Review by Greg Neyman
The first Daily Feature of the year from Answers in Genesis tells the tale of a pastor who once accepted the idea that the earth was millions of years old, and he recently came to change his mind after viewing materials published by AiG1
The pastor describes how he was nearly in tears after viewing the information. This is a typical reaction that I encounter when dealing with young earth creationists. The material is designed to elicit an emotional response. The scientific evidence alone cannot convince the average person that the earth is young, therefore it is enhanced. While I do not doubt the genuineness of this man's response, I'm merely making the comment that this is a common reaction.
The author goes on to explain how this pastor changed his mind to the young earth view. The details are not significant. I praise God that this man is serving God, whether he be young earth or old earth in his beliefs. However, the claims at the end of this article need addressing. The author calls the age of the earth a vital doctrine. He makes five points about belief in millions of years.
1. It contradicts Genesis' clear teaching about the age of the earth. It does not. It does contradict "young earth creationist interpretations" of Genesis. There is no problem using a literal interpretation of the Genesis days of creation, and coming to the conclusion that they were millions of years.
2. It undermines the Bible's teaching that Adam's sin brought death to the human race (and animals). Adam's sin bringing death to humanity is the same in both old and young earth theology. The young earth creationists add animal death, even though it is not mentioned in Genesis.
3. It undermines Christ's gospel message. We are all sinners, and all need Christ, young and old earthers alike. Millions of years makes no difference.
4. It assaults the character of God. Young earthers claim that millions of years of death and suffering contradict the "very good" proclamation about creation. It only contradicts the young earth understanding of the term "very good." You can have a very good creation, with a functioning ecosystem, which includes the life cycle of death, decay, and renewal. Also, God said it was "very good,"... He did not say "it is perfect." Young earth creationists often describe creation as perfect, when God did not do so.
5. Acceptance of millions of years involves acceptance of anti-biblical philosophical/religious assumptions. The assumptions they are referring to are probably evolution. Evolution is not anti-biblical. It is merely a scientific theory, void of any moral value. There have been many Christians who believed in evolution, one being C. S. Lewis, the great theologian and author of the Chronicles of Narnia. Second, not all old earth creationists accept evolution. Progressive creationists also believe as young earth creationists do...that each animal was created from nothing, and did not evolve.
There is no need to fear millions of years. What is truly important is Jesus Christ...what have you done about God's Son? That is the only important question.
Sources / For More Reading
1 I am ashamed..., published at http://www.answersingenesis.org/us/newsletters/1206lead.asp
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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