Young-Earth Creationists are Without Excuse

Joel Watts drew my attention to the fact that an individual named Tony Breeden, with whom I had been interacting on his blog, mentioned me on Facebook:

My response was to ask whether, if I gave a simple “yes” answer and said nothing more, he would be satisfied and would return to the topic, or would then ask about what I mean by bodily, and by historical, and use other follow-up questions to distract from the topic at hand.

Breeden has suggested that his reason for asking the question is that he wants to know whether he is interacting with a fellow Christian or an unbeliever. Clearly Breeden is looking for an excuse that can be used to dismiss things that I say and evidence I present. I find that reprehensible.

Romans 1:19-20 shows how different Breeden’s “Christianity” is from that of St. Paul:

[W]hat may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

Trying to distract from the discussion and the evidence is a common tactic among those who deny the truth. Yet according to Paul, the evidence from the natural world provides sufficient evidence even to discuss and deduce the attributes of the one who created those things. Yet young-earth creationists deny the evidence from the natural world even with respect to more mundane matters, such as their age and the processes involved in their formation!

It is frustrating when representatives of a viewpoint that is so thoroughly unbiblical set themselves up as though they themselves were the defenders of the Bible and of Christian orthodoxy.

 

  • http://unsettledchristianity.com/ Joel

    The line of questioning is familiar. If you answer ‘yes,’ then the follow up question would be to ask why you do not believe in YEC, given the same historical, theological, and literary models apply (or, are applied by YECers in reading Scripture genre-generic).

    As the good Admiral would say…

  • RBH

    C’mon, James. A fella has to know if he’s dealing with a True Scotsman, doesn’t he?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      No true Scotsman would ever ask if someone is a true Scotsman!

  • John Pieret

    Just for the heck of it, do you know that Breeden set up a “Creationist Clergy Letter” to “rival” the Clergy Letter Project? As of today the number of Christian clergy who have signed the CLP is 12,865. In 2010, Breeden had 65 clergy sign his letter, which reads, in part:

    Evolution is not observable, testable, repeatable science. It’s a belief about the past, an atheist Just-So Story seeking to displace the divinely revealed Creation record.

    Today, three years later, he has a whopping 85 clergy signatures:

    http://kcsg.wordpress.com/

    Breeden doesn’t have much in the way of credentials to determine who are Christian believers and who aren’t.

    • http://unsettledchristianity.com/ Joel

      I know Breeden personally – as he is located in the same city as I. His local ministry mirrors that success.

  • Jon Hendry

    Breeden also thinks Buddhism “denies the reality of suffering”.

    Which is bizarre.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Madoc-Preece/616391541 Madoc Preece

    So James, do you affirm or deny? You still haven’t answered the question…

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      I have answered the question on this blog more times than I can keep track of. I even have a small book out in which I discuss my views at greater length than I would in a blog comment. But I must ask again on principle, what is the point of asking this in the context of a discussion about a matter of science, other than an attempt to distract from the question at hand? There are plenty of commenters on this blog who are not Christians, but who are not therefore automatically wrong about science. And I hope you would agree that there are an abundance of charlatans out there who will happily say that they believe in whatever sort of resurrection you demand them to, if they can get a donation, as well as plenty of false teachers who affirm the resurrection but deny X or affirm Y which puts them at odds with the historic Christian faith. So really, I need to ask, what is the point of the question in this context?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Madoc-Preece/616391541 Madoc Preece

        Matthew 10:33 – “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.”

        Matthew 7:21 – “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”

        The emergent church is a Lie and is at odds with the historic Christian faith.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

          Indeed! But do you interpret those texts to mean that anyone who does not affirm particular doctrines about Jesus must also not be able to tell the age of rocks, even if Christians who use the same methods, working in the same field, get the same results?


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