Why I’m Still a Young-Earth Creationist, Even Though It’s Getting Increasingly Lonely over Here
In this series I’ve sought to lay out my reasoning process in continuing to hold to a young-earth creationist position, despite the fact that a great many evangelical Christians have moved to an old-earth view.
I begin by determining the narrative genre of the biblical creation account in Genesis 1-2 and consequently committing to a straightforward (“grammatico-historical”) hermeneutic: I’m going to take it at face value, as I would any other literary work, but with the added recognition that unlike all other literary works, it is the inerrant and authoritative Word of God.
With that foundation laid, I can move to a careful reading of the text and determine its key literary themes. I find that it speaks of direct divine agency, through means of both voice and hands, built around a chronological framework of six days involving “mornings” and “evenings.” Further, I find that chronogenealogies later in the document place the Creation “week” just a few thousand years before the birth of Christ.
I then examine the claims of the popular secular version of the story, alongside the similar claims of its Christian cousin, old-earth creationism. I look for incompatibilities with the biblical presentation, and at precisely those points, I look at the quality of the evidence, since my thesis is that the evidence for a supernatural source behind the biblical account is very strong. To reject the biblical account, I’m going to hold competing accounts to a very high evidentiary standard.
I begin with the currently popular “Big-Bang” model of cosmic evolution. I find its basis to be weak in two ways: first, its proponents confess that the beginning of the model is beyond the reach of scientific investigation; and second—and less importantly, I concede—I have the anecdotal observation that most of its most vocal proponents don’t really understand the model themselves; they are essentially fideists.
Then I move to the Neo-Darwinian model of biological evolution. I find that it requires three things: mutation, natural selection, and eons of time. I find serious evidentiary weakness in all three of these requirements, specifically with the ability of the first two to deliver on the promise of the current complexity of life, and with the scientific basis for the third, given the broad range of ages produced by the many geochronometers available. There’s clearly a lot of room for disagreement in the current state of Darwinism.
Returning to my own academic area, I find two serious theological problems with all of the evolutionary models, including the accommodationist Christian ones: the necessity of Adam’s sin as the cause of biological death, and the repeated New Testament assignation of Christ’s redemptive work to the undoing of Adam’s specific sin and its consequences.
So where does that leave me?
- The Book is divinely sourced.
- I’m following all the exegetical and hermeneutical rules.
- The alternative(s) don’t meet anything like the evidentiary standard required to set aside the first two points.
- Six days.
- Then a few thousand years.
- Not gonna change. Wouldn’t be prudent.