Review by Greg Neyman
© Old Earth Ministries
This month marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Henry Morris' book The Genesis Flood (1960), which he wrote with co-author John Whitcomb. Answers in Genesis is celebrating this historic young earth milestone with special events.
The 1960's marked a great awakening of spiritual matters. From the 1960's on important key events have occurred that show that our nation is drifting away from God. In the early 1960's prayer in schools was outlawed. The loose morals of the 1960's hippie counterculture changed the way we viewed moral issues. In 1972, Roe vs. Wade legalized abortion. And in recent decades, our nation has become more and more anti-God, as we prohibit people from saying prayers in public events such as high school football games, graduations, etc. Atheists have been on the march since the 1960's, gradually eroding our Christian principles.
Modern scientific discoveries have made many people realize that the earth is much older than 6,000 years. Theologians began questioning their belief in a young earth creation event. In order to shore up belief in a young earth, Henry Morris published the book The Genesis Flood in 1960. He thought this issue was critical to a proper understanding of the Bible.
He failed to understand that the discoveries of modern science should support the Bible. Through science, we can see how God created the earth. Science provides us with evidence of God's creative acts. Morris had this backwards. He believed, along with every YEC since, that a young earth interpretation of the Bible is the only way the Bible can make sense, and modern science must be wrong. Science must be interpreted in light of a young earth. In other words, he concluded that the earth is young, and then tried to back it up with scientific claims. This is totally backwards of the scientific method. First, you examine data, then reach conclusions. Morris reached a conclusion first.
This failed policy of interpreting science by reading the Bible first can be seen in the life of Galileo, who proposed that the earth was not the center of the universe, a view first proposed by Copernicus. Until the early 1600's, the earth was thought to be the center of the universe. When it was proposed that heliocentricity was the correct model, an inquisition was formed to examine the matter, with Galileo receiving instruction from the Catholic Church to not contradict the Bible. As we now know, Galileo's view finally won out, due to scientific evidence, and the church adapted.
When it was discovered in the 1800's and 1900's that the earth was much older than 6,000 years, many theologians did not see a conflict. It looked as if the church would once again adapt. However, there were a few, including Morris, who thought the earth could not be billions of years old. They began a resistance to science, which became the modern young earth movement. Instead of learning from Galileo's affair, and letting the church adapt, they adopted a hard-line stance, and demanded the church ignore science. Those who accepted both the Bible and modern science were not as vocal as the young earth proponents, and as you know, the saying "the squeaky wheel gets the grease" applies. The church started focusing on those making the most noise, and society took note of young earth ideas.
When people started to examine the issue, they came to view the young earth viewpoint as "synonymous" with the "church's viewpoint." They saw the obvious disconnect, and people started to conclude that the church's message must be wrong. It is my belief that this abandonment of the church picked up steam in the 1960's, which corresponds to the beginning of the modern young earth movement, and Morris' book. Although atheism already existed at the time, the modern young earth movement gave it a great boost. Since the 1960's, attacks on Christian values in our society have multiplied countless times.
I realize that young earth creationist organizations, such as Creation Ministries International, Answers in Genesis, and the Institute for Creation Research, have been responsible for leading thousands of people to salvation. However, we cannot ignore the flip side. These same organizations, which are seen as spokesmen for today's church, have driven countless millions away from God. While I am thankful for those saved, I grieve for those lost. Morris, Ham, and others have done much for God, they have done much more destruction to the church than they will admit. Unfortunately, it could have all been avoided, if the church had adapted. Thanks to the resistance of YEC believers, the church failed to adapt and has suffered greatly.
This current trend will continue, as young earth organizations remain the most vocal, outspoken members of our church community. This is where we come in. As old earth creationists, we need to be more vocal in our support of old earth creationism. We need to show the church, and society, that science does not conflict with the Bible. You can be a Christian, and believe in an old earth.
Why do old earth creationists not have the same amount of enthusiasm as young earth creationists? They have multiple ministries, employing hundreds of people in full-time work. Old earth ministries have only a handful of employees, and receive little publicity. I believe it is because we are not threatened. Young earth creationists believe that they are at war, that the BIble is threatened by modern science, and they must do everything in their power to convince others they are right. But modern science agrees with old earth creationism, thus we are not at war. Our beliefs are not threatened by science, only by YEC believers.
Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying that we are not passionate about our old earth beliefs. However, the number of us who are passionate needs to be more. There are millions of old earth creationists, but only a handful of them are concerned with the young earth - old earth conflict, whereas most YEC believers are up to date and involved with the issue. We need to find ways to get more people concerned about the age of the earth issue. Please join me in praying that we can have a greater impact upon the church, and upon society in general, so that they can see that you can believe in both the Bible and modern science.
Thanks to all my old earth friends - thanks for standing with me in support of old earth creationism. It is only when we are willing to stand out, that we have the opportunity to reach people for Christ. Don't be afraid to stand out, to be different.
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If you are not a Christian, and you have been holding out on making a decision for Christ because the Church always preached a message that was contrary to what you saw in the scientific world, then rest assured that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, and you can believe in Christ and receive salvation, while still believing in an old earth. Click here for more.
Are you a Christian who believes in young earth creationism? Now that we have shown the many difficulties of the young earth creation science model in this and many other articles, how does this impact your Christian life? If you are a young earth creationism believer, click here.
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To learn more
about old earth creationism, see
Old Earth Belief,
or check out the article
Can You Be A
Christian and Believe in an Old Earth?
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