Being careful not to play into the opposition’s hands …
Since my own conversion over 20 years ago, I’ve had to try to understand some of the terms used to define certain aspects of the Christian faith. For instance, we use various short labels (e.g. Calvinist, Arminian, premillenialist, postmillennialist, etc.) to provide an ‘instant snapshot’ of what someone believes in a certain defined area.
It’s no different in the creation debate. For example, there are Theistic Evolutionists, Progressive Creationists, Gap Theorists, Day-Age Creationists and so on. Although the above have different slants on interpreting Genesis, they all hold to the idea of ‘millions and billions of years’. And to distinguish ourselves from them, it’s been common for creationists to refer to themselves as a ‘Young-Earth Creationist’ (YEC). It’s immediately obvious that you believe in a world only thousands of years old. But is this the wisest course of action?
We need to consider that it is now often used as a term of disparagement—and unfortunately, it’s often effective. This is because we’ve allowed the old-Earthers to convince people that believing in a younger Earth means that somehow one is anti-science, extremist in our thinking or that we’ve left one’s brains outside the church door—like believing the earth is flat. So when witnessing to an unbeliever, or even to another Christian who is confused about the issue of origins, such a label can cause them to put the shutters up even before they’ve heard a defense.
However, we actually know from experience that the evidence for a young Earth is convincing—even compelling, and fits what we understand about the ability of science to judge such things. Virtually every church we go to, lives are transformed and turned around by hearing a reasonable defense that the earth is young (compared to the secular view). In short, people are immensely encouraged that the Bible can be trusted—as written!….
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