Saturday, January 19, 2019

The Importance of the Doctrine of Young-Earth Creationism

The doctrine of creation is that voluntary, immediate, and supernatural act of God whereby for his own glory and according to his eternal counsel, in six successive days of twenty-four hours each, gave existence to all things in distinction from himself.

What is the importance of the doctrine of young-earth creationism?

a. Adherence to young earth creationism is vital to the authority of Scripture.

The question of origins is not primarily a matter of interpretation, but one of authority and faith. While all genuine believers acknowledge in theory the priority of Scripture to all other sources of authority, no area of theology strains this principle more than the question of origins. Every threat to young earth creationism today, however sincere, is a direct assault on the primacy of Scripture. As such, the question of origins is a primary battleground for faith and the distinctive Christian worldview.

b. Adherence to young earth creationism is vital to hermeneutical fidelity.

While the creation question is not primarily a matter of interpretation, hermeneutical fidelity is nonetheless threatened by opponents of young earth creationism. If genre criticism can be allowed to wreak havoc on Genesis 1–11, there is little to prevent it from being so used elsewhere in Scripture.

c. Adherence to young earth creationism is vital to other critical biblical-theological concerns.

The literal nature of the creation account is essential to several fundamental doctrines, including...
(1) The solidarity of the human race (Acts 17:26). 
(2) The imputation and inheritance of original sin (Rom 5:12–19).
(3) The complex metaphor of the Second Adam (1 Cor 15:45)
(4) The direct association of Adam’s sin to death and decay in the universe (Rom 5:12; 8:19–23).
d. Historically, concessions to the independent authority of science in the realm of origins has done enormous damage to biblical causes (see esp. James Turner, Without God, Without Creed: The Origins of Unbelief in America).

Question: How long ago did the creation of the universe occur?

While there is some debate over the exact age of the earth, a plain reading of the text indicates a recent creation, probably not in excess of 10,000 years. Ussher employed the genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11 to argue that creation occurred in exactly 4004 B.C.; however, a few factors suggest that this date may be too stringent:

• Written historical records demonstrably argue for an additional 1000 years between Noah and Abraham than is reflected in the Hebrew chronology in Genesis 11.

• Clear biblical proof of such a gap appears in Luke 3:36.

Ben Shaw in his 2004 dissertation, “The Genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11 and Their Significance for Chronology,” makes a good case for preferring the LXX rendering of Genesis 5 and 11 to account for these anomalies without discounting the precision of the genealogical accounts.