Why Not Believe in Old Earth Creationism? (Part 1)

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, July 4, 2012 2 comments

To start off, I’m going to come right out and state that this topic will not prevent a person from being saved. This is simply an issue in establishing truth and defining the true nature of the Biblical God. Why should a Christian not believe in an old earth? First of all, the simplest answer is that it does not agree with a simple understanding of Scripture.

The Catholic Church has had a bad reputation for quite some time now in the eyes of mainstream Protestants. One of the biggest complaints Protestants have brought against the Catholic Church throughout history is that they have at times suggested that only their priests are able to truly understand and interpret Scripture. Such a view has led to corruption and terrible atrocities.

But that is exactly what overcomplicating simple Scripture does. Can the common person understand Genesis chapters 1-11 without a teacher of some sort to explain its meaning? A person ought to be able to understand Scripture without a guru standing over his or her shoulder.

Second, Old Earth Creationism, in just about every form, teaches that death occurred before sin. Why has nobody ever seen a dinosaur? Because they went extinct before mankind was created? How could this happen if death did not enter the world until sin entered the world? The Bible tells us that sin did not enter the world until Adam and Eve sinned. This would change the Bible’s meaning when God declared his creation to be “good.” Is it good that creatures with the breath of life should die?

Last but not least, Jesus himself testified toward certain events in the first few chapters of Genesis. He declared that in the beginning, God created them male and female. He referred to Noah as a real person. He acknowledged the worldwide flood as being an actual event. He talks about Abel’s martyrdom. Jesus seemed to have interpreted the first book of the Bible quite literally.

At this point you might be wondering, “How does Jesus acknowledging the creation of mankind, Noah, and Abel have anything to do with the age of the earth?” Unfortunately, you will have to wait for a more thorough response to that question in a future post. For now I will simply state that OEC commonly views the Genesis creation story (including chapters 1-11) as either poetic or as a “second creation,” as I explained before. The idea that Genesis is poetic suggests that it is not a reliable account of creation. The idea that it only describes a “second creation” is derived from bad logic and twisting Scripture. I wish I could go into more depth in this one post, but my time is up. Stay tuned, there is plenty more to come.


Mr. Edwards said...

What about cell death?

Bill Seng said...

Mr Edwards, Excellent question! You know, the sad thing, though, is that while all of the other college students were out partying, watching sports, and doing whatever else they did on their spare time, I was pondering questions like this one...sad, huh?
Before answering it, though, I will tell you that based on my worldview, there is no definite answer that I can give you. The pre-sin world was very different compared to the world we currently live in.
Having said that, the first answer to the question would be that there was no cell death. I disagree with this notion, but when you think about it, will there be cell death in heaven? I don't know. We will be resurrected in body and so the possibility of cell death will exist despite the fact that bodily death will not occur.
Having said that, I have no problem with the notion that cellular death could have occurred. Like plants, I do not classify cells as "life," so to speak. For one thing, all living things are made up of cells, but nobody mourns over scrapes or bruises. Further more, cellular destruction/death is necessary to accomplish certain functions in our bodies, like building muscle.

Now I know that having said that cells are not life lead to the issue of whether abortion is right or wrong. Abortion is wrong because the cells that develop inside of a woman are developing into a human being. The skin cells on my arm are never going to be anything more than skin cells.

Without getting carried away with details, let me summarize. Like plants, cells are not necessarily life (given a YEC Biblical worldview). Cells sustain living organisms; that includes organisms without the breath of life (plants) and with the breath of life (animals).
Their is more to life than the individual components that comprise our bodies. I would argue that life is defined by the being as a whole, not what it is made up of. As an illustration, if somebody severs my arm, nobody says that my arm is dead and has gone to heaven. But if you put to rest my entire being, someone may be willing to say that I have died and gone to heaven. Which opens up another can of worms: Animal life vs. Human life. But for now, I rest my case.