Saturday, October 12, 2013

Bad Reasons

I recently came across an article named "Why I Am a Six-Day Creationist". Of course I had to read it, and of course I wasn't really surprised by what it contained. What wisdom has this creationist brought us?

“I spent a couple of days this week speaking at a conference at the Creation Museum—my first time visiting it. Before I arrived I decided to put a little bit of thought into why I am a six-day creationist. I wanted to affirm in my own mind that I was walking into the museum already convinced of a position.”

I am filled with pity, loathing, and curiosity.

“I believe God created the world in six days—six literal twenty-four hour periods. I believe the earth is young—probably less than ten thousand years old. I have always believed this. But why? As I considered this position, I realized there are three main reasons I hold to it.”

And I expect to be disappointed by all of them.

The first reason I am a six-day creationist is this: I believe it is what the Bible teaches. There have been endless debates about the meaning of the word we translate as “day” in Genesis 1 and so much of the debate stands or falls right here. There have been many attempts, some of them quite compelling and some bordering on the ridiculous, to make it express something other than “day.” But in the end, I believe a natural reading of Scripture, and a natural reading of the author’s intent in the passage, leads to the most natural and obvious conclusion: God created all that exists, from nothing, in six literal days. This is what the author said, because this is what the author meant to convey, because this is what the author believed, because this is exactly how God did it.”

So, basically, you’re taking the Biblical text as accurate, no matter what other evidence exists? I realize that scientific estimates have gone up over time, but that’s because the evidence (over time) has revealed that the age of the Earth could not be “less than” a certain minimum age. There was never an upper limit. Improvements in technology have allowed us to improve our estimates, and none of them have put the age of the Earth in the “thousands of years” range.

The second reason I am a six-day creationist is that I believe this is what the other biblical writers believed. When the subject of creation arises elsewhere in the Bible, I see no evidence that the writers held to any position other than literal six-day creation. If we hold that Scripture interpets Scripture, I see the Bible confirming the simplicity of God creating all things in six literal days.”

What Bronze Age or Iron Age authors believed has negligible bearing on what the evidence we can obtain with modern technology tells us.

The third reason I am a six-day creationist is that I believe this is what science tells us. I believe science confirms a literal six-day creation and a young earth. I find the science demanding millions or billions of years less compelling than the science supporting a much less ancient universe. Even though so many people today scoff at even the suggestion that the world may be young, I find the old-earth science built upon very shaky and ever-shifting ground.

No. Just no. There are no reputable scientists who believe in a six-day creation that happened less than 10,000 years ago. The claims of “young Earth creationists” have been tested and found unsupported (if not outright wrong) many, many times.

I believe the Bible speaks with greater clarity and greater authority than what I believe I see or what I believe I experience. Where many interpretations of science appear to contradict a literal six-day creation, I am not ready to re-interpret a clear and natural reading of Scripture to make it fit with these observations. The Bible is infinitely more stable than science and infinitely more reliable. G.I. Williamson recently said this well: “ I do not believe that there is, or ever will be, any scientific discovery that will be able to discredit what God has spoken. Yes, scientific theories do appear to discredit that creation account. But be patient. In time it will be seen that those humble Bible believers were right all along: it was a six-day creation.” I believe this too.”

Are you ready to disagree with clear and basic math? With basic geometry we can determine that there are objects in the sky that are hundreds of millions of light-years away from Earth. The simple fact that we can see them tells us that the universe is at least hundreds of millions of years old. Either the objects we see are that far away, or God has deliberately deceived us to make us think that they are.

(And yes, a really good telescope can see objects billions of light years away, but I was being conservative.)

“I was and I remain a convicted six-day creationist, something that seems to increasingly be a minority position in the church. I do not make belief in a six-day creation a necessary mark of orthodoxy or a necessary mark of a Christian. But I do believe it is correct (I wouldn’t believe it otherwise, would I?) and I do believe it matters. How and why it matters is a topic for another day.”

All you need to do to hold on to your belief is to dismiss all of the reliable evidence that modern science has delivered to us.

No comments: