"In the several years since we initially received this question, young-earth creationists have produced many new materials....We have updated the answer with newer resources that will be of interest to those, like Tony, with questions about apologetics, intelligent design, and good resources to share with skeptics." - AiG
"Old Testament scholar and old-earth creationist C. John Collins argues that the lack of the refrain 'evening and morning' on the seventh day is a reason not to understand it as an ordinary day and therefore “makes us question whether the other days are supposed to be ordinary in their length.'" - AiG
"On June 5, 2018, a self-described Christian and professor of chemistry published a provocative blog post titled 'Talking Science as Christians.' The author, 'RJS,' under the guise of offering advice from a career in science, took young-earth creation (YEC) to task and sharply rebuked it." AiG
Having given reasons why young earth theology is essential to Christian doctrine as a whole, I now turn to a very popular argument that has been used against raising creationism to such a level. In 2004, Al Mohler wrote an influential article calling for theological triage.30 In that article, Mohler likens the sorting of doctrines according to priority with triage of variously ill patients in a medical emergency room. More serious injuries or illnesses are prioritized for faster response, whereas minor injuries are pushed toward the back of the line. Similarly, a doctrinal prioritization is visible in the historical development of doctrine in church history. Mohler calls for such sorting in today’s debates over doctrine and in the arrangement of churches and fellowships.
As a corrective to overreaction, Mohler wrote this in his article:
Up to this point in this essay, I have argued for the importance of each of the nine elements to young earth theology. The collection of these elements and their cohesion together define young earth theology. If any of these are taken away, the view ceases to be a young-earth view.
From this young earther’s perspective, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of leeway in the matter. I cannot imagine a young earth creationist view that doesn’t rest on literal hermeneutics, that doesn’t include supernaturalism, that leaves God out of the creation of some parts of the universe, that takes longer than six days, that dates creation to billions of years ago, that doesn’t posit a literal Adam, that chalks up death to something other than sin, that doesn’t have a global deluge, or even worse that suggests Scripture is insufficient as our rule of faith and practice.
Some of these characteristics can be affirmed by non-YET views of creation. The fact that they are not then “distinguishing characteristics” does not mean that they cannot be “essential characteristics” for the YET view. For instance, someone could affirm belief in comprehensive creation, or in the method of supernatural direct acts of God without affirming belief in full-orbed young earth creationism.
Somewhat paradoxically, the evolutionary model makes death an important ingredient for life even though it cannot really explain why death came about or why it was necessary to begin with. Without continued death of the unfit and repeated “experiments” that result in death, life cannot arise or continue. Biblical theology teaches an entirely different idea. The creation was initially perfect, but then sin intruded.
Sin caused the Fall of mankind and death came as a consequence of sin. Thus death came about only after the Fall. We have to believe this if we are to take Romans 5:12 seriously: “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death [came into the world] through sin.”25
One of the purposes of the Genesis text is to explain where death comes from. God through Moses is giving to later generations the precise cause of death. Everyone experiences death of loved ones, but apart from the Genesis history of creation, they may wonder why death happens. The plain explanation of Scripture is that death occurs because of sin.