Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis, blogged about our point of agreement today: Do Old Earthers and Young Earthers Agree on Anything?
Recently, a blogger commented on my recent blog post about a religion professor at Butler University and his testimony of how he became a “born-again Christian.” Frankly, I saw little evidence in this professor’s testimony that he in any way understands what a “born-again Christian” really means from a biblical perspective. At the same time, without knowing the professor, I want to be careful about commenting on what his walk with God might actually be.
The blogger—who commented positively on what I wrote—believes in an old earth and thus is not an AiG supporter. The blogger stated the following:
[long quote from my blog].
Yes, old earthers and young earthers can agree in regard to the message of salvation, as this blogger and I do.
I decided to comment on this blog post for two reasons:
- I appreciate reading an old earther quoting me in regard to salvation, understanding that I do not say, and have never said, that a person has to believe in a young earth to be a Christian. Salvation is conditioned upon faith in Christ—not what one believes about the age of the earth. I have stated this clearly many times over the years. But sadly, I still read those who falsely claim we at AiG tie salvation to the age of the earth, which brings me to my second point.
- We do not tie salvation to the age of the earth, but we do tie biblical authority to the age of the earth. Although this old earther I quoted above does not agree with us (well—not yet anyway ), nonetheless I stand by our insistence that to add millions of years into Scripture is to apply a hermeneutic whereby one is taking the fallible results of man’s fallible dating methods to reinterpret the clear reading of God’s Word (e.g., reinterpreting the days of creation, adding a a gap of time, or presenting the many other similar positions).
Yes, at Answers in Genesis, we are an evangelistic ministry. We proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. However, we recognize that the gospel message comes from the Word of God, and if the Word is compromised, it can lead to (and has lead to) doubt that turns into unbelief. The results of such undermining of God’s Word are set out clearly in our book, Already Gone, which I urge you all to read. You can find out more about Already Gone and why so many young people are leaving the church from the AiG website online bookstore.
I have a strong desire that the unity we have in Christ will be stronger than our differences over secondary matters, however important those secondary matters might be to us. I really do believe that AiG is wrong in its interpretation of Scripture and its forcing of that interpretation on Earth history. I try to be careful in how I write about these matters on this blog, knowing that these are my dear brothers and sisters in Christ. I will be bold and blunt at times, but I hope to always do so in love.
And, sorry Ken, but I’m not on the verge of becoming a young-Earth creationist. Yes, I am fallible, and science is fallible. Our understanding of the Scriptures is also subject to human fallibility. As it says in the first chapter of the Westminster Confession of Faith:
All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all: yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation are so clearly propounded, and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them. [link]
The gospel is crystal clear in the Bible. Things like the age of the Earth, the extent and work of the flood, and limits on biological change, are not quite so easy to sort out.
Grace and Peace