Again I remind you that post every Monday over at Dead Pastors Society, so if you are interested in more of what you find here, head over there.
Let me say that I have a huge beef with creationism. Now listen, I certainly believe in the literal creation account of scripture, meaning that I believe in a literal 7 days, a literal flood, and a literal tower of babel, all those things I take to be absolutely true. However I am not a creationist because the doctrine that defines my system of theology is NOT creation. Now I am not opposed to “-isms”, in fact I think they are helpful. Methodism is a system of understanding scripture and ecclesiology, as is Lutheranism, Calvinism, Romanism, Arminianism, etc… There is nothing wrong with an “-ism” in that sense. Now certainly not all “-isms” are equally desirable and therein lies my problem with “creationism.”
Creationism affirms that all biblical doctrine is eventually founded in the creation, or in the first 11 books of Genesis. One of the main things you will hear a creationist say is that if you lose the book of Genesis you lose the entire bible. In other words the creationist affirms that all doctrines are ultimately founded in the creation and without the literal creation account no doctrine can stand. This is standard creationism, and I believe creationism’s emphasis is horribly misplaced.
Let me give an example. One of my best friends, who I love dearly, in the Lord is what I would call an ardent creationist. I explained to him that I believe in the literal creation account simply because Christ seems to believe in it, and Christ being resurrected is indeed proven as God in the flesh, and if God Himself affirms a literal creation then who am I to deny it. In other words my sole reason for believing the literal creation narrative is the authority of Christ proven by his resurrection. After hearing that argument my friend said, “I will definitely add that argument to my arsenal.” What I presume he meant is that he will add the resurrected Christ argument in order to serve his creation argument.
So what is wrong with his methodology? Or is there anything wrong with his idea of the adding the resurrection argument to his arsenal? YES! Listen, the resurrection IS our arsenal, it IS our argument. It is not one of many arguments used to prove a greater point. It IS the great point! It is not a sub argument that we add to prove other points of doctrine, not at all! The life, death, and resurrection of Christ IS our doctrine, and all other arguments are subservient to that doctrine. In other words, the literal creation serves to proclaim the life, death , and resurrection not vice versa. To put it more clearly, I can proclaim the Gospel without mentioning the creation. However the only way to rightly proclaim the creation is in light of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. I can proclaim the Gospel without mentioning where Cain got his wife, but I cannot proclaim the story of Cain and Abel without making a beeline to Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. Christ’s life death and resurrection is the primary storyline of scripture, the one which every other scripture is governed by. The bible is Christocentric, not creation-centric. Can you see my issue?
Creationism wrongly places the creation as the foundational moments of scripture. You can be a young earth creationist without being Christian. You can be an orthodox Jew and be a YEC, hell you can be an agnostic and be a YEC. There is nothing distinctly Christian about creationism, and even if the argument for creation is ultimately won in the public sphere it does nothing to guarantee Christian doctrine. If you look a Paul arguing in Acts, the reason people get bent out of shape is not his appeal to a common ancestor, they can work with that, but the reason the reject or accept Christianity is always the resurrection!
Let me make it clearer. In Christianity we see Adam’s fall in the light of the redemption Christ offers. In Christianity the reason for the fall is found in the redemption which Christ offers. The creationist sees Adam’s fall as the action that necessitates Christ’s work. In Christianity Adam was subservient to Trinity’s ultimate plan of redemption by his fall (that is not to say God caused it, a topic for another time). In creationism Christ was subservient to Adam in that Christ was required to come because of what Adam had done. In Christianity Christ necessitated Adam, and creationism Adam necessitated Christ. In Christianity Christ is Plan ‘A’ from before time, in creationism Christ is plan ‘B’ as a result of Adam’s sin.
When I see fossil records that prove creation, and archeology that proves the Pentateuch I rejoice because all these things point to validity of Christ’s plan of redemption from before time began. However Christ’s life death and resurrection are the verifiable historical events in which I place my trust. In other words I do not get near as bent out of shape by some government agenda to squash creationism as I do by churches that are denying penal substitution, even if those churches are YEC churches.
With all of that said, I do appreciate the work of groups like Answers in Genesis, and I am not at all opposed to them, no I am very much thankful for them. Nonetheless I think they err in that they present a brand of Christianity which places creation as the foundation of all doctrine, and not the life death and resurrection of Christ. I believe this is a tragic misplacement of emphasis.
Hope that one makes sense, let me know what you think.