Edited By:  Leslyn Kim

How would you define yourself when it comes to religion, creation and science?  Go back and read Part 1 and Part 2 if you haven’t read it yet here:

https://psalmfiftyone.wordpress.com/2013/01/02/theistic-evolutionist-progressive-creationist-or-young-earth-creationist-part-1/

https://psalmfiftyone.wordpress.com/2013/01/07/theistic-evolutionist-progressive-creationist-or-young-earth-creationist-part-2/

Young Earth Creationism:

Young Earth Creationists [1] believe that the earth was created in six 24-hr days.  This is based (in a literal sense) on the account given in Genesis chapter 1. They also maintain that the age of the earth is between 6,000 to 10,000 years old. In short, Young Earth Creationists generally hold to the view that God has chosen to reveal himself primarily through scripture (Hebrews 1:1) and that scripture should form the central means by which all life is viewed and lived. That informs their belief that a literal understanding of scripture should form the foundation for how we evaluate all things –including the validity of scientific discovers.

Using the age of each generation outlined in Genesis chapters 5 and 11, along with the believed time elapsed between Abraham and Christ, the conclusion is drawn that the earth is roughly 6,000 years old. How does the math work? Here’s a simple explanation [2]……

Number of days into creation until Adam was created

5 days

Number of years from Adam to Abraham (using genealogies from Genesis 5 and 11)

2000 years

Number of years from Abraham to Christ, generally agreed to

by secular and non-secular historians

4000 years

Total

Approx. 6,000 years

The view on the earth’s age has evolved within Christianity over time.  While early church fathers like St. Augustine did not hold to the conviction that the creation story translated to 24- hour days, the Protestant Reformation (16th century) breathed fresh life in Young Earth Creationism. The theory was reinforced by a belief that the bible should be interpreted and read in a literal fashion.

As the church progressed into the 18th century, new scientific discoveries led many Christians to wrestle with the idea of an older earth (Progressive Creationism). As a result, many scholars and theologians sought to harmonize new scientific evidence with the Genesis creation account. One such person, Rev Dr. William Buckland, a theologian, geologist and paleantologist, was a proponent of the “Gap Theory”. This theory separates the Creation story into two halves–the creation events in Genesis 1:1,  and the events in Genesis 1:2, are believed to be separated by a long period of time in between. The theory suggests that the first event in Genesis 1:1 is the period in which dinosaurs and pre-Adam man existed and lived on the earth. That explains where million year-old dinosaurs come from and why bones have been found of “men” that do not seem to have the same appearance or characteristics of modern men. It’s then hypothesized that a catastrophic event took place (possibly punishment as a result of Lucifer’s fall from heaven), in which the whole earth was flooded with water leaving it “formless and empty”. The next part of the story then commences in Genesis 1:3 with a new creation. This theory of old earth creationism was a widely accepted concept amongst Christians of the time.  However, the rise of fundamentalist Christianity in the 19th century, and their interest in countering evolution theories, breathed new life into Young Earth Creationism. Riding on the back of organizations like the Creation Research Society and Henry Morris’ popular book of the time “The Genesis Flood” (1961), a new brand of creationism was born in the U.S. and overseas. Organizations like the Creation Research Society provided a home for like-minded individuals, Christian scientists, and others to share information, beliefs, and peer-reviewed creationist research.

Although creation scientists are often criticized for contradicting scientific consensus, they claim that they’re often discriminated against by professional scientific organizations.

Langdon Gilkey, a theologian, said the following about Young Earth Creationism [1]:

“… no distinction is made between scientific theories on the one hand and philosophical or religious theories on the other, between scientific questions and the sorts of questions religious beliefs seek to answer… It is, therefore, no surprise that in their theological works, as opposed to their creation science writings, creationists regard evolution and all other theories associated with it, as the intellectual source for and intellectual justification of everything that is to them evil and destructive in modern society. For them all that is spiritually healthy and creative has been for a century or more under attack by “that most complex of godless movements spawned by the pervasive and powerful system of evolutionary uniformitarianism”, “If the system of flood geology can be established on a sound scientific basis… then the entire evolutionary cosmology, at least in its present neo-Darwinian form, will collapse. This in turn would mean that every anti-Christian system and movement (communism, racism, humanism, libertarianism, behaviorism, and all the rest) would be deprived of their pseudo-intellectual foundation”, “It [evolution] has served effectively as the pseudo-scientific basis of atheism, agnosticism, socialism, fascism, and numerous faulty and dangerous philosophies over the past century.”

Not surprisingly, denominations that hold to Young Earth Creationism are those who hold to a literal and very strict adherence to scripture. That would include Seventh-Day Adventists, the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, the Evangelical Reformed Presbyterian Church, and in general Protestant Reformed Churches. Although, as with all other forms of creationism, no theory is limited to one particular group within evangelical Christianity. That can span from traditional fundamentalist Baptist to Non-Denominational Charismatics. Where many may not be able to explain why they’re fundamentalists (at least when it comes to creation), they feel it is the right thing to believe. The latter part of the last sentence was a little comic relief that’s unsupported by statistics, but true from my perspective based on personal experience – LOL.

The gallup poll below probably gives the most unbiased picture of where most Americans (not necessarily Protestants) stand on the issue [3].

I don’t pretend to speak for Young Earth Creationists, but they may ask the following questions to a Theistic Evolutionist or to an Old Earth Creationist – “How can you claim that the bible is innerant and infalliable yet question it’s creation account?” Or, to put it another way…… “How do you reconcile ‘faith’ with the fact that you use the wisdom of the world to inform what you find to be truth?”

More on that subject in my final summary……

Here are extra resources, with much more in-depth information on Young Earth Creationism:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2007/05/30/how-old-is-earth

References:

[1] Young earth creationism. (2007, December 18). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 05:32, January 11, 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Young_earth_creationism&oldid=178722800

[2] http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2007/05/30/how-old-is-earth

[3] Newport, F. (2010, June 1). In U.S., 46% Hold Creationist View of Human Origins
Highly religious Americans most likely to believe in creationism. Gallup Website. Retrieved 12:46, Jan 11, 2013, from http://www.gallup.com/poll/155003/Hold-Creationist-View-Human-Origins.aspx

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