By Greg Neyman
© Old Earth Ministries
This question was published by John Morris in June 1995 as part of his Dr. John's Q&A, however, the article is actually written by John L. Groenlund. The response to this question is focused upon the Institute for Creation Research (ICR). Groenlund says that ICR has a threefold ministry...research, education, and publication. To this end, ICR has two goals.
The first goal is to fulfill the Great Commission. Although they are greatly handicapped by their young earth position, they have had some success, for which I am thankful to God. This effectiveness is usually with people who had a young earth upbringing, thus the seeds of the false young earth theory are already planted in their minds. Groenlund says that "God has equipped us in the area of science, and that is the tool we use to carry out the Great Commission." Since most believe the earth is old, they are not positioned very well to be an effective witness among people who have not been "pre-taught" the young earth theory.
Contrast this with the old earth ministry Reasons to Believe. This ministry accepts the truth of long ages for the creation days, and since they speak the language of modern science (which ICR denies), they are in a much better position to carry the Gospel to the unchurched.
Groenlund makes a blanket statement "If evolution is true, then the Bible is not true." This, of course, is not true. God may have used evolution, and it makes no difference from a theological perspective (see Billy Graham). You can believe in an old earth, an inerrant Bible, and in evolution, all at the same time. Of course, atheistic evolution is contrary to the Bible's message, but Groenlund fails to distinguish between theistic and atheistic evolution.
Groenlund attacks evolution as a barrier to evangelism, and his ministry removes that barrier. Evolutionists, however, have countered most, if not all, of ICR's claims...and they are readily available on the internet at sites like Talk Origins.
The other goal of a creation ministry is to bring the Christian to maturity. Implied here is that "maturity" equals young earth creationism. Again, Groenlund says that evolution teaches the Bible has errors...he fails again to distinguish between theistic and atheistic evolution.
ICR sees Genesis 1:26-28 (have dominion over creation, subdue it) as a charge to study the creation.
Groenlund calls ICR's approach "true science," and the rest of science as "the enemy of Christianity." One can accept sciences, with an old earth...old earth science is not an enemy of Christianity. Millions of old earth Christians defy Groenlund's claims. As for true science, young earth creationists don't even use the "scientific method" and in many cases, do not deserve to be called scientists (see Creation Scientist?)
I am thankful for young earth ministries and for the souls that they reach for Christ. They would be better off in the long run, however, if they were truly science-based. This leads us to the purpose of this creation science ministry, Old Earth Ministries. We exist to point out the bad science of the young earth creation science ministries. It is our contention that things which are not the truth need to be confronted, so that in the end, the truth will be proclaimed.
Dr. John's Q&A #78, published on the web at www.icr.org/index.php?module=articles&action=view&ID=1141
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?
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.