The GeoChristian

The Earth. Christianity. They go together.

Creation creeds

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 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, and that the human mandate was to extend the blessings of Eden to all of the 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

——————————————–

P.S. I have posted a slightly revised version of these creation creeds here. Any new comments should be posted there.

October 6, 2010 - Posted by | Age of the Earth, Apologetics, Creation in the Bible, Old-Earth creationism, Young-Earth creationism | ,

24 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.

    Grace and Peace,
    Kevin (the GeoChristian)

    Like

    Comment by geochristian | October 6, 2010

  2. I like them a lot!

    Not even a slightest quibble for the short version.

    The longer version would only have a couple possible connotations which I might try to avoid if I were to say it is my view too – not disagreements, but a bit of clarification.

    But then, it wouldn’t be nearly as neat and concise, which has considerable value in itself. There are parts to the Nicene Creed which I think could use a bit of clarification too, but then pretty soon it would start becoming unwieldy and pretty exclusive if I/we started doing that. The wisdom of over 1500 years of Christians to not try to clarify and precisely define the NC is great. I should apply that same sort of wisdom to this too and leave it as is.

    Did you work on it yourself or did you find it somewhere? Some of that wording sounds quite like your common wording. How long have you worked on this?

    Like

    Comment by WebMonk | October 6, 2010

  3. WebMonk:

    Thanks for your affirmation. I have worked on the short creed informally for several years, and you may have seen it in the comments section of other posts, both on The GeoChristian and on other blogs.

    I have seen the need for a longer creation creed for some time, and have written down my thoughts here and there over the past several months. I am sure it could use some refining.

    I tried to keep these to a core that most old-Earthers would agree with. I know some would say that I was either too specific or too vague on what I said about Adam. So be it, for now.

    Like

    Comment by geochristian | October 6, 2010

  4. Kevin:

    “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”

    Hrm…. uncomfortable. Is “to extend the blessing of Eden to all of the Earth,” found somewhere, explicitly, in Scripture?

    A) I’m uncomfortable with things I don’t pre-agree with (like everyone else), but B) I’m uncomfortable putting something in a creed that isn’t explicit in Scripture (even when I believe it).

    Like

    Comment by Jody | October 6, 2010

  5. Jody (#4):

    Thanks for your comment about “extending the blessing of Eden to all of the Earth.” I agree that this might be an extension that isn’t taught explicitly in Scripture, and I will consider revising the statement.

    My belief in this is based on:

    • The fact that the Garden of Eden is presented in Genesis 2 as a specific place in Mesopotamia rather than the entire Earth.
    • The command to “subdue” the Earth (Gen 1:28) implies that it needed subduing.
    • The belief that there was animal death before the fall.

    It may have been a wild world outside of the protection of the Garden of Eden.

    I think this all is consistent with the teaching of Scriptures, but perhaps not certain enough to place into a creed.

    Right now these are my personal creeds, but I want them to be somewhat “ecumenical” in that things are boiled down to the essentials rather than my personal preferences. That is why I haven’t said anything about day-age vs. analogical days vs. framework vs. other interpretations.

    Like

    Comment by geochristian | October 6, 2010

  6. Kevin (#5):

    Yeah, I’m cool with that. I /tend/ to disagree, but I’m uncertain as to whether or not I have a theological or scriptural leg to stand on.

    “Subdue the earth” is not the same as “extend the limits of this garden to the limits of the earth.” On the other hand it’s not /necessarily/ different, either.

    The world was most likely dangerous outside the garden, we have no reason to believe that the highest predators were allowed inside the garden.

    I have dabbled with writing a creed of my own. I think it’s a good exercise to test one’s beliefs. I appreciate your boldness in publishing yours to the world for scrutiny.

    Like

    Comment by Jody | October 6, 2010

  7. So, just out of curiosity, do you believe in the evolution or the special creation of man? I haven’t been able to determine your views regarding human evolution. . .

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    Comment by ahumanoid | October 6, 2010

  8. ahumanoid:

    I didn’t mention evolution at all, whether in general or as it applies to humans. Perhaps I should have something in my long version.

    I don’t think the Bible says anything one way or the other about biological evolution, so I am content to leave it as a scientific issue. Some take biological evolution and twist it into an anti-theistic philosophy, and I do have problems with that.

    In regards to human evolution, I am content to leave the question open for now as to whether Adam was created from scratch or was somehow a re-made hominid. YECs and other strict anti-evolutionists (e.g. Hugh Ross) don’t leave any room for figurative language in Genesis. When it says, “then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground” (Gen 2:7 ESV), is it saying that God literally took a pile of soil and formed it into a man, or does it mean that we are made of the same stuff as the rest of creation, and therefore are intimately related to the creation rather than being separate from it? I tend toward the more figurative interpretation.

    There is an excellent article in the current issue of Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith that addresses this issue that I hope to blog on soon: “Adam and Eve as Historical People, and Why it Matters” by Dr. C. John Collins of Covenant Theological Seminary.

    I apologize if my answer seems a little wishy-washy. Thanks for asking.

    Like

    Comment by geochristian | October 7, 2010

  9. If anyone wants to read the article to which Geo referred, you can find it here:

    http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/2010/PSCF9-10Collins.pdf

    Like

    Comment by WebMonk | October 7, 2010

  10. WebMonk:

    Thanks for the link. I looked for it online, but not with enough perseverance.

    Like

    Comment by geochristian | October 7, 2010

  11. I will probably add the phrase “from nothing” to the long version, so it reads, “I believe that the universe—all that is seen and unseen—was created from nothing by the triune God of the Bible.”

    It was in my notes, but didn’t make it into the statement.

    Like

    Comment by geochristian | October 7, 2010

  12. Hi Kevin,

    Re #8, have you seen any of Dick Fischer’s material on Historical Genesis (http://www.historicalgenesis.com/)? He’s spoken as several ASA conferences. In one of the chapters of his book, he points out that some passages in the OT suggest that both “sons of Adam” and “sons of men” existed (e.g., Is 2:9), but early Bible translators (e.g., for King James) covered this up because they had a pre-conceived notion that all humans were descended from Adam. Later translations followed suit. I’m only part way through the book now – it’s an interesting read.

    Like

    Comment by Tim Helble | October 7, 2010

  13. Tim, I’m going to pull a classic Internet maneuver and talk about something I have no real clue about, so take this for what it’s worth – next to nothing.

    Your mention of that is the first I’ve ever heard of that idea. I’ve heard of something vaguely similar that based on the “sons of God” having children with the “daughters of man”, but that’s still pretty different.

    Anyway, I just pulled up http://bible.cc/isaiah/2-9.htm

    The commentaries on the verse mention that it’s a common happening, and means something quite different from Fischer’s suggestion. That is the sum total of everything I know about the topic. The “adam” formation of the word meaning something like “of low station” whereas the “iysh” variant meaning “of high rank”.

    If it were referring to sons of Adam and sons of other men, I would have thought the “low” and “high” would be reversed, if anything.

    Like

    Comment by WebMonk | October 7, 2010

  14. Tim (#12):

    I had not seen Fischer’s material before, so thanks for the link. The fact that he has spoken at ASA conferences certainly gives him some scholarly credibility. On the other hand, his ideas don’t seem to have caught on in the broader old-Earth community.

    Genesis 5:2 uses adam in a plural sense, referring to more than one person: “Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created” (ESV). Man in this verse is adam, and refers to both the male and the female.

    The possibility that the individual Adam was the head of a group of the first humans (adam in the Gen 5:2 sense) is certainly a topic for further study, and Collins addresses it somewhat in the article WebMonk gave the link to in #9.

    Like

    Comment by geochristian | October 7, 2010

  15. May Merciful Radhasoami Show Mercy!

    The great epic Ramayana and other Hindu Scriptures also deal with biological evolution.

    Not only internal evolution but also biological evolution, Ramayana deals with. The period of Lord Ram is believed to be 10 million years ago. Hanuman (Ape-man) also lived during this age. Period of Lord Ram and Hanuman signifies the separation of man and ape man from a common ancestor. Both used to communicate in same language.

    Like

    Comment by Anirudh Kumar Satsangi | October 21, 2010

  16. I think the current estimates on when humans diverged from the chimp is about 5-7 million years ago, not 10 million.

    And, do you mean Lord Rama, instead of Lord Ram?

    And I think Lord Rama is estimated to be a person around 1500-1400 BC, not 10,000,000 BC.

    And he’s never portrayed as any sort of beginning of anything.

    And Hanuman isn’t portrayed as the beginning, or even around the beginning of anything.

    And, and, and, and ….

    Like

    Comment by WebMonk | October 21, 2010

  17. Absolutely wrong WebMonk. The period of Lord Krishna is believed to be more than 3000 B.C. The period of Lord Ram is several thousands years before the period of Lord Krishna. Western Historians had distorted the history to the greatest possible extent they could.

    Like

    Comment by Anirudh Kumar Satsangi | February 24, 2011

  18. Now you say that the period of Lord Ram (discounting the conspiracies of westerners) was a couple thousand years before 3000 BC.

    In comment 15, you said Lord Ram was around 10 MILLION years BC.

    So which is it?

    Like

    Comment by WebMonk | February 24, 2011

  19. Several thousands years may extend up to many millions years. Whatever I have written is correct according to Hindu Mythology. Thanks

    Like

    Comment by Anirudh Kumar Satsangi | February 25, 2011

  20. Lord Ram reigned for 10 MILLION years, and then along came Lord Krishna and reigned for only a fraction of a ten thousandth of that time?!?!?

    Suddenly the YECs aren’t looking quite so nuts!

    Like

    Comment by WebMonk | February 25, 2011

  21. No, no. I do not mean this. The period of Lord Ram is about 10 million B.C. and the period of Lord Krishna is more than 3000 B.C.

    Like

    Comment by Anirudh Kumar Satsangi | February 25, 2011

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