The GeoChristian

The Earth. Christianity. They go together.

Creation Creeds

The following item was originally posted in October 2010. I have added it to my blog recycling program. Because I have new readers of The GeoChristian, I will occasionally go back and re-use some of my favorite blog entries (sometimes with a little editing).

This “Creation Creeds” post is a statement of what I, as an old-Earth, theologically conservative, confessional, “Evangelical/Presbyterian (PCA)/with a big dose of Lutheran theology” Christian believe regarding the biblical doctrine of creation.

Creation creed — short version

As an old-Earth creationist

I believe that the universe was created by the triune God of the Bible

I believe that the Bible does not dictate when this creation took place

I believe in a real Adam

in a real garden

in a real fall into sin

in real consequences for that sin

and in Jesus Christ as the only solution for sin

Amen

 

Creation creed — long version

As an old-Earth creationist

I believe that the universe—all that is seen and unseen—was created from nothing by the triune God of the Bible: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

I believe that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God

I believe that the Bible does not dictate when the creation took place, nor does it state the extent or work of Noah’s flood

I believe in a real Adam and Eve as individuals—the first humans in the image of God—and that we are all descendants of this family

I believe that all humans retain the image of God, and are therefore of very high value

I believe in a real Garden of Eden, which was at a specific location in Mesopotamia, and that the Edenic paradise did not cover the entire Earth

I believe that the natural world has inherent value, and that humans are called to be good stewards of the creation that God has given us, for the glory of God,  for the good of all humanity, and for the sake of the creation itself

I believe in a real fall into sin through Adam’s disobedience to God’s command, and in real consequences for that sin that continue to this day: human physical and spiritual death

I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the only solution for sin, and that those who put their faith in him as their savior will spend eternity with him and with each other in the New Heavens and the New Earth

Amen

January 1, 2013 - Posted by | Blog Recycling, Christianity, Creation Care, Creation in the Bible, Environment, Old-Earth creationism, Origins, Young-Earth creationism |

13 Comments »

  1. I consider my “creation creeds” to be rough drafts, and welcome any input you have as I work on these.

    I have used the short version as an answer when fellow believers question my orthodoxy when they find out I am an old-Earther. Many of them have been told over and over that if one accepts an old Earth then the doctrine of sin is thrown out the window, and that there is then no need for a savior. This is simply not true. As an old-Earth Christian “I believe in a real Adam, in a real garden, in a real fall into sin, in real consequences for that sin, and in Jesus Christ as the only solution for sin.” The age of the Earth has nothing to do with it.

    The long version is an elaboration filling in some details and adding some additional points, for example on creation care.

    These are creeds: short statements about my core beliefs. They are not intended to be exhaustive defenses of my doctrine of creation, which would take a book in order to present adequately.

    The phrase “old-Earth creationist” is taken by some as synonymous with “old-Earth anti-evolutionist,” such as the position advocated by Hugh Ross. I don’t take a stand for or against most of biological evolution, as I don’t believe the Bible addresses the topic.

    I have made only two changes to my October 2010 version of the Creation Creeds. Both changes were to the longer version.

    1. I inserted the phrase “from nothing” to the second line.

    2. I reworded line seven from

    “I believe in a real Garden of Eden, and that the human mandate was to extend the blessings of Eden to all of the Earth”

    to

    “I believe in a real Garden of Eden, which was at a specific location in Mesopotamia, and that the Edenic paradise did not cover the entire Earth”

    Perhaps the statement about Eden isn’t even necessary. I have included it as a counter to the common YEC assumption that the entire Earth was a picnic ground, what I call the “bunnies and daisies” interpretation. Instead, it seems from Genesis that the world outside of Eden was a wild place in need of subduing.

    Grace and Peace,
    Kevin (the GeoChristian)

    Comment by geochristian | January 1, 2013

  2. The statement about the garden is more important than making a distinction against YEC claims. In non-dispensational reformation theology, the garden represents the dwelling place of God and man, since, even in the beginning, heaven (God’s dwelling place) and earth (Man’s) were two distinct spheres. The garden, with the tree of life at the center, represents the place where the two overlap, in the presence of God. Had Adam obeyed, I presume that the garden would have spread along with his progeny, to cover the whole earth. The reason for this comes out of Revelation, where we see the final dwelling place of God and man being a new heaven and new earth, which can be seen as a complete overlap, where Man can dwell with God.

    Comment by AdmiralPorkchop | January 1, 2013

  3. AdmiralPorkChop,

    Do you have any suggestions for a better way to word the Garden of Eden line (line 7)?

    Comment by geochristian | January 1, 2013

  4. I would split it into two clauses, restoring the language you had taken out, which is important. I wrote the second line before I noticed that you had removed one similar – you can take or leave my wording.

    “I believe in a real Garden of Eden, in a specific place and time upon the earth, which was the dwelling place of God and man.” <– I think mentioning Mesopotamia is helpful, but not necessary. We presume the locations in the Bible correspond to that region, but I would leave it open for evidence via better biblical or scientific inquiry.

    "I believe that Adam was mandated to subdue creation in a state of perfect obedience, via the stewardship and continued obedience of him and his offspring, to bring the whole earth into perfect, eternal communion with God."

    Comment by AdmiralPorkchop | January 2, 2013

  5. [...] Creation Creeds [...]

    Pingback by Fr. Orthohippo | January 2, 2013

  6. AdmiralPorkchop — Thanks for the suggestions.

    Comment by geochristian | January 2, 2013

  7. A friend of mine commented on Facebook:

    Hey Kevin, as I understand it, this creed essentially argues that the Almighty kick started everything out of nothing, directed evolution more or less as the theory says over billions of years, and then came back in to create people a few thousand years ago? Is that correct? Thanks!

    I replied with:

    God is intimately involved in all of his creation at all times, whether he uses ordinary natural processes such as plants growing or rain clouds forming, or supernatural interventions such as the crossing of the Red Sea or the resurrection of Christ. This is very different than deism, in which God gets the ball rolling and then it is all a hands-off cause-and-effect process. I have left my Creation Creeds ambiguous on the degree to which God has intervened in the creation process. When God said “Let the land produce vegetation,” or “Let the land produce living creatures” (Gen 1:11,24), these are not creations out of nothing as it was in Gen 1:1. But is there a “natural” process that God is pushing along (something like evolution), something like animals popping out of the ground as in C.S. Lewis’s “The Magician’s Nephew,” or something else? I don’t know, and the Bible is rather vague.

    Comment by geochristian | January 2, 2013

  8. “I don’t take a stand for or against most of biological evolution, as I don’t believe the Bible addresses the topic.”

    But you do believe the Bible addresses the age of the earth?

    Comment by Mike Gantt | February 14, 2014

  9. Like many conservative Evangelical pastors and scholars, I believe that the Bible does not require a young Earth. I don’t say that the Bible teaches an old Earth, but that it is ambiguous or silent on the topic. Therefore I can go wherever the evidence leads, and I believe the scientific evidence overwhelmingly points to an old Earth.

    Comment by geochristian | February 14, 2014

  10. So then, is it fair to say that you think that the Bible is silent about both the age of the earth and evolution?

    Comment by Mike Gantt | February 14, 2014

  11. As I said in the Creation Creeds, “I believe that the Bible does not dictate when this creation took place.” I’ve elaborated in some of my GeoScriptures articles.

    I also don’t think the Bible says much about biological evolution. The typical YEC insistence that the the use of “kinds” in Genesis 1 prohibits biological evolution is reading more into the text than is required. All the text is saying is that horses reproduce horses, and petunias reproduce petunias. It does not say that the genetic makeup of populations of these species cannot change from generation to generation, nor does it place a limit on how far that variation can go. If there is a limit to biological evolution, it is a “natural” limit, not a scriptural one.

    I have summarized what the Bible says about biological evolution here: What the Bible says directly about biological evolution.

    Comment by geochristian | February 14, 2014

  12. I think the Bible plainly teaches the yec position on creation and the global flood. There is no way a plain reading of the text would give you any other position.

    Comment by Tom | April 25, 2014

  13. I am attracted to your Q&A on this topic. You clearly state the problem I feel grows from doubt. That we struggle to debate and communicate our questions about God’s gift to us, The Earth and the lives that grow here. I like to use this example about disagreement, Denominational differences being a distraction from what Jesus asks of us, “nicely”. Jesus asks us to Love and encourage love with Truth and Trust being the goal. and everywhere I look I hear Trinity this and evolution that?? followed by groanings and dismay.

    You are setting a great example for curious newborns and tired athiests, to search for true discussion and expression of true questions, I think you should advertise and entice more people to the discussion ( I literally found this site today )

    Comment by Kevin | October 29, 2014


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