God's Existence, Science and Faith, Suffering and Evil, Jesus' Resurrection, and Book Reviews

Young-Earth Creationism and The Gospel of Jesus Christ


As I have had conversations with both atheists and fellow believers regarding the origin of the universe, our planet, life, and ultimately, humans, one issue seems to baffle those on both sides about what I defend. I am not a naturalist; I am not an evolutionist; I am not even a theistic evolutionist, but I am also not a young-earth creationist. I am an old-earth creationist. This means that I accept that the universe is ancient (roughly 13.7 billion years old), yet I deny that the diversity of life is the product of the natural selection of countless mutations over time, descended from a universal common ancestor (altogether, "evolution"). I believe that God created some things from nothing (including the universe [and its laws], life, animals, and humans), and I believe He intricately and purposefully worked within the natural laws and processes, that He created from nothing, to make other things, particularly our planet.

Many atheists and fellow Christians (usually of the young-earth creationist position) insist that such a combination of beliefs is not logically consistent. This claim of inconsistency encourages the atheist to reject the truth of Christianity and the Christian to reject the truth revealed by God's creation. Consequently, when I say that I affirm big bang cosmology, many young-earth creationist Christians hear me say "I deny the truth of Christianity," and when I say that I am a Christian, many atheists hear me say, "I affirm young-earth creationism."

These atheists and young-earth creationists make the same mistake: they conflate young-earth creationism with Christianity. This conflation amounts to the belief that young-earth creationism is Christianity and Christianity is young-earth creationism. Today, I want to take some time to address this common conflation and demonstrate that this is not a logical reason for the atheist to reject Christ nor for the Christian to reject the truth revealed by God's creation.

Why Is This Conflation Important to Recognize and Reject?

It is important to recognize this conceptual and logical conflation and reject it. If we are to continue to commit this fallacy, then severe implications arise for both the atheist and for the Christian.

Implications for Atheists- If Christianity is true, then any belief that stands between an unbeliever and accepting that Christianity is true has severe implications on the unbeliever for all eternity. If they do not accept Christ's sacrifice for their sin, then they are doomed to eternal conscious separation from their only source of life and love: God. If you take the highest level and volume of suffering that this life has, it is nothing compared to this hell that will be consciously experienced by the unbeliever. This is why it is vital for the unbeliever to investigate not only the truth of reality but to ensure that the logic used to come to different conclusions (especially the one that states that Christianity is false) is valid.

Implications for Christians- Christianity is not just a worldview of private, personal worship, it is a worldview of evangelism. As Christians we not only do not want others to experience the hell described above, but we strongly desire that others experience the love and a personal relationship with the only God, who also knows what it is like to live the human struggle and love His image bearers enough to die a torturous death so we do not have to. It is our duty to the Creator of the universe to check our defense of the Christian worldview, to ensure that the unsaved have every intellectual stumbling block removed that we have the opportunity and power to remove (the Holy Spirit must remove the others). This means that we must ensure that the claims we make are true and that the logic we use is valid; otherwise, our effectiveness in evangelizing to scientifically-minded unbelievers will be greatly reduced. Mark Whorton, in his book "Peril in Paradise" (and paraphrasing Augustine of Hippo)*, explains this quite succinctly:

Quote from the book "Peril in Paradise" by Mark Whorton- "If a Christian makes erroneous arguments from Scripture on a matter that the unbelievers know perfectly well, we should not expect them to believe the Scriptures on the more important matters of sin and salvation."

Now, because the unbeliever is responsible to make the choice to follow Christ or not to follow Christ, and many unbelievers use the mounds of evidence against a young universe to justify their rejection of Christ, my goal today is to show that the argument used to justify the idea that Christianity is false via the falsehood of young-earth creationism is unsound, thus the atheist cannot logically (but they can emotionally) use young-earth creationism to reject Christ.

What the Gospel Is and Is Not

To begin with, the Gospel is not big bang cosmology, and the Gospel is not young-earth creationism. According to the source of revelation of the Gospel (the Bible), the Gospel is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15). If the atheist claims that young-earth creationism is the Gospel, they are guilty of the conflation and are erecting a strawman of the Christian worldview in order to easily knock it down and reject Christ. If the young-earth creationist claims that young-earth creationism is the Gospel, they deny the sufficiency of the Resurrection (1 Cor. 15) and legitimize the atheist's strawman. In biblical terms, legitimizing the atheist's strawman is the same as giving credence to an argument or presumption that "acknowledges itself against the knowledge of Christ" (2 Cor. 10:5). No Christian wants to be guilty of any such thing!

The historical events of God's creation are independent of the historical event of Jesus' Resurrection. Because they are independent events that took place at different moments in history, they can be established independently of one another. Since they can be independently established, the conclusion of one does not necessarily affect the conclusion about the other. In other words, if the universe is 13.7 billion years old, and Christ has been raised from the dead, Christianity is true, but if the universe is only 6,000-10,000 years old and Christ has not been raised from the dead, Christianity is false.

It is as simple as that. Anyone who tells you differently is not only being unbiblical (creating a strawman of the Gospel), they are telling you something false about reality, history, and salvation. Because these events are separate from one another, the conflation is invalid and unnecessary, and the evidence against the universe's youth cannot be used as a logical reason to reject Christ (whether the universe truly is young or not).

The Unsound Arguments

To go a little deeper and a little more technical, let us look at the arguments made by the respective sides and see how the conflation causes a problem with the conclusions. This conflation by both atheist and young-earth creationist leads to the false dichotomy evidenced in these two arguments:

The Atheist's argument:
1. If young-earth creationism is false, then Christianity is false.
2. Young-earth creationism is false.
3. Therefore, Christianity is false.

The Young-Earth Creationist's Argument:
1. If Christianity is true, then young-earth creationism is true.
2. Christianity is true.
3. Therefore, young-earth creationism is true.

While both arguments are valid (modus ponens), their first premises are necessarily dependent upon the strawman described above, so those premises are necessarily false. Because of the falsehood of the two first premises, they render their respective arguments unsound, and the conclusions "Christianity is false," and "Young-Earth creationism is true," respectively) do not follow. In fact, I would argue that not only does neither conclusion follow, neither conclusion is true (they cannot be established by any other sound argument), which means that I affirm the atheist's second premise (young-earth creationism is false) and the young-earth creationist's second premise (Christianity is true). These two second premises (both of which I affirm) are not in conflict because the two first premises of the arguments are false. The combination of my beliefs of the truth of Christianity and the falsehood of young-earth creationism is perfectly consistent.


For the Christian, the severe implication of conflating young-earth creationism with Christianity stifles their evangelistic effectiveness. Presenting the Christian worldview as "accept young-earth creationism or reject Christ" legitimizes a strawman of Christianity through the false dichotomy and "acknowledges itself against the knowledge of Christ" to the atheist. And for the atheist, the severe implication of conflating young-earth creationism with Christianity, as indicated by the Apostle Paul in 2 Cor. 10, presents an unreasonable and unnecessary barrier to forgiveness and eternal life. It is imperative that both the atheist and the young-earth creationist recognize and reject the idea that young-earth creationism and Christianity are the same thing, so that they can, respectively, be open to the truth of the Resurrection in history and effectively communicate the truth of the Gospel in history.

Follow Faithful Thinkers On Social Media
For more great resources on God's existence, science and faith issues, the Resurrection of Jesus, morality and politics, theology and apologetics, follow Faithful Thinkers on Facebook. For more great resources on God's existence, science and faith issues, the Resurrection of Jesus, morality and politics, theology and apologetics, follow Faithful Thinkers on TwitterFor more great quotes on God's existence, science and faith issues, the Resurrection of Jesus, morality and politics, theology and apologetics, follow Faithful Thinkers on Instagram

For More On This Topic, See These Posts:

*A friend reminded me (after this post's original publish date), that Whorton was quoting from Augustine's "The Literal Meaning of Genesis," and I want to include it in full for the reader to appreciate its full effect: 
"Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of the world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him aintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion."- Augustin, “The literal meaning of Genesis”, Book 1, 19.39 (circa AD 415)

Is It Biblical To Have An Evidential Faith?


Is biblical faith blind or reasonable? This is one of the most hotly debated questions between believers and unbelievers. While most who say that faith is blind are unbelievers, I have also heard many Christians claim this as well. The claim is that faith and reason are at odds with one another, and that the more evidence or reason that you have to believe something, the less faith that you need. 

Is Faith Blind or Evidential?

In his book "Forensic Faith: A Homicide Detective Makes The Case For A More Reasonable Evidential Faith," J. Warner Wallace emphasizes the evidential nature of Jesus' ministry on earth. Jesus never asked people to believe His claims without a good reason to: the miracles that He performed. He performed miracles to demonstrate that His claims to be God (such as is found in His claim to be able to forgive sins in Matthew 9). Based on His followers' witnessing His miracles (eyewitness evidence), He asked them to have faith in Him. This was not a request for blind faith, but an evidentially-based faith. 

In the book, Wallace not only appeals to the entire ministry of Christ on earth but also to specific passages of Scripture where Jesus explicitly identifies this specific purpose for His miracles and where other New Testament authors also encouraged their readers to test claims: 

John 10:25- "'I did tell you and you don't believe,' Jesus answered them. 'The works that I do in My Father's name testify about Me.'"
John 10:37-38- "If I am not doing My Father's works, don't believe Me. But if I am doing them and you don't believe Me, believe the works."
Acts 1:3- "After He had suffered, He also prested Himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during 40 days and speaking about the kingdom of God."
1 Thessalonians 5:19-21- "Don't stifle the Spirit. Don't despise prophecies, but test all things. Hold on to what is good."
1 John 4:1- "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world." 
These passages do not ask for someone to believe just anything based simply on the word of the person making the claim ("...because I said!"- a blind faith) but based on the actions of the person making the claim. Notice, too, that in the 1 Thessalonians and 1 John passages, the authors are so confident that the claims will pass evidential tests that they openly invite testing! None of these passages ask for blind faith; in fact, they encourage the exact opposite: a faith that is not blind rather a faith that is grounded in evidence and reason.

A Biblical Faith And The Resurrection

Biblical faith, correctly understood from Scripture, is not blind; it is tested and firmly grounded. In fact, today, we can test the central claim of Christianity: that Jesus rose bodily from the dead (1 Corinthians 15). As we investigate the evidence, based on tried and true investigative methods (as outlined in J. Warner Wallace's book "Cold-Case Christianity") and historiographical methods (as outlined in Gary Habermas' books "The Historical Jesus" and "The Risen Jesus and Future Hope"), we discover that the only explanation that consistently explains all the evidence is that Jesus rose from the grave, as is claimed in the gospels.


Because this central claim passes the evidential test, a faith in Christ is not blind or because "the Bible tells me so;" it is firmly grounded in proven methods used for discovering the truth of claimed events of the past. There simply is no reasonable reason to reject the Resurrection. While we certainly are free to reject the conclusion of the evidence and arguments, we should not fool ourselves into believing that the rejection is anything more than an emotional leap of blind faith despite evidence to the contrary.

Follow Faithful Thinkers On Social Media

To Investigate Further, See the Links Throughout This Post And These Additional Ones:

Do Humans Have Intrinsic Value?


Whether humans possess intrinsic value or instrumental value is a debate that often runs parallel to discussions about the true worldview. This debate also often fuels the passion behind worldview discussions because it has implications for ethics and morality, which are directly tied to how people ought to live and how people ought to hold each other responsible to those expectations. Such accountability can take a range of forms from personal and private conversations to legal and very public repercussions. And because one's politics are an extension of their ethics, the passion associated with politics is also added to the mix.

Because all the emotions that accompany ethical and political discussions can easily cloud the issue, it is important that it is approached more objectively and philosophically, if we are to have a calm and reasonable discussion. Today, I want to take a few minutes to examine the philosophical implications and examine some scientific evidence for one side to assist with bringing calm to this important debate.

Intrinsic Value

If humans are intrinsically valuable, then there are a set of objective (and even absolute) duties that cannot be violated. This view holds that humans possess objective value regardless of their situation, condition, social or economic status, skin color, sex, location, beliefs, or any host of other characteristics that people try to judge others' value. This allows for objective condemnation and consequences of particular choices and behaviors, which many people do not appreciate, especially if they are accused of committing the atrocities. This view also makes even government and governmental officials responsible to the greater reality of this moral law, which justifies political reform- something that certain rulers and politicians do not appreciate.

Instrumental Value

On the other hand, if humans are merely instrumentally valuable, then treatment of them (regardless of the particular treatment- including murder, rape, torture, or any host of traditionally unthinkable treatments) can only be judged based on their utility towards a particular goal. This view permits the affirmation of the "goodness" of even the most egregious behaviors if a "greater" goal is in view. This view allows for anyone to be able to justify any behavior if they can make their goal sound good or acceptable. There is no objective standard by which to judge the morality of a behavior, only to judge its utility. There is also no objective standard by which to judge a particular goal. Since the goal is subjective, so is the behavior, and no moral judgement is actually permitted. This ultimately reduces to "might makes right:" whoever holds the power to punish holds the power to dictate what is "right" and what is "wrong." Political reform has not justification other than a differing opinion of someone who may be able to challenge the power of those currently in power. If one holds to this view, they often confuse legality with morality.

The Christian worldview traditionally has held that humans possess intrinsic value in virtue of being created in the Image of God. If this is true, then the first set of implications described above are features of reality that all humans are subject to. Any worldview that cannot justify intrinsic human value is left with the second set of implications described. And, by necessary logical implication, if one wishes to appeal to intrinsic human value, they must justify that appeal by grounding intrinsic human value outside the human race.

Origins Of The Image of God

If humans have intrinsic value, it had to come from somewhere (or Someone) outside of the human race. Otherwise, the value that is ascribed to humans is merely subjective and instrumental. As I have described in a previous post (Why Is The Image of God So Important), this discussion is tied to one's view of human origins. If someone wishes to appeal to intrinsic human value, they must accept some type of connection between humans and an eternally existing, absolute reality that is outside of (and is not) this universe. The only thing that fits this description is the Creator God of the Bible.

In order to argue for the intrinsic value of humans, Dr. Fazale Rana offers several lines of evidence for the sudden appearance of the Image of God in life's history (which happens to coincide with the sudden appearance of humans on the scene). He calls this sudden appearance a "cultural big bang":

These pieces of evidence include:

  1. Advanced cognitive ability
  2. The capacity for symbolic thought
  3. A powerful imagination
  4. Superior craftsmanship
  5. Inventiveness and superior adaptability
  6. A driving desire for artistic and musical expression

He goes into great detail about the anthropological discoveries of scientists over the years in his book "Who Was Adam." In the third section of the book, he addresses modern challenges to his conclusions and brings in the latest discoveries over the past decade. The cumulative, scientific case presented in the book for the Image of God coinciding with the appearance of the human race, by extension, is a powerful evidential case for humans possessing intrinsic value.


It is vital to a proper theory of ethics (and even politics) that we know whether humans possess intrinsic value or not. Ultimately, if humans are created in the Image of God, as argued by Dr. Rana, then the idea that humans possess intrinsic value accurately describes the reality of our species. If humans are intrinsically valuable, that serves as the foundation for how we ought to treat one another (ethics) and that further guides how we should govern one another. If humans are not created in the Image of God (do not possess intrinsic value), then all sorts of heinous treatment of them are permissible even by those who wield the most power (governments and politicians).

For more on the topic of the evidence for the Image of God and its implications, see these posts and books:

4 Questions to Ask Before You Hit SEND

"My dearly loved brothers, understand this: Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for man’s anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness."

- James 1:19-20 (HCSB)


As someone who loves to engage people in deep worldview conversations and steer unbelievers towards the truth of Christianity, my ability to communicate is vital. Whether I am conversing in person or commenting on a post on social media, it is important that the words I speak or write glorify God and work towards the end of bringing more people to the Truth. In 2018 I read and reviewed an important book that helps the reader to accomplish this goal. Communication expert Dr. Emerson Eggerichs (known for Love and Respect) published his book on general communication, called "Before You Hit Send: Preventing Headache and Heartache" to challenge his audience to exercise wisdom and discernment before "hitting send" on their communications to others- whether verbal or written. Because of the insight offered throughout the book, it was included in my Top 5 Recommended Books for Productive Conversations. Eggerichs encourages people to ask four questions of what they are preparing to say or write to ensure that the words will accomplish the goal of the speaker or writer. Today, I am going to highlight those four questions and their importance for the Christian apologist. 

Is It True?

Because the Christian worldview is true and people's eternal destinies depend upon their recognition of this truth, ensuring that as we defend the truth of Christianity we also speak truthfully about other matters is of utmost importance. It is natural for us to doubt someone's truthfulness when they speak something false. I have written many times about the importance of apologists' studying and defending non-essential doctrines, and in those posts, I emphasize this very concern of unbelievers.

For instance, many people have issues with origins and the Bible, and while not all aspects of origins are essential issues, it is important that the apologist be able to speak truthfully on the origins issue. If we speak falsely and the person knows that we are speaking falsely (whether we mean to or not), then we give them a good reason to doubt our trustworthiness when it comes to the more important matter of the Resurrection of Jesus.

Is It Kind?

One of the big issues that I see with Christians, especially on social media and when discussing hot-button issues such as origins, is the unkind attitude with which the Gospel is presented. While we defend the truth, we cannot defend it with contempt for the person we are presenting it to. They are created in the Image of God and are worthy of our love, respect, and kindness no matter what they have done or how frustrated they make us. If we truly wish for them to repent from their sins, accept Christ's sacrifice, and live with us for eternity, would we not want to present the truth in the most kind and loving way so as to encourage them to accept the truth we speak?

Unlike what many think about speaking kindly, it does not require that we speak untruthfully. "True" describes the content; "kind" describes the attitude with which content is presented. If we present true content unkindly, we do damage to the truth by making it appear repulsive.

Is It Necessary?

The necessity of what we speak has two sides. The first is that we must speak what is necessary, and the second is that we must refrain from speaking what is unnecessary. Many Christians refrain from speaking what is necessary because they are fearful that they are not equipped to defend what they believe. They know that the time is right and that it is necessary to say something. They want to defend the truth of the Resurrection and the Christian worldview, and they know that they need to. Doing so is necessary in many of our conversations with friends, family, and coworkers. This is why studying the defense of the Christian worldview (asking the question "Is It True"- apologetics) is important for all Christians.

The second side is that we also tend to speak unnecessarily. For instance (I have to really watch out for this one), if an unbeliever is not struggling with science/faith issues, then bringing up the whole creation/evolution debate is unnecessary and may actually introduce a stumbling block for the unbeliever. No Christian ever wants to introduce more reasons for an unbeliever to reject (or even delay accepting) Christ. We need to listen carefully to the unbeliever's concerns and address those with truth and kindness and do our best to not bring more unnecessary matters into the decision-making process. This is not to say that these issues are not important; they are; but that particular conversation may not be the time to discuss them with a particular person. If the person brings up a non-essential matter, then it is now necessary to address, and we need to be prepared to do so or to refer them to a resource that can address it (all the while reminding them that it is not an essential issue and not a reason to reject Christ).

Is It Clear?

While everything that we speak can be true, kind, and necessary, we may still fail in our communication by not communicating it clearly. Many Christian apologists are familiar with the work of Greg Koukl. In his book "Tactics: A Game Plan For Discussing Your Christian Convictions" he encourages Christians to engage in conversations by asking questions. When we ask ourselves "Is It Clear?" we are essentially taking Koukl's questions and asking them of ourselves: "What do I mean by that?" and "How did I come to that conclusion?" When we answer these questions for ourselves, we are more likely to be able to clearly communicate to others.

We must also not resist if others ask the "Columbo" questions of us. If the questions are asked, it is because we are not speaking clearly enough for a good understanding. In this situation, it should not frustrate us to have to clarify, it should excite us that the person values what we say enough to ask for clarification. When we are given the opportunity to clarify, we are given the opportunity to get the unbeliever intellectually (and many times, emotionally and spiritually) closer to accepting Christ.


As evangelists (Matthew 28:19) and defenders (1 Peter 3:15) of Christianity, it is vital to our purpose to be able and willing to communicate the Gospel in the most effective way possible. And in today's culture, stopping to think carefully about what we say or write is not necessarily encouraged. However, that is what is necessary to be successful ambassadors for Christ. I encourage you to pick up a copy of "Before You Hit Send" and make the decision to consciously exercise the advice provided within it pages, for the benefit of Christ's Kingdom.