, many Christians at the time accepted long ages, and it did not affect their walk with Christ. He blames Christians who accepted these long ages with leaving behind a catastrophic effect on the church. Actually, the young earth movement in the last century has had a much more negative impact upon the church than the acceptance of old ages.2
Mortenson claims the young earth view was the dominant view of the church for eighteen centuries. For eighteen centuries, nobody really cared how old the earth was. There was no conflict because nobody proposed millions of years. Some did propose the days of creation as 1,000 years long, however. Mortenson also claims that in the 1800's, geologically competent young earth creationists defended creationism. I have yet to encounter a geologically competent young earth creationist. On this website and others, even those young earth creationists with doctorate degrees in geology have been shown to commit many mistakes in their work.
Mortenson claims that an imagined history was imposed upon the rocks and fossils. Apparently, Mortenson has no clue how geologists and paleontologists put together the history of the rocks and its fossils. It is a precise science, with checks and balances.
In summary, Sheppard says "...readers will see that the real conflict over the age of the earth is not a conflict of science vs. religion, but rather a conflict of man’s fallible ideas vs. the Bible." There is no conflict between an inerrant, infallible Word of God, and billions of years. You can be a fundamentalist Bible believer, and believe in long ages. She says it is time for the church to stop ignoring the age of the earth issue. I say it is time for the church to start ignoring the young earth creation science arguments, and focus instead on winning back those that young earth creationism drove from the church.2
1 "Millions of Years" Thinking-Where Did it Come From?, published at answersingenesis.org/home/area/wow/preview/part6.asp
2 For those new to this website, I'm referring to the teaching of young earth creationism to our youth. It is presented in such a manner as to be absolute truth, with no possible alternatives. Therefore, when our youth grow up, they encounter opposing views, such as evolution, and the vast body of scientific evidence which shows that the universe is old. They are faced with a choice, an either/or choice. Either the Bible is true (a young earth), or science is true (old earth). When given this either/or choice, most choose science (cold hard facts) over faith (Bible).
If, on the other hand, you can harmonize science and the Bible, you eliminate this either/or choice, and people see that they can be Christians, and believe in an old earth.
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.
Can You Be A
Christian and Believe in an Old Earth?
Feel free to check out more of this website. Our goal is to provide rebuttals to the bad science behind young earth creationism, and honor God by properly presenting His creation.