Re: Tne NTSE & "Competition"

Allan Harvey (
Tue, 25 Mar 1997 13:24:15 -0700

At 12:08 PM 3/25/97 -0500, burgy wrote:

>In the issue I observe that Henry Morris prefers the term "literal
>creationism" to "young earth creationism." I don't see any reason why "LC"
>is not an acceptable substitute for "YEC," particularly as it does
>establish a definitional point where we can agree on something. This
>point is found on page b of a short article on the subject "Old Earth
>Creationism." Morris makes the point that "YEC" is a name bestowed by ICR
>opponents, and, as such, I suggest we abandon its use altogether in the
>name of Christian harmony.

I *strongly* object to this suggestion. Two reasons:

1) Even in the popular meaning of "literal" interpretation of early
Genesis (taking it as a completely historic, scientifically precise
account with no figurative content), many people interpret it "literally"
without taking the YEC position. Hugh Ross, for example, is very much a
Biblical literalist. We cannot cede the high ground to Morris by
allowing him to paint his movement as the only choice for those who "take
the Bible literally."

2) While it may be a lost cause, it is worth remembering that "literal"
should really mean interpretation that recognizes what type of
"literature" a Biblical author was using to express the inspired truth.
In that sense, those of us who see early Genesis as a non-scientific
communication of God's relationship to the creation (including us) that
has substantial figurative content are also taking Genesis "literally"
and should not let the YEC's monopolize that term. After all, Augustine
approached early Genesis in a way that would be too figurative for Morris
to accept, and he called his work _The Literal Interpretation of Genesis_.

So is there any acceptable alternative to the YEC label? The only other
accurate term I have heard is "144-hour creationist," which I actually
like a lot. But anything that suggests that only the YEC crowd takes the
Bible seriously (or literally) must be firmly rejected.

| Dr. Allan H. Harvey | |
| Physical and Chemical Properties Division | Phone: (303)497-3555 |
| National Institute of Standards & Technology | Fax: (303)497-5224 |
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