Often young earth creationists (YECs) are ignorant and stupid in their reasoning and do not think about what arguments they give in advance of the creation perspective. Let’s be clear, for me being a YEC, this really is not something of which I am proud to say it.
But it is more than true. As creationists we could learn a thing or two about humility and respect towards the beliefs of others, which often are in great contrast with our own beliefs.
Recently I read an article that was posted on the website www.godofevolution.com, which is a website that tries to argue in advance of harmony between evolution and christianity. This website was founded in 2013 and is led by Tyler Francke and in one of his articles he tries to explain why believing in a young earth has seriously bad theological implications.
He names three theological implications (which I have summarized below). For a more extensive writing you should read the original article by Tyler Francke:
- God is a liar: The YEC position must assume a deceptive God because most of the scientific evidence is against the YEC position (radiocarbon, Vredefort crater, continental drift, Y-chromosome ancestry, etc).
- Faith is unnecessary: God puts a premium on faith in the Bible. There is no reason to have faith, because there is no power in objective facts. The argument is that YEC don’t have to believe, because they claim to have reasonable objective facts.
- Unbelievers must be avoided: YEC creates a gap between believers and everybody else. So in other word, YECs do not see the great commission as of importance.
I have thought about above stated theological implication, whether I should comment on this or not, because to me it is quite obvious that those implications are not true and based on unreasonable arguments. So in short, I could not pass on my moral obligation to nothing and the comments below are my own reflection and commentary on the ‘three serious theological implications of young earth creationism’.
Last year, I read an article by Todd Wood about ‘surrender‘ and I really encourage you to read this essay because it conveys an important message about how the conversation should go between evolutionists and young earth creationists.
I think that the God who created this universe is still God enough to help us work out our differences. I know that His Word will accomplish what He sends it to do. He doesn’t need my help to get the point across. He doesn’t need me to defend Him. If we believe that God is sovereign – if we really believe it – then we really ought to relax and let Him do His work. Surely He can sort out all these debates when we seek His guidance, but if we try to control things ourselves, to selfishly get the other side to admit we’re right, we really will bring shame on the gospel.
I confess that these acts of surrender will not be easy. I really do want to recognize God’s sovereignty and to give up my vain desires, but as a young-earth creationist, I have grave concerns about the mixing of evolution and Christian theology. I feel like I need to do something, but maybe that something is surrender. Maybe I should cast myself at Jesus’ feet and ask Him to help my unbelief. I hope you’ll do the same, and perhaps together we’ll see God move in a remarkable way.
I think He’d like that.
That is the starting position which I submit myself to as a young-earth creationist. But what about the ‘seriously bad theological implications’ that Tyler Francke is talking about? Should we surrender, and admit that those are true? Or should we engage in an conversation about the contents of the implications? The last option is the one that I have chosen.
The first theological implication would be that God is a liar, because the scientific facts are mostly against the YEC position. This argument is based on the assumption that the theories that are made are objective and true. But there’s also faith (I will talk more about faith when I review the second implication). My faith in an inerrant Scripture is not based on facts. It is because I believe that our Creator has created the world in six days and rested from His works on the seventh day. And what is more important? What the Scripture says, or what scientific theories say?
The view that humans are fallible, while God is infallible, is not a new view, but we can already see that in the first pair of humans. We are not perfect, but God said to Moses that the earth is created in six days, as we read in Exodus 20:11.
Ex 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Does that make God a liar? If God has said it, we ought to believe it or not?
The second theological implication is that faith is unneccessary. Talking about objective facts is dangerous, especially when in the first implication was stressed that God is a liar, because the scientific facts say otherwise. Abraham is a man who is remembered because of his strong belief in God. According to the Bible he was the MRCA of the Jews and the Arab people.
I definitively agree with the statement that there is more power in faith than in reason. As said before, humans are fallible. But what I do not agree with is the statement that YECs do not need faith. They need it, but seek confirmation in science or theories and observable facts around us. That is quite the opposite of what Tyler Francke is talking about.
The third theological implication is that non-believers must be avoided. Creationists often say that evolution has deleterious effects on belief and worship of God. That’s true, and if people claim that, they should have an explanation with solid arguments for saying that. But to say that YECs do not take the great commission seriously is simply not true. I have heard YEC speakers which talked in a humble way about their beliefs and faith in Christ to a large sceptical audience. I have spoken with other YECs who are very active in reaching out to non-believers.
Creationism does not teach that non-believers should not be reached. There is no doctrine that tells this, and there is no YEC who has ever said that reaching out was not important. This is not a consequence of YEC beliefs, and it really cannot be stated that creationism says that other people should not be reached.
Surrender is something that asks a lot and I admit that I have often little patience for surrender. That is an observable fact in my life. And that’s maybe also why Tyler Franck wrote this article, because we as YECs are often not good at surrendering ourselves. That is not a good thing and we should be ashamed at ourselves.
In order to advance the conversation about evolution and creation, surrender is needed. I once talked to fellow students about my creationist beliefs, and they asked me what I thought of bold claims that creationists often make, and I replied that I could not see another option than creation, because of my faith, but that my faith also requires respect for people who tend to disagree with my position on evolution.