Review by Greg Neyman
© Old Earth Ministries
On 22 March 2006 Answers in Genesis reported on the words of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and claimed that this Anglican leader rejected the creation account.1 However, looking at the words of the Archbishop, it is hard for me to make the same claim that Paul Taylor of Answers in Genesis makes. Let's look at the precise words of the Archbishop.
I think creationism is, in a sense, a kind of category mistake, as if the Bible were a theory like other theories. Whatever the biblical account of creation is, it’s not a theory alongside theories. It’s not as if the writer of Genesis or whatever sat down and said, “Well, how am I going to explain all this … I know: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” So if creationism is presented as a stark alternative theory alongside other categories, I think there’s just been a jarring of categories. It’s not what it’s about.
Are these words anti-creationist? Let's break it down. He says that it is not a "theory alongside theories." In other words, it is more than a theory...it comes from the Word of God, and is above being called a theory...it is fact.
In essence, he is saying that evolutionary thought is categorized as a theory, and creation is not a theory, and should not be categorized as a theory. That is what the Archbishop means by saying its a "category mistake."
Clearly the Archbishop's words are not anti-creation. The Archbishop is saying he is not comfortable with the teaching of creationism in schools. Here's the interpretation...It should not be taught as a theory (since it is fact), and therefore should not be taught alongside other theories, such as evolution.
I can, however, see the secular media picking up on these words, and claiming the Archbishop does not support the Genesis account of creationism. I agree with Paul Taylor, in that the Archbishop is trying to stay on the fence, and please many different factions. He could have conveyed his ideas differently, so as not to give the secular media fuel for their fire against creationism. His poor expression of his views (or, incomplete expression of his views) reflects his attempts to not take sides.
Although I disagree with Paul Taylor and Answers in Genesis on the meaning of his words (they try to read more into it than is there...just like the secular media), I'm sure that they would agree with me that the leader of the Anglican Church should be expected to take a stand and defend the creation account (whether it's old or young earth) in accordance with the doctrines of the church.
1 Anglican Leader Rejects Creation, by Paul Taylor, published at answersingenesis.org/docs2006/0322anglican.asp
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