Young Earth Creationism

This tag is associated with 90 posts

Really Recommended Posts 2/6/15- Attack on Titan, Prophets, and More!

postSleep training a baby? Not the easiest thing in the world, believe it or not. I peel apart my eyelids to present to you, dear readers, this latest round of Really Recommended Posts. Topics include egalitarianism/complementarianism, the Messianic Prophecy in Deuteronomy 18, young earth creationism, and Attack on Titan (with cultural apologetics). I’d say that’s a pretty good set of links, if I do say so myself. Let me know your thoughts in the comments here, and be sure to let the authors know what you thought as well.

Confusing Equality with Sameness: A Complementarian Misconception– Often, those who argue that women should be excluded from leadership roles in the church and home argue against those of the egalitarian position by asserting that egalitarians do not allow for gender differences. Is that true?

Attack on Titan (Empires and Mangers)- Anthony Weber presents a worldview-level analysis of the anime, “Attack on Titan” along with some brief comments and definitions related to anime itself. This is a fantastic post for Christians interested in the show or anime in general, or those who would like to familiarize themselves with those categories in order to interact at a cultural apologetic level. I highly recommend you follow his site as well.

A Look at Messianic Prophecy: Who is the Prophet of Deuteronomy 18:15-18? [Part One] – Hint: it’s Jesus. This three-part series offers a solid look at reasons to believe that Jesus is the fulfillment of this prophecy, not Muhammad (as some Muslims claim) or some other prophet. Here’s another post arguing more specifically against the Muslim claim.

Man’s fallible opinions vs. God’s perfect Word: Who wins?– The notion that the origins debate is set up in this dichotomy is often presented by young earth creationists. Here is an insightful analysis of this argument. I highly recommend you follow “Age of Rocks” as it is an excellent site providing much analysis of the young earth position.

That’s no beaver– Young earth creationists often make claims about species being similar and so showing that they came from the Ark, or that certain fossils in the past somehow throw off the sequence of fossils demonstrating an old earth. Here, an analysis is presented of one young earth claim to this effect.

 

Really Recommended Posts 1/23/15- Creationism, Gender Jokes, and more!

postHere’s a set of awesome posts for your to peruse, dear readers. We have topics that range from all over the board, including some new details on the fragment of Mark’s Gospel that was found a few years ago, a difficult challenge for young earth creationism, discussion of gender based jokes, and a parenting challenge. Let me know what you think in the comments here, and be sure to let the authors of the articles know your thoughts as well! Thanks for reading.

Earliest Fragment of Mark’s Gospel Apparently Found– Scholars who argue that the Gospels couldn’t be earlier than 200AD have already been shown to be wrong by discoveries of fragments from earlier dates. Now, a fragment of Mark’s Gospel has been found which apparently dates to pre-90AD. Frankly, this exposes the fraudulent argument about how the Gospels were apparently written so late no one could have known about the events. If this is but an early fragment, how many other copies were there, and how much earlier was the original? Wintery Knight also sums up some information from various sites about the find in his post on some new details.

The Lost World of South American Ungulates: A YEC Ungulate Problem– Can the YEC paradigm adequately account for the diversity of species? It may be easy to simply hypothesize God built in adaptability, but when it comes to examination of individual species, does it succeed?

5 Reasons Not to Use Gender-Based Jokes in the Pulpit– Here’s a fascinating post and it really applies to more than simply “from the pulpit.” I’d suggest this applies just in general to gender jokes. A follow up post shares some thoughts that the readers of this first post responded with.

How to Get your Christian Parenting Priorities Right– What do you think of when asked what you want for your kids? Here’s a challenging post to rethink our parenting priorities for our kids.

 

“Leave it to the Early Church”- A Young Earth challenge

3vce-mrIt’s no secret: I consume just about any book I can get my hands on related to the debate over the duration and means of creation within Christianity. Recently, I read through Three Views on Creation and Evolution, part of the Zondervan Counterpoints series. The young earth creationists (John Mark Reynolds and Paul Nelson) in this volume were more even than many I have read, and I appreciated their contribution in many ways and even found myself agreeing with portions of it. However, they did make a few remarkable claims, one of which will be my focus here. Namely, they suggested we leave interpretation of Genesis behind us and just assume the early church got it right.

Here is the quote:

Our advice, therefore, is to leave the issues of biblical chronology and history to a saner period. (100)

Why should we do that, you ask? Well, before offering this advice, Reynolds and Nelson argue:

Whatever the truth of the matter may be in regard to biblical history, we are… least likely to find it. Nothing about the education of most moderns leaves them disposed to be sympathetic to traditional readings of the biblical text… The almost overwhelming temptation is to “trim” [the portions of text which may be hard to swallow]. Suddenly, new ways of reading the text of Scripture are discovered, which to no one’s surprise allow for accommodation between at least some of the reigning paradigms and traditional religion. (99-100)

I find this simply astonishing! There are a number of reasons to reject this entire line of reasoning immediately. First, it is, in effect, poisoning the well. Second, it abandons any notion that new evidence can challenge established traditions. Third, it begs the question. Fourth, it undermines the need for the church to be semper reformanda – always reforming. We’ll examine these briefly in order.

Poisoned Well

The way Nelson and Reynolds present their argument poisons the well against any who would disagree with them. The insinuation is that the only reason anyone would come to a different conclusion is either because they don’t have an “educational” background which allows them to consider traditional readings or because they are in such a hurry to compromise the text to align with science. Although it is certainly possible that many readings come from these motivations, to suggest that we must put a ban on any future looks at the interpretation of Genesis shows the authors seem to think these motivations apply to all novel interpretations.

New Evidence

To put an interpretation of Genesis on an indisputable pedestal and say “that came from a ‘saner’ time and so we must follow it” undermines any possibility for new evidence to challenge established readings. Yet the fruit of research in many areas of biblical interpretation continues to yield great insight into the biblical text. Moreover, to make an interpretation like that indisputable is to perhaps set up stumbling blocks for future generations, who may in good faith find more evidence which challenges that interpretation.

Question Begged

By saying we need to leave the interpretation of Genesis to the past, Reynolds and Nelson have begged the question by assuming this interpretation is correct. In fact, they seem to assume it is so obviously correct that they don’t even bother to defend it. But of course this is not how theology ought to be done. We should not just relegate interpretations to the ecclesial past because we don’t want to face the challenges of today. Rather, we should explore the new evidence and new interpretations to see if they might in fact better match God’s revealed truths. By simply assuming we can leave an interpretation of Genesis as is, Reynolds and Nelson just assert their view is obviously correct without argument.

Semper Reformanda

The notion that the church needs to continually be reforming seems to be correct. When we find truths revealed in God’s natural revelation, we should be prepared to realize this may not align with our established paradigms. We need not reject these discoveries merely because the historical church didn’t know about them. Instead, we should realize that as an imperfect church waiting for our Lord’s return, we may get things wrong. We are always going to need to reform.

Conclusion

Thus, I think that any young earth creationist who simply asserts we must hold to the historic understanding of the text of Genesis is mistaken. Of course, I would also point out that the “historic” understanding is hardly what the modern young earth creationist would believe (such as the duration of the entire universe only lasting 6000 years in order to align with the creation days, etc.), but that is a matter for a different post. For now, it should be acknowledged that we should not just abandon attempts to understand God’s revelation in Genesis.

Links

Be sure to check out the page for this site on Facebook and Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies and more!

Origins Debate– Check out all my posts on the discussion within Christianity over the duration and means of creation.

Source

Paul Nelson and John Mark Reynolds, “Conclusion” in Three Views on Creation and Evolution edited by J.P. Moreland & John Mark Reynolds (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1999).

SDG.

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The preceding post is the property of J.W. Wartick (apart from quotations, which are the property of their respective owners, and works of art as credited; images are often freely available to the public and J.W. Wartick makes no claims of owning rights to the images unless he makes that explicit) and should not be reproduced in part or in whole without the expressed consent of the author. All content on this site is the property of J.W. Wartick and is made available for individual and personal usage. If you cite from these documents, whether for personal or professional purposes, please give appropriate citation with both the name of the author (J.W. Wartick) and a link to the original URL. If you’d like to repost a post, you may do so, provided you show less than half of the original post on your own site and link to the original post for the rest. You must also appropriately cite the post as noted above. This blog is protected by Creative Commons licensing. By viewing any part of this site, you are agreeing to this usage policy.

Really Recommended Posts 1/16/15- Abortion, Jesus, Science Fiction, and More!

snowl-owl-post-arpingstoneI am really proud of this lineup today, folks. I feel like it’s gotta be one of the broadest ranges of topics I’ve had in a while and they are all very interesting reads, at least in my opinion! Several of them are not just about what the title implies, but about something interesting related to that topic (like the one on pro-life being not just about the pro-life position but about how it might relate to evangelism). I’m pumped to share these posts. Let me know what you think in the comments here, and be sure to let the authors know you enjoyed their posts as well!

How Pro-Life Apologetics Helps Strengthen Your Evangelism– The case for the pro-life position is, in my opinion, absolutely philosophically and scientifically insurmountable. Here, Wintery Knight shares some thoughts on how learning the ins-and-outs of pro-life apologetics can also help evangelism.

Ehrmann Errors on Jesus’ Authority to Forgive– Noted skeptic Bart Ehrmann has argued that the notion that Jesus is divine was a later development in Christianity. What might the Bible itself–the earliest documents we have on the topic–reveal?

Observations About Commenting on Young Earth Creationist Facebook Pages– Let’s clear the water: commenting on Facebook pages is almost always going to get into some random fight about something… probably something completely unrelated to the original comment. The greater the importance of the topic, the more off the rail it often gets. That happens everywhere. However, here, the “Geochristian” shares some insights specific to discussing young earth creationism.

In the Image of Man they Created God; Male They Created Him– God is not male. God is Spirit. It is not inappropriate to use biblical pronouns for God like “He”; however, the danger is that we begin to think of God as a kind of Grandpa in the sky. Here’s some insight into the problems with assigning gender to God.

Scientific Mythologies: How Science and Science Fiction Forge New Religious Beliefs– Here, Anthony Weber shares a brief book review along with some insights related to this wonderful work by James Herrick. I do highly recommend the book to my readers. I shared a Sunday Quote about it some time ago.

Really Recommended 1/2/15- 2014 books and movies, bread and wine, and more!

snowl-owl-post-arpingstoneThe first “Really Recommended Posts” go-round of this year has a set of diverse posts to lure you in, dear readers. As always, let me know what you think of the posts, and be sure to let the authors know as well!

The Inevitable 2014 List: Books, Movies, and TV Shows Worth Noting– Empires and Mangers is a fantastic site that features discussions of YA Literature, movies, and books from a Christian perspective. I highly recommend you follow it, and that you also check out this awesome post on some of the best reads and watches from this past year.

Why Does God Come to Us in Bread and Wine?– There is a sense of terror related to the Holy in our interactions with deity. But what does this mean for the Lord’s Supper and the way we interact as a people of God?

Everyone is Religious (comic)– Everyone has a religion. What can Christianity say to this notion?

The Case of the Shrinking Comet and the Age of the Universe– Does the rate of water loss on comets like the one Rosetta landed on mean the universe must be young? Here, an argument from the Institute for Creation Research is analyzed.

Is silicon-based life a possible alternative for carbon-based life?– One of the proposed alternative origin-of-life scenarios to try to explain fine-tuning away is the notion that silicon-based life widens the scenario. Is this the case?

Sunday Quote!- Using Genealogies for the Age of the Earth?

Constellation_Fornax,_EXtreme_Deep_FieldEvery Sunday, I will share a quote from something I’ve been reading. The hope is for you, dear reader, to share your thoughts on the quote and related issues and perhaps pick up some reading material along the way!

Using Genealogies for the Age of the Earth?

The age of the Earth, according to some, may be discovered by adding together the years found in the genealogies throughout the Bible. By integrating them into one genealogy, it is supposed, we may then trace the years back to the time of creation. Robert Wilson, in his major study Genealogy and History in the Biblical World, demonstrates that this attempt is misguided:

[G]enealogies are not normally created for the purpose of conveying historical information… Rather, in the Bible, as well as in the ancient Near Eastern literature and in the anthropological material, genealogies seem to have been [used]… for domestic, politico-jural, and religious purposes and historical information is preserved in the genealogies only incidentally… (199, cited below)

The previous pages, of course, are dedicated to demonstrating this claim. Thankfully, in doing so, Wilson also shows that some of the difficulties which may be seen as “errors” in the Bible due to differences in genealogies are simply examples of we as readers making assumptions about what genealogies should be rather than allowing the text to stand in its historical grammatical context.

Long story short, adding genealogies together does not give us the age of the universe.

Links

Be sure to check out the page for this site on Facebook and Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies and more!

Sunday Quote– If you want to read more Sunday Quotes and join the discussion, check them out! (Scroll down for more)

Source

Robert Wilson, Genealogy and History in the Biblical World (New Haven, CT: Yale, 1977).

SDG.

Really Recommended Posts 11/21/14- St. Francis, Science, gender, and more!

snowl-owl-post-arpingstoneI have rustled up another set of links for you, dear readers, to enjoy! Let me know what you thought of them, and be sure to drop a comment or “like” on their posts as well! We have a diverse set today, so everyone will find something to read!

A Pictorial Representation of the Perils of Pornography (Comic)- Pornography is a major struggle in the lives of many. Sometimes, a wake up call is needed. Here’s a poignant image on the perils of pornography.

St. Francis of Assisi was No Lover of “Nature”– A provocative title with an interesting point related to St. Francis of Assisi. What was his view of nature and the natural world? Check it out!

What I would Tell my 12-year-old self about gender roles– How might we think about gender roles? How can we discuss these with children? Here’s an excellent post on this topic.

Mt. Sodom: A Huge Pile of Salt– Who wants to discuss geology and young earth creationism? *Raises hand ecstatically!* Seriously, check out this excellent post on some difficulties the massive Mt. Sodom causes for a young earth perspective.

Science and God: Is there a conflict?– Is it true that there must be conflict between theism and science? Here are a few points related to this alleged conflict.

Really Recommended Posts 11/14/14- an old earth, apologetics, and character!

snowl-owl-post-arpingstoneAnother round of links for you to read, dear readers! Thanks for stopping by. Let me know what you thought of the reads here, and be sure to let those authors know also! We have a snowy owl edition today because it’s 10 degrees and snowy here.

100 Reasons the Earth is Old– The position that the Earth is 6-10,000 years old is untenable. Here are 100 reasons why this is the case.

14 Ways I Teach Apologetics to my 5-Year Olds– How might we introduce apologetics to children and build a foundation for the future? Here Natasha Crain shares several ideas on her excellent web site, Christian Mom Thoughts. I very much recommend you follow her blog.

Your Character is Just As Imporant to Your Apologetics As Your Logic– From a presuppositional perspective, we have a great post about how the way we approach others is just as important as our logic or arguments.

Merchandise to Modify one of Modern Man’s Mightiest Misapprehensions (Comic)– Is disagreement possible without hate? Check out this fun apologetics comic.

Do Young Earth Creationists Advocate Appearance of Age?

3vce-mr

Young Earth Creationists (hereafter YEC or YECs) sometimes make the claim that the reason the universe is found to be so ancient by modern science is because it merely appears to be that old. I myself actually held to this view for a while when I was holding young earth creationism in tension with the evidence I observed.

I have been challenged in the past (for example, in the comments here) to provide evidence to show that this a claim made by anyone other than the “YEC in the street,” so to speak. That is, some YECs have told me that no serious YECs (that is, those who are publishing or working with the larger creationist think-tanks) make this argument.

Published Claim

In the past I appealed to various online sources to show that, for example, the Institute for Creation Research makes this claim. I recently finished reading Three Views on Creation and Evolution and found that the YECs in this book–Paul Nelson and John Mark Reynolds–do indeed defend the position of the “appearance of age.” Here’s a quote:

Some suggest God could have created starlight in transit to the earth. Perhaps most of cosmic history is apparent rather than actual. (52, cited below)

Initially this may not seem like a claim of “appearance of age,” but the authors go on to defend the plausibility of this “apparent” cosmic history and age of the universe:

…[Perhaps] God needed such a[n ancient appearing] creation to sustain life on earth. It might be necessary to have the universe the size and shape that it is in order for life on this planet to survive… God would have no real motive to ‘actualize’ most of cosmic history… ‘Apparent’ history in the mind of God could not be any different than ‘actual’ history… He would gain a fully functioning universe, but without the ‘waste of time’ needed to actualize the less interesting parts. (52-53)

From these quotes, it is obvious that Nelson and Reynolds are defending the notion of apparent age.

Problems for Young Earth Creationists

The notion of apparent age raises a number of issues for YECs. First is the common charge that this turns God into a deceiver. Nelson and Reynolds anticipated this objection and answered by using an analogy of someone’s mother refinishing an antique chair which would make it appear new. The only deception in this case, the authors argue, would occur if the mother failed to correct someone if they commented on the brand new chair. Similarly, God has provided a “label” to show the universe is not ancient: the Bible.

There are a number of problem with explanations like this one: first, in the case of the chair, further investigation would demonstrate it is not brand new. After all, antique dealers know the value of chairs which have not been tampered with by refinishing! We are able to discover whether additional layers of paint or finishing have been applied over the surface of a chair; similarly, we are able to discover whether things which initially appear young may indeed be quite old. The analogy itself breaks down. Second, the argument begs the question. After all, apart from YECs, those Christians who are asserting the universe is really billions of years old also claim that the Bible does not limit the age to only a few thousand years. This is the reason the challenge of “apparent age” comes up to begin with! So to turn around and say, no, it’s not deception because the Bible says it is young is to merely assert that which is being challenged.

Briefly, one might also wonder why Nelson and Reynolds think God “wasted time” in taking 7 days creating. Their dismissal of, say, star formation as something “less interesting” is frankly astonishing. Would that I could go back in time to see these “less interesting” events!

Another difficulty for the YEC comes in the form of a dilemma: Do you advocate a scientific understanding of young earth (and thus read science into the text) or argue for appearance of age (and thus grant that the Earth appears ancient)?

Think about that line for a moment. If YECs wish to affirm their position, they must either come up with a rival scientific understanding of the age of the universe and therefore read that scientific understanding back into the text (after all, where does Flood geology come from?–certainly not the text of the Bible!) or they must acknowledge the evidence that the universe is indeed quite ancient and merely assert that the evidence is trumped by their understanding of the Bible. The “appearance of age” argument grants that the universe indeed does provide evidence for being quite ancient.

Conclusion

Appearance of age is indeed part of the YEC quiver of arguments, as I have demonstrated. The question is, can this actually save YECs from an inconsistent view? I have argued that it does not. But even if YECs drop the “appearance of age” argument, they must still do that which they often attack others for doing: reading science back into the text of Genesis 1. If you’re a YEC, I hope you will think seriously before using the argument from “appearance of age.” But I also hope you’ll think seriously about whatever your alternative theory for the history of the universe might be. How much of it is actually derived from the pages of Scripture? How does your theory fit the Genesis account? Remember, there are other possibilities out there.

Links

Be sure to check out the page for this site on Facebook and Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies and more!

Origins Debate– Check out all my posts on the discussion within Christianity over the duration and means of creation.

Source

Paul Nelson and John Mark Reynolds, “Young Earth Creationism” in Three Views on Creation and Evolution edited by J.P. Moreland & John Mark Reynolds (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1999).

SDG.

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The preceding post is the property of J.W. Wartick (apart from quotations, which are the property of their respective owners, and works of art as credited; images are often freely available to the public and J.W. Wartick makes no claims of owning rights to the images unless he makes that explicit) and should not be reproduced in part or in whole without the expressed consent of the author. All content on this site is the property of J.W. Wartick and is made available for individual and personal usage. If you cite from these documents, whether for personal or professional purposes, please give appropriate citation with both the name of the author (J.W. Wartick) and a link to the original URL. If you’d like to repost a post, you may do so, provided you show less than half of the original post on your own site and link to the original post for the rest. You must also appropriately cite the post as noted above. This blog is protected by Creative Commons licensing. By viewing any part of this site, you are agreeing to this usage policy.

Really Recommended Posts 10/17/14- the Flood, Acts, and Compromise?

postThere is much to read on the internet (understatement of the century). Here, I’ve tracked down a number of posts that are now linked for your reading pleasure. There’s an amazing post on the historical reliability of the book of Acts, a few posts on creationism and the Flood, and a post on the way we should be doing apologetics.

The Reliability of the Book of Acts– A massive set of 84 points of evidence for the historical accuracy of the biblical book of Acts. I highly recommend you read through this and bookmark it.

The Genesis Flood– Was the biblical flood global? What does the text mean? Here is a biblical and scientific perspective on Noah’s Flood.

A Response to “Refuting Compromise”– A number of creationists continue to put Jonathan Safarti’s book Refuting Compromise forward as a must-read for those who would disagree with a young earth paradigm. Unfortunately, the book is largely a series of ad hominem attacks on Hugh Ross and anyone who would not step firmly into line of the young earth view. Here, Hugh Ross responds to the book.

Apologetics as Loving One’s Neighbor– How might we best do apologetics? Here, Pastor Matt argues that apologetics is a way of loving neighbor. We should operate in such a way that our apologetic reflects the gentleness and respect for others that we are to show.

No Room for a Dry Dead Sea in the Young Earth Timeline– The evidence for the Dead Sea having dried up in the past is discussed in this post alongside the question of whether a young earth creationist perspective can account for it.

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