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…
12 thoughts on “Lutheran Creation Doctrine: Young Earth Creationism”
Good piece. I will be chuckling about the final phrase all day (dot, dot, dot). Seems to me if one is a YEC, regarding the exact age of the planet, ‘what does it matter?’
It matters to them, because one of them HAS TO BE RIGHT. And once they figure that out (despite what reality tells us) then the winner gets bragging rights. The whole of christendom hangs on this debate. And since there can only be One Truth, everyone else LOSES. HOORAY!!!!!
But why would he bother making it look aged?
Was he try to deceive on purpose?
So that he would harden our evil hearts, just like what he did to Pharaoh.
Great article and great site. Your efforts are meaningful! Only after the deconversion process could I ever really look at the YEC debate with a reasonable approach to the information. As a christian I was always told “evolution” or any evidence contrary to the biblical account was a deception from the devil. If the scientific data says that the earth is millions of years old it is either because the devil is tainting the information OR I would hear God created it “aged” like you stated. Yet if you use the same method to justify another religions claims (Outsider Test of Faith) they shift to a strong demand for evidence and won’t accept “God or Devil did it:”
Only after deconversion… The key to understanding the mysteries is unbelief. True true
Einstein; Time is an illusion. All time exists all the time. Past, Present and Future exist simultaneously. Hahaha…wrap your head around that??? https://youtu.be/VYZQxMowBsw
Nice. I’m amazed at the books and movies you put yourself through, so that you can write about Christianity for us. Since leaving religion, I’ve avoided Christian literature like the plague (except for one book), it’s just so cringey for me.
How did you manage to get blocked by Ken Ham on Twitter? that’s a story I’d like to hear.
I’m not quite sure, but there was a period of time when I would comment on all of his tweets and I don’t think he liked that!
Lol. Some would say that being blocked by him is a privilege.
Creationists are quite good at inventing new “interpretations” for their myths when reality is just too much to ignore and they get tired of feeling completely stupid. Their disagreement among themselves is a great bit of evidence to know that Christianity and creationism are no more than human inventions. They can’t even convince each other about their “truths”.
Scientists haven’t seen electrons but we know that they exist and we don’t rebuff this fact. Similarly we haven’t seen God so how can we say that it doesn’t exist?? The problem is that when we hear the word God something mystical and out of the human comprehend ability thing comes to our mind or a scene from the movies but we hesitate in understanding God as a hypothesis which is necessary for the very existence of this human species just like the hypothesis of electrons.