Friday, July 6, 2007

Misinformation

Our friends at Answers in Genesis recently highlighted an article on their website that said the following:
…progressive creation and its belief in millions of years (1) contradicts the clear teaching of Scripture, (2) assaults the character of God, (3) severely damages and distorts the Bible’s teaching on death, and (4) undermines the gospel by undermining the clear teaching of Genesis, which gives the whole basis for Christ’s Atonement and our need for a Redeemer. So ultimately, the issue of a literal Genesis is about the authority of the Word of God versus the authority of the words of sinful men.

These kinds of statements coming out of the young-earth commnity are very common. Unfortunately, this entire paragraph is full of inaccurate statements and inuendo. From my perspective, this is designed to scare Christians away from even considering old-earth creationism as a viable option. But I am going to try and remain calm and respond to this as charitably as I can, since after all we are supposed to treat each other as brothers in Christ.

Let's take this point by point.

1) "contradicts the clear teaching of Scripture" - "Clear" according to whom? There are more than a dozen resources listed on the right size of my blog written by conservative, Bible-believing theologians who say that the "clear teaching of Scripture" does not necessitate a 24-hour day interpretation, much less a belief in an earth that is only a few thousands of years old. In fact, many of them say that when all of the evidence is considered, it is clear that the text teaches that these "days" were not 24 hours long. And just in case you haven't seen it yet, check out this list of prominent Christian leaders who say that old-earth creationism neither a heresy nor a biblical compromise. It is all fully documented.

2) "assaults the character of God" - How? Old-earth creationists have a very high view of God as Creator. Where is the evidence for this assertion?

3) "severely damages and distorts the Bible’s teaching on death" - Again, I ask "How?" By saying that there was animal death before Adam's sin? Show me one verse in the Bible, just one, that says there was no animal death before the fall.

The problem is, there isn't any verse that teaches no death before the fall. It is an inference, and a questionable inference at that. But you would never know it by the way young-earth creationists talk. They act like believing in "no death before the fall" is as clearly taught in Scripture as the virgin birth. But there is simply no solid biblical foundation to this belief.

4) "undermines the gospel by undermining the clear teaching of Genesis, which gives the whole basis for Christ’s Atonement and our need for a Redeemer." The severity of this statement seems intended to scare people. After all, the atonement is at stake. The way this is written makes it sound like old-earth creationists want to undermine the very heart of Christianity itself. Once again, I am going to ask you to tell me one statement I have made on my blog that undermines the atonement of Christ. Go ahead. There is a search button at the top of the page.

So, why should homeschoolers care about this? Because 90%+ of the creation science textbooks used by Christian schools and homeschools contain statements just like these. They "poison the well" in the minds of students against old-earth creationism before they even know what it is or have a chance to evaluate it. And, in my mind, this kind of propaganda can set Christian young people up for spiritual disaster later in life.

No comments: