Hambo’s intellectual répertoire is limited, so his latest is somewhat repetitive of stuff he’s already said: Does the Gospel Depend on a Young Earth? Oops — we just noticed that it’s dated 08 December 2010. He’s recycling one of his oldies. No problem, we didn’t post about it before. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us and most of Hambo’s scripture references omitted:
Can a person believe in an old earth and an old universe (millions or billions of years in age) and be a Christian?
Many believe they can. Old Earth is what we learn from geology, but it’s certainly necessary for evolution. Therefore it’s relevant to mention the National Center for Science Education’s list of Statements from Religious Organizations supporting evolution; and also (2) The Clergy Letter Project, a strong, pro-evolution statement signed by over 12,000 Christian clergymen. Here’s the Wikipedia article on it: Clergy Letter Project.
We know that the scientifically-determined age of the Earth is no problem for many denominations, but what does Hambo think? He gives us a bunch of scripture passages, and then he says:
Numerous other passages could be cited but not one of them states in any way that a person has to believe in a young earth or universe to be saved. And the list of those who cannot enter God’s kingdom, as recorded in passages like Revelation 21:8, certainly does not include “old earthers.”
We’re not surprised that scripture doesn’t condemn belief in old Earth. Genesis was written in the days of the Babylonian Empire, when no one even considered such a thing. We’re also told:
Many great men of God who are now with the Lord have believed in an old earth. Some of these explained away the Bible’s clear teaching about a young earth by adopting the classic gap theory. Others accepted a day-age theory or positions such as theistic evolution, the framework hypothesis, and progressive creation.
It’s interesting that ol’ Hambo knows who’s in heaven and who isn’t, but we should expect that from the ayatollah of Appalachia. Let’s read on:
Now when I say this, people sometimes assume then that it does not matter what a Christian believes concerning the supposed millions of years age for the earth and universe. Even though it is not a salvation issue, the belief that earth history spans millions of years has very severe consequences. Let me summarize some of these.
Ol’ Hambo says that the age of the earth is irrelevant to salvation; nevertheless he still thinks it’s of vital importance. He must be a very holy man to know such things. He continues:
To attempt to “fit” millions of years into the Bible, you have to invent a gap of time that almost all Bible scholars agree the text does not allow — at least from a hermeneutical perspective. Or you have to reinterpret the “days” of creation as long periods of time (even though they are obviously ordinary days in the context of Genesis 1). In other words, you have to add a concept (millions of years) from outside Scripture, into God’s Word. This approach puts man’s fallible ideas in authority over God’s Word.
That’s true. The bible is a young-Earth book — and a flat-Earth book too. Here’s more:
As soon as you surrender the Bible’s authority in one area, you “unlock a door” to do the same thing in other areas. Once the door of compromise is open, even if ajar just a little, subsequent generations push the door open wider. Ultimately, this compromise has been a major contributing factor in the loss of biblical authority in our Western world.
Yes, it’s a slippery slope. But whatcha gonna do? The bible can’t be used as a science text. Moving along:
A Christian’s belief in millions of years totally contradicts the clear teaching of Scripture. Here are just three examples:
We’ll skip his examples — no, wait — here’s one of them.
[Various] passages make it obvious that physical death of man (and really, death in general) entered the once-perfect creation because of man’s sin. However, if a person believes that the fossil record arose over millions of years, then death, disease, suffering, carnivorous activity, and thorns existed millions of years before sin.
Indeed. But so what? Hambo explains why that’s important:
By dying on a cross and being raised from the dead, Jesus conquered death and paid the penalty for sin. Although millions of years of death before sin is not a salvation issue per se, I personally believe that it is really an attack on Jesus’ work on the cross.
Ah, there we have it. Hambo personally believes that. Therefore it must be important. He concludes by saying:
All biblical doctrines, including the gospel itself, are ultimately rooted in the first book of the Bible.
He gives a few examples, like “Marriage consists of one man and one woman for life.” Curiously, many people in the bible had more than one wife. Anyway, Hambo says the whole ball o’ wax depends on Genesis. You gotta believe it all or nothing. In for a penny, in for a pound.
Where does that leave us? At the start of his essay, ol’ Hambo tells us that even an old-Earther can get to Heaven. At the end he seems to suggest otherwise. So there you are, dear reader. If you’re confused, don’t worry. Just put your faith in ol’ Hambo. Then you can’t go wrong.
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