This post was originally going to be a response to Tim Challies’ blog post “Why I am a six day creationist” but soon outgrew the size of a comment, so I decided to make it a post in its own right. If you haven’t read Tim’s post then you really should (here) because it is great to see someone taking a view on a big topic and being willing to defend it.
It prompted me to think about my own view, and whilst I have a viewpoint on creation, it is not one I would go to the stake for or argue with people of differing views over, so my considered opinion for this post is “I am just a creationist”. There are three main reasons why this is the position I take:
1. I don’t know enough about Hebrew (or even Greek) to make a decision on the issue of how you translate “day” in Genesis chapter one. Some people argue that the obvious reading is day, as in 24 hours, whereas others fiercely argue for six “periods of time” of unknown length. I personally do not know which is right, or even the more likely, and so am not willing to build my beliefs on my guess on this issue.
2. I don’t know enough about science to claim to prove or disprove anything. Again there are people on both sides who say that scientific evidence can prove one way or the other in the young or old earth debate. Can fossil fuels only exist because of a sudden worldwide flood (see Genesis 6) or did they form over the 65 million years since the dinosaurs walked the earth? I don’t know and so am not willing to pin my opinion to either side.
3. I wasn’t there. This seems to me to be the only way to conclusively know exactly how creation happened, and especially how long it took.
The bottom line is I don’t think it matters. The Bible says God created the heavens and the earth and that’s good enough for me, because my salvation doesn’t depend on when that was or the length of the process. (A quick caveat here: this is not the (only) line I would take in an evangelistic discussion with someone who felt the answer was important to their accepting the gospel.)
Essentially, I’m happy for people to form their own opinions on this and I don’t want to accuse anyone who asserts that God is creator of being wrong. If God wants to create everything in 144 hours then He can. If He wants to do it in 6 billion years He can. And if He wants me to know which one, if that’s an important issue, then He’d tell me. Because He hasn’t then I will just say “I’m a creationist”.