Does CMI believe in an old earth?
Published: 6 February 2010 (GMT+10)
With the word getting out in the United States about CMI’s upcoming Creation Supercamp, it wasn’t that surprising that we received an enquiry asking where we stand on the age-of-the-earth issue:
Dear Creation Ministries International,
Since I was given word about your conference, I wanted to know if you teach an “old-earth” creationism. After reading Hugh Ross, I am convinced that our God is not deceptive and what tests old really is old.
I do hope you agree. I would be pleased to receive your reply.
Gary Bates, CEO of CMI-US, responds:
This could be a very long email to argue the case for a young-Earth and what is defined as old.
Firstly, the earth is old—in the order of several thousands of years (see The earth: how old does it look?). I suggest that the only reason one might not think that is old is because we accept the secular methodology and interpretations of the geologic record of slow gradual uniformitarianism. That’s where the idea of millions of years came from in the first place. However, it is now well established that the same geology that was thought to take millions of years can now be formed rapidly as a result of catastrophic processes. You would do well to read more on this subject rather than presume that ‘tests’ can be performed to determine the age of things. This is clearly not the case. Please take a look at our Q and A section on our website, otherwise you risk believing in half truths of such things, particularly if you have not heard sound cogent arguments for a young-earth creation. For example, see Geology Questions and Answers. Our website, Creation.com contains over 32 years worth of creation research and over 7,000 fully searchable articles on this subject matter. My point being, that the ‘young-earth’ view as you might call it, is not just held by a small group of scientists. This should immediately make one question the views of Hugh Ross etc.
Also, you might like to investigate the section Radiometric Dating Questions and Answers. There is no ‘test’ you can actually perform to prove the age of anything. This is an incorrect assumption.
With respect to Hugh Ross, his revisionism of the Bible is not supported by the text itself. For example, where does the Bible actually mention millions of years or indicate that the earth is in the order of billions of years? You will not gain that impression by reading the text itself. These are outside views imposed upon the Scriptures, because Ross accepts the science of people who actually start outside the Bible. Ross has also wriggled around the issue of death before the Fall, which a millions-of-years view clearly violates. And as such, it obviates the very reason Christ came to this earth to pay the penalty of death for our sins. Here are just some of the articles discussing Ross’ Progressive Creationism position.
- Refuting Compromise product information. This is actually one of our major books that deals with the views of progressive creation.
- The dubious apologetics of Hugh Ross (semi-technical)
- Exposé of NavPress’s new Hugh Ross Book (semi-technical)
- Critique of the introductory chapter of Hugh Ross’ new book A Matter of Days: Resolving a Creation Controversy (semi-technical)
- Hugh Ross lays down the gauntlet! (semi-technical)
- Hugh Ross Exposé (Refutation of his article on the Christian Leadership Ministry website)
- Ten major differences and similarities between Calendar-Day and Day-Age Creationists—According to Dr Hugh Ross
Although Hugh Ross might be popular in certain isolated church circles, his view is a fringe view among the evangelical community of scientists. Creation Ministries International employs more scientists than any Christian organization in the world. All science, whether secular or Christian should be subject to peer review, and in this respect Ross’s views have failed the litmus test—both scientifically and theologically. And as you can see there is a huge body of work by a range of Christians (not all from this ministry) that take exception to the dubious apologetics of Hugh Ross.
I’m sorry if this comes across as a little strong, but I get very concerned when I hear Christians accepting such views. Ross has not responded to his critics and we are all still waiting for his refutation of the book Refuting Compromise, which deals specifically with his claims. This book has been described as the most comprehensive scientific and theological defense of a literal, historical Genesis ever written. I recommend you obtain a copy.
On the surface, his apparent harmony of secular science and Scripture sounds appealing until one realizes that the very Gospel of Christ is undermined in the process. You may not be aware of why this is so. Therefore, I encourage you to consider coming to the camp, where you will hear leading scientists help us understand that we can fully trust and understand the book of Genesis (and the whole Bible) without resorting to manmade ideas and without abandoning real science as shown in this article:
And finally, I agree that God is not deceptive. Therefore what we see in God’s world should be consistent with God’s Word. As I’ve stated, you will not see the expression millions of years (MoY) in Scripture, therefore if the earth is old then God would be deceptive as it would be inconsistent with what we can plainly read in His Word. For example, if you were to look at the Gospel of Luke you can trace Jesus’ ancestry all the way back to Adam. There would have to be millions of missing genealogies in the text to squeeze MoY in there somehow. See also Biblical chronogenealogies.
Moreover, the very words of Jesus in Mark 10:6 tell us that God created them male and female at the beginning of creation. In a 14 billion year old universe as Ross claims, with man being created only a few thousand years ago as indicated by the biblical chronologies, it would actually put man at the end of creation (in other words recently) not at the beginning (14 billion years etc.) I don’t think Jesus the Creator (John 1) would make such fundamental errors about such things. See Jesus and the age of the world, and But from the beginning of … the institution of marriage? which refutes Ross’ arguments against this.
All of mankind’s recorded history and writings only go back a few thousand years. This also supports the Bible’s view. If Homo sapiens have been around for 150–160,000 years as Ross claims, where is humankind’s written history? Every time the secular science changes its dates in this regard, progressive creationists change their interpretation of Scripture to suit. For example, Ross accepts big bang cosmology. The big bang of 20 years ago is nothing like the big bang of today. In addition, today there are probably a dozen different versions of the big bang. Which one will Ross hang his theology on? And what happens if the big bang loses favour in the secular world? Already many secular cosmologists point out all the fudge factors necessary to preserve it. Will progressive creationists re-interpret their re-intepretation of Genesis? See also Secular scientists blast the big bang: What now for naïve apologetics?
This all demonstrates that the Bible is not the authority for progressive creationists as they claim it to be. It places secular science above the Word of God. It is reminiscent of the man that built his house on the sand that Jesus warned about in Matthew 7:24–26. One has to keep revising one’s interpretation of Scripture in light of modern ‘science’. So the problem is, which view is one going to hang one’s theology on?
I hope you can make the camp where you can interact with the speakers and ask them all these types of tough questions. It would be good to hear all the necessary information if one is to make an informed decision, especially when the Gospel itself is at stake.
Creation Ministries International (US)
I just listened to Larry Touten interviewing Hugh Ross 3-6-12 for the second week and Ross indeed has accepted the secular view of the origin of the universe. He mentioned something about the seventh day being extended to `millions and millions` of years old after the six days of Creation. He seems obsessed and desperate to want to link, mix or inculcate his secular beliefs of science to appease the intellectual unbelievers who mock him behind his back. His secular friends don't want to accept Creation regardless, they want physical proof that will never be convincing enough, they are spiritually dead and cannot understand. Ross ought to be ashamed of himself trying to pass himself off as scholarly. The Scriptures is addressing the condition of the heart of man exclusively, most everything else are just peripherals accounts.
Having read the response to a contact by someone who had read a book by Hugh Ross, I was reminded about my own experience. I “grew up in the church” but realized as a young adult that I didn’t believe the Bible. After asking God to show me the reason for my unbelief I “discovered” information from the modern young-earth creationist movement by listening to a radio interview. God revealed that my unbelief in the Bible was due to my belief in evolution (B.S. degree in geology).
The first creationist book that I found (the same day that I listened to the interview) was one by Henry Morris. Not long after reading that book I was saved by repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Sometime later I read a book by Hugh Ross. I remember that as I read it something just didn’t seem right and I never finished it. I know now that the Holy Spirit was witnessing to me that I was reading error. I didn’t discover what Ross really believed for another several years.
I shudder to think where I would be now if I had first picked up Ross’ book without the indwelling Holy Spirit to point me to the Truth. I suspect that I was on my way to becoming an atheist, and I believe that Ross would have sped up the process.
Those who teach error and cause others to follow them into that error will have to account to the Creator and Savior who gave us His eyewitness account of the creation events in Genesis.