For the past couple months, I have been writing a series of posts on Lutheran Creation doctrine; the LCMS doesn’t have an official stance on creationism (or so they say), so I’ve been following along with a series of blog posts on the Concordia Theology blog, and today, I’m looking at their post on young earth creationism.
For my entire life, the YEC view is always what I have thought that Lutherans believed, but when I started this series, I found out that they don’t necessarily have one professed stance on creationism. As I begin reading this article, I get the idea that the author may be a YEC… just like Martin Luther was! The only other notable Lutheran who tried to find out the age of the Earth is Bishop Ussher, who calculated it to have been created in about 4004 BC… so, only a few hundred of thousands of years after Homo sapiens first actually appeared.
Although mythical, the flood of Genesis is possibly the only “scientific” basis that YECs use to try an justify their views. One of the most well-known people to do this is George McReady Price, who William Jennings Bryan asked to help him as a witness in the 1925 Scopes trial, even though he “lacked scientific credentials”. Price gave plenty of reasons for why he believes the flood is accounted for with our current fossil discoveries, such as bodies drowning and not being immediately covered with sediment, and a “cosmic storm” which kept the dead bodies from polluting the air. Isn’t the creation story beautiful?
In Arand’s article, he goes into great detail about the work of flood geologist Henry Morris, never shy of praising Morris and his work; for reasons like this, I am convinced that the author himself is a young earth creationist, as I assume most LCMS Lutherans are. He goes on and on about how well Morris’s book on creationism, as well as other books on the same topic, were received. If a young earth creationist has ever earned a doctorate, Arand will never hesitate to tell you about it.
Arand praises a supposedly well-known YEC by the name of John Sanford who had recently spoken at the LCMS’s Concordia Seminary. This plant geneticist began as an atheist scientist, then became an evolutionary creationist, then an old earth creationist, and finally a young earth creationist, thanks to incessant reading of the bible.
Arand says, “Again, affirming a young earth creation is not so much about creation and science as it is about the Bible and believing that the Bible is true in every detail. In other words, for them, affirming a young earth is a corollary of affirming the Bible.” This certainly indicates that he believes that if you interpret Scripture “correctly”, then you land at young earth creationism.
YECs believe that the earth is between 6,000 and 15,000 years old and that it was created by God in 6 literal days. But, not surprisingly, they cannot agree on whether or not the Earth “looks old”. But don’t worry, they don’t think that this means God was deceptive about the age of the earth! It would be impossible for God to have created the Earth without making it look aged. Which I find interesting, because God is supposed to be omnipotent, but that’s none of my business…