Should SI add young earth creationism to its doctrinal statement? (see details in first comment)

Yes!
49% (25 votes)
No, but something about non-evolutionary creation would be good
18% (9 votes)
Yes, but I don't like the wording of the one you're proposing
2% (1 vote)
No, you can interpret Genesis 1 differently and still be a fundamentalist
29% (15 votes)
Other
2% (1 vote)
Total votes: 51
13374 reads

There are 91 Comments

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Wording would be something like this (assume a "we believe in" clause precedes, http://sharperiron.org/doctrinal-statement ]like the rest of the doctrinal statement)

"The creation of the world by God in six literal days."
Or perhaps "Divine creation of the world in six twenty-four hour days."

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

I find the voting very interesting. I would be interested in hearing from someone who would claim something else and still call themselves a fundamentalist (choice 3). The simplest, literal interpretaion of Genesis 1 is to read it as 6 consecutive, literal 24 hour days. Anything else stretches the reading and, consequently, stretches one of the corrollaries of fundamentalism (a literal, grammatical, normal hermeneutic).

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Ed Vasicek's picture

This issue is a major one, no doubt. I am a young earth creationist, although I am always on the lookout for other perspectives that could meet the Biblical criteria, and I try to cut those who disagree with me some slack. I voted for choice 2, "No, but something about non-evolutionary creation would be good."

I think we all have differences between what we believe and what we believe we should tolerate. I do not like the idea of narrowing our participants more than we have.

Better to FIRMLY uphold a few main doctrinal pillars then add more that we eventually circumvent. I was part of a group that "talked tough" and took a stand on detailed doctrine, only to become wimpy when it came time to enforce it.

"The Midrash Detective"

Jay's picture

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:
I find the voting very interesting. I would be interested in hearing from someone who would claim something else and still call themselves a fundamentalist (choice 3). The simplest, literal interpretaion of Genesis 1 is to read it as 6 consecutive, literal 24 hour days. Anything else stretches the reading and, consequently, stretches one of the corrollaries of fundamentalism (a literal, grammatical, normal hermeneutic).

I'd also be interested in how you can do this. Anyone willing to stick their head up and say so?

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Daniel's picture

To me, the question is a matter of whether it is truly a fundamental of the faith. I am not convinced it is, although I believe very strongly in YEC.
Also, IMO, I don't think Genesis, specifically ch 1 and 2, were meant to be a science text book.
The one thing I might add to the statement is, one should not believe in evolution as the grand theory of everything. Meaning, evolution explains everything about this universe.
I might try to write a few more of my thoughts later, but I have to do a few errands.

MikeC's picture

Young Earth, 6 consecutive, 24-hour days. Smile

Jay's picture

Alex Guggenheim wrote:
I do not hold to a young earth and am a fundamentalist.

To paraphrase Nicodemus..."how can these things be?"

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Charlie's picture

The framework hypothesis, propounded by Meredith Kline, offers a non-chronological reading of Genesis. (It is easily found online). I am prepared to accept it as a legitimate view. John Collins has proposed an analogical view. 6-day creationism was not widely believed by the Church Fathers. Various views were held all throughout church history. A 6-24 creation may be correct, but insisting upon it as a test of orthodoxy is only an overreaction to materialistic teaching.

This is sufficient:

Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed wrote:
We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

My Blog: http://dearreaderblog.com

Cor meum tibi offero Domine prompte et sincere. ~ John Calvin

Rachel L.'s picture

I do not think YEC is a fundamental of the faith, so I voted "No, you can interpret Genesis 1 differently and still be a fundamentalist."

Ron Bean's picture

I voted yes. To those of you who vote "no", do you believe that Methuselah lived to be 969 years old?

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

I'm actually leaning toward Ed's perspective... and we have bandied this option about some in the Team forum.
That is, we can uphold the principle in various ways without making it a membership requirement. One way is to add a second tier to the doctrinal satement that expresses the convictions of the team and/or of "SI" officially.

But I am inclined to think narrowing things any more than the DS already does would move us toward a pretty boring homogeneity.

Charlie about 6 days not being widely held by the Fathers, do you think it might be a case of "nobody was asking that particular question at the time" or do they actually speak directly to that question? I kind of doubt it was much of an issue before naturalism came on the scene. All the same, I'd find their thinking on it interesting if you can link to anything.

Mike Durning's picture

OK. My initial impression was that we should not insert this wording into the doctrinal statement. My thinking was that while I am horrified at the explorations of some on this issue beyond the 6 real days view (because of where I believe it leads theologically), I still think the discussion of these things helps us all sharpen our iron. Inserting it into the doctrinal statement forces the exit of those who can articulate the other side best -- because they believe it.

Relevant threads in early March, 2009 highlighted strong dissent between folks like Joseph (not so firm on 6 days) and those of us who are stronger on the 6 day thing. It was ironic that at the exact same time, John MacArthur (a Conservative Evangelical, not a Fundy) opened his Shepherd's Conference with a strong Young Earth 6 Literal Day defense, while here on SI, it seemed like few were here to defend that view (not a thread about Rock Music or social drinking = few readers!).

But then the issue becomes one of how broad are we going to be? We have effectively squelched the most extreme KJVO positions by condemning double inspiration, right? Well, those guys can be shrill rather than articulate, we reason. But the Framework guys, for instance, can be very articulate. So let's have the discussion. And then, while we are at it, why not have more vigorous discussion on the substitutionary atonement with those who are not so sure? And then we cease to be a site about Fundamentalism and issues of concern to Fundies, and instead be about issues of concern to all "people of faith."

So this speaks to what SI's mission is. If Young Earth Creationism is a Fundamental now (it surely was not in 1930), then I suppose a discussion forum for and about Fundamentalism should lock that issue down. But is it?

The issue, I think, goes back to where Theology has evolved (excuse the term). The Hermeneutical and Theological price for those alternate interpretations seems to be something that quickly becomes antithetical to the fundamentals of the faith, regardless of the intent of the person who starts looking down those pathways. It's a tough case to make: to me, they must prove that Moses understood his own writings to be other than what they seem to be on the surface, and that Jesus also understood them to be different as well. Exodus 20:11 and Matthew 19:4-5 would suggest that they understood them exactly as most of us here do.

So, while I would welcome a place to debate these issues, I'm pretty sure SI should not be it, because I can't help but believe that most of the guys who reject 6 literal days have already or eventually will jettison the conservative perspective with regard to Scripture that is by definition required in a Fundamentalist.

After the March 2009 debate, Joel Tetreau asked me why I felt so strongly on this issue. The truth is that 6 literal days doesn’t matter so much to me as the issue of why people interpret it or don’t interpret it that way. I believe this represents fundamental (in the non- movement sense) underlying issues.

While I'm sympathetic with Ed, and like looking at the other theories as they come along, I keep trying them on, and none of them fit. There's always a passage somewhere else bulging out and making the new theory look silly on me.

I'm voting yes.
But I’ll stick around to talk about it no matter which way the vote goes.

P.S: Got a look at Doctrine, the new book by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears. In it, he claims that 6 literal days is clear, but that the Young Earth perspective is not. He tries to defend the idea that the earth was created long before, and that it was made suitable for humans in 6 days [a lite gap theory, since there is no fall of Satan or pre-Adamic race mentioned ]. He claims that no verse teaches that the world was made in the 6 literal days, and then quotes Exodus 20:11 on the next page! Editor, please! Quite frankly, the book has a few other oddities in it that surprised me, even from Driscoll. I liked him better when he was cussing. Just kidding.

Mike Durning's picture

Daniel wrote:
Also, IMO, I don't think Genesis, specifically ch 1 and 2, were meant to be a science text book.

Right on! Shame on so many of us for preaching through Genesis 1 & 2 and spending all our time on Creationism and neglecting the intended spiritual message.

Mike Durning's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:
Charlie about 6 days not being widely held by the Fathers, do you think it might be a case of "nobody was asking that particular question at the time" or do they actually speak directly to that question? I kind of doubt it was much of an issue before naturalism came on the scene. All the same, I'd find their thinking on it interesting if you can link to anything.

Charlie's claim is well founded. Dr. Hugh Ross, in his early book "Creation and Time" devotes an entire chapter to the church father's on this matter. Some of them were really wacky. One believed in 50 days of creation!

But I might add that there are church fathers, and then there are Church Fathers. Periods in which they wrote, the debates of the time, etc., figure heavily into how we should regard their teaching. And there are many church fathers who did espouse 6 literal days.

But, for source material...
http://www.catholic.com/library/Creation_and_Genesis.asp
http://www.icr.org/article/early-church-defended-creation-science/

djsugg's picture

What I find annoying about many who cite the fact that the Church Fathers did not hold to a literal 6 day creation is that they fail to mention why the Fathers did not hold to such a view. They could not understand why it would take God 6 24 hour days to create - they viewed Him as one who spoke, and it was. They said the 6 days was God accommodating our inability to see that He could create so quickly and easily. Usually these quotes are given to support the idea that the Fathers would have been open to long ages of time - a thought that would not have occurred to them. Martin Luther, in his commentary on Genesis, replied to those who could not understand why it took God 6 days to create that they should "allow that the Holy Spirit was wiser than they." An observation that applies just as well to those who who cannot understand how God could have created in just 6 days.

Dave Sugg
Semper Lectio

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

Quote:
The issue, I think, goes back to where Theology has evolved (excuse the term). The Hermeneutical and Theological price for those alternate interpretations seems to be something that quickly becomes antithetical to the fundamentals of the faith, regardless of the intent of the person who starts looking down those pathways. It's a tough case to make: to me, they must prove that Moses understood his own writings to be other than what they seem to be on the surface, and that Jesus also understood them to be different as well. Exodus 20:11 and Matthew 19:4-5 would suggest that they understood them exactly as most of us here do.

So, while I would welcome a place to debate these issues, I'm pretty sure SI should not be it, because I can't help but believe that most of the guys who reject 6 literal days have already or eventually will jettison the conservative perspective with regard to Scripture that is by definition required in a Fundamentalist.

After the March 2009 debate, Joel Tetreau asked me why I felt so strongly on this issue. The truth is that 6 literal days doesn’t matter so much to me as the issue of why people interpret it or don’t interpret it that way. I believe this represents fundamental (in the non- movement sense) underlying issues.


When a person comes to a "Fundamentalist" forum (whether the site is just hosted by Fundamentalists or membership is restricted to Fundamentalists or both) there are certain things you don't expect to find yourself debating. A literal 6 day creation would be one of them IMO. It's disconcerting when every time you bring up creation in a thread, someone pipes in with an evolutionary perspective which you then have to address in relation to your topic.

The specificity of the DS cuts both ways- it can feel restrictive to some, but it also keeps the Christian nudist werewolves out.

For purposes of productive conversation, there are a few things you want to be able to take for granted in a forum. However, debate and discussion can still take place even when certain theories are not being forcefully argued, and the second tier DS would allow moderators to put the brakes on when false doctrine is being presented as fact without limiting the membership (most people don't read the DS or Comment Policy anyway- they check the boxes when they sign up and until they post something outrageous we really don't know what they believe).

I think the bottom line depends on what you want to be able to take for granted when you come here to discuss various issues.

Alex Guggenheim's picture

One does not have to hold to a young earth view in order to hold to a young humanity view including the unique creation of Adam. The age of the earth and the uniqueness of the creation of Adam should not be viewed as synonymous.

Mike Durning's picture

Susan R ][quote wrote:
The specificity of the DS cuts both ways- it can feel restrictive to some, but it also keeps the Christian nudist werewolves out.

Speaking of which, watch for the new "Twilight" Sunday School Curriculum. I've seen no adds, but it's just a matter of time, really.

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

Alex Guggenheim wrote:
One does not have to hold to a young earth view in order to hold to a young humanity view including the unique creation of Adam. The age of the earth and the uniqueness of the creation of Adam should not be viewed as synonymous.

It's sometimes taken for granted that a 6-day literal creation and young earth creationism are synonymous and the terms are used interchangeably. The distinction would be important if any changes were made to the DS.

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

Mike Durning ][quote=Susan R wrote:
Quote:
The specificity of the DS cuts both ways- it can feel restrictive to some, but it also keeps the Christian nudist werewolves out.

Speaking of which, watch for the new "Twilight" Sunday School Curriculum. I've seen no adds, but it's just a matter of time, really.


I've already seen abstinence programs being marketed to churches based on Twilight. I don't think Satan has to worry about flinging fiery darts at us anymore- he just waves some fluff around and we put down the sword and shield to go chase butterflies. http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php ][img ]http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-confused001.gif[/img ]

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Perhaps, rather than compromise on the doctrinal statement, a compromise on posting could be made. If a person who does not fully agree with the doctrinal statement still wants to interact here, perhaps there could be a way to register as a guest. All the same information could be required, and a registered guest would be permitted to post. But, a registered guest would not be required to affirm the doctrinal statement and would be readily recognized in the forums as a dissenting visitor.

The only reason I bring this up is because I think the literal 6 day interpretation of Genesis is essential. It directly impacts many aspects of the rest of Scripture. And, as someone else pointed out earlier, it indirectly indicates they way other parts of Scripture are often interpreted.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Susan R wrote:
it also keeps the Christian nudist werewolves out.

This would be another great reason to add registered guests who are not members.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Chip, variations of your idea have been talked about, too. We're not talking about "compromising" the DS though (the C word is sort of like cursing the whole thing! Smile ). There is currently nothing about creation at all in the DS.

Part of what makes it difficult to identify a healthy change is the fact that there are so many options and ways of looking at them. One way to look at our choices...

  1. Use the DS as a membership standard
  2. Use the DS as a posting standard

    And then we have lots of alternatives under each heading.

    Currently we use the DS as a membership standard, so one sub-option going forward is to add a second tier doctrinal statement that describes/prescribes what the site leadership believes.

    But an alternative is to recharacterize the DS as a "what you cannot post contrary to" standard. That's been talked about some.
    I'm not sure that the second approach really makes all that much of a difference since we already use the DS as a posting standard and having it as a membership standard as well just makes using as a posting standard easier: because members say they agree with it and self-moderate.

    But to get back to Chip's idea, I don't think an occasional guest poster would be a problem at all and could help keep the sort of tension we want going in a way that is less likely to cause any confusion about where "SI" stands.

    djsugg wrote:
    those who who cannot understand how God could have created in just 6 days.
    I'm sure there are some of those, but most of what I'm seeing is folks who are not struggling with whether God could have but whether He did.
Daniel's picture

Do all your churches have a statement about YEC? I would find it odd if SI were to require more than the church you attend. I took a look at a few churches in our area and one back home, as well as a few schools. I would find it a bit ironic that a site like SI, which is not a church, would have a stricter doctrinal statement than our churches.

Here are a few institutions that have different statements concerning creation:
BJU I believe in the creation of man by the direct act of God http://www.bju.edu/welcome/who-we-are/creed-mission.php
SBC Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image. He created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation (http://www.sbc.net/bfm/bfm2000.asp)
GARBC 6 day http://www.garbc.org/?page_id=31
Lutheran (Missouri Synod) 6 day http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=565
RC position, (I just find it interesting) as far as I can tell has two points, 1) the human soul is always created by God, not passed down 2) no matter how anything in this world was created or developed it will always have its roots in God being the initial creator of all things.

Aaron, in regards to your last comment about whether or not He did create in 6 literal days, I would also add there are those who simply believe that the Bible may have a very strong bent towards a 6 day creation, but it is not a science text book and therefore should not be interpreted as such. For example, I don't think Moses' intent for ch1 was to teach a literal 6 day creation (YEC). I think it was meant to teach who Yahweh is and that He is the creator of all things, as the Nicene Creed says. But I do think those who espouse something other than a YEC have an uphill battle to prove their theory.

And again, I believe very strongly in YEC.

Pastor Harold's picture

I hear a lot of "I don't think" & "I just feel". It is what it is; the Word of God. This is a "Fundamental" truth: The Bible is God's word. It is not based on feels and trying to fit everyone else's mold. Should we as fundamentalist be debating the literal translation of scripture? I am not an IFBX pastor, but come on, who are we trying to include or exclude? I don't mean to be harsh, but this was an easy choice for me when I voted yesterday. I must say, I was surprised to see 22 comments since yesterday. I am a little shocked that is all.

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

Daniel wrote:
Do all your churches have a statement about YEC? I would find it odd if SI were to require more than the church you attend. I took a look at a few churches in our area and one back home, as well as a few schools. I would find it a bit ironic that a site like SI, which is not a church, would have a stricter doctrinal statement than our churches.

I don't know about that, Bro. Daniel. A church has members, faithful attendees, and visitors in the congregation. They often require someone interested in membership to agree to the church's DS and constitution, and membership is usually necessary for any kind of active participation in a ministry. If a person desires a teaching position, I would venture to say that there are further requirements so that the church leadership feels assured that proper doctrine (or at least teachings consistent with what is held to be essential by church leadership) is going to be presented to the various classes. But I strongly avoid and discourage any comparison of SI to the local church. We're more like a Christian version of Starbucks... without the expensive coffee, heart attack inducing desserts, and the Top 40 soundtrack. We don't really have the same purpose or function or type of leadership as a church, so the criteria for participation can be different without it being ironic or contradictory.

SI is visited thousands of times each month. Some come here simply to read, some register for the forums but do not participate, others register and then actively post in the forums. What we are looking at is how we can best facilitate productive discussions/debates on a variety of topics, controversial and otherwise, while still standing for what we believe are "Fundamentals". If you think that's easy, then come over here for a minute so I can beat you over the head with my Swiffer mop.

SI states "Our mission is to sharpen our fellow Christians through articles and forum discussions, providing ideas and news from a Christian, biblical, fundamentalist worldview. We desire to bring fundamentalist Christian brothers and sisters together for mutual edification." That begs the question- is a 6 day literal creation account as described by Scripture (and reinforced elsewhere) essential to discussing ideas and news from a Christian, biblical, fundamentalist worldview?

I'm leaning towards allowing people to register for the forums who can sign off on a very basic "Fundamental" DS- but to not allow sustained and forceful debate on anything that violates a more specific DS- basically the two-tier approach. Seems fair to me without being stifling.

Daniel's picture

My point was not that SI could not have a more strict DS. What I was saying was, we are trying to define what a fundamental of the faith is while some of our churches and leading schools have less in their DS about the creation of the universe. That to me is the ironic part.

This is not to say there may not be an unwritten guideline, or a base understanding at a church or school. But if that is the case, then just let it be the unwritten guideline on SI. But don't require members or posters to sign off on it. I have yet been asked (granted, only 4 churches) whether or not I believe in a literal 6 day creation. Why? because I don't believe it has ever been considered fundamental to the faith.(at least by the majority)

Mike Durning's picture

Daniel wrote:
For example, I don't think Moses' intent for ch1 was to teach a literal 6 day creation (YEC).

Complex statement there, Daniel.

Moses surely intended to combat incorrect creation myths (Egyptian, most immediately) by revealing a unique creation account for the actual creation made by the one true God.
As such, his primary purpose was a spiritual one.
But unless one wishes to say that he was creating yet another creation myth to serve purposes of his own religion, then our doctrine of Inspiration as well as our understanding of the nature of prophecy/revelation ought to lead us to the conclusion that the creation story he reveals is a true one.

So the details are incidental to the story, but this makes them no less accurate.

Illustration: If I wish to write a report on a bridge collapse caused by defective engineering, with a goal of rebuking a careless engineer or engineering firm, I might give details. My purpose is to critique shoddy engineering. The details, however, must be true.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Daniel wrote:
Do all your churches have a statement about YEC?

Mine does! I know because I helped write it.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Daniel's picture

Mike, I agree that it was written to combat other religion's myths. Where I think we diverge is whether or not certain 'details' change the purpose.

I know all analogies break down at some point, but I think the details in the bridge collapse would actually be what you are critiquing to show a faulty construction. In other words, the bolts were not used properly, therefore bad engineering. In the same way I would say, the details of ch1 are he created the heavens, the Earth, the Moon, stars, light, dark, water, earth, plants, animals, male, female, etc. Therefore, God is the creator of all things.

I also agree that inspiration should lead us to conclude the creation story is a true one. Who is saying it is false? They have other issues than YEC if they believe it to be false.

Chip, my question was more rhetorical, but thanks for answering. Smile (I wasn't very clear that it was rhetorical) Part of my point was, before we jump on the wagon and say lets add this to SI, perhaps we should look at our churches and colleges and find out why it is not in their DS. Obviously some churches (yours for example) believe it to be fundamental, but others don't. (even though they probably would not teach anything other than YEC)

Joel Tetreau's picture

1) If YEC is a fundamental....it's been made to be one just recently. So what does that say about the body of Christ for the last 1950 years? Let me say that another way....many of the fathers and church leaders and even the first run of "fundamentalists" did not have a consistent 6 day, young-earth view of Genesis 1. So I'm not saying SI can't add it to our statement. I could sign it.....but is it (and by "it" I mean not just the fact that God created but that He did it the way we interpret Genesis 1) really an equal doctrine to the diety of Christ, virgin birth, Salvation by faith, etc.....

2) Not all denial of the YE246 view is the same. Those that deny YE246 because their Science is on equal footing with Scripture are flawed. How about those that truly believe based on linguistics and a certain view of hermemeutics (that does not violate orthodoxy) that an Old earth is possible within the text?

3) I also voted with #2

4) What's the purpose here? If the purpose is to really make SI a place where just militant fundamentalists (Type A), moderate fundamentalists (Type Cool and mild fundamentalists/conservative evangelicals with a "tude" (Type C) to be comfortable - then add it, sign it and you'll take SI further in that direction. If you want to foster this as a place where more diversity is allowed and encouraged, you'll not add this to the paperwork.

For me I'm OK either way. Straight Ahead! and may the "force" be with you!

jt

Dr. Joel Tetreau serves as Senior Pastor, Southeast Valley Bible Church (sevbc.org); Regional Coordinator for IBL West (iblministry.com), Board Member & friend for several different ministries;

Jay's picture

I'd just like to note that all of you now know some of what goes on behind the scenes (in regards to what our DS is / should be, our tier 1/tier 2 discussion about what is expected of members and what we (as a site) stand for, and the discussion back and forth about whether or not we should put 6x24x7 as a doctrinal point). Basically, we struggle with this stuff too. It's not a matter of someone saying 'hey, let's_____________________ and the rest of us bobbing our heads up and down saying "Yeah, great idea!" Sometimes, someone makes a suggestion, and they get "horrible idea!" as a reply from the rest of us.

I'm speaking tongue in cheek, of course, but sometimes I do think that people who either are here or who have left don't understand that we want to make this a welcoming place for legitimate Fundamental Christians, but (as Susan noted above) we do want to keep Christian Nudist Werewolves out...we are a family friendly site, after all :p. We also prefer to keep Roman Catholics, liberals, and avowed atheists out too (and yes, they do register for the site even though they don't agree with us). Our perception of what is "Fundamental" can (and does!) vary slightly from team member to team member, and I think that it's good to 'pull back the veil' from time to time so that you all catch a peek of what it might be like from the nuts and bolts side.

BTW, discussion / defense of YEC or 6x24x7 or other views of creation should probably be moved to a new thread Smile

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

Bro. Joel- I was thinking as I read your post- isn't Fundamentalism itself a reaction to what some viewed as an attack on sound doctrine? IMO, the focus on creationism in recent years is a similar reaction. It hasn't been a fundamental because most folks didn't accept evolution as they do now. Sometimes it isn't necessary to take a stand until something is under attack.

While on the one hand, some might be reluctant to equate 24/6 creationism as a fundamental in the same sense as the virgin birth or salvation by grace thru faith- but the hermeneutical hokey-pokey one has to do to allow for views such as theistic evolution does make it fundamental. It isn't so much what one has to affirm, but what one has to deny to make other theories work.

Mike Durning's picture

Joel Tetreau wrote:

2) Not all denial of the YE246 view is the same. Those that deny YE246 because their Science is on equal footing with Scripture are flawed. How about those that truly believe based on linguistics and a certain view of hermemeutics (that does not violate orthodoxy) that an Old earth is possible within the text?

Joel raises an important point. Though I did specify that WHY someone denies "YE246" is more important to me than the fact that they do, I suppose there are people somewhere who deny it for purely linguistic or interpretive reasons internal to the text. But it seems to me that the current environment has caused the body of Christ to imagine this issue from about every angle possible. We're left with 2 basic groups, I suspect: 1). I accept the face value reading of 6 literal days, or 2). I deny it because the evidence is overwhelmingly against it in modern thought and science.

2 is by default a non-Fundamental, non-Biblical, non-Orthodox way of reading the text.

So, how about it fellows? Are any of you out there who do not believe in 6 literal days willing to claim that you arrived at your opinion completely independent of any modern evolutionary influences? If so, can you claim that the people who developed the theory you espouse were similarly independent of such issues. Because if your theory arises from someone desperately trying to come up with a way to avoid looking like a Neanderthal by holding to Creationism [ironic, isn't it? ], then that calls into question their objectivity of interpretation.

Convince me, and I'll change my vote.

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

Jay C. wrote:
I'm speaking tongue in cheek, of course, but sometimes I do think that people who either are here or who have left don't understand that we want to make this a welcoming place for legitimate Fundamental Christians, but (as Susan noted above) we do want to keep Christian Nudist Werewolves out...we are a family friendly site, after all :p. We also prefer to keep Roman Catholics, liberals, and avowed atheists out too (and yes, they do register for the site even though they don't agree with us). Our perception of what is "Fundamental" can (and does!) vary slightly ...

Ya'll think I'm kidding about the Christian nudist werewolf, but I'm not. I used to be a moderator on a Christian forum that had a nicely generic DS, but membership only required that you agree not to argue against the DS, not that you agree with it (in addition to not requiring real names- just a handle and an email address).

You'd think you could take certain things for granted on a Christian forum, but there was a thread where someone began to argue for nudism- based on the fact that it was consistent with God's original design, and once you are saved you are 'redeemed from the curse of the law' and you become 'innocent' again and blahblahblah. There were also threads about vampirism and werewolves, and one of the members (who also argued in favor of Christian nudism) is a therianthrope (as opposed to a lycanthrope) and http://community-2.webtv.net/WolfVanZandt/TheTherianTimeline/ has a website to advocate for the therian community. He's a really nice guy too. I've 'known' him in the virtual world for about 12 years.

Sooooo- do we need a statement in the DS about nudism and therianism? No- not only because you can't cover every crazy little doctrine that someone might hold to, but because our membership standards and the registration process allows you to take certain things for granted here at SI when you are having a conversation with someone you don't know personally. Even so, Wolf (for example) could sign up here and we wouldn't know he was a therianthrope until he posted something about his beliefs... or my Spidey-sense started tingling and I did a search on his name.

I say all that because the DS, membership standards, and SI's policies have implications that you might not have considered, and IMO it's worth mulling over in light of the nature of forum communication.

MikeC's picture

Exegetically, the six creation "days" of Genesis 1 can only be taken in their normal, literal, 24-hour sense:

1) The preceding phrase “there was evening and there was morning” indicates a normal rotation of the earth – one cyclical day (with the divine Source of light)
2) Hebrew "yom" with numerical adjectives in Hebrew ALWAYS refers to a 24-hour, normal day
3) Comparing the order of the week in Ex 20:8-11 with the creation week confirms this normal interpretaion of "day"
4) Genesis 1 distinguishes between “day,” “night,” “morning,” “evening,” “years,” and “seasons” (different Hebrew terms)

So if the language plainly indicates literal, 24-hour days, what's the real motivation for "analogizing" or "poeticizing" (sp?) God's Holy Word?

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Quote:
1) If YEC is a fundamental....it's been made to be one just recently. So what does that say about the body of Christ for the last 1950 years?
This is a great question because it highlights the need for "serious believers of the Bible" (by whatever label) to develop doctrine in response to the errors of the day. What I'm saying is that adding something to "the fundamentals" doesn't necessarily say anything about our predecessors other than "Nobody was dealing with this particular problem at the time."

I also believe this partly answers Daniel's observations. Was Moses' trying to say "six and only six days"? Well, truly he has a larger theological point (as does the Spirit in inspiring that text), but at the time nobody was suggesting things evolved naturally or that the world was millions and millions of years old. So, no, I don't think he was speaking to that question specifically, yet, the text includes a six day sequence where one is really not necessary if the point is nothing more than "God is the creator."

I don't think we should handle Gen.1 "like a science textbook," but it doesn't follow that we have to handle it reductionistically either. The details that are there are really there and God could certainly have omitted them if they were unimportant. He didn't choose to do that.

Of course, whether 6x24 is correct or not is a separate question from whether we should add it to the site DS. But it is certainly not unrelated.

Edit: just read this over at the http://www.garbc.org/?page_id=31 ]GARBC articles of faith .... interesting for what it includes and doesn't include

Quote:
We believe the Biblical account of the creation of the physical universe, angels, and man; that this account is neither allegory nor myth, but a literal, historical account of the direct, immediate creative acts of God without any evolutionary process; that man was created by a direct work of God and not from previously existing forms of life; and that all men are descended from the historical Adam and Eve, first parents of the entire human race. Genesis 1; 2; Colossians 1:16, 17; John 1:3.

Alex Guggenheim's picture

MikeC wrote:
Exegetically, the six creation "days" of Genesis 1 can only be taken in their normal, literal, 24-hour sense:

1) The preceding phrase “there was evening and there was morning” indicates a normal rotation of the earth – one cyclical day (with the divine Source of light)
2) Hebrew "yom" with numerical adjectives in Hebrew ALWAYS refers to a 24-hour, normal day
3) Comparing the order of the week in Ex 20:8-11 with the creation week confirms this normal interpretaion of "day"
4) Genesis 1 distinguishes between “day,” “night,” “morning,” “evening,” “years,” and “seasons” (different Hebrew terms)

So if the language plainly indicates literal, 24-hour days, what's the real motivation for "analogizing" or "poeticizing" (sp?) God's Holy Word?

Well it might be worth reading the views of others before questioning their motives. I realize you are firm in your conviction that there is nothing exegetical for you to learn that would change you mind on the matter but you still have an obligation to discover the arguments of others before approaching with aspersions regarding their motives.

Greg Long's picture

Alex Guggenheim wrote:
MikeC wrote:
Exegetically, the six creation "days" of Genesis 1 can only be taken in their normal, literal, 24-hour sense:

1) The preceding phrase “there was evening and there was morning” indicates a normal rotation of the earth – one cyclical day (with the divine Source of light)
2) Hebrew "yom" with numerical adjectives in Hebrew ALWAYS refers to a 24-hour, normal day
3) Comparing the order of the week in Ex 20:8-11 with the creation week confirms this normal interpretaion of "day"
4) Genesis 1 distinguishes between “day,” “night,” “morning,” “evening,” “years,” and “seasons” (different Hebrew terms)

So if the language plainly indicates literal, 24-hour days, what's the real motivation for "analogizing" or "poeticizing" (sp?) God's Holy Word?

Well it might be worth reading the views of others before questioning their motives. I realize you are firm in your conviction that there is nothing exegetical for you to learn that would change you mind on the matter but you still have an obligation to discover the arguments of others before approaching with aspersions regarding their motives.
Alex, can you refute Mike's points? Or point to a resource that makes a direct refutation of them based on exegetical grounds?

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Jim's picture

Jay made a good comment http://www.sharperiron.org/forum/poll-should-si-add-young-earth-creation... ]above

Jay C. wrote:
BTW, discussion / defense of YEC or 6x24x7 or other views of creation should probably be moved to a new thread Smile

The purpose of this thread is to discuss this point: Should SI add young earth creationism to its doctrinal statement?. So let's stick to that point!

My view is http://www.sharperiron.org/forum/poll-should-si-add-young-earth-creation... ]here . Since that time I have voted.

Ed Vasicek's picture

Don't you think it would be kind of weird for SI to narrow our doctrinal statement so that many of the great fundamentalists of the past would not be welcome? You know, the old gap theory Scofield crowd -- remember them?

We have to draw the line somewhere, but where we draw the line for discussion can be broader that what we would tolerate in our churches. For example, I would not tolerate a guest speaker in our church who would try to convince our folks of infant baptism, because we do not believe it and do not find it a tolerable teaching (I would allow him if he avoided that subject, assuming he embraced the fundamentals).

It seems to me like discussion has died down on SI -- we don't want it to turn into one of the many virtually deserted discussion boards, do we? BTW, it was not only after the theory of evolution evolved (don't you love my play on words) that people began thinking the text of Genesis could be taken broadly. Here are some quotes from a Jewish Midrash from the middle ages:

From Genesis Rabbah:

Quote:
Other worlds were created and destroyed ere this present one was decided on as a permanent one.

Quote:
It is forbidden to inquire what existed before creation, as Moses distinctly tells us (Deut. iv. 32): "Ask now of the days that are past which were before thee, since the day God created man upon earth." Thus the scope of inquiry is limited to the time since the Creation.

I agree, heremeneutically, that a literal 6 day creation seems likely. But is that a fundamental? I think not.

"The Midrash Detective"

Alex Guggenheim's picture

Greg

I am surprised you are unfamiliar with any arguments contrary to his views. The thread isn't devoted to debating the issue from what I understand so I will forgo the debate for now. It might surprise you that I may well indeed agree with his exegesis. The point isn't the issue of exegesis, though it has been rebutted by those whose arguments rightfully cannot be impulsively dismissed, rather it is his wholesale questioning of the motives of those who disagree with his views. This certainly is not a path toward the valid consideration of any issue. He might find, on a case by case basis, some with bad motives but such bad intentions must be proven and not merely on the basis of disagreeing with exegesis and certainly not in a wholesale fashion that is without prior discovery.

Ron Bean's picture

In addressing creation, the Westminster Confession uses the term "in the space of six days" in both the Confession and the longer and Shorter Catechisms. That seems to make the belief in 6/24 awfully close to an historic fundamental.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Greg Long's picture

Alex Guggenheim wrote:
Greg

I am surprised you are unfamiliar with any arguments contrary to his views. The thread isn't devoted to debating the issue from what I understand so I will forgo the debate for now. It might surprise you that I may well indeed agree with his exegesis. The point isn't the issue of exegesis, though it has been rebutted by those whose arguments rightfully cannot be impulsively dismissed, rather it is his wholesale questioning of the motives of those who disagree with his views. This certainly is not a path toward the valid consideration of any issue. He might find, on a case by case basis, some with bad motives but such bad intentions must be proven and not merely on the basis of disagreeing with exegesis and certainly not in a wholesale fashion that is without prior discovery.

I didn't say I was unfamiliar with any arguments contrary to his views. I simply have not heard any convincing arguments to the contrary that are based on the text and that address these fundamental exegetical considerations.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Greg Linscott's picture

As I see it, SI is a bigger umbrella than this one issue- and I am a staunch YECist. I hold similar convictions about Baptism- yet, I don't believe SI should add credobaptism to its doctrinal requirements. I know for a fact that one of the elderly professors who was at FBBC when I attended held to the Gap Theory. I don't think that sitting under him was particularly harmful. I would ask what the particular damage would be allowing a diversity of views on this matter- there are plenty of other areas where such latitude has been granted in the past. If we went back a couple of generations or so, I am sure that there would have been a much higher percentage of self-identified Fundamentalists that did not hold a clear YEC position as most do today- if for no other reason than the prevalence of the Scofield Bible. I am by no means saying it shouldn't be an issue of importance in other contexts (it is a defining issue in the church association our congregation is in, for example). But for the purposes of online discussion, I believe the diversity would be acceptable.

That being said, I could understand if SI leadership would desire to implement a more specific statement in this area for those who submit front page articles or appear in the blogroll, for example.

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Joel Tetreau's picture

I agree with both Greg and Ed on this. If we are trying to be as wide as fundamentalism is.....you don't add this. If we're wanting to "correct" fundamentalism than do it, but understand we have turned a new page here at SI. In the past we've been an open forum and while we've allowed individuals to challenge the movement (and that's cool because SI gave me a forum to challenge the movement about making personal preference issues the same as Biblical orthodoxy, leadership, decision-making, hyper-fundamentalism, et. al.), I'm not sure that as an "SI group" we've made it a point to "put fundamentalism in it's place." From Susan and Aaron's comments, it's almost as if we, SI, are now going to run to the rescue of these poor "would-be" fundamentalists that apparenlty just haven't been able to think their way through basic theology and it's relationship to this issue. It smacks a little "off" at least to me - and don't forget - I'm a young earth, 6 day kind of a guy. Frankly I'm very sure that having a healthy view of the text of Scripture (vis-a-vis not having a certain view of a certain English Translation) is much more important than Young Earth vs. Other views. And yet SI has been hesitant to directly take on the KJV only crowd. Taking an SI stand against blatant Arminianism and anti-Lordship Salvation [redacted slightly ] is more important than this.....and yet we've not done that (as a group). Here at SI, we've not even taken a group stand against the sacramental view bouncing in some of our "extreem" ministries that view the blood of Jesus as having some non-human mystical element that was sprinkled on a literal thrown in Heaven (cfc - this kind of sacramentalism would result in a hearty "amen!" from the Pope). The young earth view is a good view. I believe it is the best view. Historically it's not been the "only view" within Fundamentalism....and for good reason. There is enough "wiggle room" to allow an older earth reality than the time-table recorded in my Grandfather's Scofield's Study Bible. Gang, this simply is not a fundamental. Now that doesn't mean we can't add it to the doctoral statement. I think we've added a few other "belief's" that are not "fundamentals" in the narrow sense of the word. It's all good....I'll be joyful no matter what we decide. "Hurray for our team!" You know.

Straight Ahead,

Joel

Edited slightly to remove someone's name who might feel personally attacked--though that was not the intent

Dr. Joel Tetreau serves as Senior Pastor, Southeast Valley Bible Church (sevbc.org); Regional Coordinator for IBL West (iblministry.com), Board Member & friend for several different ministries;

Pages