Essential Elements of Young Earth Creationism and Their Importance to Christian Theology (Part 6)

From DBSJ. This installment discusses the fifth and sixth of nine essentials of YEC. Read the series.

(5) Young Age

Creation was, in a word, recent. The universe is young relative to the standard scientific model. The earth, and all of creation, is on the order of 6,000 to 10,000 years old. We don’t have detailed information to provide more significant digits to those numbers. But we can provide a couple of important details.

First, the young age of the universe is a distinguishing and essential characteristic of YET. No other views hold to a young earth, as the comparison chart in the opening section of this essay showed.

Second, when we correlate the creation of humanity on the sixth day of the earth’s existence with the key scriptural data on the age of the earth—the genealogical records—we can arrive at a close estimate of the age of the earth. Travis Freeman’s article21 suggests that there are two types of genealogies, which he calls “regular” genealogies and “chronogenealogies.” The latter are important witnesses to the age of the earth because they can be stitched together with relative ease to show the distance of time from Adam to the flood. The numbers in the genealogies, Freeman argues, must be there for some reason and must, because of the doctrine of inerrancy, be accurate.22

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Essential Elements of Young Earth Creationism and Their Importance to Christian Theology, Part 5

From DBSJ. This installment discusses the fourth of nine essentials of YEC. Read the series.

(4) Six-Day Duration

One of the most repeated and universal experiences of human existence is the passing of a day. It is natural that God would define what a day is in the portion of his self-disclosure that describes his creation; there would be no better place to do so, in fact.

McCabe’s Case for Literal Days

Robert McCabe’s afore-mentioned “Defense of Literal Days” is an important read on this subject. He develops his defense of six 24-hour days in two sections.

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Essential Elements of Young Earth Creationism and Their Importance to Christian Theology, Part 4

From DBSJ. This installment continues consideration of the first of 9 Essentials of YEC: the literal hermeneutic, then takes up Essential 2 and Essenetial 3. Read the series.

Literal Approach to Genesis

Beyond reasonable dispute, Genesis 1–2 should be understood as narrative in form. McCabe’s lengthy treatment of the framework theory emphasizes that the alleged figurative nature of the creation account cannot square with the data that proves the text is a narrative text.17 Boyd’s statistical analysis buttresses this conclusion.18 Since the text is narrative, there are no clues given to the reader that there is any other sense that is plainer than the literal, narrative sense.

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Essential Elements of Young Earth Creationism and Their Importance to Christian Theology, Part 3

"Earthrise." NASA photo, Apollo 8.

By Matthew A. Postiff, from DBSJ. Read the series.

Non-Essentials of Young Earth Theology

Although various authors over the past decades have expressed strong beliefs in one or the other details of young earth theology, many such details are extraneous to the system, mainly because of limited biblical revelation. In this section, I briefly list a few such details that are not essential to young earth creationism.

For instance, it is not necessary to believe in an exact age of the earth, such as 6,000 years, or to adhere to Ussher’s Chronology. Dogmatism on the precise age is not necessary as long as the age is “young.”13 It is not required that one be dogmatic on an absolute absence of gaps or missing names in the Genesis genealogies.

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Essential Elements of Young Earth Creationism and Their Importance to Christian Theology (Part 2)

"Earthrise." NASA photo, Apollo 8.

From DBSJ. Read the series. Part 2 continues the Spectrum of Views on Creation begun in Part 1.

Scientific Creationism

Compared to biblical creation views, scientific creationist views expand the role of science in the understanding of creation. The views that fall under this heading are normally connected with a uniformitarian view of earth history that extends billions of years, punctuated by occasional catastrophic events.9 These are old-earth understandings of creation. The scientific views are different in another way from biblical creation: most do not posit a completed creation. The processes of creation (evolution) are ongoing today in most of the following views and therefore there is no “completion” or “cessation” of creation as there is in the biblical creation views.

The day-age view is an old-earth explanation that teaches that the six days of creation were not regular days but rather were a sequence of geological ages, giving time for the several-billion year age of the earth taught by secular science.

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Essential Elements of Young Earth Creationism and Their Importance to Christian Theology (Part 1)

"Earthrise." NASA photo, Apollo 8.

From DBSJ 21 (2016): 31–58. Republished with permission.

Matthew A. Postiff1

For about 15 years I have had the privilege of studying under William Combs, Bruce Compton, and Robert McCabe. More recently, I have benefited from their advice concerning local church ministry and their mentorship as I assisted two of them in their teaching responsibilities at Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary. Their interaction as personal friends has been a great encouragement. I am indebted to all of them for their careful and conservative scholarship in exegetical, biblical and systematic theology as well as the biblical languages. I trust this essay will be a fitting honor to them as I offer further support for one of Dr. McCabe’s areas of special interest: the important biblical doctrine of young earth creationism.

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Review - Darwin's House of Cards

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The widespread public acceptance of biological evolution in Darwin’s day was probably a product of the simultaneous faith in Progress. Darwin’s theory was accepted as readily as it was because it shared in the general belief that things were getting better. It’s not that the organisms themselves were being swept along, but that European and then American intellectuals believed that everything was improving. (256)

This is the way Tom Bethell ends his entertaining book attacking the reigning scientistic consensus of evolution. Darwin’s House of Cards is a fully up-to-date survey of the mechanics and effects of evolutionary theory — a theory which Karl Popper concluded was “not a testable scientific theory, but a metaphysical research program” (14).

As to the general optimism which provided the conditions for the enthusiastic acceptance of Darwinism in the middle of the nineteenth century, Bethell writes,

[A]s I hope to show in the following chapters, the science of neo-Darwinism was poor all along, and supported by very few facts. I have become ever more convinced that, although Darwinism has been promoted as science, its unstated role has been to prop up a philosophy – the philosophy of materialism – and atheism along with it. (20)

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