Why make an issue of six days?
Is Sonlight Curriculum misleading homeschoolers about biblical creationists?
For two years now, a number of people have asked us about a web article posted by John Holzmann, co-owner of Sonlight Curriculum, Ltd, who argues that young-earth creationism has become a divisive force that is harming the work of the church.
Mr Holzmann says he felt compelled to defend old-earth creationism:
‘There ought to be a few people in the homeschooling marketplace who are willing to stand up and say that Old-Earth creationism (OECism) is not the same as atheism, heresy, or, as the people at [our ministry] suggest, a reliance upon the wisdom of man in opposition to the perfect Word of God. …’
We encourage everyone to read Mr Holzmann’s article in full, because he is such an influential Christian publisher, who has attempted to give all the main reasons not to make a big deal about ‘six days’ and the age of the earth.
We believe every Christian needs to consider this great question.
Our ministry has nothing personal against Mr Holzmann or his ministry, in any way, but because of the nature of his remarks, we believe it is essential to respond to the issues, as a potential teaching tool for those who are confused about the issues.
To ensure that readers have all the information available, we have posted Mr Holzmann’s article almost in its entirety, along with a detailed response to each point. The author of our full rebuttal is Dr Jonathan Sarfati, a brilliant scientist who deeply loves God’s Word and is also highly skilled in its defense. We trust that our response will be read in the spirit that it was written—a sincere desire to shore up the battered church, to hold up the light of God’s Word for our crumbling western culture, and to encourage Christians who might otherwise be tempted to compromise.
Learn the answers to questions you’ve been asked … or wondered about yourself.
Here are some of the gems from Dr Sarfati’s response to Mr Holzmann of Sonlight Curriculum:
Is the six days of creation really a matter of biblical authority?
‘CMI’s main focus is not the age of the earth, but biblical authority. The young earth is merely a corollary of this. However, Holzmann’s authority was autonomous human reasoning—the ability of man to come to truth (in his case, about earth history) without divine revelation. …’ (Read more)
Can’t we just agree to disagree on this matter, rather than divide?
‘Of course, both truth and error divide. Whatever position you choose, you are “divisive” from a human perspective. But Holzmann is not well informed if he thinks old-earthers [OEC] are not accusatory against YEC [young-earth creationists] …’ (Read more)
‘ … the OEC proponents are indeed promoting controversies by their insistence on making the Word of God subservient to “science” … ’ (Read more)
Isn’t it presumptuous to be so ‘literal’ in interpreting Genesis? Shouldn’t the interpretation be left to scholars?
‘Although Holzmann is trying to paint a straw-man—that YECs are blind hyper-literalists. CMI has often pointed out the need to understand the author’s intention—see Should Genesis be taken literally? …’ (Read more)
‘Creationists have nothing against science being used ministerially, i.e. to build on the framework provided by the propositional teachings of Scripture, e.g. to build models to help elucidate Scripture … . What we object to is using science magisterially to override what the text plainly teaches. For example, we object to using ‘science’ to deny a global Flood at the time of Noah, because the Bible clearly teaches this. However, we use true science to attempt to figure out the pre-Flood/Flood boundary or the Flood/post-Flood boundary in the geological record; and in the process we gain greater insight into the nature of this divine judgment. …’ (Read more)
Isn’t there biblical evidence for an earth that’s millions of years old?
‘In each of these verses [in Psalms, which say the heaven or earth is ‘old’, the Hebrew word] ‘lephanim clearly refers to events within human history—thousands, not billions, of years. So once again, an OEC argument actually turns out to support the YEC timescale. And 6,000 years is a huge age to anyone not indoctrinated by billions of years—see The earth: how old does it look?’ (Read more)
Additional recommended resources
- The origin of old-earth geology and its ramifications for life in the 21st century
- Annals of the World
- Refuting Evolution
- Why is There Death & Suffering