Why am I a young earth creationist?

By S. Michael Houdmann, Got Questions Ministries

Being a young earth creationist can be difficult. If you are a young earth creationist, it seems like the vast majority of scientifically-minded people in the world think you are an ignorant buffoon. Theistic evolutionists believe in an old earth. Old earth creationists believe in an old earth (hence the name). Progressive creationists believe in an old earth. So, why are young earth creationists so stubborn or thick-headed in their thinking?

For me, there are two primary reasons. First, young earth creationism seems to be what the Bible teaches. While I do not deny the possibility of gaps, even significant gaps, in the genealogies in Genesis chapters 5 and 11, why would those passages give ages if it was not intended to give some sort of a timeline?

A literal and specially-created Adam and Eve are crucial to Christian theology (see Romans 5). If you deny a literal understanding of Genesis 1-3, it causes all kinds of problems in other areas of biblical interpretation. For me, even a very practical question is key: Why should we interpret the rest of the Bible literally if we don’t interpret the beginning of the Bible literally?

Do I think the Bible explicitly declares the earth is only 6016 years old? No, but I am far more comfortable with that age than I am with 14.6 billion. Why?

Because in order for Darwinian/naturalistic evolution to be true, the universe must be exceedingly old. Therefore, I am not going to easily grant the old earth hypothesis. In order for evolution to have even the slightest chance of occurring, billions of years are necessary. The odds of even one protein molecule forming by chance is infinitesimally small, even if given billions of years of time. I am surprised scientists have not yet decided that the universe is actually trillions of years old.

When I see the absolute hatred of God that spews forth from many atheists (hatetheists), I am not going to compromise with them on anything. Naturalistic evolution is the creation story of atheism. In order for atheism to be true, evolution must also be true. In order for evolution to be true, the universe must be billions of years old. That is why "billions of years" are pounded into our brains relentlessly from childhood by the scientific community.

We must have billions of years or else evolution is not true, and if evolution is not true, then creationism is true, and if creationism is true, God exists, and if God exists, I am accountable to Him for my actions–therefore the Earth must be billions of years old!

So, that brings me to my second primary reason for being a young earth creationist. Granting billions of years is like giving the hatetheists the first three moves in a chess match. Why should we so easily surrender a point that is absolutely essential to our opponents’ argument, especially when the Bible seems to teach something different?

I understand why old earth and progressive creationists hold to an old earth. There is scientific data which seems to point to this theory. I do not believe, as some young earth creationists do, that old earth creationists are rejecting the Bible and accepting the old earth hypothesis in order to earn respect in the eyes of the scientific community.

Rather, the vast majority of old earth creationists arrive at the old earth theory by examining the data and arriving at an old earth conclusion. I do not doubt the validity of their faith. I do not question their love of God’s Word. More than anything else, what I question is their strategy.

As can be easily seen in the scientific community’s rejection of intelligent design (which entirely accepts an exceedingly old earth), agreeing with them on an old earth does not get us anywhere. The hatetheists and scientific community intelligentsia are ardently opposed to intelligent design, and all the various forms of old earth and progressive creationism. They are not satisfied with anything other than pure, atheistic, naturalistic evolution–and they never will be.

Ultimately, their problem is not with creationism. Their problem is with God.

Romans 1:18-22 declares, "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles."

With that passage in mind, I am going to stick with a literal understanding of the Genesis creation account. If Romans 1:18-22 and 3:10-18 are what drive the hatetheist mindset of those who seemingly control the scientific community, I am not going to grant anything in this argument. While old earth creationism is compatible with the Christian worldview and the Gospel of Jesus Christ (although not without some significant issues), why grant an old earth when doing so is meaningless in terms of opening an atheistic evolutionist’s mind to the truth? Ultimately, the issue is their hatred of God, not the age of the earth.

Perhaps the Earth really is billions of years old. Should God one day correct me on this, I will gladly and humbly accept His enlightenment. But, until that day, I am not going to grant the hatetheists the first three moves. I am bad enough at chess as it is! Just ask my old earth creationist friend who can beat me with his back turned to the board.

Related article: Is there any evidence for the Bible's view of a young earth?

Image Source: Suus Wansink; "Creation (47/52)"; Creative Commons

TagsControversial-Issues  | False-Teaching  | Science-Creation

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Published 8-29-12