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Does creation damage Christianity’s credibility?

Published: 28 March 2015 (GMT+10)
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While CMI predictably regularly receives feedback from sceptics criticizing our stance on creation, some Christians also write in who believe that creation is actually harmful to biblical Christianity. C.M. from the US writes:

The damage you people are doing to the credibility of the Christian worldview is simply incalculable. You are attempting to force upon intelligent people a false dilemma: either believe in the well-established facts of geology, or believe in YOUR unreasonable and incorrect interpretations of Gen1 and Rom 8:19–22. Correct Biblical interpretation requires that vague or ambiguous words and passages be interpreted using the light provided by clear words and passages. In Genesis chap 2 the word "day" clearly means "era." There is no sound reason to invent a DIFFERENT meaning for the same word in Gen 1. Similarly, you cannot ignore a biblical passage’s context & hope to arrive at a correct interpretation. Paul is speaking to humans ABOUT humans in Romans. What type of vicious God would punish poodles and potted plants for a human being’s sin? What kind of monster do you "Christian" saboteurs worship? May God forgive you the ENORMOUS damage you have done and will do.

CMI’s Lita Sanders responds:

I’m a little confused. You’re angry because you feel we are doing damage to the Christian worldview, so I would assume that means you’re a Christian. But the angry tone you address us with does not fit with the way Christians should address each other.

Our foundational belief is that the Bible provides a reliable historical record, against which all competing claims must be measured. As a Christian, is there something ‘science’ might come up with that you would reject because of the Bible’s teachings, no matter how ‘well-established’ that fact might become? If so, you simply draw the line in a different place than we do. If not, I would suggest that you aren’t really thinking as a Christian in this area of your life.

Our interpretation of Genesis is not novel—Christians have been interpreting Genesis in this way literally since the time of Jesus; see The use of Genesis in the New Testament. Long-age interpretations only began to take hold with the advent of uniformitarian geology. This indicates that the long-age interpretation is not found in Scripture itself, but is an attempt to fit secular geology into the Bible. See Six Days? Really?

Genesis 2:4 only indicates that, just as in English, the Hebrew word for ‘day’ can mean a variety of things. However, the way it is used in Genesis one, in a series of days, each with an ordinal number and “evening and morning” strongly conveys the meaning of a normal-length day. Exodus 20:11 is nonsensical otherwise.

God does not ‘punish’ poodles for humankind’s sin—but animals do feel the effects of sin, as all of Creation does. And in fact, only biblical creationists have a coherent answer for suffering in the animal world—see Did God create over billions of years?

Charles, biblical creation does not damage people’s faith; Christians are enormously encouraged and bolder about sharing their faith when they realize they can trust the Bible from the very first verse. I hope you will reconsider both your compromise on this very important issue and the tone in which you address fellow Christians.