Re: Full disclosure - creationism and salvation

From: Sheila Wilson <>
Date: Fri Jan 23 2004 - 16:05:31 EST

George, you are right. The law reveals to us our shortcomings (sin) and the consequences which leads to our need for a Savior. I was using the broader sense of the word because, to me, repentance is more than just seeing a problem and the need for a solution. Repentance is changing our ways - turning from sin and to God. This is simply different uses of the same word and we both agree in the broad and narrow uses of the word.
Other emails concerning creationism discuss young earth creationism (YEC) vs. old earth creationism (OEC) in terms of our salvation. Some of the issues as I see them are:

   Many YEC's are taught and believe that the foundation of our salvation hinges on our belief in the age of the earth. I have heard this taught in a local church and others on this list have had their salvation questioned by YEC's. My salvation is based on my need and acknowledgement for a Savior and my relationship with God - nothing more, nothing less.
   Many YEC's are not scientists and have little or no scientific background. Most laity in the church are non-scientists. Scientific evidence should be presented in the church but at limited levels (while offering resources for further information) because much is above the understanding of non-scientists. The primary focus for the church laity needs to be the truth of God's word - where our salvation is and is not found, what the Bible really says and does not say about creation.
   Other emails have discussed the possibility of a YEC losing one's faith when the fallacies of YEC are revealed, specifically when one's salvation is supposedly determined by this belief. I will repeat: salvation is based on our relationship with God. If someone chooses to deny their faith based on a non-Biblical idea, the relationship with God was not that strong. Again, the focus needs to be on relationship with God, not on the age of the earth.
   For YEC scientist and nonscientists, we must reinforce that the age of the earth has no factor in our salvation. Beyond that, we must present evidence clearly but recognize that even we do not have the answers. If reasonable discussion of the evidence is not an option, we must return to the Bible and show that salvation and YEC are not interdependant.



George Murphy <> wrote:
Sheila Wilson wrote:
> The law does NOT bring us to repentance - that is not scriptural. The
> law tells us where we are wrong and nothing more. God's grace allows
> us to become new again. We are holy not because of what we have or
> have not done but because God makes us innocent by cleansing us with
> the blood of the Lamb.

I suspect that you may be using "repentance" in a broad sense to include
acceptance of God's grace through faith. But in the narrow sense repentance means
knowing one's sin, fearing its consequences, knowing one's need for help. It is to be
distinguished from faith in Christ, as hunger is to be distinguished from getting food.
& it is the law (again in the strict sense) that makes us aware of sin (Rom.3:20) & thus
of the need for the gospel (again in the strict sense).
This is completely scriptural: It is why the prophets virtually always begin by
using the law to accuse people of sin. Proclamation always has the form "Repent - and
believe the gospel" (Mk.1:15). It is also completely logical: Who will agree to have
radical surgery before getting a diagnosis that says it's necessary?
This in no sense means that we are saved or sanctified by what we have done or
not done. The principal function of the law is to unmask sin & in that sense the old
Lutheran theologians said "the law always accuses." The law does not save us but shows
the need for salvation in Christ.

> Young earth creationists often say that our salvation is on the line
> when we believe the earth is older than 6000 years old or 12,000 or
> whatever the magic number is. Rather than debating the age of the
> earth, we need to return to the doctrine of grace. Ephesians 2:8
> says, For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this
> not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.

The YEC claim that you note in your 1st sentence is of course wrong. & because
it is wrong, we unfortunately need to spend some time correcting it. This is not
because a person with YEC views cannot be saved but because they can mislead others.


George L. Murphy

Sheila McGinty Wilson
Received on Fri Jan 23 16:06:03 2004

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Fri Jan 23 2004 - 16:06:05 EST