Amongst Creationists

by Max Andrews

A creationist, in the broad sense of the term, is anyone who affirms that God created anything.  The most ardent Christian Darwinist is a creationist but the word isn’t regularly used in the broad sense.  Creationism is popularly referred to as young earth creationism, that is, that the universe is 6-10 thousand years old.

Creationism (source: http://www.iep.utm.edu/atheism/)

I’m an old earth creationist (big bang theism [ID]) in the midst of thousands of young earth creationists.  I believe that the big bang (standard model, 13.7 GYA) is the correct model that describes the beginning of the universe.  I’m a proponent of intelligent design though I’d consider myself a soft-agnostic with respects to early anthropology.  I’m open to common descent but my biggest hurdle to that is the Cambrian explosion.

Though I disagree with young earth creationism on many different levels I find it to be a peripheral issue in Christianity.  It doesn’t interfere with the existence of God, the gospel, or sanctification in any way.  I do get a little frustrated when creationists attempt to make it a gospel issue (though I’ve never met one personally, I’ve read it in the popular creationist literature).  The implications in holding to a young earth position are vast and depending on what one’s reasons for holding to it may affect one’s epistemology and modus operandi in science (unwarranted a priori commitments, the Bible isn’t a science book) to name a few.  In the end I find it to be an untenable position but most of my friends are creationists and we get along fine, we just simply disagree.  I hope that young earth creationists, big bang theists (ID), and theistic evolutionists can function peacefully and not allow this to be as big of a dividing issue as it is today.

It’s always fun to see someone’s reaction when they find out I believe the big bang actually happened and that I’m open to the reality of the multiverse.  If I’m the leak to the world than so be it, but there’s quite an underground network of big bang theists here at my university, we just learn to keep it hush-hush at certain times (so don’t generalize!).

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7 Responses to “Amongst Creationists”

  1. Hmm… You have some good thoughts, Max. I will have to ponder on this reasoning- I personally haven’t heard of this viewpoint before, but I am open to understanding its total implications. Good food for thought on this post.

  2. I am curious how old earth creationists reconcile billions of before the arrival of mankind and the apparent positions of Jesus and Paul…

    “Haven’t you read,” [Jesus] replied, “that He who created them in the beginning made them male and female,” (Mat. 19:4)

    “For His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse.” (Rom. 1:20)

    From these it seems that Jesus and Paul were YEC, putting the existence of humans “in the beginning”, able to perceive God “since the creation of the world.”

    Thanks 🙂

    • Why does in the beginning need to be the beginning of everything? It doesn’t even make sense in the creation timeline anyways since they were created last on the sixth day? In the beginning refers to simply the beginning of human history. Putting them at the beginning of creation isn’t accurate at all since they were created last. Also, Romans 1 has nothing to do with YEC or OEC. It simply means that divinity may be inferred from nature. Both YEC and OEC believe this. So, I’m not sure these verses argue for YEC at all.

      • Simply because at face value, that’s what the statement would mean to anyone without added assumptions. Jesus was speaking of an event ~4,000 years after it occurred. An occurrence on day 6 out of 1.5 million days would certainly be considered “in the beginning” of those days by anyone’s reckoning. If Jesus knew there were billions of years preceding Adam and Eve, He would actually be talking about relatively recent history and wouldn’t have used “beginning” as a reference point. And such a reference point would be really out of place if we could paraphrase His statement as “He who made humans when He made humans, made them male and female.”

        Romans 1 is often used as an apologetic for creation via nature as that is Paul’s main thrust there, but we can’t ignore that he seems to take for granted the fact that “since the creation of the world”, in the sense of elapsed time, people have being seeing this evidence. The Greek preposition ἀπό where we get ‘since’ or ‘from’ in this verse (Strong’s 575) can also mean ‘by’ to imply inference just as reasonably as a designation of time since or away from something. However, among the hundreds of occurrences of ἀπό, very few translate as ‘by’ (9, according to Blue Letter’s lexicon), as in Mat. 7:20 “by their fruit you will recognize them”. Paul’s statement already includes a reason to infer a divine Creator in the same sentence: “…being understood through [or ‘by’/’from’] what He has made.” The usage you suggest I think is technically permissible, but again the assumption makes for an awkwardly redundant statement. “Since the creation of the world” economically puts the beginning of human history at the beginning of the existence of the earth in what Paul was trying to say.

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