Why do you imply that it is atheistic to hold that God used natural processes to accomplish his goals in creation?
Gish: Creation took place by direct volitional acts of God, which were finished at the end of the sixth day of Creation. Natural processes are the product, not the source, of that creation. We must not confuse the course of natural events that followed Creation with the supernatural events that occurred during Creation. The very basis of the fight of the American Civil Liberties Union and other atheistic organizations against balanced treatment for creation laws is their claim that only nontheistic, mechanistic explanations for origins is permissible. These organizations frankly recognize evolution as an atheistic explanation, and students logically perceive this as a fact whether you admit it or not. Indoctrinating students in evolution theory is condemning millions to an atheistic view of life.
Would not your argument against a blind-chance origin for the universe be equally consistent with (a) either an old or young earth; (b) a gradual evolutionary change guided by divine intelligence?
Gish: (a) Yes; (b) Absolutely not. According to the evolutionary hypothesis that is universally accepted by evolutionists and taught in every public school and university in the U.S., no intelligence, no guidance, no control of any kind other than that inherent in matter was involved. One cannot ascribe any intelligence, most particularly divine intelligence, to a process in which almost all of the events involve harmful mutations and, even in the case of the supposed rare beneficial mutations, the mutants prevail through struggle and death. To call this “creation” makes a mockery of both what evolutionists believe and the Bible teaches.
Do you recognize that we do not need to explain every phenomenon before committing ourselves to a view for which there seems overwhelming (but not complete) evidence?
Barnes: Indeed I do! There is overwhelming evidence in both the Old and New Testaments for fiat creation of a fully operational universe, including our own earth, moon, and sun. There is overwhelming evidence in both the Old and New Testaments for the creation of a man, Adam, that sin entered through Adam, and that there was no death before that sin. If there was no death, then there would be no pre-Adamic fossils. One cannot and need not explain every fossil. The most powerful tools of physics have provided overwhelming support for fiat creation of the earth’s granites, and a young age for the earth, moon, and sun.
Why is it so important to you to defend a young earth?
Barnes: It is doctrinally important; it is scientifically important. Many conservative theologians have adapted their interpretation of Scripture to accommodate the long ages. They thought scientists knew the earth was very old. For example: C. I. Scofield in the second footnote to Genisis 1:1 in his reference Bible states that “it gives scope for all of the geologic ages.”
Had he known the recently discovered evidences for a young earth submitted in this article, he might have seen the wisdom of putting greater priorities on a straightforward interpretation of the Scripture itself.
The clarity and reasonableness of the postulates, the great scope of observational data, and the strict adherence to fundamental laws of physics included in the evidences for a young earth are superior to the presumed evidences for an old earth. This is scientifically significant.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more