Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
shiloh357

A Soul’s Salvation Could Hinge On the Earth’s Age

59 posts in this topic

A Soul’s Salvation Could Hinge On the Earth’s Age

 

http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=3792

 

 

 

by  Kyle Butt, M.A.

For over three decades, Apologetics Press has contended that the Earth’s age is a topic of great importance. A straightforward reading of Genesis leads the reader to the conclusion that God created the entire Universe in six, literal 24-hour days only a few thousand years ago (Butt, 2002; DeYoung, 2005). We have contended that a compromise of this biblical truth opens the door of acceptance to false beliefs, such as evolution and the mythologizing of the Bible’s historic narrative (Lyons, 2008).

 

In the course of our work, we have been accosted by many who do not appreciate our young Earth position. Many people, including a host of well-meaning Christians, think that the age of the Earth is not an issue that should be taught, since it “causes such division.” They believe that we should simply talk about creation, the Bible, Jesus, and His church, and leave “peripheral” issues like the Earth’s age alone. Why would we choose, they contend, to spend our time teaching about something that is irrelevant to a person’s salvation, when there are so many other topics that we could address?

 

The idea that the Earth’s age should be left alone struck us full force when we were invited to speak at a large elementary school several years ago. My colleague, Eric Lyons, and I were scheduled to speak to the kids about creation. We were told that the school’s position on the age of the Earth was divided, some teachers and administrators believing the evolutionary-based billions-of-years idea, while others accepting the biblical time frame. I informed them that the young Earth concept was central to our teaching, and that we simply would not be able to avoid the topic. They assured us that we could address the Earth’s age during our presentations. Once we arrived, however, the age of the Earth again became an issue. Due to some pressure from parents who had been informed of our position, the principal pulled Eric aside only minutes before he was scheduled to address the entire assembly. She informed him that he should not address the topic during his presentation. He was shocked, and reminded her that we had discussed this, and had been given approval to teach about the Earth’s age. Needless to say, Eric did not adjust his presentation. He continued with his message that an all-powerful God created the Earth thousands, not billions, of years ago.

 

A recent article posted on ScienceDaily underscores one primary reason why it is important for Christians to teach the truth about a young Earth. Sehoya Cotner and Randy Moore, biology professors at the University of Minnesota, teamed up with Christopher Banks of the school’s Office of Information and Technology. They presented to 400 students a survey that contained questions about creation and evolution. The result of the survey indicated that those students who accept the billions-of-years time frame for the Earth more readily accept concepts such as human evolution. The article reporting the research stated: “High school and college students who understand the geological age of the Earth (4.5 billion years) are much more likely to understand and accept human evolution” (“Students’ Perceptions...,” 2010, emp. added). Researcher Sehoya Cotner stated: “The role of the Earth’s age is a key variable that we can use to improve education about evolution, which is important because it is the unifying principle of biology” (as quoted in “Students’ Perceptions...,” 2010).

 

While Cotner is wrong that the false concept of evolution is the unifying principle of biology, she is exactly right about one thing: if students can be taught that the Earth is billions of years old, then they will more readily adopt evolution. At Apologetics Press, we have known this fact for years. The age of the Earth is the “gateway” concept that makes evolution palatable. The mental process at work in a person who compromises the biblical idea of a young Earth is the same process that must be in place to accept the erroneous concept of human evolution. Cotner’s research verifies the fact that the Earth’s age is not a peripheral issue that can be left untaught. Instead, the Earth’s age could literally be the point at which the battle to win the hearts and minds of our young people to the truth about Creation is won or lost. In a very real sense, what a person believes about the Earth’s age has the potential to greatly impact his or her eternal destiny. Cotner and her fellow evolutionists know the importance of the battle over the Earth’s age. That is why they are urging their fellow evolutionists to recognize it, and use the alleged billions of years to “improve education about evolution.”

 

Cotner’s enthusiastic rally around the age of the Earth should be a wake up call to Christians as well. If evolutionists understand the importance of teaching about the Earth’s age, creationists should recognize the battlefront and be willing to stand for the truth. It may well be the case that if you can keep one young person from believing in an old Earth, that young person will be insulated against other erroneous concept’s such as human evolution, and equipped to defend the basic truths of Christianity—that there is a God, the Bible is His inspired Word, and Jesus Christ is His son.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem is,unless you change the body of facts setting up a young earth scenario as a part of the Christian faith is going to make it much harder for anyone to actually hear the *gospel*.  I know for myself, it's just not possible to up and decide that the earth is 10k years old. Unless all the facts change tomorrow, or God literally changes my mind, it's not a live option. Pushing that dilemma on young people does  not seem like a good solution to anything except the promotion of an unstable cognitive dissonance.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem is,unless you change the body of facts setting up a young earth scenario as a part of the Christian faith is going to make it much harder for anyone to actually hear the *gospel*.  I know for myself, it's just not possible to up and decide that the earth is 10k years old. Unless all the facts change tomorrow, or God literally changes my mind, it's not a live option. Pushing that dilemma on young people does  not seem like a good solution to anything except the promotion of an unstable cognitive dissonance.

 

Ultimately, it is not about the age of the earth.  It is about providing a path toward an evolutionary mindset.  The old earth theory is just a weigh station on the way to becoming an evolutionist for many young impressionable minds.  It is where this is going.   The evolutionists know this and so they are not trying push Evolution completely.  They are cleverly setting the stage for evolution to be accepted by simply changing minds and getting them to accept certain premises that need to be in place before they can be convinced of evolution.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The problem is,unless you change the body of facts setting up a young earth scenario as a part of the Christian faith is going to make it much harder for anyone to actually hear the *gospel*.  I know for myself, it's just not possible to up and decide that the earth is 10k years old. Unless all the facts change tomorrow, or God literally changes my mind, it's not a live option. Pushing that dilemma on young people does  not seem like a good solution to anything except the promotion of an unstable cognitive dissonance.

 

Ultimately, it is not about the age of the earth.  It is about providing a path toward an evolutionary mindset.  The old earth theory is just a weigh station on the way to becoming an evolutionist for many young impressionable minds.  It is where this is going.   The evolutionists know this and so they are not trying push Evolution completely.  They are cleverly setting the stage for evolution to be accepted by simply changing minds and getting them to accept certain premises that need to be in place before they can be convinced of evolution.

 

All the more reason, in my mind, to talk about openly and honestly what the gospel is, in the bare sense, before deciding to attach all these extra requirements to it. It seems that you are coming from the mindset of protecting young Christian minds, whereas I can't help but thing about this in terms of not having seekers walk away over details which don't actually pertain to salvation. I don't think that YEC science has a chance. The doctrine itself I see as something distinct from that, at least I do now, but it has taken me a while to see that distinction. When someone comes looking at the faith and someone is pounding YEC on them suddenly there are images of Ray Comfort promoting the shape of bananas as proof of creation, and the entire thing looks too ridiculous to take seriously. I don't think this is a good distraction at all.

 

The gospel is belief, faith, in Jesus as the resurrected savior. Through Him we have eternal life. Seekers, young impressionable Christian minds, etc., should know that wherever they fall on the evolutionary question this is the case.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

All the more reason, in my mind, to talk about openly and honestly what the gospel is, in the bare sense, before deciding to attach all these extra requirements to it. It seems that you are coming from the mindset of protecting young Christian minds, whereas I can't help but thing about this in terms of not having seekers walk away over details which don't actually pertain to salvation.

 

The Bible is not a book where you can divorce the beginning from the end.  Genesis is the seedbed for all of the theology including the theology of salvation, that will follow.  Genesis is where we learn about the origin of sin and the need that existed which precipitated the death of Jesus on the cross.

 

The Gospel depends on a literal interpretation of Genesis from beginning to end.  The Gospel is more than just "Jesus died on the cross for your sins."   That is the heart of it, but that is not where it stops or starts.   The Gospel begins in Genesis.   If Genesis doesn't really mean what it says, the apostles and Jesus himself were deluded and the death of Jesus on the cross was a meaningless act.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The Bible is not a book where you can divorce the beginning from the end. 

Yes you can.

 

 

 

The Gospel depends on a literal interpretation of Genesis from beginning to end.  The Gospel is more than just "Jesus died on the cross for your sins."   That is the heart of it, but that is not where it stops or starts.   The Gospel begins in Genesis.   If Genesis doesn't really mean what it says, the apostles and Jesus himself were deluded and the death of Jesus on the cross was a meaningless act.

 

Not at all. I believe that we are sinful and need of a Savior. I also believe evolution happened, under God's guidance. Whether you think this is a coherent view or not, it's a possible one. Insisting that people deny the mainstream scientific picture in totality is an unnecessary barrier.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

The Bible is not a book where you can divorce the beginning from the end. 

Yes you can.

 

 

 

The Gospel depends on a literal interpretation of Genesis from beginning to end.  The Gospel is more than just "Jesus died on the cross for your sins."   That is the heart of it, but that is not where it stops or starts.   The Gospel begins in Genesis.   If Genesis doesn't really mean what it says, the apostles and Jesus himself were deluded and the death of Jesus on the cross was a meaningless act.

 

Not at all. I believe that we are sinful and need of a Savior. I also believe evolution happened, under God's guidance. Whether you think this is a coherent view or not, it's a possible one. Insisting that people deny the mainstream scientific picture in totality is an unnecessary barrier.

 

Sorry but Evolution and the Bible don't mix.  You can't be a true evolutionist and a Bible believer, any more than you can be an agnostic or an atheist and still be a Christian.     

 

The Bible doesn't make room for evolution.  Maybe they can be mixed in your theologically unsophisticated imagination, but they don't mix in reality.  The claims of Scripture are not compatible with Evolution and only someone who is willing to be honest about the text of the Bible can understand that.  Evidently, you are not willing to be. 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

The Bible is not a book where you can divorce the beginning from the end. 

Yes you can.

 

 

 

The Gospel depends on a literal interpretation of Genesis from beginning to end.  The Gospel is more than just "Jesus died on the cross for your sins."   That is the heart of it, but that is not where it stops or starts.   The Gospel begins in Genesis.   If Genesis doesn't really mean what it says, the apostles and Jesus himself were deluded and the death of Jesus on the cross was a meaningless act.

 

Not at all. I believe that we are sinful and need of a Savior. I also believe evolution happened, under God's guidance. Whether you think this is a coherent view or not, it's a possible one. Insisting that people deny the mainstream scientific picture in totality is an unnecessary barrier.

 

Sorry but Evolution and the Bible don't mix.  You can't be a true evolutionist and a Bible believer, any more than you can be an agnostic or an atheist and still be a Christian.     

 

The Bible doesn't make room for evolution.  Maybe they can be mixed in your theologically unsophisticated imagination, but they don't mix in reality.  The claims of Scripture are not compatible with Evolution and only someone who is willing to be honest about the text of the Bible can understand that.  Evidently, you are not willing to be. 

 

Which claims of scripture are essential for salvation? Even if you want to say that you cannot have believe in Genesis and evolution (which I think I do, but putting that aside from the moment), why couldn't you believe that Jesus died for your sins and have faith in Him? You're adding a lot of extra stuff to salvation here.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Which claims of scripture are essential for salvation?

 

There is a difference between talking about what pertains to salvation and what is essential to salvation.  Genesis does pertain to salvation.   The need for salvation is establsihed in Genesis because of the fall of man in the Garden   The first Messianic Prophecy about Jesus and salvation is made in Genesis.   Genesis 1-3 establishes Jesus as the sovereign Creator, Righteous Redeemer and Eternal Judge of mankind.  Genesis is where the Abrahamic Covenant is first cut which is a type of the New Covenent cut in Jesus blood through which we get salvation.

 

The problem is that when you around trying to claim that Genesis can't be taken literally, you do immeasurable harm to the Scriptures pertaining to salvation in Genesis.  I am not saying that if you don't believe in YEC that you are not a Christian.   I am saying that the whole earth age debate isn't about the age of the earth.  It is about indoctrination into the myth of Evolution, which usually ends up producing theologically and spritually immature and inept Christians, or it ends up enabling some people's embrace of atheism.  

 

Even if you want to say that you cannot have believe in Genesis and evolution (which I think I do, but putting that aside from the moment), why couldn't you believe that Jesus died for your sins and have faith in Him? You're adding a lot of extra stuff to salvation here.

 

That only shows that you don't really have a firm grasp on what is being argued.

 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Bible is not a book where you can divorce the beginning from the end.

Yes you can.

The Gospel depends on a literal interpretation of Genesis from beginning to end. The Gospel is more than just "Jesus died on the cross for your sins." That is the heart of it, but that is not where it stops or starts. The Gospel begins in Genesis. If Genesis doesn't really mean what it says, the apostles and Jesus himself were deluded and the death of Jesus on the cross was a meaningless act.

Not at all. I believe that we are sinful and need of a Savior. I also believe evolution happened, under God's guidance. Whether you think this is a coherent view or not, it's a possible one. Insisting that people deny the mainstream scientific picture in totality is an unnecessary barrier.

Sorry but Evolution and the Bible don't mix. You can't be a true evolutionist and a Bible believer, any more than you can be an agnostic or an atheist and still be a Christian.

The Bible doesn't make room for evolution. Maybe they can be mixed in your theologically unsophisticated imagination, but they don't mix in reality. The claims of Scripture are not compatible with Evolution and only someone who is willing to be honest about the text of the Bible can understand that. Evidently, you are not willing to be.

Very controversial comment you made here Shiloh, and one that I don't believe is your call. In particular your comment-

"You can't be a true evolutionist and a bible believer..."

At least you didn't say, " and a true believer..."

But, to say that everyone who believes in evolution CANNOT BELIEVE in the bible rubs me very wrong. I don't think I'm alone either. And for your benefit, I do believe in micro evolution, but not macro evolution.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0