Re: Full disclosure - creationism and salvation

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Fri Jan 23 2004 - 16:18:46 EST

Sheila Wilson wrote:
> 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.

Sheila -
        I certainly agree that salvation is not dependent upon one's belief about the
age of the earth. I would go farther and say that this issue should not be - to use a
nifty German theological term - kirchentrennende, "church dividing". Christians with
different beliefs about the age of the earth can still be in communion.
        But I think that many YECs - or at least the more sensible ones - would state
the matter a little differently. They would say that the fundamental issue is the truth
of scripture - by which they mean that it is accurate historical narrative. & if you
believe that then a young earth is one consequence (unless you try something like the
gap theory).
        So here I think that one has to ask some questions that challenge ideas not only
of YECs but of many conservative Christians who have other views about the age of the
earth & evolution: To what extent is salvation dependent upon believing that everything
in the Bible is historically and scientifically accurate? To what extent does salvation
depend on believing that everything in the Bible is true in _any_ way? And to what
extent are those issues church dividing?


George L. Murphy
Received on Fri Jan 23 16:21:08 2004

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