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

Why can’t I just believe the Bible?

I’ve had a number of young-Earth creationists ask me, “Why can’t you just believe the Bible?”

My answer is, “I do believe the Bible. I just don’t believe Answers in Genesis.

Their assumption is because I don’t believe the Earth is only 6000 years old, or that Noah’s flood created most of Earth’s geological features, and a long list of additional young-Earth shibboleths, I don’t really believe the Bible.

Here are some dogmas of young-Earth creationism that are not in the Bible:

  • The Earth is only 6000 years old — There are several ways that conservative, Evangelical scholars look at the meaning of Genesis 1 in terms of how it relates to the age of the Earth. The young-Earth creationist interpretation only one of several reasonable interpretations that are consistent with what the text actually says.
  • No animals died before Adam fell into sin — Look at the relevant passages (Gen 3, Rom 5, Rom 8, 1 Cor 15). None of them say anything about whether or not animals died before sin entered the world. I wrote more about this topic here: Death before the fall — an old-Earth perspective.
  • The Flood was global — The text itself does not require a global flood. I wrote about this here: The YEC “Did God really say…?” tactic.
  • The Flood caused most of Earth’s geological features — Show me that in the Bible! I refuted Answers in Genesis’s best geological arguments for a global flood in my Six Bad Arguments From Answers in Genesis series.
  • Etc…

In each of these cases, young-Earth creationists either read something into the text that isn’t there, or draw dogmatic conclusions where dogmatism isn’t merited.

Answers in Genesis has claimed that they believe the Bible from the very first verse, with the implication that conservative, Bible-loving Christians who differ from them don’t believe the Bible from the very first verse.

The truth is that

  • Those who hold to the day-age interpretation really believe the Bible.
  • Those who hold to the analogical days interpretation really believe the Bible.
  • Those who hold to the gap theory really believe the Bible.
  • Those who hold to the revelatory day interpretation really believe the Bible.
  • Those who hold to the framework hypothesis really believe the Bible.

Like me, they just don’t necessarily believe everything Answers in Genesis has to say about Genesis.

Not everyone who holds to these positions is a conservative Christian who holds to Biblical inerrancy, but then not everyone who holds to young-Earth creationism is even a Christian (young-Earth Muslims, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc.), so that is rather irrelevant.

I’ll close with my Creation Creed, a short statement of what I do believe about creation. This isn’t everything I believe about creation, but is a good summary.

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

Grace and Peace