YEC and Historical-Grammatical Interpretation

I believe that Ross proposes a vast, lost civilization.


I suspected this, which is unfortunate (Ross is so good on most things but biology…and exegesis/hermeneutics. Way too concordist for me.)

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Exactly! It’s a huge help to them.

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In this specific case, how is it concordism? He isn’t reading science into Scripture here, but proposing a fantástica history. It seems concordism is more like when he sees the Big Bang in Scripture.

What do you mean by concordism here?

I didn’t mean to imply concordism in this case specifically, just generally in his approach to Scripture. Is there any scientific/historical good reasons for him to imagine a lost world/civilization? I think he also believes human technology was super advanced in the hoary past. Perhaps that comes from a concordist bent…not sure.

4 posts were split to a new topic: Ravens and the Cain and Abel story

I have heard this claim too. But then, and sometimes in the same sentence, “… but the Resurrection is meaningless without the literal foundation of Genesis.”


That’s not the same thing as essential doctrine.

So generally when I hear opponents of a view attributing something to it that turns out to be totally false, I discount it as a straw man argument, and that seems to be the case here. Carry on.

Can you clarify that for me? Which is essential, which is false, which is strawman? (honest question)

Essential doctrine means “what you must believe in order to be considered a Christian”. YEC is not included in that set of doctrines. Essential doctrine does NOT mean “required to supply meaning to essential doctrine”.

So when someone says they think YEC is required to make sense of the Resurrection, for example, they are not claiming that YEC is essential doctrine. People can have contradictory or false beliefs and be considered a Christian. We don’t require logical perfection, and neither does God.

What about the alternative hypothesis: That they actually made a totally false claim? How do you rule that out when we can actually present evidence that they made this claim?

I categorically disagree. When Answers In Genesis or other YEC organizations say that young earth creationism is not an essential doctrine, then turn around and say that Christianity cannot make sense without it, they are trying to eat their cake and have it too. They are simply being dishonest.

Exclusivity is one common marker of cult-like behavior. There is a strong interest in avoiding the impression that the group practices complete exclusivity. As a result, they take pains to deny open exclusivity in their theology. However, their business model requires that they practice a form of exclusivity regardless. They need to maintain a position as the sole arbiter of truth and the sole source of authority.

How can they teach creationism as an essential doctrine while claiming they are nonexclusive? Well, they create a disingenuous middle ground. They claim that their particular brand of young earth creationism is 100% necessary to an accurate understanding of the gospel, but hedge by saying that you can still be saved even if your understanding of the gospel is flawed.

You might think that this allows for a middle ground where they can accept other viewpoints or agree to disagree. However, all it really does is allow them to practice exclusivity without naming it as such. No matter who they interact with, they will simply say, “YEC is not an essential doctrine BUT if YOU were a real Christian, then you would listen to our arguments and agree with us.”


But here is what we have all missed. It may really matter to God after all what we believe about evolution and creation. If that is the case, well, you fill in the blanks. Neither AiG, nor you, nor I can definitely say what will “pass as salvation” on that day. We can glibly claim, Oh it doesn’t so long as I believe in Jesus and the Resurrection. But Mormons do that. Other fringe groups do the same. Truth is, and I repeat, if in the end God really did care all along what you or I believed about his creation, then seems to me, since he is God, he will be the one to make the final decision about one’s salvation…not us.

If so, then all I can say is “what a tool”.


Their equivocating statements are: (1) “It’s not a salvation issue”: and (2) "but it is a gospel issue."So, if you promote something other than YEC, you might not go to hell, but you might lead others to.


For example, if YEC is false, it might matter to God that YECs are putting up barriers around the truth of Gospel by saying that it only makes sense if you hold to their rigidly literalistic reading of Genesis 1?


Thank you for the clarification - That was the meaning I meant to convey, but I did not express it well.

I have encountered this as well, it seems to be common among the lay YEC, and then some (but my experience could be biased).

Or it may not matter so much. And if it is so essential, what happens if those blanks get filled incorrectly? Wouldn’t it be better to simply admit we do not know? That seems more honest, more humble. That’s got to count for something.

Yet this doesn’t seem to stop them from insisting that doubt in their particular interpretation of Genesis inevitably undermines the gospel and confers the status of false prophet.

Remember what Paul wrote to the church in Galatia? “There are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, it’s probably not an essential doctrine so who cares, right?”

Oh, wait – no, Paul wrote, “If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.” Christian orthodoxy does not permit equivocation on questions of fundamental doctrine. Either a doctrine is truly nonessential and Christians are required to accept disagreement with grace, rejoicing that the gospel is preached (Philippians 1:18), or it is essential and we cannot countenance heterodoxy (Galatians 1:8).

The leaders of Answers In Genesis want to claim primacy as the sole arbiters of orthodoxy, giving them the ability to essentially excommunicate any individuals who oppose them. Yet they do not want to be painted as a cult or risk offending those who would quietly disagree with them. Their target audience comprises many who do not accept their wooden literalism but still feel that YEC has “something to offer” in the context of defending Biblical authority. So they simply do both: denying that they treat YEC as a doctrinal essential and yet treating it as exactly that.

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This kind of middle ground exists in many theological camps. For example calvinism/Arminianism/Molinism; each camp strongly holds to their beliefs and think their system is required to have an accurate understanding of the Gospel while acknowledging that people from other camps can be saved.

Same applies to the doctrine of water Baptism.( Paedo Baptism Vs Adult baptism; and also the Baptismal regeneration camp).
The Roman Catholic church holds the official belief that it’s the only true church, though it does acknowledge that people who hold to protestant theology can be Saved…

How is AIG different?