I am sad to learn of the post of 28/11/09 (Thoughts and Things) about Dr. Young. My family has known him for over 30 years. I can confirm his Christian faith, his faithful service in the church, and his respect for the authority of Scripture. You slander him, and you ought to retract and apologize. More importantly, I am gravely concerned about what may have led to this. You judge not by spiritual fruit, but on if he supports creation science. This is like the Galatian judaizers, judging on circumcision and not by evidence of faith. In essence, you assert that Jesus?s work is not enough-one needs creation science. If you claim that evolution is the enemy, you imply that Jesus erred by focusing on our sins. To honor the Lord in all that we do, our work must be of good quality, truthful in all things. By placing promotion of creation science ahead of truthfulness, the traditions of men are put ahead of the law of God. Is your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, or in young-earth teachings?
—D.C., U.S.

Hi David,

Thank you for contacting Answers in Genesis. I would like to respond to each of your points in turn.

I am sad to learn of the post of 28/11/09 (Thoughts and Things) about Dr. Young. My family has known him for over 30 years. I can confirm his Christian faith, his faithful service in the church, and his respect for the authority of Scripture. You slander him, and you ought to retract and apologize.

The blog post you speak of does not slander Dr. Young in any way. It reveals some of his public comments and shows how he has consistently sought to counter the biblical teachings of the global Flood and a young earth.

As we have stated many times regarding similar cases, we do not question Dr. Young’s faith, but we do see his hermeneutical approach as being very dangerous for the Christian faith. If we allow modern interpretations of science (which often change) to trump the inspired Word of God (which never changes), then we are essentially placing man as the authority over God.

Here is one clear-cut example from Dr. Young’s writings where he allows modern man’s views to override extremely clear passages of Scripture. As you read it, consider the God-breathed words of the apostle Peter: “when once the Divine long-suffering waited in the days of Noah, while the Ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water” (1 Peter 3:20).

But archeological investigations have established the presence of human beings in the Americas, Australia, and southeastern Asia long before the advent of the sort of Near Eastern civilization described in the Bible and thus long before the biblical deluge could have taken place. In the light of a wealth of mutually supportive evidence from a variety of disciplines and sources, it is simply no longer tenable to insist that a deluge drowned every human on the face of the globe except Noah’s family.1 (Emphasis added.)

Even though the Bible confirms in both the Old Testament (Genesis 6:17–18) and New Testament (1 Peter 3:20) that only eight people survived the Flood, Dr. Young disagrees because many modern scientists teach something different. While you may be able to confirm his Christian faith and service to the church, this example shows a lack of respect for the authority of Scripture.

More importantly, I am gravely concerned about what may have led to this. You judge not by spiritual fruit, but on if he supports creation science. This is like the Galatian judaizers, judging on circumcision and not by evidence of faith. In essence, you assert that Jesus?s work is not enough-one needs creation science.

This is a false analogy because we have never held the position that one must be a young-earth creationist to be saved. Our statement of faith says, “Salvation is a gift received by faith alone in Christ alone and expressed in the individual’s repentance, recognition of the death of Christ as full payment for sin, and acceptance of the risen Christ as Savior, Lord, and God.” There is no mention of creation science, age of the earth, or Flood geology in this statement on salvation. By contrast, the Judaizers held that one must be circumcised for salvation. They were guilty of adding to the gospel message.

The reason that we take issue with Dr. Young’s statements, like the one above, is because they undermine the authority of the Word of God. He is essentially telling believers that they don’t have to believe the clear teaching of the Bible if it can be shown that there is “wealth of mutually supportive evidence from a variety of disciplines and sources” that supposedly contradicts it.

Well, modern science claims that people do not rise from the dead. According to Dr. Young’s principle, then we would have to deny that the resurrection ever occurred. Thankfully, he is not that consistent.

If you claim that evolution is the enemy, you imply that Jesus erred by focusing on our sins.

This is a non sequitur—the conclusion does not follow from your premise. Besides sin, believers have many enemies. The devil is called our enemy (1 Peter 5:8) and so is death (1 Corinthians 15:26). Evolution and deep time have been used very effectively to undermine the credibility of God’s Word. If either is true, then God’s Word is false in many areas, such as the order of events in the creation week.

We are called to “earnestly contend for the faith” (Jude 3), and like Paul, we seek to cast “down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God” (2 Corinthians 10:5). Notice that Paul stated that we need to cast down the arguments and not people. That is why Christians need to deal with the arguments used by men like Dr. Young while not attacking them personally.

To honor the Lord in all that we do, our work must be of good quality, truthful in all things. By placing promotion of creation science ahead of truthfulness, the traditions of men are put ahead of the law of God. Is your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, or in young-earth teachings?

We certainly agree that our work must be of good quality and truthful in all things. We do not place creation science ahead of truthfulness. Creation science is based on the Word of God, and we must always be open to correction if we have wrongly interpreted Scripture. However, to set up man’s educated guesses about the past as an authority over God’s Word would be utterly foolish. God knows all things, was present during Creation, and revealed to us what He did, how He did it, and when He did it. The old-earth creationist, on the other hand, places the “traditions of men” (billions of years) over God’s Word.

Our faith is in the Lord Jesus Christ, and we learn the truth about Him in the Bible. However, if Jesus was mistaken that everyone outside of the Ark was destroyed (Luke 17:27), as Dr. Young implied, then can He really be our sinless sacrifice who came to save us from our sins? In Christ’s own words: “If you don’t believe [Moses’s] writings, how will you believe My words?” (John 5:47).

Sincerely in Christ,
Tim

Help keep these daily articles coming. Support AiG.

Footnotes

  1. Davis A. Young, The Biblical Flood: A Case Study of the Church’s Response to Extrabiblical Evidence (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1995) p. 242. Back