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The Significance of Both Creation and Last Things (Eschatology)

July 30, 2013

Occasionally I come across statements, such as from individuals involved with Creation ministries, from those who hold to young earth creation but are not consistent in their end-times position.  As someone well observed in an online discussion recently, “obviously Creationists are not necessarily dispensationalists when it comes to prophecy; but there are far fewer non-literal-Creationist dispensationalists than 6-day-Creationist-CT/NCT people around.”

I previously referenced this over a year ago here (this post) in reference to (Answers in Genesis) Ken Ham’s statement, that he thinks creation and eschatology are somehow different and unrelated.  His reasoning:  we also have the scientific physical evidence for creation, and the creation compromises came about from people responding to external ideas about evolution and old-earth. Whereas, he claims, eschatology is only dealing with the words of scripture themselves, apart from any external ideas.

His first point, about scientific evidence, of course overlooks the issue of presuppositions.  Unbelief will compel an old-earth scientist to come up with explanations for observed data that “fit” his own presuppositions; physical evidence does not of itself “prove” anything.  His second point ignores the clear hermeneutical issues and the history of the development of amillennialism and replacement theology through those who embraced the allegorical, spiritualizing hermeneutic instead of the literal, grammatical, historical hermeneutic.

In online discussion someone recently posted this link from Creation.com, in which the writer responds to a church-goer’s question about her pastor’s post-modern approach to God’s word.  Here the reasoning is that somehow creation is a more important doctrine than eschatology: The issues regarding Genesis are in a quite different league to those concerning prophecy, we would submit, because they are foundational to, and woven throughout the fabric of, the very Gospel of salvation itself.

Really? A closer look shows us that errors in creation and eschatology have several features in common, directly attacking central biblical teachings concerning the attributes and character of God, the authority of God’s word, and understanding of our salvation:

Concerning the Character of God:

       Doctrine of Creation

  • a liar, whose word cannot be depended on: that He did not really create the world in six literal, ordinary days as He said (even directly inscribed in stone tablets by God, on Mt. Sinai; reference Exodus 20:11, the Ten Commandments)
  • a cruel God whose idea of “very good” before the fall was actually a creation already cursed and experiencing death long before Adam fell.

      Doctrine of Eschatology / Last Things

  • A Bait-and-Switch God whose word cannot be depended on, who gave one set of promises to one group of people but later changed both the promises and the recipients.
  • A Pelagian-salvation God: Israel lost their promises due to their apostasy, and blew their chances due to their fall.  How, then, do we have any assurance that God will not also give up on us (Christians in this age) and reject us after all?

Concerning the Authority of God’s Word

The above-mentioned writer continues:   That does not mean that one can’t be terribly inconsistent and be saved in spite of disbelieving what Genesis teaches, but it has serious ramifications in church, culture, and society, and in the lives of many individuals—as well as for our effectiveness in evangelism, if the authority of the Word of God can be so cavalierly evaded in such a plain, straightforward matter.

Substitute “premillennialism” for “Genesis” above, and the meaning is the same.  Our understanding of the church (ecclesiology), and culture and society is DIRECTLY affected by our millennial view.  Errors here have brought about misguided ideas such as postmillennial dominion theology and “Christian America,” over-emphasis on the Church age (falling into the very error the apostle Paul warned against in Romans 11), and seriously hampered evangelism efforts among the Jews — and any unbelievers who read the Bible without awareness of Covenant Theology’s allegorical hermeneutic.  (Try explaining to Jews that all of their prophecies about Christ’s First Coming were literally fulfilled in Christ, BUT the prophecies about His Second Coming are instead spiritualized to mean something else, blessings to the (Gentile) Christian Church).

Creation AND Eschatology (the future), unlike all other scriptural teaching, are both areas unknown to mankind apart from Divine Revelation: we weren’t there at the beginning, and we don’t know the future.  Underlying both of these teachings are major, fundamental issues concerning the character of God and the nature of salvation.  Whether said by the leaders of various creation ministries or not, whatever “reasons” to justify the preference of one teaching over the other, the reality is that the doctrine of creation is not at all “in a different league” from the prophetic word.

  1. July 30, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Lynda, you are spot on in my humble opinion with your take on the connections between Biblical protology and Biblical eschatology. I have saved this for future reference. This understanding is sorely needed in our day. Well done!

    • July 30, 2013 at 10:19 am

      Thanks, John!

  2. Pauline
    July 30, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Lynda , I am in total agreement with John , as above comment. I don’t like the statement ” secondary doctrine ” is there such a thing ? All doctrine is just as important as one another
    Would I be correct in thinking that those who hold to a CT eschatology would be more likely to believe in old earth ? Could be wrong on this , just asking.
    Really good article Lynda.

    • July 30, 2013 at 6:48 pm

      Thanks, Pauline. Yes, generally speaking, more people who hold to CT eschatology believe in old-earth as well — consistent in their spiritualizing of both creation and the end. Obviously there are exceptions on both ends, with some such as some creation ministry leaders who get creation right but Covenant or NCT Theology in other areas. Last fall we had an old-earth dispensationalist (in the Calv-Disp group), though more commonly I’ve come across dispensationalists holding to a young earth with gap theory rather than outright old-earth.

  3. July 31, 2013 at 1:44 am

    This is good! By the way, do you know if Ken Ham is Presuppositional in his apologetics? I have not read enough of him to know…so I thought I asked

    • July 31, 2013 at 8:30 am

      Thanks, Jim. As far as I can tell, from his article and comments such as saying the physical evidence supports/proves young earth, I would think that he adheres more to classical apologetics. But if anyone else knows differently, please let us know.

  4. mardabo
    May 21, 2014 at 7:32 am

    This was a very informative article Linda. I’m glad and gratified to see that we hold to similar eschatology’s.
    Mark David Bowen

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