AIG: The Heresy of Millions of Years

This is the same old stuff from from Answers in Genesis (AIG) — the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia — but it’s always fun. The title is Defending the Bible’s Clarity.

It was written by AIG staffer Dr. Terry Mortenson, who “earned an MDiv (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) and a PhD in history of geology (Coventry University).” A couple of years ago he wrote about the same subject — see AIG: Millions of Years? No Way! We’ll give you some excerpts from his latest, with bold font added by us and his links and scripture references omitted:

He begins by describing a lecture he gave at a theology seminar:

My lecture topic was based on my PhD research and was similar to my DVD lecture Millions of Years: Where Did the Idea Come From? [Link omitted.] I explained how a belief in millions of years became the dominant view in geology and how most of the church quickly compromised by accepting that idea.

Then he describes a conversation he had afterwards with one of his former professors, who disagreed with him and said:

“I don’t know how long the days of creation were, but they definitely were not 24-hour days.” Responding to the conclusion of my lecture, he ended the conversation by saying, “Terry, the issue is not the authority of Scripture. It’s the interpretation of Scripture.”

Terry can’t accept that. He tells us:

Over the years, I have repeatedly heard or read such statements by respected Bible scholars, apologists, and other Christian leaders who profess to believe in the inerrancy of Scripture — but who accept or lean toward accepting the millions-of-years idea and think that the age of the earth doesn’t matter.

Now, I could be sympathetic to such an answer if Genesis chapters 1–11 were hard-to-understand … . Genesis 1–11, however, is not hard to understand. It is clear historical narrative, just like the rest of Genesis, Exodus, Joshua, Judges, Acts, and the gospel accounts of events preceding and during the earthly life of Christ.

How frustrating for Terry! He continues:

Nowhere in the Bible does it even hint that Genesis 1–11 is some kind of semi-poetic, figurative text that is shrouded in mystery and ambiguity, only to be clarified by modern secular scientists operating within a naturalistic worldview. All theistic evolutionary views and so-called “old-earth creationist” beliefs are imaginative attempts to interpret these supposedly unclear chapters, on the basis of the supposedly undeniable truth-claims of the scientific majority about the age of the creation (if not also how it came into existence).

No doubt about it — the text is clear. Let’s read on:

Many Christian leaders and Bible scholars admit that Genesis “seems” to teach a young-earth, but they don’t believe it because “science says” (no, actually because most scientists say) that Genesis can’t mean that. But this denial of the clarity of Genesis undermines the authority of Genesis — which undermines the authority of the entire Bible! This rejection of the clear, authoritative teaching of Genesis about how and when God created has significantly contributed to the moral and spiritual decadence into which America has descended.

Yes! That’s why there’s so much immorality and decadence. Another excerpt:

You see, we can’t, with any consistent principles of interpretation (i.e., hermeneutics) defend the biblical teaching about gender, sex, marriage, racism, and Jesus’ virgin birth and Resurrection, but deny the historical account of the creation of Adam from dust and Eve from his rib (and then their fall in sin). We can’t with exegetical consistency defend a literal Adam and Fall, and the biblical teaching on gender, sex, marriage, and racism, while denying the global Flood and six literal, 24-hour days of creation. Likewise, we can’t with logical or biblical consistency defend a Fall that impacted the entire universe, but also believe in millions of years of animal death, disease like cancer, extinction, and other natural evil before Adam.

He goes on a bit, but that’s enough. Now that it’s over, we’re left wondering. How do the creation scientists at AIG deny the many clear passages in the bible telling us that The Earth Is Flat and that The Earth Does Not Move? If AIG can reject the flat Earth and the geocentric universe — as they do — then why do they insist on six-day creation?

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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34 responses to “AIG: The Heresy of Millions of Years

  1. siluriantrilobite

    Mortenson thinks the Devil makes us do science. See:

    https://answersingenesis.org/angels-and-demons/are-demons-active-today/

    “In his well-documented book, The Long War Against God, the late Dr. Henry Morris argues that evolution itself is a very ancient idea that ultimately can be traced back to the Garden of Eden, when Satan questioned God’s truthfulness. The widespread acceptance of evolution (including millions of years and the big bang) is strong evidence of the continuing work of Satan and demons.”

    And

    https://pandasthumb.org/archives/2014/02/on-the-radio-wi.html

  2. Try going to a YEC forum and politely asking how they distinguish their beliefs from those of the Flat Earther’s. Then sit back and watch the sparks fly!

    Most YEC forums seem to now has rules prohibiting post about Flat Earth. I got away with it somehow.

  3. Michael Fugate

    They really do seemed to get worked up about oblate spheroids for some reason. If you are going to dismiss tons of science why worry over an ounce?

  4. Clear proof evidence doesn’t matter to Terry — there is none for virtually all of the things he rants about.

  5. “But this denial of the clarity of Genesis undermines the authority of Genesis — which undermines the authority of the entire Bible!”

    So why should I believe that ‘clarity’ is what matters? I’ve read a lot of fiction that is perfectly clear but that clarity has no bearing on the truthfulness of the text. It sound as if this guy will go to any length to maintain the ‘authority’ of the bible.

  6. Michael Fugate

    defend the biblical teaching about gender, sex, marriage, racism, and Jesus’ virgin birth and Resurrection

    Why would anyone want to defend biblical teaching on those subjects? How could you?

  7. Too bad Dr. Terry Mortenson didn’t learn some actual geology while he was obtaining his History of Geology degree. If he had, he would understand the EVIDENCE supporting millions (no, billions) of years.

    It’s difficult to understand why religionists don’t accept the evidence provided by the earth. After all, in their way of thinking it was God who created the earth; thus, the evidence was written by God. And they have to admit the Scriptures were scribed by man. Just sayin’.

  8. Dear RSG, you are the one who doesn’t understand the evidence. It’s right there, crystal clear, in the Holy Babble, which may have been scribed by man, but was and is continued to be inspired by YHWH Himself. There is, there can’t be any more reliable evidence!

  9. WTH is a history of geology degree used for?

  10. For Mortenson’s own words on his view of the age of the Earth, see: Creation Geology.

    It is particularly amusing (in this and the rest of the series) to see creationist opinions taken apart by a professional geologist who is not only a woman, but who delivers her barbs in a southern Appalachian accent.

    One really would hope that someone with a PhD in the history of geology knows about James Hutton: “The result, therefore, of our present enquiry is, that we find no vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end.”

  11. Tomato Addict
    We need a link! Creationist sparks are better than fireworks!

  12. Dr. Terry Mortenson thunderously proclaims:

    rejection of the clear, authoritative teaching of Genesis about how and when God created has significantly contributed to the moral and spiritual decadence into which America has descended

    Is Mortenson citing an example of American exceptionalism here?

    If so, I guess we in the rest of the world can relax…

  13. What you have there is the very definition of mental illness. I hope that Terry’s office at AIG is well-padded.

  14. Tomato Addict suggests: “Try going to a YEC forum and politely asking how they distinguish their beliefs from those of the Flat Earther’s. Then sit back and watch the sparks fly!”

    The creationist sites I routinely visit — AIG, ICR, and the Discoveroids — don’t have a comments feature. One can easily understand why. As for those that do have comments (like WorldNetDaily), why would anyone bother?

  15. How about geocentrism?
    That has a long history of being accepted on Biblical grounds.
    The evidence for heliocentrism is more difficult for the layperson.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if geocentrism would become popular.

  16. Not a word in that article about refuting the evidence for an old earth.

  17. Charles Deetz ;)

    Clarity of Genesis? Really! Then please me with a firmament explanation please. Supporting observational science would be a bonus.

  18. Highly recommended: Joel Anderson’s “The Heresy of Ken Ham”

    He puts all their claims to rest pretty well.

  19. Stephen Kennedy

    TomS asks why creationists like AIG not embrace geocentrism which the bible strongly implies. Somehow, AIG seems to know that proclaiming geocentrism would make them look ridiculous but they can not seem to fathom that claiming the Earth is only 6,000 years old makes them look as ridiculous as believing in geocentrism would.

  20. My opinion is this:
    Everyone has come to terms with heliocentrism. There are no emotional ties anymore to geocentrism.
    But it is still unacceptable to be related to monkeys.

  21. TomS:
    “But it is still unacceptable to be related to monkeys.”

    Or to accept that all H. sapiens originated in Africa.

  22. Michael Fugate

    That someone used evolutionary theory to justify their racism makes evolutionary theory wrong – is par for creationist “logic”.
    Does that someone used the Mark of Cain story Genesis 4:11-16 to justify their racism make Genesis wrong?

  23. The problem with flat earthism and geocentrism is that it isn’t accepted by most evangelical Christians, including Ham. The Bible is a bit like a Rorschach test that allows the user to create a god and theology in their own image. Stuff you don’t agree with either ignore or dispel it as metaphor.

  24. “How do the creation scientists at AIG deny the many clear passages in the bible telling us that The Earth Is Flat and that The Earth Does Not Move?” None of that wrongness corrected undermines the gospel message – in the way that AiG say an ancient Earth and universe undermines it (because death preceded sin etc).

  25. @Ashley Haworth-roberts:

    Hey Ashley! Good to see another guy who wears his hair(?) like mine! 😉

  26. @skmarshall: Seek Ye the Book of Faces, and the many groups of Creationism therein!

    And @Curmie: Also in the Book of Faces, my wandering brought me into a group of quite reasonable Christians. These folks dislike El Hambo for scientific AND theological reasons. You have several readers among them. One thing I have discovered: the one thing YECs hate more than evolution is OECs.

  27. I don’t shave every single day and hadn’t when I unexpectedly needed to take a selfie because Facebook were questioning my online identity for reasons best known to them.

  28. thenaturalhistorian.com is an Old Earth Creation blog
    It has a lot about the trillions of flint tools in Africa.

  29. @Ashley Haworth-roberts:
    I was just commenting on the fact that we are identical twins from the eyebrows up — your days-growth of beard doesn’t show up in the little photo.

    Of course, that’s not the point of this blog. I do want to say I enjoy reading your comments. Always germane and to the point.

  30. The article quotes no confirming verses from the Bible to back up its reality-based conclusions.

  31. The story about taking Jesus to a tall mountain to see farther shows that the writer knew that one can see farther the higher one goes. That happens only on a curved Earth. Whether the writer knew the reason, I don’t know (it was well known in the Hellenic culture of that era).
    It has been pointed out that the story mentions seeing the “whole earth”, which, if taken literally, would be impossible. But there are many texts where it is clear that “the whole earth” is obviously hyperbole.

  32. Michael Fugate

    The irony meter just broke reading Danny’s piece; he cites Bacon as to problems with doing good science:
    Following a weak or unreliable authority [like the Bible?]
    Custom
    The ignorance of others
    Concealing one’s own ignorance by pretended knowledge

    Fits everything AiG does to a T.