They’re answering the mail again at Answers in Genesis (AIG), one of the major sources of young-earth creationist wisdom. AIG is the online creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia.
Our last post in this series (in which AIG responds to questions) was AIG: Post-Flood Dispersal of Animals.
Today AIG’s offering is Feedback: The God of an Old Earth. This question comes to them from a preacher:
On his blog in 2010, Ken Ham writes, “old earthers and young earthers can agree in regard to the message of salvation, as this blogger and I do.” He also states, “. . .I do not say, and have never said, that a person has to believe in a young earth to be a Christian. Salvation is conditioned upon faith in Christ, not what one believes about the age of the earth.” …
Yet in his ’07 article “Couldn’t God Have Used Evolution” Mr Ham writes, “the god of an old earth destroys the gospel.” And also, “the god of an old earth cannot therefore be the God of the bible who is able to save us from sin and death.”
No wonder people make the claim that you tie salvation to YE [young earth]. Please explain. I believe you should remove one of these two articles. You cannot say both remain credible. I’m a YE Pastor but my Sr. Pastor recoils at your vitriolic speech.
Good question! Well, AIG — you can’t have it both ways, so which is it? Is belief in young earth essential, or optional? Here are some excerpts from AIG’s response, with bold font added by us:
In these comments Ken is discussing two different things, so there is no contradiction. One can say both things and remain credible.
Yeah, right. By the way, over the last year or two, AIG has been posting articles about contradictions in scripture (of which there are many) and they’ve been struggling and juggling and dancing around to show that such contradictions really aren’t contradictions at all. We’ve avoided writing about those articles because that kind of theology doesn’t interest us, and it actually gives us a brain-ache.
But this one involves whether a bizarre belief like young-earth creationism is essential to Christianity — a question that most denominations have decided in the negative (see the National Center for Science Education’s list of Statements from Religious Organizations supporting evolution). AIG has always taken the opposite view, yet in today’s post they wiggle around quite a bit and try to have it both ways. We’ll skip most of it — it’s just too painful to read — but here’s the guts of their answer:
Let’s say (for the sake of argument) that John Doe is saved and believes salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. I can call him a brother in Christ because we are both claiming salvation through Christ’s death, burial, and Resurrection. However, let’s also assume that John Doe is a theistic evolutionist and believes that mankind was not created but evolved. Although he is still a Christian, his belief is inconsistent, and I would have to reject certain aspects in his view of God.
So is he saved or not saved? Let’s read on:
If God used evolution, then it logically follows that death and disease were His doing rather than ours, and Jesus would have been sent to cover God’s mistakes. That is, if the Lord gave the first spark of energy and life to the universe, and then let it run amok, He would have sent His Son to atone for His own mistakes. This is not an accurate description of the God of the Bible.
Here’s comes the brain-bender:
The statements from Ken that you cited are not contradictory; they just require the proper context.
No contradiction! We continue:
While old-earth creationists may believe the gospel, they unwittingly ascribe false attributes to God and thus essentially attack God’s character. Most old-earth creationists either do not recognize this truth or have chosen to ignore the dichotomy their belief creates. Also, theistic evolutionists generally accept the big bang theory, which creates additional problems.
Same question — are the old-earthers saved or not saved? Here’s more:
Many have confused the issue here by claiming that we say old-earth Christians are not really saved. In another recent feedback email, we were accused of being mean-spirited when we point out the dangers inherent in old-earth teachings and when we attempt to correct our brothers and sisters in Christ. However, we have repeatedly stated that we do not question the faith of old-earth creationists, and that many of them have done great things for the Lord.
They still haven’t answered the question. Skipping over a bunch of incomprehensible stuff, we come to this:
Think about this carefully — if we don’t correct fellow believers who are in error, then we don’t truly love them. No sane parents would fail to correct their own child who runs dangerously into the street, because they love the child and don’t want harm to come to him or her. Similarly, we do not want to see our brothers and sisters led astray by worldly teachings that have done so much to undermine people’s trust in Scripture.
So what are they saying? The old-earthers aren’t saved? Moving along:
What we are saying to old-earth Christians is that they need to cling to the biblical view of God and jettison the faulty views of God demanded by their old-earth views. They need to accept biblical authority and all that comes with it, including the Father who loved us so much He sent His Son to die for our sins— not His own carelessness or ineptitude.
Things don’t look good for the old-earthers. Then they give a bunch more scripture, and conclude with this:
We hope this has been helpful.
Yes. Very helpful. All contradictions have been cleared up.
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