Doubting God’s Word from the Very First Word


So many times, I’ve engaged Christians who doubt Genesis and don’t really see any consequences for their disbelief.

Oh, I know. They wouldn’t call it disbelief. They’d just say that we’ve just misinterpreted it. Yet it is clear to even the smallest child that the intent of the Author of Genesis [and of the remainder of the Bible] is that the world was created in just 6 days. It is in light of evolutionary science that they feel that the Bible must’ve been misinterpreted until Lyell and Darwin came along to set us straight. Right?

They’ve imposed the word of fallible, finite men who weren’t there [and who are admittedly antagonistic to the very idea of God in most cases and whose methods are fraught with assumptions] onto the revealed Word of an infallible, infinite God who was there – and they think that’s rightly dividing the Word of Truth? Such an account these men shall have to give before God!

God takes a low view of those who speak on His behalf and say that He is saying things when He’s said nothing of the sort! He certainly took a low view of such false prophets in the Old Testament. The book of Revelation ends with a warning not to add or take away from His Word.

It seems their ultimate authority is not God’s Word, but rather the word of godless men – so long as it goes by the name of science.

These compromisers don’t seem to realize that Christ the Savior is also Christ the Creator. More to the point, if Genesis cannot be trusted, the sinner is right to question why he should trust any other part of the Bible, even when it says he must be saved. If Genesis is not trustworthy, then we must question whether Adam & Eve literally existed, whether they literally fell and imputed a sin debt upon all of Adam’s blood that required a literal scarifice from God’s literal Son to save us from a literal hell. Doubting Genesis is to doubt the foundational basis of the Gospel itself, not to mention the reliability of God’s revealed Word. And do you think that these authorities, whom you trust so much when you doubt the historicity of the miracle of a 6-day Creation as revealed by God Himself, do not, in the name of science, also doubt other miracles: that water can turn to wine, that the weather can be controlled at a word, that the sick can be healed and limbs can spontaneously regenerate, that the dead can be raised and that a man might be God Incarnate and also rise from the dead after three days?

Sinners know it. They see through this mugwumpery and know that they need not waste their time with a Gospel from a Book that can’t always be trusted.  For this is the impression they give by doubting the veracity of God’s word when He speaks to us about our origins in Genesis. They call God a liar on this count! Then He doubled the lie by making a 6-day Creation the basis of the 4th Commandment.  

Our children know it. They’re indoctrinated in long ages and evolution, but then read how God created everything in 6 days. They know both can’t be true. Logic gives us the Law of noncontradiction and of he excluded middle. They’ve no stomache for mugwumpery. Convinced of the truth of long ages and evolution by indoctrination in schools, reinforced by the media and the popular support of Big Science, then conceded by ministers who are more concerned with gaining the praise and approval of goats than with feeding sheep, it is little wonder that they leave the church in droves upon graduation from high school. Instead of defending the Bible [strating with Genesis], our ministers give them fuzzy notions, a soft-pedaled faith and either ignore or defend the monster in the living room as it slowly devours the next generation.

Their position makes strange bedfellows and causes strange fire to be preached from our pulpits.

I’d very much like to ask them, “Who’s side are you on anyway?”

Disgusted by disbelief,

Sirius Knott

–Sirius Knott

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32 Comments Add yours

  1. Kevin N says:

    As an old-Earth creationist, I follow in the footsteps of great defenders of the inerrancy of the Scriptures such as Francis Schaeffer, Charles Spurgeon, Charles Hodge, and B.B. Warfield. These men were not compromisers, but they were all accepting of an old Earth. They also held firmly to the Scriptures, as well as to the gospel.

    Answers in Genesis recently posted sermons by Charles Spurgeon on their web site. They actually had the audacity to edit at least one sermon to remove references to millions of years before Adam.

    The authors of the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy intentionally left out any statement on the age of the Earth. Their vote on this was almost unanimous. Though many of these leading conservative Biblical scholars themselves accept a young Earth, they knew that there are other valid understandings and that they could not be dogmatic on the issue.

    Why do so many of our young people leave church once they are on their own? I haven’t seen really good research on this, but I have no doubt that some of it is because they have been fed bad apologetics from young-Earth creationist organizations. Once they see that it just doesn’t work, many of them throw out their Christianity along with their Dr. Dino and AiG videos. Then whose fault is it?

    With respect,
    Kevin N

  2. Sirius says:

    Those guys are mostly sound. Spurgeon is, in fact, one of my heroes, as is CS Lewis. But as illustrated in the Bible, men of God who are otherwise right can be dead wrong sometimes. These men allowed for long ages, but they didn’t get this idea from the Bible! Long ages is an idea imposed upon the Bible’s clear assertion that God created everything in 6 days, an assertion which also forms the basis of the 4th Commandment.

    “If an old earth were really the teaching of Scripture, then one claim is glaringly conspicuous by its absence, that is, any claim in commentaries that the Bible unambiguously teaches long ages. Rather, the usual claim is that the biblical text appears on the surface to teach a young earth but may allow for an old earth. We never hear something like, ‘Yes, the decay of the earth’s magnetic field and rapid reversals seem to provide irrefutable proof of a young earth. But we mustn’t allow even the strongest science to overrule the clear teaching of the Word of God that the earth is billions of years old.’” –[Jonathan Sarfati, Refuting Compromise, pg 55.]

    ”It is apparent that the most straightforward understanding of the Genesis record, without regard to all the hermeneutical considerations suggested by science, is that God created heaven and earth in six solar days, that man was created on the sixth day, that death and chaos entered the world after the fall of Adam and Eve, and that all of the fossils were the result of the catastrophic universal deluge which spared only Noah’s family and the animals therewith.” [Pattle P.T. Pun, “A Theory of Progressive Creationism,” Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation (Vol. 39, March 1987), p. 14.]

    So to claim that they weren’t compromisers as a general pattern is one thing – it’s entirely misleading to say that they didn’t compromise Scripture at any given time for they certainly did in this case. Compromise may not have been their habit or modus operandi, but they were certainly capable of compromise in a single area.

    Spurgeon remains one of my heroes, as do King David, Noah and others from history, but that doesn’t mean I should ignore or emulate their errors.

    As for your latter assertion, I’ve commented on this lamentable trend before in Ex-Christians: The Evolution Factor. You’ll excuse me if I dismiss your accusation as a twist on “The smeller’s the feller,” as it were. We sound the alarm against apostasy and an abandonment of the Bible our authority as a result of public school indoctrination in evolution and widespread acceptance of old ages in the media and consensus science — and you claim it must be the defense that drives them away! I think you’ll find that casting doubt on the authority of God’s Word is a moe likely contributing factor to apostasy than defending its original and intended meaning.

    In any case, I hope God grants you repentance for wrongly dividing His revealed Word to suit the antiBiblical graspings of men who weren’t there and who mostly wish to disenfranchise religion entirely.

    -Sirius Knott

  3. geochristian says:

    Sirius:

    The young-Earth creationist argument that Earth’s magnetic field is decaying (thus proving a young Earth) is like measuring the brightness of the sky for an hour before and after sunset. If one extrapolated that brightness back even a few days, the Earth would be so hot that the oceans would boil. This would prove that Earth is only a few days old.

    We know that my sunset argument is bad because we observe that sunrises and sunsets are cyclical. Likewise, we know that the “magnetic decay” of the Earth has nothing to do with its age because there is a clear geological record of cyclicity in Earth’s magnetic polarity.

    It is not always improper to use our observation of the world to help us understand the Scriptures. In fact, we do it all of the time. Our knowledge of Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Roman history and customs has given many insights into our understanding of the Word, without undermining the Word’s authority in any way. If we didn’t do this, we would end up reading our culture into the Bible, which would lead to many misinterpretations.

    The same is true of science. A good example of where science helps us to understand Scripture is Psalm 104:5, which says, “He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved.” (ESV). Well, does the Earth move, or doesn’t it? If you say, “It moves,” then you have used science to shape your understanding of Scripture.

    I am not saying that science trumps Scripture. What I am saying is that both science and Scripture are true. If they seem to contradict each other, then either we don’t understand nature correctly, or we don’t understand the Bible correctly.

    I agree with Pun (an old-Earther) that the literal six-day interpretation is a straight-forward interpretation of the text. But it is not the only interpretation that can be supported from the text itself. Pun advocates a day-age, progressive creation approach, in which the days of Genesis 1 fit our understanding of Earth history quite nicely.

    The choice before us is this. Do we take the most straight-forward interpretation of Genesis combined with an understanding of Earth history that just simply does not work (for a number of reasons; I think AiG and ICR are wrong on just about everything they say about Earth history), or do we take a somewhat less-straight forward interpretation of Genesis (but one that still respects the text) combined with a valid scientific understanding of the world? I’ll take the Psalm 104:5 approach to this problem.

    I am not denying that evolution has been used to drive people away from Christian faith. I am not writing primarily about evolution here (though I really don’t think the Bible says much about evolution), but about the age of the Earth and the understanding of geologic history. What I am saying is that most of what comes out of the young-Earth creationism movement is a complete failure, and is an unnecessary and unfortunate stumbling block that keeps scientists from even considering Christianity as a possibility.

    The defense of the Bible does not drive our young people away. Bad defense of the Bible (e.g. the “magnetic decay” argument you referred to) will drive some of our young people away. They’ve had this kind of stuff drilled into their heads in our churches and Christian education system, and when they see that the argument is full of holes, they will throw out the baby with the bathwater.

    Again, whose fault will it be? Not the evolutionists’.

    With respect (especially for your high view of the Word),
    Kevin N

  4. I followed the young-earth stuff for about 10 years. But it does seem to have some theological difficulties. Young-earth creationists claim, as you do in this article, that the “plain reading” is obvious and the only possible way to read Genesis rightly. But another alternative is that the truth is much more sophisticated (a possibility worth considering since God is much greater and smarter than us, His children), and God has deliberately made the creation account a bit of a puzzle with which to test the spirit of His children. Historically other “plain truths” of the Bible have certainly been enigmatic in their time, even to the servants of God. The Old Testament revelations about the Messiah being the most obvious example. References:
    Eccl 8:17
    Daniel 12:8-9
    Matthew 13:16-17
    1 Peter 1:10-12
    Acts 11:1-18

    It would be a lot more obvious IF the Bible said this: “On the first day, God created the earth.” But, it doesn’t! That little nugget that I’d love to see just can’t be found. And its absence makes me think there’s more to the account than first meets the eye.

    I do dare to say that we should seek to harmonise science and the Bible—the apostle Paul said that the truth should be clearly seen from God’s creation (Romans 1:18-23) so maybe the problem isn’t science, but science being done by darkened minds. So the servants of God ought to be able to do “good science”, due to not being biased by an anti-God mentality. But doing “good science”, and being able to present something cohesive that can contend with the sheer volume of research that’s done by the mainstream science community, is a big task.

    1. Sirius says:

      @Craig McQueen:

      With all due respect, It says, that light was created on day one. the firmament on day two. the dry land and vegetation on day 3. The heavenly bodies on day 4. The fowl of the air and sea creatures on day 5. and man and land animals on day 6. How much more specific did you want God to get when He revealed His timetable to you?

      You dare to say the authority of the Word of God should submit to the authority of men who reject it and weren’t there anyway. How come you don’t start with God’s Word as your starting point since it hasn’t been corrupted as modern science has?

      Your attempts at making the plain teaching of Genesis somehow nebulous are in themselves nebulous.

      So God gives us a revelation of a 6-day Creation, understood by generations and its original audience as such. But he made it a puzzle to test us. He says trust me but you can’t trust His written Word? Um, look. If God is so much smarter than us [He is], why not just start taking His Word at face value instead of trying maintain the approval of goats?

      And perhaps you should explain how these passages you reference are in any way enigmatic.

      –Sirius Knott

  5. geochristian says:

    Sirius:

    You said, “You dare to say the authority of the Word of God should submit to the authority of men who reject it and weren’t there anyway. How come you don’t start with God’s Word as your starting point since it hasn’t been corrupted as modern science has?”

    God’s word is not corrupt, but human interpretations of it can be. I think you would agree. So, even those who suppose that they start with God’s word as their foundation can still blow it. I believe that the young-Earth creationists have done this over and over by dogmatically preaching scientific models that simply do not line up with what God has clearly revealed in his creation.

    With respect,
    Kevin N

    1. Sirius says:

      @Geochristian:

      Well, I certainly think YOUR interpretation is corrupt, if that’s what you mean.

      Look, the traditional view of Christendom has always been a Young Earth. “Clearly revealed in His creation,” you say…

      Here, you’ve forgotten something that your preacher should have drilled into your brain. Man is not infallible and facts have to be interpreted. The problem is that fallible man uses his assumptions to interpret the facts. If all we had were Creation, there’d be no issue. If Creation spoke for itself, there’s be no issue. But we interpret Creation. God didn’t want to leave our origins open to misinterpretation, so He revealed it to us via the Bible.

      Now, I honestly have no idea whether you believe the Bible or not. You’ve given little indication that you do or that you hold it as consistently authorative. On the other hand, you’ve given every indication that you do hold man’s grasping opinions about the world as authorative over the Bible whenever the two contradict one another. I again feel compelled to mention that you’re trusting the error-prone word of fallible, finite men who have rejected God and who weren’t there over the Word of an infinite, infallible God who was there, at least whenever the two contradict one another – so long as men make such claims in the name of science!

      In any case, you’re preacher should have stressed to you that even as Christians [esp those who aren’t looking to the Holy Spirit and His Word to guide them but are uncritically accepting the word of men who are largely antagonistic to God and His revealed Word instead] we have the ability to deceive ourselves. Too, the Creator – any creator – as an artist has the ability to create things fully formed, mature, having apparent but not actual age. Just as Da Vinci didn’t have to paint Mona Lisa as a baby and then wait for baby Mona Lisa to grow up on canvas, He can create things that according to everyday assumptions would appear mature. Having done this, and not wishing to deceive anyone [for God is not a man that He should lie] He revealed that He actually created the world in 6 days, eliminating all deception.

      You see, here’s the problem with your panel of experts: They didn’t take the Bible into consideration. At all. They ignored the Genesis revelation, so they didn’t have the whole picture. They had one side of the story [Creation], but were missing vital information that seriously calibrated the evidence because they chose to ignore God to begin with.

      You’re doing the same thing.

      The scientific model you’ve borrowed into your assumptions, created by men such as Lyell who rejected the Biblical part of the evidence ON PURPOSE, is in error. Not the plain teaching of Scripture. Worse, you’re ignoring what the Bible actually says and trying to make it say something completely different to fit this flawed scientific model.

      Did you know that Peter prophesied uniformitarianism and the effect it would have on people’s attitudes toward Creation and the world-wide Noachim Flood?

      “in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished.” 2 Peter 3:3-6

      I respectfully submit that your are on the wrong end of that prophecy. And I submit that this propchecy, which is fulfilled in uniformitarianism and its consequences for the doctrines of Biblical Creation and Catastrophism, also impugns those of you who help to propogate such this error. In other words, from the mouth of Peter, it is the Old earth Creationist with his trust in the extra-biblical error of uniformitarian geology who are identified with the scoffers rather than the believers.

      Again, who’s side are you on? Or do you know?

      These same scientists who reject the Word of God on matters of the age of the Earth, denying the possibility of a miraculous 6-day Creation just as they deny the Creator, also reject the possibility that Christ is the Creator and deny His miracles, including the resurrection, wholesale. And you wish to base your conclusions about Creation upon their skewed interpretation of the data?

      Regards,
      Sirius Knott

    2. Sirius says:

      @geoChristian:

      You said: “God’s word is not corrupt, but human interpretations of it can be. I think you would agree. So, even those who suppose that they start with God’s word as their foundation can still blow it. I believe that the young-Earth creationists have done this over and over by dogmatically preaching scientific models that simply do not line up with what God has clearly revealed in his creation.”

      Two things:

      1. What you’re really saying is that the TRADITIONAL ingterpretation of Genesis [a 6 day Creation] is wrong. If the traditional interpretation of “6 days and a rest” is in error, what other traditional interpretations might be in error? Ask the Jesus Seminar if they think the traditional interpretation of the resurrection is in error, for example. You’re on a slippery slope, friend.

      2. Why do I keep hearing this line about what God has clearly revealed in His creation? We interpret Creation. Romans affirms that His power and Godhead are evident in His Creation. God’s existence is revealed in nature, but His Truth and Will are revealed in Scripture. Revelation is a far superior authority to any human knowledge, including forensic science.

      1. geochristian says:

        The slippery slope argument doesn’t hold water. Should we put Francis Schaeffer, Charles Spurgeon, BB Warfield, Charles Hodge, CS Lewis, William Lane Craig, JP Moreland, Norman Geisler, Gleason Archer, and Walter Kaiser all in the Jesus Seminar camp because they disagree with you on the age of the Earth? I don’t think so. All of these men love the word, know the word, and accept an old Earth. They have not compromised on the core truths of Christianity in the slightest. Unlike the young-Earth creationists, they are also unwilling to compromise by using really bad arguments (moon dust, sea salts, just about anything said by Mr. Hovind) in the defense of the Scriptures.

        You reject the TRADITIONAL interpretation of Psalm 104:5, but don’t seem too worried about it. What about that slippery slope?

      2. Sirius says:

        @geoChristian:

        wow. It’s like you’re only reading every third word or something.

        That’s not what I said. I didn’t put these men in the Jesus Seminar camp.

        I said they’re wrong about Creation in the same way that the Jesus Seminar are wrong about Christ. That is, if they applied the same method they use on Genesis 1-11 on other parts of Scripture, they’d be heretics. So, yes, it is a slippery slope. And it does hold water. You should put the brakes on the hero worship. At least consider the fact that their writings do not make up the inerrant Canon of Scripture, while the inerrant, inspired Scriptures clearly affirm a young earth and a global flood in many passages.

        I also have to again point out that their compromise in this area does not mean I’ve accused them of compromise in all areas.

        I’m going to ignore your crack about bad arguments and your needless ad hominem toward Mr. Hovind [though it was quite rude and I highly doubt you are familiar enough with the man’s entire body of work to make such a sweeping, scathing judgment] as best I can, for the excellent reason that you’ve just made a bold claim but not backed it up. You claim they’re bad without bothering to show us why.

        Worse, you’re asserting that the traditional interpretation of Psalm 104:5 is ultra-literal. I’m going to have to ask for a source-quote on that. Every commentary I’ve ever read notes that the verse refers figuratively [as I pointed out earlier].

        I’m appalled that you teach students that since this verse refers figurative that Genesis is also figurative. Literalists allow for figures of speech, round numbers and even poetic language WHEN THE CONTEXT CALLS FOR IT. You’re teaching people, essentially, that the Bible contains figurative language, therefore it must be figurative whenever you find in unbelievable. You teach these poor students to doubt God’s Word from the very first word, using the worst sort of eisegesis!

        Begging your pardon, sir, but if you held the revealed Word of God Himself in as high esteem as you hold the searchings of men, you’d find yourself a Young earth Creationist too!

        -Sirius Knott

  6. Sirius:

    As to my belief about the Holy Scriptures, I hold to the doctrine of inerrancy as outlined in the Chicago Statement of Biblical Inerrancy. You, however, seem to think that the authors of this document were corrupt compromisers.

    You keep on mentioning that I wasn’t there (from Job 38:4 I assume). Of course, neither were you nor the folks at organizations such as AiG and ICR. This doesn’t stop them from reading all kinds of things into both Scriptures and nature. (Yes, God was there and has told us a little bit about it). Here are some things that are not stated in Scriptures that are dogma in most young-Earth circles:

    1. The flood deposited the sedimentary rocks (show me where it says this).

    2. Animals did not die before the fall (you won’t find this in the Scriptures, no matter how hard you look at Gen 3, Rom 5, Rom 8, or 1 Cor 15. Instead you find passages where God is glorified by predation, such as in Psalm 104:21).

    3. That the entire Earth was Eden (though the Scriptures describe it as a place in Mesopotamia) and that the Earth had a uniform climate.

    –That the only possible understanding of the flood is global (though there are several instances where “all the Earth” in the OT doesn’t mean “all the Earth,” unless you believe that Native Americans and Chinese came to Joseph to get food in the famine of Gen 41:57).

    Young-Earth creationists accuse old-Earthers of reading things into the Scriptures, and this could be true in some cases. But young-Earthers have been guilty of this as well, and then slam others for doing the same.

    The result of this is a distortion of God’s natural revelation to make it fit a man-made interpretation of Scripture (look again at my list of things the young-Earthers have read into the Bible; things that the Bible does not explicitly say!). This leads to bad arguments in defense of the Bible, such as the decay of the Earth’s magnetic field that you brought up as evidence of the Earth’s youthfulness. The tragic consequence is that Christianity is marginalized, not because the Bible is wrong, not because of the foolishness of the cross, but because of well-meaning Christians who use foolish arguments (magnetic decay, Paluxy footprints, flood geology, RATE, moon dust, etc.) in defense of God’s holy, inerrant Word.

    With respect,
    Kevin N

    1. Sirius says:

      @Kevin:

      I understand that many signed the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, but apparently a good number of them did so with their fingers crossed behind their backs! For example, Article XV states: “WE AFFIRM that the doctrine of inerrancy is grounded in the teaching of the Bible about inspiration. WE DENY that Jesus’ teaching about Scripture may be dismissed by appeals to accommodation or to any natural limitation of His humanity.” Yet Christ testified that “from the beginning” God made them male and female. Even a cursory glance at the timelines proposed by uniformitarian Old Earth advocates and Biblical Young Earth Creationists reveals that God could have in no way made man from the beginning by old earth assumptions. Man is at the very tail end of the uniformitarian’s timeline; but at the very beginning of the YEC timeline!

      Now I understand that you object to my saying that you weren’t there. It’s equally true that AiG and all the rest weren’t there either. Neither was I. But God was there and He weighs in that He did it in 6 days – and you keep doubting the veracity of His Word! The “little bit about” Creation that God told us about was HOW LONG [6 days] it took.

      Now as to your further objections, I have a blanket rebuttal but shall nonetheless address the specifics. So long as the things we believe do not contradict what is specifically stated in Scripture, we are safe. We both agree upon that [be honest]. It should far more worry you that there are things states in Scripture which OECs dogmatically deny! [6 days and a worldwide Flood]

      1. This is simply the implication of fossil record if there really was a worldwide Noachim flood; unless you believe that silly nonsense that God created the fossils to test our faith, we both agree they are the remains of once living animals. If the Bible is true in that it CLEARLY says the world was created in 6 literal, everyday days and there really was a worldwide Flood as testified to in both the Old and New Testaments by pretty much every Biblical author who touches upon the subject, then we may reason that the fossil-bearing sedimentary layers were laid down rapidly during the Flood and that geological phenomena such as the Grand Canyon were carved out when much softer layers [which also explains those neat folds, btw] were subjected receding waters.

      2. This is the implication of verses noting that a restored Eden does not include predation, noting also that the Bible claims that death entered into the world by man’s sin. OECs would like to affirm that these verses apply only to human death or to spiritual death but they have no justification for doing so.

      3. OK, this has been my biggest objection to your lousy hermeneutic. It’s something you and Hugh Ross have in common. While it’s true that a specific phrase or word can have several meaning, depending upon context, the point is that it does depend upon context! The context of “all the earth” in Gen 41:57 has NO [that means “no possible”] bearing on the context of “all the earth” or similar descriptions given for the worldwide flood which by description had to clear at least 17K to cover the mountains of Ararat. We affirm that the only possible understanding of the Noachim Flood that is consistent with the given text is global.

      If you’d care to engage these topics with any more depth, by all means, do so.

      Look again at what you OECs read into the Bible: long ages and a local flood, though the Bible explicitly says 6 days and a global flood!

      This leads to bad arguments that claim to be in defense of the Bible but are really denials that it means what it says.

      I should mention that the magnetic decay argument also takes into account rapid reversals. I’m not sure you’ve taken into account the entirety of the theory and have, perhaps unwittingly burned a straw man of your own thatching. Might I suggest you consult The Young Earth by John Morris, which discusses this evidence at some length, to confirm that you have accounted for the particulars?

      You preached the end of your comment, so as a preacher I shall respond in kind:

      Christianity is being marginalized, not because the Bible is wrong, not because of the Cross, but because many well-meaning Christians wish it said something other than what it says and therefore lend their voice to those who object to [to paraphrase the afore-mentioned Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy] its reliability and truth in all the matters it addresses. And our children take the further step, full well knowing that if we can’t trust that the Bible really means what it says [and it says 6 days] in one area that we’ve no cause to believe it in any other.

      -Sirius Knott

      1. Kevin N says:

        Sirius:

        Thanks for posting my comments. I don’t think you and I are going to convince each other. You will remain a young-Earth creationist on Biblical grounds, and I will remain an old-Earth creationist on Biblical and scientific grounds.

        If all I had were the Bible, I would probably be a young-Earth creationist. If all I had were the Bible, I would also probably be a geocentrist. Careful observations of nature eventually overthrew geocentrism, and forced a re-examination of passages such as Psalm 104:5. This resulted in no erosion of the Bible’s authority. I believe the same to be the case with Genesis.

        You might reply by saying that the Psalms are poetry and the opening chapter of Genesis are narrative. I agree that Genesis is narrative, but it is a narrative of a sub-genre that is found nowhere else in Scripture. Can you really point to a passage in the Old Testament that has the same sort of literary structure as Genesis 1?

        You are emphasizing the literalness of the six days. I acknowledge that the literal six consecutive 24-hour day interpreation is a straight-forward understanding of the passage. It is also not the only way that the passage can be understood. To me, the exact parallels between the events of Genesis 1 and the history of the Earth as understood by geologists is amazing. I’m not committing myself to the day-age interpretation, but based on external evidence I would take it over the over-literal six-day interpretation.

        Here are a few Biblical objections to the six days being literal days:
        –What is a “day” before the appearance of the sun? There was darkness and light before day four, but what was the source of that light, and were God’s days at this point the same as ours?
        –The word “day” is used in a non-literal sense at least once in the passage (Gen 2:4), where “day” refers to the entire creation period.
        –Moses, the author of Genesis, is also the author of Psalm 90, in which Moses defines “day” very very loosely.
        –The number of events on day six makes it unlikely that we would be expected to understand it as a literal 24-hour day. The young-Earth suggestion that Adam zipped through the day at some sort of super-human speed stretches the sense of the text.

        I could elaborate quite a bit on all of these. None of these by themselves are going to convince some people, but they do open the door for alternative interpretations that flow from the text (as opposed to being forced onto the text).

        I’ll stand by the three points that I gave that young-Earth creationists read into the text and expect us all to take as dogma.

        In regards to whether the flood was global, consider the following:
        –I’ve already pointed out that “all the earth” often doesn’t mean “all the earth” in the Bible, but you seem to want to sweep this under the rug.
        –Every place where the word “earth” appears in Genesis 6-8, it could also be read “land.” Genesis 7:10 gives a very different sense to us when we read “And after seven days the waters of the flood came upon the land” instead of “And after seven days the waters of the flood came upon the earth.” (ESV) One word makes a lot of difference, and this is a perfectly good translation of the Hebrew text.
        –Along these lines, when we read “earth” in the text, we read “globe.” Neither Moses nor his Hebrew readers would have pictured a globe in this passage. They would have pictured the land.
        –Genesis 7:20 could be translated “The waters rose more than twenty feet, and the hills were covered” (NIV footnote, with a substitution of ‘hills’ for ‘mountains’).
        –The Bible does not say that the Ark came to rest on Mount Ararat, but on the hills of Ararat. This could be anywhere from the northern edge of the Mesopotamian plain up to somewhere near the Black Sea, and did not have to be at a high elevation.

        Because of these things, I have no problem whatsoever in seeing the flood as local, though universal from Noah’s perspective. We old-Earthers are not forcing this interpretation on the text. Instead, we have been forced to take a closer look at what the text actually says.

        In regards to the earth’s variable magnetic field, I am quite aware of the more recent YEC literature on this, and their advocacy of wildly fluctuating magnetic fields during the flood. Why, then, do so many YECs continue to use this as evidence for a young Earth? If it is cyclical, then it is quite simply not an age indicator. Period.

        If the Earth is indeed young, then I am in error. Perhaps I have forced some things on Scripture (though I don’t think I have). If so, it is because I have been driven to it by the bad arguments of the YECs. I have been conditioned over the years to just assume that the latest YEC argument is full of holes. Whether it be Earth’s “decaying magnetic field”, the Paluxy footprints, accelerated nuclear decay, changing the speed of light, or Mokele-mbembe, YEC arguments are often absurd and sooner or later are proven to be absolutely wrong. I would rather take a 80%-right Scripture interpretation that fits God’s general revelation than a 90%-right Scripture interpretation that flatly contradicts the world that God has created.

        With respect,
        Kevin N

      2. Sirius says:

        @Kevin:

        You said: “You will remain a young-Earth creationist on Biblical grounds, and I will remain an old-Earth creationist on Biblical and scientific grounds.” What a straw man we’ve thatched here! The Bible only versus the Bible plus SCIENCE. Except we both have the same science, the same scientific method, the same fossils – in short the same facts. And facts require interpretation. You see, the issue isn’t some position where one holds the Bible only and nevermind the science while the other takes both into account; no, it’s who [or Who] do you hold as the ultimate authority? I hold God’s Word as the ultimate authority. You echo the Serpent: “Did God really say?” Did God really say He created in only 6 days? Did God really say He judged the whole world with a global Flood? Did God really say He created animals after their kind? and so on.

        And so your authority is revealed to be extra-biblical, not Biblical.

        You said: “If all I had were the Bible, I would also probably be a geocentrist. Careful observations of nature eventually overthrew geocentrism, and forced a re-examination of passages such as Psalm 104:5. ”

        I wish you’d study history a bit more. No one invented geocentrism based upon this verse. The Greeks invented geocentrism and the Church took it up since it was the accepted science of that day. They found that this verse could be interpreted to support the Ptolemaic model and then, unfortunately, canonized that erroneous textual support. But this didn’t spring naturally from the text. Just as an old earth doesn’t spring naturally from the text. Geocentrism and old earth assumptions are imposed upon the text by those trying to gain Biblical support for bad science.

        You said: “I’ll stand by the three points that I gave that young-Earth creationists read into the text and expect us all to take as dogma.”

        If you do, you stand by three refuted points and I can’t say as I’m impressed.

        You said: “In regards to the earth’s variable magnetic field, I am quite aware of the more recent YEC literature on this, and their advocacy of wildly fluctuating magnetic fields during the flood. Why, then, do so many YECs continue to use this as evidence for a young Earth? If it is cyclical, then it is quite simply not an age indicator. Period.”

        If you think that we suppose the magnetic fields are cyclical, well, I’d say you are most certainly not aware of the more recent YEC literature on magnetic fields. The key words here: rapid reversals. You might want to look up that book I mentioned. I always find it’s easier to disagree upon a subject if I know what I’m actually disagreeing to!

        You said: “I would rather take a 80%-right Scripture interpretation that fits God’s general revelation than a 90%-right Scripture interpretation that flatly contradicts the world that God has created.”

        There it is. Your assumption that we cannot have a 100% right Scripture [specific and inerrant revelation] interpretation that fits general revelation. You utterly fail to take into account the special conditions spelled out in Scripture when you make your interpretations of the data found in general revelation, prefering instead the presumptions of men who have likewise failed to take these revealed special conditions into account. And this is why you err. I wish you’d make God the Lord of your Science as well as your Heart.

        You also said: well, quite a few things I found heinously in error. I’ve decided that your comments on “days” and a global flood bear further discussion, so I’ll answer those in a new post.

        As for your pronouncements of “absurd” or “bad arguments” and your faith that they’ll be refuted in time, I must remark that I do have a general rule on this blogsite that men must clarify why something is absurd or bad when they make such sweeping generalities. Else, I’m perfectly content to ignore such hubris.

        -Sirius Knott

  7. In regards to the 2 Pet 3 passage and uniformitarianism:

    1. The topic of the passage is the second coming of Christ, and Peter was addressing the skeptics of his day who denied God’s supernatural intervention in the world. Old-Earth creationists do not deny God’s miraculous intervention in history in any way. We affirm creation from nothing, and God’s supernatural intervention as revealed elsewhere in the Scriptures (the flood, crossing the Red Sea, the incarnation, water into wine, the resurrection, etc.).

    2. No old-Earth creationist, even those who use uniformitarianism to help understand Earth history, says that God does not intervene in history. We just don’t say that God intervened in ways that the Bible doesn’t itself state. For example, the Bible does not say that God changed the speed of light or the rate of radioactive decay, nor does it say that the flood deposited the sedimentary rocks. By the Scriptures, these things could have happened or perhaps not. To insist that these things happened when the Bible doesn’t say they did is unwise.

    3. Uniformitarianism as it is often portrayed by young-Earth creationists in its 19th-century version. The modern understanding of uniformitarianism is that we interpret Earth history based on the laws of nature. As a Christian, I acknowledge that not all events of history can be explained by natural means. Creation cannot be explained by natural means, nor can the other miracles of Scripture. Because of this, I don’t attempt to use science to explain supernatural events, such as the initial creation, the flood, or the incarnation or resurrection of Christ. There may be scientifically-discernible results of some miracles (e.g. John 9 — the healing of the man born blind), and in these cases it could be valid to apply uniformitarianism to the understanding of the after-effects of the miracles.

    4. When young-Earth creationists attempt to explain geology, they use uniformitarian principles as well. The examples of this are abundant in young-Earth creationist literature: floating vegetation mats to explain coal beds, Mt. St. Helens to explain rapid canyon formation, and so on. They are using present-day processes to try to explain the past. They call it catastrophism, but it is really uniformitarianism at an accelerated rate, and nothing supernatural is needed, except perhaps to initiate the process.

    5. Lyell, despite his acceptance of evolution and an old Earth, maintained his Christian faith to the end. His faith may not have matched your doctrinal statement in every way, but I see no evidence that he denied any essentials of Christianity as expressed in the Creeds.

    With respect,
    Kevin N

    1. Sirius says:

      @Kevin:

      1. While you assert that OECs do not deny God’s miraculous intervention in history in any way, you overlook a glaring inconsistency: 6 days. You deny a literal historical 6-day Creation. In effect, you also deny that God miraculously inspired the Bible authors to correctly write down His Word.

      2. OECs do not deny that God intervenes in history; they simply deny that Genesis means what it says in regards to how long [6 days] it took God to create everything. Oh, and they think the worldwide Flood of Noah’s day was only local, failing to take into account numerous details of the account which clearly affirm a worldwide event and the agreement of the rest of the Bible that this event was worldwide.

      To insist that these things [a literal 6 day Creation] could not have happened when the Bible clearly states they did is MOST unwise.

      3. If the laws of nature were all we had by which to interpret Earth’s history, then I would say, well and amen, to uniformitarian geology; however, God has revealed data which would not otherwise be discernible solely from the laws of nature. In fact, I think I should point out that a miracle is a suspension or superceding of natural law. God did it in 6 days and revealed this in His Word so that we could take this into account when making observations and speculations concening Earth’s history.

      It is here noted that you don’t use science to explain supernatural events, but you do use uniformitarian presumption to deny the specific supernatural events here discussed: a 6 day Creaion and a worldwide Noachim Flood. Science gives you no warrant to deny the clear testimony of revelation, which is a far superior authority!

      4. Straw man. I would suggest that you re-read some YEC claims before repeating this particular arguement. We actually believe that these processes were either accelerated by Flood dynamics or occur in a much shorter time than uniformitarian geology has typically allowed, depending on what we’re discussing. To put it more bluntly, I don’t think there’s a geologist on the planet who would conflate catastrophism with uniformitarianism as you just attempted. It’s like saying, When you say you believe in rapid processes you’re really just saying you believe in accelerated slow processes. It’s a misrepresentation of the actual discussion at hand.

      5. Oh my. Lyell’s Christianity is not the question here. That’s between him and God. But let me point out something you just noted: His acceptance of evolution and an Old Earth may not have entirely shipwrecked Lyell’s faith [though acceptance of these two errors have certainly had that effect on other Christians!], but it did significantly alter what he believed about the Bible as a result. We can both afform that he denied a 6 day Creation and a worldwide Noachim Flood; which is to say that he found the Bible to be unreliable and IN ERROR as to the facts of Earth’s history.

      -Sirius Knott

      1. Kevin N says:

        Sirius:

        I’ll just comment on point #4, which you said was a straw-man argument on my part.

        I agree that the uniformitarianism (whether Lyell’s version or the modern understanding) of geology and the catastrophism of young-Earth creationism are two very different things. What they share is this: they both seek to understand the world through natural laws, field work, and laboratory studies. Where they differ is that when it comes to explaining Earth history, one works and the other doesn’t.

        You and I will disagree as to which one works and which one doesn’t.

        Is it proper to seek to try to explain something like the flood by natural laws when it was a supernatural judgment of God?

        With respect,
        Kevin N

      2. Sirius says:

        @Kevin:

        Is it proper to seek to explain the Biblical Flood by natural laws when it was the supernatural judgment of God?

        Well, yes. When God judges by earthquakes, does that mean we shouldn’t try to comprehend how an earthquake comes about? Have you forgotten that the Scientific method was stillborn in every culture save Christendom, where men sought to think God’s thoughts after Him?

        Of course, there does come a point at which we can’t test God, can’t put Him in a petri dish, that sort of thing. The Word says that God spoke and things came to be. How can we test that? Well, we can’t because the Word also tells us that God has ceased from the work of Creation. It’s done and left running. His power and Godhead are evident in nature, but we’ll never be able to test how Creation works itself. So there are limits, if we trust His word [even not taking into account warnings that His ways and thoughts are higher than ours].

        But as for your false dichotomy between “what works and what doesn’t,” shame on you for these weasel words. Both models have support. Creationists acknowledge that uniformitarian processes are at work today, but they also acknowledge that the revealed Word of God says that the Earth was created in 6 days and then afterward there was a global [yes, global] flood, so we note that the assumption of uniformitarian geology and the timescale thus implies does not taken into account these two events. False assumptions lead to false conclusions.

        Do you honestly think a global flood would leave no mark on the planet? Ask yourself, if there were a global flood, what would the evidence [the rocks and fossils] then mean?

        -Sirius Knott

  8. herqlez253 says:

    I agree with this blog post. One book that I’ve read and highly recommend is “Evidence for Creation” by Roger Oakland. It does a great job explaining the Genesis view of creation such as the effects of Earth’s early atmosphere and plausible explanations to the controversy. Check it out sometime.

  9. G’day, me again. You said that I “dare to say the authority of the Word of God should submit to the authority of men who reject it and weren’t there anyway”. Actually I wasn’t saying that at all. I was saying that Christians should aim to establish a harmonious agreement between science and the Bible, while being very skeptical of the current scientific establishment which operates under a “there is no God” assumption.

    I believe that evolutionary science is wrong by starting with a naturalistic assumption, and since they start with a wrong assumption they come to a wrong conclusion.

    In principle, science isn’t fundamentally in conflict with the Bible—we believe the laws of physics, chemistry and so forth were established by God. Only science as done by atheists, in so much as it denies the existence and authority of God, need be questioned.

    The general principles of science are still very valid, and Christians still do well to “do science”, while giving glory to God who created the ordered natural world. I would like to see more of Christians doing good science to show the flaws in evolution.

    As for the truth about the Biblical creation account, as I said, there may be certain theological issues with the young-earth reading. YEC says that OEC is “compromising”, and perhaps some are, but on the other hand, perhaps others honestly see OEC as a more accurate literal reading of Genesis. I realise you would disagree with that, but that point of debate is certainly a big challenge for us to grapple with, within the broader Christian community.

    1. Sirius says:

      @McQueen: “OEC is a more accurate literal reading of Genesis???”

      “If an old earth were really the teaching of Scripture, then one claim is glaringly conspicuous by its absence, that is, any claim in commentaries that the Bible unambiguously teaches long ages. Rather, the usual claim is that the biblical text appears on the surface to teach a young earth but may allow for an old earth. We never hear something like, ‘Yes, the decay of the earth’s magnetic field and rapid reversals seem to provide irrefutable proof of a young earth. But we mustn’t allow even the strongest science to overrule the clear teaching of the Word of God that the earth is billions of years old.’” –[Jonathan Sarfati, Refuting Compromise, pg 55.]

      ”It is apparent that the most straightforward understanding of the Genesis record, without regard to all the hermeneutical considerations suggested by science, is that God created heaven and earth in six solar days, that man was created on the sixth day, that death and chaos entered the world after the fall of Adam and Eve, and that all of the fossils were the result of the catastrophic universal deluge which spared only Noah’s family and the animals therewith.” [Pattle P.T. Pun, “A Theory of Progressive Creationism,” Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation (Vol. 39, March 1987), p. 14.]

  10. Kevin N says:

    Sirius:

    I mentioned Mr. Hovind because just about everything he says is wrong. In my mind, some young-Earth creationists are “wrong” (well-trained scientists such as Kurt Wise and Marcus Ross), some are “wrong wrong” (such as most at AiG and ICR), and others are “wrong wrong wrong.” I put Hovind in that category. The AiG page “Arguments we don’t use” ( http://www.answersingenesis.org/get-answers/topic/arguments-we-dont-use ) was originally written to counter Hovind’s numerous faulty arguments (at one time the page named him explicitly). I don’t have anything against Kent Hovind personally, but I view his teachings as anti-apologetics.

    You didn’t refute any of the points that I said young-Earthers read into the text. Did you show me where:
    1. The Bible says that the geologic column was created by the flood.
    2. The Bible (Gen 3, Rom 5, Rom 8, 1 Cor 15) says animals did not die before the fall.
    3. The Bible says the entire Earth was Eden?
    No, no, and no.

    Regarding magnetic reversals:
    “rapid reversals” = “cyclical.”
    I cannot see in any way how this can then be used as an age indicator.

    I hold to a 100% correct scripture. It is our interpretations that can err. I think you have erred by reading certain things into the text, such as I outlined in my discussion of the extent of the flood.

    A list of absurd or bad arguments that have been used by young-Earth creationists (many of which continue to be used):
    –Paluxy River footprints. By the flood geology model, what were herds of dinosaurs (or humans?) doing wandering around 90% of the way through the flood anyways?
    –Moon dust thickness. This was based on 1950s data which was quickly revised once we were actually able to measure the amount of dust floating around in space, but some YECs still use this argument.
    –Sea salt concentrations. This still shows up in AiG literature, even though using aluminum demonstrates that the age of the oceans should be no more than 100 years. This should raise a red flag, but it doesn’t.
    –Dinosaurs in the jungles of Africa, Stegosauruses in Cambodian temples, and so on. Show me a single bone. (Stegosaurus is an almost exclusively Western-hemisphere critter).
    –Hyper-rapid evolution after the flood, at a rate that would make evolutionists blush.
    –Accelerated nuclear decay during the flood. The entire earth would have melted, and perhaps vaporized.
    –I could list many more things.

    You call on me to have God as Lord of my science. Amen to that; I want the Lord Jesus Christ to rule all areas of my life. But young-Earth creationists are also called to love the Lord their God with all of their minds, and to use these arguments in defense of God’s holy, inerrant Word does not honor him.

    1. Sirius says:

      you said:

      “I mentioned Mr. Hovind because just about everything he says is wrong. I don’t have anything against Kent Hovind personally, but I view his teachings as anti-apologetics.”

      Hovind bashing. How novel. Look, no one is fool enough to believe that just about everything Hovind said was wrong. That’s just blowing smoke. A great deal of what he’s said is dead-on. You just don’t happen to agree with part of it and have committed an argumentum ad logicum of sorts, deciding that just because one or more points of his argument were in error that all of his arguments were therefore erroneous. Frankly, at this point I’m impressed with neither your hermeneutic nor your grasp of the art of argument. I daresay you’re simply regurgitating a lot of Hugh Ross’ hubris. [The man has many fine arguments, but his defense of OEC is simply a mess.]

      You said:

      “The AiG page “Arguments we don’t use” ( http://www.answersingenesis.org/get-answers/topic/arguments-we-dont-use ) was originally written to counter Hovind’s numerous faulty arguments (at one time the page named him explicitly).”

      Not entirely accurate. Jonathan Sarfati was mostly responsible for that piece, though both CMI and AiG published it. Hovind did respond to it since SOME of his arguments were included in that list, but I’ve never been able to cite a source where he was ever specifically named. In fact, a joint rebuttal [J Sarfati, C Weiland & K Ham] to his objections to the piece [found at http://creation.com/maintaining-creationist-integrity-response-to-kent-hovind%5D contains the reminder that “As indicated, our list is not aimed at Kent Hovind.” If you take a closer look at the article, you can see two men are actually called out by name. Hovind isn’t one of them.

      I always feel the need to defend Hovind because so many people simply bash him to get cheap points. Some of his arguments were bad, some were dubious. It doesn’t make him wrong. Without impugning Mr Hovind, you CAN be right for all of the wrong reasons. Galileo was.

      Now as for your points. You asked me to show you where the Bible explicity states:

      1. The Bible says that the geologic column was created by the flood.
      2. The Bible (Gen 3, Rom 5, Rom 8, 1 Cor 15) says animals did not die before the fall.
      3. The Bible says the entire Earth was Eden?

      Not all theology is gleaned from an explicit Scriptural text, so let’s cut out your subtle straw man. Some of it, like the Trinity are revealed by implication.

      So…

      1. This is simply the implication of fossil record if there really was a worldwide Noachim flood; unless you believe that silly nonsense that God created the fossils to test our faith, we both agree they are the remains of once living animals. If the Bible is true in that it CLEARLY says the world was created in 6 literal, everyday days and there really was a worldwide Flood as testified to in both the Old and New Testaments by pretty much every Biblical author who touches upon the subject, then we may reason that the fossil-bearing sedimentary layers were laid down rapidly during the Flood and that geological phenomena such as the Grand Canyon were carved out when much softer layers [which also explains those neat folds, btw] were subjected receding waters.

      2. This is the implication of verses noting that a restored Eden does not include predation, noting also that the Bible claims that death entered into the world by man’s sin. OECs would like to affirm that these verses apply only to human death or to spiritual death but they have no justification for doing so. Also,Genesis explicitly states that animals were given vegetation to eat and thorns [an offensive defense!] are specifically mentioned as an effect of the Fall. Now the fossil record shows animals with teeth marks from other animals, so if we believe the Bible’s claim about animals being vegetarian at first we’re forced to conclude the fossils were made after that point, after carnivory developed. Of course, from the Biblical paradigm, the Flood seems the most likely cause of said fossilization.

      3. When I earlier commented on this one, I commented on your clarifications concerning a global flood: OK, this has been my biggest objection to your lousy hermeneutic. It’s something you and Hugh Ross have in common. While it’s true that a specific phrase or word can have several meaning, depending upon context, the point is that it does depend upon context! The context of “all the earth” in Gen 41:57 has NO [that means “no possible”] bearing on the context of “all the earth” or similar descriptions given for the worldwide flood which by description had to clear at least 17K to cover the mountains of Ararat. We affirm that the only possible understanding of the Noachim Flood that is consistent with the given text is global.

      To be concise, the Bible claims that God planted a garden in Eden, so I’m not really sure where you’re going with this one. The claim that the world was of a uniform climate is a separate theory altogether. It was mostly supported by Canopy theory, which has largely been discarded in lieu of newer Creation/Catastrophe models.

      Regarding magnetic reversals, you said: ““rapid reversals” = “cyclical.”” You’ve misunderstood entirely if you’ve conflated these two ideas. Cyclical would mean that they occur over regular intervals. Rapid reversals suggests more of an intense period of activity [hence the rapidity], we suggest during the Flood. Does that clarify matters?

      You are quite correct in stating both that Scripture is 100% correct and that interpretations can be wrong. For example, your horrid eisegesis of the extent of the flood, supported by quotemining a translation that fits your preconceptions rather than the original intended meaning of the text, rather ironically demonstrates that even people who are aware that interpretations can be faulty can be quite unaware seeminly that they themselves have committed the error!. But hge w

      You end your attempt at argument with a repeat of the argumentum ad logicum. Guess what? And evolutionists have had their fair share of bad arguments, most of which [Haeckel’s embryos, vestigial organs, etc] are still used in textbooks. But no debater would ever concede that just because one or more of his opponent’s arguments had been refuted or were dubious that ALL of his arguments must therefore be erroneous. You could list more bad arguments. You provided a link to a list we YECs have ourselves provided! But will you ever consider the merits of the arguments that are vaild. Or have you a priori decreed that there are n o YEC arguments of merit?

      I am using my mind. Would it interest you to know that when I was dating my wife I advised her that God could have used evolution. Yet further examination of the evidence [not the regurgitated surface treatment you’re evidencing] revealed that the old earth and biblical young earth paradigms are completely at odds.

      To encourage other to doubt God’s Word from the very first Word to suit the opinions of men who reject the claims of that Word dishonors God more than any bad argument from a well-meaning YEC. Yet we have very good arguments that you will not so much as consider, your mind already made up, and you echo the Serpent when you encourage others to doubt God’s Word: “Did God really say?”

      I certainly wish you believed the Bible more and loved the approval of men less.

      -Sirius Knott

      1. Kevin N says:

        Sirius:

        Thanks for your thorough response. I’ll just respond to your question: “have you a priori decreed that there are no YEC arguments of merit?”

        I will admit that I have been conditioned to expect that each new YEC argument that comes along will be faulty. This conditioning is the result of a long and consistent string of bad arguments from YEC organizations. These bad arguments continue. For example, this month I read “Thousands… not Billions” by DeYoung. It is an improvement over earlier YEC works on radiometric dating, but still had major flaws. One of the most serious problems is that the RATE idea of accelerated nuclear decay would have been sufficient to melt, or even vaporize, the Earth. Their idea of cosmic expansion to absorb this heat does nothing to transfer the heat from within the Earth out to space. Another example is Dr. Snelling’s recent “Six main geologic evidences for the Genesis Flood” series on the AiG web site. I’ve been writing about the problems with Snelling’s arguments, for example: http://geochristian.wordpress.com/2009/06/27/six-bad-arguments-from-answers-in-genesis-part-4/

        As long as the YEC movement continues to consistently present bad arguments in defense of the truthfulness of Scriptures, and as long as there are alternative interpretations from within the theologically conservative community, I will continue to reject young-Earth creationism.

        (You can add John Piper to the list of those who acknowledge that old-Earth interpretations are at least possible, but I guess you would say he is just listening to the serpent.)

        Thanks for the conversation. I think I’m done with this comment thread for now.

        With respect (I really mean that),
        Kevin N

  11. David says:

    Do you believe that all the animals on earth died during the flood except the ones on Noah’s ark?

    1. Sirius says:

      The Bible notes that all air-breathing land animals who weren’t aboard the Ark perished.

      1. David says:

        Sirius,

        How did the land animals get from Mt Ararat to the continents that aren’t connected to Asia Minor? In other words, how did the land animals get across the ocean to Austrailia, North America, Great Britain and any other land mass seperated by an ocean? Thank you.

      2. Sirius says:

        David,

        There are three possible explanantions.

        1. Some of the animals were brought along with humans as they were travelling there.
        2. Land bridges. [Even evo scientists use this one.]
        3. Floating logs and log mats [Evos use this one too. Darwin even did experiements with snails to see if it was possible. Of course, Creationists can further speculate that the proposed flotsam was possibly leftover from the Flood.

        Thank you.

        Sirius Knott

      3. David says:

        Sirius,

        1. Humans put kangaroos, koalas and tazmanian devils on a boat with them to Austrailia?

        2. The Bering Strait land bridge disappeared about 12,000 years ago, but that doesn’t line up with the bible’s teaching that the earth is 6000 years old.

        3. Flotsam can only be an option for insects and very small animals.

        Something else occured to me. How could animals that survive only in cold climates have lived on the ark for so long? For instance, polar bears are large and have several layers of blubber that keep them warm in the arctic. However, if polar bears were on board the ark, they would’ve suffocated to death from the heat.

      4. Sirius says:

        David,

        It apprears your incredulity extends from your uniformitarian presuppositions.

        1. I didn’t specify a mode of travel. But humans do tend to take animals along with them for domestic purposes, as pets, et cetera. A handful of rabbits brought purposely by humans turned into an Australian plague. It happens. Is your objection to the very idea as a contributing factor for some of the animals of Australia or does your objection involve the animals themselves?

        2. According to uniformitarian geology, the Bering Strait land bridge disappeared some 12,000 years ago. According to biblical neocatastrophism models of geology, the few hundred years post-Flood were a time of intense seismic activity and macro-scale climate change. More to the point, we believe that such land bridges could have existed post-Flood and been wiped out shortly thereafter. In short, you’re comparing apples to oranges.

        3. Study Krakatoa. When it erupted in 1883, the island was rendered lifeless for several years, but was later colonized by a good variety of creatures, including insects, birds, lizards, earthworms, snakes and even a few mammals. The flotsam I’m refering to would be comprised of large vegetation mats, rather like the floating log mats formed in Spirit Lake after Mt Saint Helens erupted in 1980.

        4. What makes you think polar bears existed pre-Flood? We Creationists have always contended, despite irrelevant and inaccurate Ark murals on nursery school walls, that the animals were brought aboard according to their “kind,” which is roughly analogous to the family level of taxonomy. We believe rapid speciation within the created kinds occured after the Flood, resulting in the variation we see within the ursine kind today. Keep in mind that the variety of dog breeds we have today was accomplished in only a few hundred years, yet for all that variety a dog is still a dog is still a dog and recognizably so. The short answer is that polar bears came AFTER the Ark, not OUT of the Ark.

        Incidentally, if you are truly interested in the answers to these questions, might I suggest The Answers Book by Ken Ham. It’s an excellent book on some of the most common objections to the Creation/Catastrophism model. In fact, all of your objections are answered in a single short chapter near the end of the book if memory serves me correctly.

        -Sirius Knott

  12. David says:

    Why do all creationists refer people to something that Ken Ham has written or his AIG website? Are there no other “authorities” that can back the 6000 year old earth theory? I guess not. I’m not getting my information from one source or one man, why should you? Thank you for your comments but I can tell this conversation will go no where.

    David

    1. Sirius says:

      David:

      I did not mean to give you the impression that I am unwilling to answer your questions personally. I simply wanted you to be aware that the questions you’re posing have been addressed by creationists already. With due respect, if you were honestly searching, would you not want to be aware of such a resource?

      Point in fact, I do refer some people to AiG, but I also refer them to ICR, Creation.com, CreationWiki.org, BiblicalGeology.net, CreationTruth.org and a wide range of other sites when I think they have further information a commenter might find useful.

      I do take the trouble of thinking and reasoning for myself and have been known to disagree even with the more well-known Creationist organizations on minor points. Take a look at the rest of my site sometime, if you’ve the time and inclination and you’ll see what I mean.

      -Sirius

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