Matthew R. Perry

Is Denying a Six-Day Creation Equivalent to Compromising the Gospel?

In biblical creationism, Darwin, Darwinism, Evolution, Gospel on January 29, 2009 at 10:15 pm

I am currently preparing for a four-part sermon series on “Creationism v. Darwinism: Can The Bible Be Trusted?” in light of Charles Darwin’s (1809-1883) 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of Darwin’s magnum opus, On the Origin of Species.

What has amazed me most in the research on this is not the inconsistencies of Darwinism (nothing on a macro-evolution level has yet to be proven or substantiated), but on how many Christians want to wed Darwin’s theory with the biblical account and impose Darwinian science on the clear text of Scripture.

The most popular way to do this is to take the six days of creation and turn them into “millions of years.” What many want to say is that the word ‘day’ doesn’t mean ‘day’ in the 24-hour sense, but that ‘day’ really means an era or an extended amount of time. Ken Ham on his Answers in Genesis podcast has a whole list of ministers who fail to hold to a literal six days (James Dobson, James Montgomery Boice, to name some), and I would regretfully add Tim Keller to the list as you examine his otherwise fine work The Reason for God (pp. 89-92).

A.E. Wilder-Smith in his wonderful work Man’s Origin, Man’s Destiny says, “An effort has been made to overcome some of the difficulties of harmonization by reckoning the seven creative days of Genesis as seven geological ages. It is in our own view, however, that the attempt to overcome some difficulties by this method often introduces even greater problems” (43). Wilder-Smith notes the absurdity of having plant life (Day 3) exist for millions of years prior to the sunlight being created (Day Four)–especially with the necessity of coal mixtures needing a good dose of sunlight. Plus, did God really rest millions of years? It just doesn’t fit.

But the question is: does this really compromise the Gospel? I believe it can because we risk being inconsistent in taking the gospel found in the Scriptures literally, yet taking the Genesis 1 account which is laid out like history (not poetry) non-literally. It compromises our witness. Just look at the transcripts of the Scopes “Monkey” Trial where Clarence Darrow called prosecuter William Jennings Bryan to the stand. Bryan compromised on the literal nature of the Bible, and Darrow took advantage.

Scientists who embrace Darwinism out of hatred for the possibility of biblical creationism go for this aspect. If they can get us denying the literal nature of the very first chapter of the Bible, then they will not worry about going after other items such as the resurrection. We have already shown the inconsistency–and they have won the day.

What say you?

  1. You’ve especially got a problem if your hermeneutic opens a door to have a figurative Adam and Eve and fall (did we need a literal Savior then?); and if you’ve got death occurring before Adam appeared, that doesn’t seem to square with Romans 5:12. Dr. Bob McCabe of Detroit Baptist Seminary has an excellent detailed article on this topic here:

  2. Exactly, Doug. Thanks for bringing this to our attention!

  3. 6-day creation is tied to the doctrine of original sin. The world is the way it is b/c of Adam’s sin; before he sinned, no death, no decay. A world radically different than the one we inhabit today. Give up literal 6-day creation and we abandon the whole doctrine of the Fall and its effects upon the world. The world is so messed up, not b/c of Adam’s sin, but because God is a lousy Creator. Also, if the first Adam’s sin is not the cause of everything wrong in the world, then the Last Adam’s obedience is not the solution for everything wrong in the universe.
    So there is really a lot at stake in this issue!

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