(Editor's Note: We provide select portions of this new article from American Vision because of its relevance to the topics covered in Beyond Creation Science. The astute reader will likely recognize many of the citations used by Gary DeMar. Note also the increasing awareness of the relationship between the "beginning" and the "end" in Biblical theology. Articles like this demonstrate the effect books like Beyond Creation Science are having on the contemparary discussion.)
by Gary DeMar
Ken Ham, who believes in a literal six-day creation that happened
around 6,000 years ago, says the church opened a door for the exodus of
youth, beginning in the 19th century, when it began teaching that “the
age of the Earth is not an issue as long as you trust in Jesus and
believe in the resurrection and the Gospel accounts.” Ham concedes that
“salvation is not conditioned on what you believe about the age of the
Earth and the six days of creation.” He admits that there “are many who
believe in millions of years and are Christians.” Even so, the Genesis
issue does matter, he argues, “because salvation does rise or fall on
the authority of Scripture. The message of the Gospel comes from these
words of Scripture.” But Christian old-earth advocates believe in the
authority and integrity of the Bible as much as young-earth advocates
...I could just as easily take the other end of the dog and claim that
it’s the last book of the Bible that’s causing young people to abandon
Christianity. Creation’s not the problem; it’s eschatology. For more
than 100 years, Christianity has been dominated by a prophetic belief
system that discounts the future by repeatedly claiming that “Jesus is
coming back in your generation!” People can only take so much of this after the passage of more than 100 years of assurances! There are many potentially good books
that are spoiled by a preoccupation with the end times. Numerous failed
predictions have led many Christians to question the reliability of the
Bible. Young people notice these things. They put 2 and 2 together and
begin to realize that Christianity is irrelevant this side of the grave
because “Jesus is coming back soon!”...
...Ehrman’s story is not unusual. Michael Ruse, Professor of Philosophy at
Florida State University and self-professed “ex-Christian,” devotes a chapter to the subject of eschatology in his book
The Evolution-Creation Struggle.
He believes that the interpretive methodology of dispensational
premillennialism is inexorably linked to the way its advocates defend
their position on creation. This is unfortunate, since
dispensationalists have been wrong about both ends of the Bible...
...Furthermore, how can young people believe in the authority and
integrity of the Bible when there has been a long history of repeated
and failed attempts at date setting? (See my book Why the End of the World is Not in Your Future).
Matthew 24:33 tells us what audience Jesus had in view: “so, YOU
too, when YOU see all THESE things, recognize that He is near, right at
the door.” It is obvious, and without any need for debate, that the
first “you” refers to those who asked the questions that led to Jesus’
extended remarks (Matt. 24:2–4). Jesus identifies those who will “see
all these things” by once again using “you.” If Jesus had a future
generation in mind, He could have eliminated all confusion by saying,
“even so THEY too, when THEY see all these things, recognize that He is
near, right at the door. Truly I say to you, THAT generation will not
pass away until all these things take place.” Instead, Henry Morris and
others have to massage the text to support a future tribulation period...
...So then, it’s not the age of the earth that is driving young people
away, it’s the fact that the Bible is not taught in a comprehensive way
that has meaning for the here and now.
"It's the comprehensive nature of the Biblical message that is at stake here: from creation to Revelation."