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‘Creationist letter’ published in The Church of England Newspaper1

Photo by Mauricio Nascimento, www.sxc.hu

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by

Published: 22 December 2009(GMT+10)

The following letter was sent to the Church of England Newspaper by one of CMI’s supporters in response to recent correspondence about creation. To his surprise, they printed it in full. We share it here as a great example of a polite-but-challenging letter that summarises a lot of pertinent information and teaching points.

Sir,

Rev Colin C.2 tells us that “the authority of Scripture is the authority of Scripture rightly interpreted.” Yet he insists that we accept his own interpretation, which owes more to the evolutionary ideas of those hostile to God, than to the text of the Bible.

It is sad to see our churchmen setting more authority in the changing theories of fallible man, than in the plain teaching of Scripture; and it is hard to imagine how the Bible could have been written to make it more clear that Genesis contains a historical account of recent 6 day creation:

‘ … it is hard to imagine how the Bible could have been written to make it more clear that Genesis contains a historical account of recent 6 day creation.’

  • God confirmed recent 6 day creation with his own finger (Ex. 20:11, Ex. 31:17)
  • Jesus accepted the historicity of Genesis, quoting from it over 25 times, and taught a young earth. (’But at the “beginning” of creation God “made them male and female.” Mark 10:6. Also Luke 11:50.)
  • All the NT authors quoted from Genesis as a historical account. If Paul was mistaken in teaching that physical death is a result of Adam’s sin, then how are we to determine what Scripture, if any, is reliable?
  • Besides, if the wages of sin is not physical death, then why did Jesus suffer physical death? The Gospel becomes nonsense.
  • Taking account of tradition, Genesis has been accepted as a historical account by the vast majority of Christians for the vast majority of the church’s life. This includes the reformers Calvin and Luther.
  • Finally, you would struggle to find a single Hebrew scholar in all the world that did not agree that the author’s intended meaning was six 24 hour days.

On what grounds should I reject the above in favour of Canon C.’s interpretation?

In any case, the scientific evidence does not fit the old-earth picture. According to secular thinking, diamonds are more than a billion years old, yet they can be carbon dated to just thousands of years old; volcanic rock from Mt St Helen’s is millions of years old according to potassium-argon radiometric dating, yet we know it is just 29 years old. Nevertheless, we are told to accept radiometric dating as authoritative, and anyone that dares question the prevailing dogma is branded loony.

Jesus and the age of the world

(Note: this box did not form part of the author’s letter)


The ‘secular timeline’, from an alleged ‘big bang’ to now, is accepted by most people in the evangelical Christian world, even though they would deny evolution. However, this puts people at the ‘end’ of creation (see diagram right). But in several places in the Bible, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator made flesh, makes it plain that this is wrong—people were there from the beginning of creation. This means that the world cannot be billions of years old.

For example, dealing with the doctrine of marriage, Jesus says in Mark 10:6, ‘But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female.

In Luke 11:50–51, Jesus says:

That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation; From the blood of Abel to the blood of Zacharias …’.

Romans 1:20 makes it plain that people can clearly see God’s power by looking at the ‘things that are made’, and that people have been able to see this ‘from the creation of the world’. Not billions of years after creation.

The truth is that we all have the same evidence, which exists in the present, and that evidence has to be interpreted based on “assumptions.” The evidence does not speak for itself. Operational science, working in the present, does not enable us to prove things about the unobservable past.

‘ … even secular scientists acknowledge the role of catastrophism. After all, you don’t fossilise a dinosaur by burying it a millimetre at a time over hundreds of years!’

It is not a surprise that some scientists infer age from the evidence when that is one of their starting assumptions. The idea of great age stems from a belief in uniformitarianism. This is clearly unbiblical, and even secular scientists acknowledge the role of catastrophism. After all, you don’t fossilise a dinosaur by burying it a millimetre at a time over hundreds of years! When one starts with the assumption that the Bible is a true record of history (a record of past observation), then one comes to a different interpretation of the evidence. It is not a question of one or other side doing ‘bad science’. It is a question of different assumptions and different worldviews.

In fact, there are many methods that can be used to estimate the age of the earth, and the vast majority of them indicate youth, presenting a challenge for those with an old-earth worldview. For example: the recession of the moon, the existence of short-term comets, the composition and nature of the planets, the salinity of the oceans, the erosion of the continents, human history, and many more. The majority of people believe the earth is old, whilst ignoring the majority of the evidence! (‘Young’ age of the Earth & Universe Q&A)

I invite Canon C. to think again about the age of the earth, taking care to consider the presuppositions and worldviews of the different sides of the argument.

Yours truly

Duncan Reeve

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Reference

  1. The author’s letter was published by C. of E. Newspaper in the second week of October 2009. Return to text.
  2. Name abbreviated from the original letter, here and in subsequent mentions of the clergyman’s name. Return to text.

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