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Homeschool conference: great encouragement and some concerns

Greenville Homeschooling Conference

by ,

Published: 13 June 2019 (GMT+10)
Great Homeschool Conferences in the US in Greenville, SC

Each year, CMI–US is privileged to provide the main creation teaching element at the Great Homeschool Conferences in the US in Greenville, SC. Our CEO, Gary Bates, gave five talks on creation on topics ranging from dinosaurs, to myth-busting evolution, to racism, as well as what we should think about UFOs and who created God.

The talks were well-attended and there were extremely good interactions with the audience, with applause and even a standing ovation from some during Gary’s final talk. One woman told us that she found Gary’s talks to be the most interesting of all the topics offered at the GHC. Another woman came up to us at the end of the talk on racism, almost with tears in her eyes, obviously much affected by the powerful message, which sheds light onto why we as a nation are so divided even in the church.

What was the most encouraging, however, was the number of teenagers who specifically came out of their way to express thanks for showing evidence that God created the Earth, and that we can really trust the Bible. We are so glad to know that we are making a difference in helping, with God’s providence, in reversing the trend in losing our young ones to a hopeless evolutionary ideology.

Reason for concern

Tim Barnett

Before one of the talks, we had a discussion with Tim Barnett from Stand to Reason, who was giving multiple presentations at the conference. He was also teaching as part of the youth track component of the conference. While he claims to reject evolution, we had discussions with his views on the age of the Earth and the nature of death. He said that his ministry officially does not take a stand on the age of the earth, and leaves the question open as to whether the Earth is young or old.

However, after discussion with him, it turned out that he does believe in an old Earth, implying that death, disease, suffering and pain all came before Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. Gary tried to explain the hermeneutics of the word ‘day’ in Genesis 1 and that the whole concept of an ancient earth was due to a secular interpretation of the geologic layers. And that, problematically, those layers contain fossils which is a record of death, and that by putting death before Adam and Eve in the Garden it created a problem for the Gospel and the notion that all creation was “Very Good” as prescribed by God on day 6. Tim cited Psalm 104:21 which says: “The young lions roar for their prey, seeking their food from God” claiming it is God that provided the kill, and thus, that animal death must be good in God’s economy. Gary tried to remind him that we are living in a post-Fall world and thus sin and death is upon all of creation and that God also told Noah he may now eat meat after the Flood (Genesis (9:3). (See our reasoning here).

An old earth is ‘very good’?

Gary then asked him why he thought the earth was old, but Barnett instead cited the distant starlight issue as his reason for accepting the long ages of the universe. We tried to explain that this subject has been answered extensively on our site, to which he claimed he has read some of the answers. However, he then also claimed that because fellow creation cosmologists have critiqued each other’s models that this somehow invalidated them, and that CMI should not promote them as truth. Gary expressed concern at this straw man argument because CMI’s policy has always been to ‘hold to models loosely, but to hold to the Bible tightly’. That is, regardless of whatever model is mentioned, they have never been presented as ‘the answer’ and are always subservient to Scripture. The reality is that all cosmologists have to study and observe are wavelengths of light. It is not the same type of science as testing gravity, for example. Moreover, competing models and critiquing are a good thing and are part of the normal scientific rigor. Mr Barnett conceded this point, but nonetheless it did raise an alarm for us as he was teaching ‘science’ at this homeschool conference and such arguments were disconcerting.

We wanted to know more, so that’s why I attended his presentation titled “If God, Why Evil?” The main focus of this talk was to discuss the issue of why a loving and omnipotent God would allow suffering in the world. The talk featured a short video showing the atheist Stephen Fry accusing God being a horrible monster for allowing people to suffer. He cited the example of a species of worm which bores itself into the eyes of its victims, causing terrible suffering.

Barnett claims that human suffering is different from animal death and suffering and presumably animals tearing each other apart is not ‘suffering’. In other words, even though Adam sinned, only humans were affected by his sin, trotting out the tired Hugh Ross argument that Romans 5:12 only applies to human death. But if this were the case then why will God have to create a new Heavens and a new Earth in their entirety? Why not redeem humans as a species only and avoid destroying the Earth? As we’ve pointed out elsewhere, as long as there is a fossil in the ground it is a reminder of the death that sin brought to this Earth, and all traces must be removed or Satan wins. Romans 8:20–23 says: “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies” (emphasis ours). This verse highlights the total effect of sin. We are dead in sin. Sin affects everything that we even associate with.

The Bible describes animal suffering in a different light than does Barnett. In Genesis 3:14 God curses the snake “above all livestock and above all beasts of the field”. Verse 15 describes how the seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent’s head, implying a violent death to the snake. In verses 17–18, God curses the ground and will make thorns and thistles to grow out of the ground. These plant appendages serve as defence mechanisms, inflicting pain not only on humans who may grasp them, but also herbivorous animals which may want to consume these types of plants.

Animals were originally vegetarian—the Bible says so!

Furthermore, during Creation week, God gave plants as food not only to humans but to animals as well: “And God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.’ And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” (Genesis 1:29–31)

What this means is that God did not originally allow animals to eat each other or humans to eat the animals. Barnett claimed that just because the idea that animals ate other animals isn’t explicitly written down in Scripture, it does not mean it is not true. However, this is an argument from silence. It was simply the order of creation and a command of God that animals were given plants to eat. Barnett is imposing his modern-day conception that animals could only have been carnivores before the Fall presumably because he believes the fossil record is evidence of death and carnivory over millions of years. However, the past is the key to interpreting the present. Carnivory, thorns and thistles, and parasitic bacteria are all products of the Fall.

But let us take Barnett’s logic to its ultimate conclusion. If we shouldn’t exclude pre-Fall carnivory because it is not mentioned, then so should we also not exclude marriage between two men in the Bible, just because that too is not mentioned. Thus, the problem lies in Barnett’s initial presupposition, that pre-Fall carnivory could have existed despite its mentioning being absent from the pages of Scripture.

Barnett replied by stating specifically that the Hebrew names of animals named in the Old Testament, such as the owl or the lion imply the aggressiveness and viciousness of these animals. However, this argument does not say much. We can’t be certain that Hebrew was the original language of Adam; it could have arisen after the Fall into sin and would therefore naturally have reflected the transformed nature of animals from docile beings to bloodthirsty killers. 

Whereas Barnett could be given credit for disavowing evolution, he still gets it wrong on the age of the Earth and the nature of suffering and death. In effect, since he allows for long ages, this would allow for the remains of animals to appear as fossils in the rock layers before the creation of Adam and Eve. And Barnett even argues for the possibility of animal death before humans, despite God saying that what He had created was very good (Genesis 1:31). What would make his position any different from full-blown evolution? Not only are animal remains found in the geological layers but human fossils as well. Why does Barnett make a difference between animals and humans?

In sum, it is troubling to see that there are some Christian teachers out there who compromise the faith of our young kids, by presenting a distorted view of the Gospel. And as we clearly showed in our documentary Fallout, belief in millions of years opens the door to all sorts of evolutionary ideas, and as can be seen here, compromise and poor exegeses of the biblical text. We earnestly pray and hope that Mr Barnett comes to trust completely in the authority of the Scriptures and not manmade, secular interpretations of the natural world. We are ready and willing to assist.

Helpful Resources

The Genesis Account
by Jonathan Sarfati
US $39.00
Hard Cover
Refuting Compromise, updated & expanded
by Dr Jonathan Sarfati
US $17.00
Soft Cover
Christianity for Skeptics
by Drs Steve Kumar, Jonathan D Sarfati
US $17.00
Soft Cover

Readers’ comments

Mike D.
What this compromisers keep failing to realize is Jesus own words in Matt 18:6. It would better for those misleading & harming children in their ability to come to correct understanding of the Lord to have a Milestone around their neck being drowned. So they've brought upon themselves a bad judgement by the Lord Himself.

That's especially true for those that fight learning the truth & won't listen to the Holy Spirit that teaches all truth. Which this is part of. Gods Holy Spirit won't let us stay in untruth & spread it & especially to harm others.

That is an example of Lukewarm of which Jesus spews out of His mouth &/or rejects because He never really knew them because they refused to listen to the call of truth from the Holy Spirit.
Sam S.
I am very troubled by this article. Tim is a brother in Christ, and an excellent and effective trainer for today's youth. Your wording is often loaded, "While he claimed to reject evolution," enforcing the tired, and untrue, false dichotomy of either evolution or young earth. You say you try to explain Yom, but that's the question at hand, what does this word mean in those passages, and you falsely claim that evolution is the reason why people old to an earth. Even before evolution was a formal theory there were old earthers, and early church leaders never took it the divisive level you and others do, even when they believed in a young earth.

We have to stop eating and attacking our own on non essentials. When I organized a conference, I had YEC Richard Howe sharing the stage with Tim Barnett, and I'd do it again. Given my own interactions with Tim, I'm not confident you are even representing him well. The age of the earth is not the main issue, leading our young people away from church. Tim's ability to deliver talks like Tactics, addressing the problem of evil, and his amazing use of technology are really great tools, and it's unwise to focus on the minor disagreement over that. I'm well aware, you will come back and tell me how important it is, and I'll keep listening to the arguments, but I have yet to see any evidence that it logically follows that animal death before the fall hinders the bible's inerrency in anyway, or that it could somehow cast doubt on the life , death, resurrection or teachings of Jesus.
Gary Bates
It would appear that you have not bothered to read the comments because as we have stated time and again, where have we attacked Tim's character? So, whilst you might be disappointed in seeing his teachings critiqued in such a way, it would be more responsible to invoke less emotion in your response. In an academic sense if one claims to be a teacher then his teachings must come under scrutiny, just as we are prepared to be if we depart from the Scriptures plain teaching. I note you are also a pastor so please take the time to be absolutely sure about this. If I were to ask you a simple question, which is: "Do you know where the millions of years comes from?' What would you answer? And it is clear from your own straw man argument back to us that you have not probably understand the issues at stake and why this is an important and fundamental Gospel issue, particularly when you say this is a non-essential. You'll say you keep listening but obviously you haven't. It's not just that you disagree, it's because your comments clearly display ignorance about what biblical creationists actually believe. But there is no excuse for this this lack of knowledge. Our ministry alone (and there are other sound biblical creation ministries out there), have been providing good information for over 40 years. Clearly you have not taken the time to read what creationists teach, instead preferring to just follow the mantra (and secular view) of an old earth. Are we being divisive (another straw man argument). Actually we believe those who don't follow the simple, plain teaching of God's Word are the ones who are being divisive. See But it's divisive!.

Then you claim we are not representing him well. Do you realize this is a serious accusation? I trust you are not accusing us of being dishonest and that your wording is just an unfortunate turn of phrase. Two of us were present during the discussions and one attended his talk (where you there?). He was teaching youth on the issue of 'Why evil?' In our conversations he made it abundantly clear that he believed in animal death before the Fall. In fact,he challenged me if I thought animal death was a bad thing citing Job 38:39 himself believing that lions seeking their prey was a 'good' thing. Really? I've been on safaris in Africa and have seen how intelligent lions have learnt to pack hunt small elephants and separate them from their herd. Because the necks are so large the lions cannot put a choke bite on the young elephants. So, these young elephants are overwhelmed by the numbers of lions and are eaten alive. I've seen them scream in pain and also heard the cries of the accompanying mothers and aunts in the herd as they see their family members taken from them. And yet Tim might claim this is part of God's goodness. Because Tim puts millions of years of animal death before the Fall, he must allegorize the completeness of the Fall as per the teachings of Hugh Ross (as cited in the article).

I've been in ministry for 25+ plus years, and I've learnt that most Christians, when they try to add millions of years to the Bible often do so without even understanding where the MOYs comes from. Simply, it comes from the belief that the rock layers were laid down over MOYs. But those rock layers have fossils in them. This includes human fossils BTW not just animals, something you are obviously completely unaware of. because you say you also have no problem with animal death before the Fall. Yet on day 6 of Creation God pronounced everything 'very good' (Hebrew: tov meod or completion/perfection. Moreover, it is quite simple and a lot easier to explain these fossils as a result of Noah's Flood. If this is the case, and the Flood lasted only one year and thus there is no MOYs. If there is no MOYs then there is no time for evolution; no time for slow mutation rates from apes to humans and so on. In addition, all those fossils came after the Fall in Genesis 3. Additionally, yours/Tim's view of these pre-Fall fossils being very good is just one view or explanation of trying to put MOYs in the Scriptures before Adam and Eve. Is yours/Ross's view correct? What about all the others? They cannot all be correct. But noticeably they all take liberties and distort the plain understanding of God's Word. Again, you say 'What does yom mean. I'm glad you asked (because again it displayed you have not really read up on this. In the OT the word day/yom appears 523 times with the various combinations of evening or morning, and or a number. In every single case where a combination of this day/number combination appears outside of Genesis 1, no one ever questions it as anything but a 24 hour day. The only place it is ever questioned is Genesis 1. Why? Because of an unwitting deference to a secular interpretation of the age of the earth (based upon those rock layers). Here are some articles for you to read from a Hebrew/semantic point of view of what the author of Genesis was clearly trying to convey when using the word yom..

Genesis 1: YÔM ≠ eon.

The meaning of yôm in Genesis 1:1–2:4


Here is also a chapter from our Creation Answers Book.

Please also read Did God create over billions of years?

And here is one more thing to think about. If animal death in the fossil record is good according to you, what will the restoration look like? Will it be a partial restoration? Will God just tidy up the earth a bit here and there? The restoration of the 'heavens and earth' will be a complete destruction and restoration of the entire universe. But why if the earth is 'good'? As long as there is a fossil in the ground, it is a reminder of death and what went wrong and satan's involvement in causing the world to fall. Leaving fossils in the ground would mean that his plan was in part successful. Nothing less than a complete restoration would suffice. If God used death and suffering to create the animal kingdom of MOYs are you looking forward to that again as a reflection of the 'good' nature of God in the new heavens and earth. See The new Earth.

I have granted you the courtesy of giving a detailed reply with some important articles for you to read. I hope you genuinely choose to be more informed about this issues, and why a ministry like ours takes the issue of Bible teachers giving the impression of millions of years of animal suffering in the fossil record as being consistent with the nature of God, as a serious corruption of God's Word.

Jon C.
Are you kidding me? Do you even know Tim Barnett? He's the last person who would misinterperet the gospel. He has an amazing ministry and is doing amazing work teaching our young ones to stand up for their faith. I would take some time to hear more of his ministry and hear more of his sermons. He has an awesome Youtube channel, I suggest you subscribe. And please, after reviewing his material you still think he compromises the gospel, i recommend you really meditate in the word as it seems you are the one misinterpereting it.
Gary Bates
Really? Do you not understand what we've written? There seems to be a suspension of disbelief going on with your view. Did you not read that we personally spoke with him and attended his talks? In addition, as you can see from other commenters that his position is consistent with that of the ministry he works for. When one does not take Genesis at face value, then the very need for our salvation is at question. If there was no literal very good original creation, with no literal death until Adam and Eve fell, then there is no literal need for salvation. If you think otherwise then you are in the same camp as Barnett et al and you will similarly be in disagreement with us.
John K.
It's extremely disappointing to read this kind of an attack on a fellow believer who is doing a marvelous job introducing young people to Jesus Christ and removing a lot of unnecessary obstacles alone the way. Young Earth Creation becomes idolatrous when it claims that unless you interpret nature and scripture just as they do, you are destroying Biblical Authority and compromising the gospel. "My way is Jahweh," is the very epitome of pride and every Christian, no matter their view of origins, should condemn this ungodly behavior. And what is actually turning our children away from the church and away from faith is not Evolution or Old Earth Creation, it is the narrow fundamentalist distortions that teach a generation of kids that they aren't true Christians unless they reject Astronomy, Geology, Biology, Paleontology, Physics, Embryology, and Plate Tectonics. It is the utter nonsense that dismisses all of Science based on their narrow interpretation of Genesis 1-3. It is the spoon-feeding of what to think to vulnerable children, telling them that the universe and the earth are a mere thousands of years old and that T-Rex bunked on the Ark just 4500 years ago. You are committing the same errors and sins as those brothers in the days of Copernicus and Galileo who not only misread nature but scripture too. The damage your doing will last for generations.

I am not an Old Earth Creationist. As a matter of fact, I've been in just about every camp, from YEC to Gap Theory to Old Earth Creation to dabbling in ID and now, Evolutionary Creation, but I would never slander a fellow brother merely because he disagrees with me on a peripheral issue. Shame on you.

May God continue to bless His work in Tim Barnett. And thank God for BioLogos.
Gary Bates
What's more disappointing is when commenters respond to an article on our site and then display how ignorant they are about what creationists believe and the whole subject of biblical origins. There really is no excuse as this site contains 13,000+ plus peer reviewed articles, developed over 42 years of ministry. And yet you raise the same old, oft repeated straw man arguments. Try doing some searches on this site please.

BTW we don't have a narrow interpretation of Scripture. We interpret it demonstrably and similarly to how the actual biblical authors did. See:
Genesis: Bible authors believed it to be history.
Jesus Christ on the infallibility of Scripture.

How every NT author interpreted Genesis

Moreover, you broadly used the word science. Can you define what you are actually talking about? See: ‘It’s not science’.

And shame on you for misrepresenting creationists. I know of no creationist who says you cannot be saved if you don't believe Genesis as written. In fact, we have articles dealing with this. see: Do I have to believe in a literal creation to be a Christian?.Also, it appears you have not really bothered to digest the reasoning that adding millions of years or death before the Fall is a Gospel issues. See: Did God create over billions of years?..

And lastly, we did not attack him as a person but his beliefs, and the low view of Scripture that he has which is subservient to a secular interpretation of the natural world (like you apparently). You used the word 'slander' which is a grievous accusation to make, thus you are committing the very same thing you accuse us of. If there are any untruths in what we wrote we will gladly retract them (but you might want to check out the comments below from others that confirm what STR and Barnett believe on this issue). We'd also be happy to receive your apology for this in due course.

I've taken considerable time to supply just a few links to the many thousands on our site that comprehensively deal with this issue. In the time you took to write your comment you could have actually searched this site to be more informed.
Daniel K.
I thought I would share a quote from Tim's boss at Stand to Reason (STR), Greg Koukl, from his book "The Story of Reality" (which I highly recommend): "[W]hen God made everything, when he formed the world at the first and set up his Kingdom, everything was exactly the way his noble mind intended. Everything was in its proper place. Everything was fulfilling its designated purpose. This is the heart of happiness - all the world, and everything and everyone in it, working together in perfect harmony just the way God wanted it." (p. 49)
And another: "Here is the key to understanding the problem of evil: When God's children disobeyed their heavenly Father, they damaged everything. When Adam and Eve rebelled against the King of the universe, they broke the whole world. This is why there is evil and suffering. Bad things happen in a world that is broken." (p. 94)
The folks at STR clearly get it. They know the big picture story of the Bible, they know the connection between the gospel and Genesis. They vigorously defend the historicity of Adam and the Fall. It's just that when it comes to the particulars, they stumble. Their excellent understanding of the big picture doesn't fit with all the details of their views. It seems pretty obvious to me that the fossil record has to be post-Fall, but somehow they haven't made that connection (just compare what's in the fossil record to the first quote above!). It saddens me that they're so confused on the age of the earth issue. I pray that God would continue to transform them by the renewing of their minds, and that He would advance His kingdom through their ministry, and bring glory to His name.
Scott K.
Tim Barnett is fantastic. Shame on you guys.
Gary Bates
Fantastic what? Fantastic guy or Bible teacher? Perhaps you should focus your comments on the content of the article. We don't attack the personality or the person but we do critique on any poor teaching. He may well be a nice guy but that is besides the point of the article, which is that his authority is a secular interpretation of the natural world rather than a biblical interpretation of same. He was not misrepresented, and presumably from your comment it appears that you know him , and therefore you would know that our representations are accurate. And as you can see from the comments below it appears that STR similarly adopts the Hugh Ross approach which is clearly unbiblical when it comes to origins. We take no delight in pointing out such teaching and rather wish that everyone would just take the Bible at face value. As a biblical creation organization we believe it is our mandate to highlight false or poor teaching where we see it. What else would you expect? You would better to focus your own cooments and attention on the content of the article rather than trying to emotionally blackmail us and trying to shame us with trite comments, which deflect from the point of the article. Moreover, in an academic sense anybody that stands in the pulpit and claims to be a teacher should well know and be prepared to be critiqued. As we well know, it goes with the territory.
David S.
More false teachers...what a shock! Pray God’s grace upon him that he would come to see the importance of putting God’s word above every thought or imagination of man. It’s one thing to be ignorant about something relating to God and His word, it’s quite another to desperately cling to unbelief in the face of God’s clear and simple truth. A child can understand what God meant to convey in Genesis chapter 1.
Andy C.
Matthew Cserhati: Thanks for the response. In his book, Seven Days that Divide the World, John Lennox points out that Aristotle taught the earth was fixed in the center of the universe, which is a view that Copernicus and Galileo challenged with their helio-centric model. Both Protestants and Catholics doubted the heliocentric view because Scripture seems to teach that the earth is immovably fixed in space:

"The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved." 1 Chronicles 16:30b (also see Psalm 93:1)
"He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved." Psalm 104:5

Additionally, Psalm 19:4-6 and Eccles 1:5 seem to teach that the sun moves, rather than Earth.

So Lennox uses this historical example to point out that we have all accepted the heliocentric view and believe that the earth does move. Astronomy helped Christians interpret the Bible correctly. Instead of understanding something 'literalistically,' we can still understand something 'literally,' which includes figures of speech and phenomenological language. Lennox writes, "We can now see that, although the Bible texts could be understood to support a fixed earth, there is a reasonable alternative interpretation of those texts that makes far more sense in light of our greater understanding of how the solar system operates."

Relatedly, if astronomy/cosmology says the universe is old, yet God created the heavens and the earth in vv 1-2, then we could reasonably interpret a gap between v2 and v3 without relying on faulty, secular geological assumptions about the earth's layers.

The more we learn from science about the universe, the easier it is to correctly interpret Scripture, while maintaining its authority over science.

I'd like to say more but I'm out of characters. Thoughts?
Matthew Cserhati
Hello Andy,
I would disagree with what you have to say. I would please ask you to read the material on our website about the soft gap theory, because we have already thoroughly dealt with the ideas you are advocating. The gap theory is actually an outdated idea that has been refuted long ago.
Think about it: you are supposing a long period of time before the days of creation. But this contradicts the order of events during these days. According to Genesis 1:14-19, the stars were created on day Four of Creation Week. Also, the Hebrew text of Genesis 1 involves what is known as a “waw” consecutive, which designates a series of actions happening one right after the other. This excludes all possibilities of slipping something in between verses 2 and 3.
As to your Bible verses: we ourselves describe things such as sunrise and sundown, but nobody would suggest that we believe that the sun revolves around the earth. The same goes for Psalm 19:4-6 and Ecclesiastes 1:5. Why then accuse the Bible of saying that the Earth is motionless?
May I also suggest to you that according to the principle of Sola Scriptura (the Bible alone is our highest authority) we do not need astronomy (or any kind of scientific theory for that matter) to help us interpret the Bible. Scripture interprets Scripture, and the authors of Psalms, Chronicles, and Ecclesiastes didn't have to wait for thousands of years so that Copernicus or Galileo could interpret their Bible correctly for them. That way Scripture doesn't maintain its authority over science - far from it, these scientific theories bind the believer into what he can or cannot accept from the Bible.
I would also like to ask you, what makes you think that the earth is millions of years old? A lot of articles on our website describe scientific evidence which refutes the old age of the Earth. This article describes why the amount of time it took God to create is so relevant. If someone believes that the Earth is millions of years old, then they also believe that that the fossils in the geological column are also millions of years old. Fossils are the remains of dead things, so this would put death, disease and suffering before Adam and Eve came on the scene. On the other hand, the fossil evidence is actually the easiest thing for creationists to explain. Fossils don’t form under normal circumstances but can easily form during a Flood. That’s why we see lots of evidence for rapid burial. For example, fossil cemeteries the size of several states are all due to the Flood.
Thanks for your reply, but this will have to be my final response in this exchange.
Dan B.
While Tim Barnett's view on carnivory before the Fall could be described as an argument from silence, his (presumable) belief in *obligate* carnivory can and must certainly be labelled a flat denial of the Bible. And given CMI's repeated citations of vegetarianism in certain members of supposedly exclusively carnivorous animals (cats, lions, sharks), Barnett can't even claim a modern scientific basis for insisting that such animals must have been exclusively carnivorous before the Fall.
Dan M.
If sin only applies to man as Mr. Barnett says, then when God restores man, he/she will still live among death and dying and thus be victims of ferocious beasts, therefore dying still? The whole creation needs restoration! Their position doesn't make sense according to Scripture I'm afraid. They seem to be more on the side of the old earth evolutionists trying to help their cause? Jesus believed in the scriptures since He was there with God the Father when they were inspired. Also, during His earthly ministry Jesus said he "who is not with me is against me" Mat 12:30 and He believed in the garden of Eden where they were created male and female from the beginning, (Mat 19:4) along with the beasts of the field on day six, (easy read). When things happened, it makes a huge difference in the interpretation and meaning of Scripture, from beginning to end!
Are they, (old earth progressive creationists) looking for some kind of respectability among evolutionists? Richard Dawkins despises progressive creationists more than we Young Earth Creationists because they don't stand their ground and he believes their argument is more ludicrous than ours! Of course Richard Dawkins is denying the obvious also. According to the last 50 or so years of scientific discovery, it is obvious that Scripture is God's truth according to the observations.
In war, you have to stand on one side or the other and make no mistake, we are at spiritual war with the carnal man Mat 10:34. To compromise, is to just be in the way!
Mr. Barnett's position is just a compromising position on evolution nothing more and an evolutionary view nonetheless.
Charles T.
I just received a BioLogos video update from their recent conference. The speaker's webpage header:

"It is Good: Bethany Sollereder on Animal Suffering

This is a short excerpt from Bethany Sollereder's plenary talk at the BioLogos Conference in March 2019 on animal suffering and the goodness of God's plan for nature."

An illustrative quote:

"There is no sense (reading from Job 39) that the eagle's bloodthirsty nature is contrary to God's will".

Left hanging is the question of how certain bloodthirsty human acts are also not contrary to God's nature?
Matthew Cserhati
Thank you Charles, for your comment.
That is exactly correct. Genesis 2:18 says that plants will bear thorns and thistles. Adam's sin did not extend merely to humankind. It affected the entire creation. The natural world, including plants and animals was affected. This includes the eagle's bloodthirsty nature, parasitic bacteria and viruses which infect humans.
Andy C.
I can't speak to Tim's stance on this issue, but what are your thoughts on this:

God created the heavens and the earth in vv 1-2 but there's an unstated gap in time between v2 and v3, such that the age of the earth can be old before God created light on Day 1. Thus the expanse of space makes sense as indicating long periods of time, and we can have an old earth before God created animals and Adam.

This interpretation does not rely on secular beliefs about the geological layers (especially because I believe the layers with fossils exist due to the flood). Instead it relies on a plausible interpretation of Scripture, since the text doesn't tell us how long the earth existed before God created light. And then the findings of cosmology corroborate the authority of Scripture on this matter?
Matthew Cserhati
Hello Andy,
What you are referring to is the so-called soft gap theory. We have dealt with this extensively on our website.
But in response to the points that you raised, the big question is, what is your rationale for reading in millions of years of time in between verses 2 and 3? If the Bible doesn't explicitly mention millions of years, then this is merely an argument from silence. Based on the Scripture being our sole highest authority, we don't need to corroborate Scripture with any kind of cosmology.
Each day of creation has a morning and an evening, this way we can be sure that none of the days were long periods of time. This is reinforced by Exodus 20:11, which says that as humans, we pattern our work week on God's work pattern during the days of creation.
If there really were millions of years between verses 2 and 3, then the Bible wouldn't say that "in the beginning" God created the heavens and the earth. Mark 10:6 says that "But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female". So this excludes any long period of time between Genesis 1:2 and 3.
Think of it this way: God loves His creatures in an intimate way. Why would God wait such a long time before creating humans in His image? Can you imagine being separated from your loved ones for millions of years? It doesn't make sense emotionally.
Some more resources that you can read on the gap theory are here.
Mark C.
I like STR a lot, but Greg Koukl and pretty much everyone (perhaps everyone) at STR are big Hugh Ross fans, unfortunately. Thanks for challenging them with the truth.
Malcolm T.
When I read the Scriptures, it clearly says that God created all animals to be vegetarian. How can anyone deny this without denying the clear teaching of God's Word? Wasn't it Satan who said to Eve, "Did God really say...."
When I was a younger Christian, I struggled so much because I tried to squeeze human opinions into the Bible but, God clearly showed me my error and, If the Scriptures are truly God's word and Authoritative in all areas then how could I call God a liar and call myself a believer?
The truth is, the Scriptures are in inerrant and infallible Word of God and we have no right to reject any part of it just because it does not fit with our opinions or because we do not like it. I will only add that Scripture says, "Let God be true and every man a liar
King T.
Thank your for all the work you do - it has helped me a lot in getting rid of the atheistic influence. The idea of an old earth and evolution has become deeply ingrained in western society, especially among new and would-be Christians. I myself was once just as eager to find a way to worm those ideas into Genesis, but thanks to your Creation magazine ( and another related young earth publication ) I was able to see the light and get to believe the bible as is.

I viewed Dr Jordan Peterson's video last night - talking about the question that he keeps getting asked, namely "Do you believe in God". It is quite clear from the discussion that he is a firm adherent to the evolutionary paradigm and one can also deduce that though he strongly subscribes to and reveres the biblical teachings, that he is not a confirmed Christian. I used that the comments section of that video (on YouTube) as an avenue to explain the gospel as simply as I could (with strong negation of the evolutionary story) and hope that others looking for the truth will find it useful.
Thanks to your work here on Creation.com I am now able to make coherent and focused statements regarding evolution / long ages versus the bible.
Matthew Cserhati
Hello Mr. Tong,
Thanks for your kind comments. It is important to point out the issue of millions of years, and how that contradicts the Bible. We also disapprove of much of Jordan Peterson's ideology. Click here for a refutation of his views.
Malan G.
The Bible says explicitly: "And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.’ **And it was so**." One, therefore, cannot make an argument from the silence of Scripture that "... it was not so"! That would mean that the Bible contains a lie, which is unacceptable hermeneutics. John 17:17.
Matthew Cserhati
Hello Malan, thanks for your comment.

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