False Charges Against Creationism
When one encounters an ideological position with which he disagrees, there are several possible reactions. He could reflect honestly upon the new idea, carefully research it, and give it an honest evaluation. That certainly would be the noble thing to do. Then again he might, if the viewpoint makes him uncomfortable, simply ignore it, hoping it will go away.
On the other hand he may, as a result of intense philosophical bias, immediately reject it with a vengeance. In such a case, it is possible that one may so despise a teaching that he will caricature it. That is, he will present it in an absurd light so that, hopefully, he can deter others from even giving it consideration.
Unfortunately, this latter approach has been demonstrated repeatedly in the modern creation-evolution controversy. Evolutionists (and religionists who have been influenced significantly by them) constantly misrepresent biblical creationism in the effort to bolster their own faltering cause. In this article, I propose to highlight some of these spurious attempts to discredit the biblical teaching regarding the doctrine of creation.
Charge: Creationists believe that the world was created in 4004 B.C.
Response: John Lightfoot (1602-1675), a Hebraist of Cambridge University, once suggested that the creation events of Genesis 1 transpired the week of October 18-24, 4004 B.C., with Adam being made on October 23 at 9:00 in the morning (Ramm 1954, 174). For this speculation, of course, there is absolutely no support. Nevertheless, this incident has been resurrected repeatedly by evolutionists (both atheistic and theistic) in an attempt to discredit modern creationism. There simply is no validity to this charge or tactic. What creationists do contend is this:
First, the Bible clearly indicates that both the earth and the human family came into existence during the same week. The earth, in its rudimentary form, was created on the first day of the creation week (Genesis 1:1), and man and woman were fashioned on the sixth day of the same week (1:26ff).
Second, that initial week was a literal week of seven normal days. This is demonstrated by a consideration of Exodus 20:11 where it is apparent from the context that the days of the creation week were of the same type as the sabbath day, which every Hebrew was required to observe weekly.
Third, there are chronological data in the Scriptures which indicate that the human family, back to Adam (the first man [1 Corinthians 15:45]), has been in existence only several thousand years—certainly not millions of years, as evolutionists claim. While there may be some minor elasticity in the genealogical records (cf. Genesis 11:12; Luke 3:35-36), attempts to accommodate the biblical genealogies to evolutionary anthropology result in gross textual distortion. As J. Barton Payne noted, this concept “leaves the Bible’s detailed lists of figures as generally pointless” (1975, 831).
Charge: The creationist concept of a relatively young earth is the result of a millennialist theology.
Response: This argument generally is employed to intimidate those who reject the notion of premillennialism (as well they should), but who are inclined to accept the Genesis record at face value, thus accepting the fact that all living kinds were made within the same creation week. An example of this ploy is seen in the following allegation: In referring to “scientific creationism,” one compromising writer alleged that “the theological basis of most” of this type of teaching is the result of “the close association with millennial tradition” (Clayton 1993, 20; see Sears 1983, 415, for the same charge). Of course, not a word of proof was offered for this baseless charge, because there is none.
There is absolutely no intrinsic connection between the affirmation that the entire creation was accomplished in six literal days—a truth clearly set forth in the Scriptures—and the theological speculation (with no semblance of scriptural support) that Christ will return to the earth and reign for one thousand years on David’s throne in Jerusalem. I have dealt with this matter more specifically elsewhere (Jackson 1985, 17-20). We are gratified that agnostic writer Ronald Numbers, in his book, The Creationists, has noted correctly that the writings issuing from Apologetics Press—of which I was co-founder and board president for many years—have not been associated with any type of premillennial assumptions (1992, 315).
Charge: Creationists believe that God specifically made each individual species of plant and animal life.
Response: While some writers of the past argued for the fixity of species, modern creationist scholars do not. Those who have given ample study to the biblical text and who have confidence in its reliability simply affirm, in the language of Scripture, that God made all biological organisms “after their kind”’ (Genesis 1:11ff). The term “kind” (Hebrew, min) is employed thirty-one times in the Old Testament (ten times in the initial chapter of the Bible). It is a generic word that certainly allows for considerable biological modification. As professor W. H. Rusch has observed: "There is absolutely no justification for equating this Genesis "
- Clayton, John N. 1993. Book Reviews. Does God Exist? 209(2).
- Dillow, Joseph C. 1981. The Waters Above. Chicago, IL: Moody.
- Jackson, Wayne. 1983. The Book of Job. Abilene, TX: Quality Publishing.
- Jackson, Wayne. 1985. Premillennialism and Biblical Creationism. Reason & Revelation, 5.
- Jackson, Wayne. 1993. Are Faith and Science Compatible? Christian Courier, 29.
- Jastrow, Robert. 1977. Until the Sun Dies. New York, NY: Warner.
- Kaiser, Walter C. 1980. Kind. Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. Vol. 1. R. L. Harris, C. L. Archer, B. K. Waltke, eds. Chicago, IL: Moody.
- Numbers, Ronald. 1992. The Creationists. New York, NY: Knopf.
- Payne, J. Barton. 1975. Chronology of the Old Testament. Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible. Vol. 1. Merrill C. Tenney, ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
- Ramm, Bernard. 1954. The Christian View of Science and Scripture. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.
- Rusch, Wilbert H. 1959. Darwinism, Science and the Bible. Darwin, Evolution, and Creation. Paul A. Zimmerman, ed. St. Louis, MO: Concordia.
- Sears, Jack Wood. 1983. How The Worlds Were Framed. Studies in Hebrews. Dub McClish, ed. Denton, TX: Valid Publications.
- Weiss, Paul. 1965. Elements of Biology New York, NY: McGraw Hill.