Pausing for a Leaven Warning

Even a small error can unlock a door leading to a major issue.

A little leaven leavens the whole lump (Galatians 5:9).

Recently, several research staff, writers, reviewers, and editors for Answers in Genesis have been producing a series of articles on what we call “Young Earth Evolution” (or YEE). We are currently midway through this series, which is being produced by numerous staff because of an extremely sincere burden we at Answers in Genesis have in upholding the absolute authority of the Word of God. These articles are written to warn others that once a door to undermine that authority is cracked open, it can lead to an eventual domino effect. In other words, a small error can result in a major issue over time.

While the series has been running, we have received quite a few emotional negative responses with accusations of ad hominem attacks by our authors (some have claimed they are being produced by a single author, which is not the case—these are ministry statements), claims of false information, and so on. These responses reminded me of what happened a few years ago when Answers in Genesis decided on a particular shape for the life-size Ark at the Ark Encounter attraction. Because it wasn’t exactly the rectangular box-like structure that had been popularized in creationist literature, some people became very angry at us—despite the fact that the Bible only gives us general dimensions, not shape. One person accused me of being no different than Hugh Ross from Reasons to Believe, who compromises God’s Word with big bang, millions of years, and other evolutionary ideas, because we departed from the box-shaped structure. Another person said they would no longer support us financially. The same sorts of things happened when we published a series of articles on arguments creationists should no longer use. For example, some people were so angry at the suggestion we should give up the canopy idea, you would think we had committed some heinous crime!

Christians need to recognize that models, even those based on Scripture, are subject to change (Scripture itself, however, is not subject to change).

Christians need to recognize that models, even those based on Scripture, are subject to change (Scripture itself, however, is not subject to change). We also all need to acknowledge there is no neutral position in the way people view things. Everyone has a worldview through which they interpret the world around them, and that worldview is based on presuppositions. We’ve written on this in various articles, such as Science—Worldview Neutral?. As Christians, our worldview should always be founded on God’s Word.

Addressing the Issue

Now, I earnestly believe, after checking things with others (taking counsel in the wisdom of many, as Proverbs 15:22 instructs) and spending considerable time in discussion with our researchers at AiG, they have found what they call “young-earth evolution” ideas—where creationists have accepted some false evolutionary assumptions that have led to what we believe is error in a number of areas they believe and teach. So this current series of articles on “young-earth evolution” has an overarching theme of responding to instances in which we believe some creationist researchers have, for unknown reasons, accepted various secular evolutionary assumptions unnecessarily. We believe this is opening a door to undermine biblical authority and could lead to others accepting more evolutionary assumptions and eventually giving up biblical authority. Now, if our assertion is correct, then this is a very serious issue, and so we need to take this very seriously indeed.

Some of the main items we are concerned about are summarized as follows:

  • Many have used terms and definitions influenced by the evolutionary worldview to support the hypothesis that dinosaurs had feathers.
  • Certain creationists are using the term evolution in a way that can cause people to think secular evolutionists are correct in saying the evidence supports molecules-to-man evolution.
  • There are creationists who accept the order of the fossils in the geological record as being the order in which certain creatures came into existence. These have great implications on how one interprets the fossil record and the flood/post-flood boundary, which in turn has great implications on how one understands the origin of whales and other creatures.
  • Some creationist researchers use the term evidence to imply that the supposed evidence found in nature (rather than certain interpretations of that evidence) supports evolution.
  • And despite some of what is stated in these “young earth evolution” ideas, the evidence confirming the creation account in Genesis isn’t ambiguous—it’s overwhelming. That’s why God’s Word states he has made it evident to all that he’s the Creator, and people are without excuse if they don’t believe. But this is not just evidence for creation itself—evidence confirming the flood and a young earth and universe is also overwhelming.

There are a number of other concerning areas, but the above gives a summary. Our scientists/researchers/writers at AiG (as well as others outside our own ministry) understand that we should always be suspicious when the secular world proclaims anything at odds with a plain reading of Scripture. Not all of what they say is untrue of course, but there is a spiritual component that cannot be overlooked. No secular scientist, no matter how qualified or gentle or sincere they seem to be, is neutral, though they may truly believe they are and try to be. The fact is, God’s Word says that man’s heart is deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9). And we are warned that the devil blinds the eyes of those who are not Christians (2 Corinthians 4:4). Even scientists who are Christians still have a sin nature that can master them and result in wrong actions or beliefs (Romans 7:19).

Another factor related to our sin nature is that someone having a PhD from a famous university (e.g., Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc.), doesn’t exempt them from having their beliefs examined very carefully. And the fact that someone is a friend or a great professor still doesn’t mean their views shouldn’t be challenged. Not one of us is infallible in what we believe and say. All of us need to be prepared to have our ideas challenged. And all Christians need to be “Bereans” and judge everything anyone says against the absolute authority of Scripture (Acts 17:11).

A Private Issue?

So why make these articles our staff have written so public? Well, the proponents of YEE ideas have certainly made what they believe and teach very public, and we are aware of people being influenced or confused by their ideas, so this is not a personal issue. One person said this was a Matthew 18 issue for me because I’m the CEO of Answers in Genesis. But Matthew 18 has to do with personal issues between two people in a church situation. This current situation is not a personal issue; rather, it’s about judging other Christians’ beliefs against Scripture for the sake of bringing problems to their and others’ attention.

We take the admonition given in regard to the principle of being a watchman seriously.

AiG has also been accused of personal attacks because we have quoted various creationists to detail the views that they are publicly stating (views that impact people). Critiquing their beliefs is not a personal attack. I would challenge everyone to stand back, let go of all the emotions we might have, and consider carefully what our staff have researched and are claiming. And certainly, what they state can be quoted, referenced, and challenged for the purpose of understanding the issues clearly to help lead us to the right decisions.

And we do take the admonition given in regard to the principle of being a watchman seriously.

The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them, If I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and make him their watchman, and if he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows the trumpet and warns the people, then if anyone who hears the sound of the trumpet does not take warning, and the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet and did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But if he had taken warning, he would have saved his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.” (Ezekiel 33:1–6)

And let’s also take the warning from 1 Corinthian 14:8: “And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle?”


Let us hold only Scripture in such high regard.

So here is my challenge to everyone. Consider carefully what our staff have researched and written, and check it out diligently. Yes, we encourage our readers to be “Berean” with what they read from us as well! And yes, we can have back-and-forth arguments. But let’s not just react negatively because one of our favorite researchers is being challenged concerning something they are teaching. Let us hold only Scripture in such high regard.


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