The Instigator
AnotherInconvenienttruth
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Batman97
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Does Believing In Billions of Years And/Or Evolution Affect Someone's Salvation?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/19/2017 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 672 times Debate No: 104521
Debate Rounds (5)
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AnotherInconvenienttruth

Pro

Hello everyone! I'm Justin Derby, and I'm a Christian Apologist and Young Earth Creationist. Today's debate will address whether or not believing in billions of years and/or evolution affects someone's salvation. I will be showing that believing in billions of years and/or evolution makes a so-called follower of Jesus a heretic (the Pro position).

Here are the rules for the debate:

1) you can incorporate whatever field of knowledge you want into the debate, as long as it pertains to the debate topic, and most importantly
2) YOU MUST ACTUALLY ADDRESS WHAT YOUR OPPONENT HAS TO SAY!!

The format of the debate will be as follows:

Round 1-- acceptance of challenge
Round 2-- opening statement and main argument
Round 3-- rebuttal of opponent's opening statement and argument
Round 4-- rebuttal of rebuttals
Round 5-- final rebuttals and conclusion
Batman97

Con

I thank Pro for the interesting debate topic and am looking forward to a great debate.
Debate Round No. 1
AnotherInconvenienttruth

Pro

So why do I say that believing in billions of years and/or evolution makes a so-called follower of Jesus a heretic? Before I can answer that question, we need to define some terms and lay down some groundwork between my opponent and I.

Young Earth Creationism is the belief that God created the universe, the earth, the sea, and everything that is in those three things over the course of six days roughly 6,000 years ago. Therefore, a Young Earth Creationist is someone who believes in Young Earth Creationism.

Old Earth Creationism is the belief that God created the universe, the earth, the sea, and everything in those three things over the course of 14-16 billion years. Therefore, an Old Earth Creationist is someone who believes in Old Earth Creationism.

A heresy is a belief or teaching that goes against the official beliefs or teachings of a particular worldview. Therefore, a heretic is someone who believes in or teaches a heresy.

Now that we have defined those terms, it is time to lay some groundwork that I think my opponent and I have in common.

Let's say that me and my opponent both come across a person who not only denies that Jesus is God in human form, but also denies that Jesus ever claimed to be God. I'm 90 percent sure that my opponent would identify such a person as a heretic; why would my opponent do that? They would do that because when you read the gospels and the Bible in a straightforward and contextual manner, you will see that Jesus claimed to be able to see into everyone's heart (John 5:41-44, John 2:23-25), which is something that only God can do (1 Kings 8:37-40, Psalm 44:20-22); you will see that Jesus performed a miracle to prove that he had authority to forgive sins (Mark 2:1-12), which is something only God can do (Isaiah 43:25). You will see that Jesus referred to a psalm where children are worshiping and praising God (Psalm 8) to justify allowing children to worship and praise him (Matthew 21:14-17). You will also see that Jesus claimed to be so incomprehensible that only God the Father could fully comprehend him, and he also claimed that he was the only one who could fully comprehend God the Father, making himself equal with God (Matthew 11:27).

My opponent probably knows all of the above passages, and when he looks at the person who denies that Jesus is God and ever claimed to be, he would most likely label that person as a heretic because when my opponent reads the gospels and the Bible in a straightforward and contextual manner, he realizes that the Bible's clear position is that Jesus is God and claimed to be so. Since the person in question believes in and teaches that Jesus was not God and never claimed to be, my opponent would recognize that this person's position contradicts the Bible's official position, which meets the definition of a heresy.

If my opponent and I were to come across a person like KJV-Onlyist Bryan Denlinger who denies that Jesus is the Son, and claims that the Bible doesn't teach the concept of the trinity as me and my opponent probably understand it, I'm 100 percent certain that my opponent would identify such a person as a heretic. Why? Because when you read the New Testament and the Bible in a straightforward and contextual fashion, you see that anyone who denies that Jesus is the Son is an anti-christ (1 John 2:22-23). You will also see that Jesus, God The Father, and the Holy Spirit all have the same divine attributes (see my post on that here to see all the passages: http://truththeobjectivereality.blogspot.com...). We also see Jesus saying that the Son, The Father, and the Holy Spirit all have the same name (Matthew 28:18-20), and when Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist, we see the Holy Spirit descend on Jesus while the Father speaks to Jesus as a voice from heaven (Matthew 3:16-17, Mark 1:9-11, Luke 3:21-22).

My opponent is probably familiar with all of these passages, and when he looks at the person who denies that Jesus is God and ever claimed to be, he would most likely label that person as a heretic because when my opponent reads the gospels and the Bible in a straightforward and contextual manner, he realizes that the Bible's clear position is that Jesus is the Son, and the Bible clearly teaches the concept of the trinity. Since the person in question believes in and teaches that Jesus was not God and never claimed to be, my opponent would recognize that this person's position contradicts the Bible's official position, which meets the definition of a heresy.

The point in discussing these two scenarios is to show that my opponent and I both believe that if the Bible takes a clear position on something, and a so-called follower of Jesus believes in and teaches something that is contrary to the clear position of the Bible, we would both agree that such a person is a heretic. Since I claimed at the beginning that a follower of Jesus who believes in billions of years and/or evolution is a heretic, and since I am a young earth creationist, it is up to me to show that the clear position of the Bible is that the earth and universe are 6,000 years old. I will now show you exactly where the number 6,000 comes from:

As we all know, God created Adam on the sixth day of creation. When Adam was 130, he had a son named Seth (Genesis 5:3). When Seth was 105, he had a son named Enosh (Genesis 5:6). When Enosh was 90, he had a son named Kenan (Genesis 5:9). When Kenan was 70, he had a son named Mahalalel (Genesis 5:12). When Mahalalel was 65, he had a son named Jared (Genesis 5:15). When Jared was 162, he had a son named Enoch (Genesis 5:18). When Enoch was 65, he had a son named Methuselah (Genesis 5:21). When Methuselah was 187, he had a son named Lamech (Genesis 5:25). When Lamech was 182, he had Noah (Genesis 5:28). When Noah was 500, he had sons named Shem, Ham, and Japheth (Genesis 5:32).

Noah was 600 years old when the Flood happened (Genesis 6:6), which means that 100 years had passed between when God warned him about it, and when it actually happened. According to Genesis 8:13, Noah was 601 when the water from the flood had completely receeded. According to Genesis 11:10, Shem became the father of Arphaxad two years after the flood. When Arphaxad was 35, he became the father of Shelah (Genesis 11:12). When Shelah was 30, he had a son named Eber (Genesis 11:14). When Eber was 34, he had a son named Peleg (Genesis 11:16). When Peleg was 30, he had a son named Reu (Genesis 11:18). When Reu was 32, he had a son named Serug (Genesis 11:20). When Serug was 30, he had a son named Nahor (Genesis 11:22). When Nahor was 29, he had a son named Terah (Genesis 11:24). When Terah was 70, he had Abram, Nahor (a different one), and Haran (Genesis 11:26). When Abram was 100, he had Isaac (Genesis 21:5). When Isaac was 60 years old, Jacob and Esau were born (Genesis 25:24-26). When Jacob was 130 years old, he and the rest of the Israelites moved to the region of Goshen in Egpyt (Genesis 47:27-28).

430 years passed between Jacob and the Israelites moving to Egypt, and the actual Exodus from Egypt (Exodus 12:40). From the Exodus to the fourth year of King Solomon"s reign was 480 years (1 Kings 6:1). Since the fourth year of King Solomon"s reign was 966 BC, and since Jesus was born in 5 BC, 961 passed between the fourth year of King Solomon's reign and the birth of Jesus. Luke 3:23 says that Jesus was 30 years old when he began his ministry, and we know from studying the Gospels that Jesus' ministry lasted three years, so Jesus was 33 when he was crucified, rose from the dead, and ascended into Heaven.

Since this is the year 2017, that would mean that 1,984 years have passed since Jesus ascended to heaven. When you add all that up, we find that the universe and the Earth are both 6,127 years old. Most Young Earth Creationists round it down to 6,000 years in order to make it simple for the sake of argumentation.

Since there are no gaps anywhere in the information I just provided where you can squeeze billions of years into, old earth creationists are forced to re-interpret the creation account of Genesis 1:1-2:3. Some old earth creationists will say that there is a gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 that allows you to put billions of years into the Bible without contradicting the genealogies and timespans that I provided earlier (this is what I did when I was an Old Earth Creationist); this position is called Gap Theory. Some old earth creationists say that the days of creation are periods of a few billion years instead of regular days like we experience today; this is called Day-Age theory.

Both Gap Theory and Day-Age theory are disproved by God in the Torah, and Jesus in the New Testament. In the Torah, God tells Moses and the Israelites that they are to work for six days and rest on the seventh because God himself created the universe, the earth, the sea, and everything that is in those three things in six days before resting on the seventh (Exodus 20:8-11). This destroys Gap Theory because Gap Theory says that the creation of the earth and universe took place before the first day of creation, and yet God clearly says that the creation of the earth and universe is part of the six days of creation. This also destroys Day-Age theory because God was talking about his creation of the earth and universe in the context of the seven-day work week that we all experience today.

Jesus taught in Matthew 19 and Mark 10 that Male and female were created at the beginning of creation, which is a statement that can only be true if the YEC timeline of history is true. Since I am running out of space, I recommend watching the following video I did to see the details regarding Jesus' words in Matthew 19 and Mark 10: https://youtu.be...

Since the Bible cleary teaches a 6,000 year-old universe, old earth creationism is a heresy by definition.
Batman97

Con

Believing that the earth and universe are billions of years and that God used evolutionary processes to create is not heresy.

First, nowhere in the Bible does it say that one's view of creation affects one's view of salvation. Romans 10:9 says that if one confesses that Jesus is Lord and believes that God raised him from the dead, then that person will be saved; it says nothing about their view of creation. When the Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas the conditions for being saved in Acts 16:30, they respond by saying that the jailer must believe in Jesus; again, nothing about one's view of creation is mentioned. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:14 that Christianity is contingent upon Christ's resurrection only. Not a single verse in the Bible says that one's view of creation affects their salvation.

Second, a literal interpretation of Genesis 1-11 has never been an official teaching of Christianity. No early creed nor confession said that a Christian must interpret Genesis 1-11 literally. However, we have many creeds and confessions laying out what the Trinity is and what each person of the Trinity does. If a literal reading of Genesis 1-11 is so important, why is it never made an essential doctrine of Christianity, like the Trinity?

Third, many early church fathers rejected a literal interpretation of Genesis 1-11. Origen wrote that it is foolish for anyone to read Genesis 1-11 literally. Augustine believed that God created everything in an instant. He said that if a non-Christian is knowledgeable about nature, but there is a Christian who tries to force certain interpretations of Genesis onto what said non-Christian says, then that will be destructive for Christianity. Justin Martyr and Irenaeus both rejected a literal reading of Genesis 1. In fact, Irenaeus viewed Adam as more of an archetypal figure than a historical figure. If a literal reading of Genesis 1-11 is so important to Christianity, why did such a large number of early church fathers reject a literal reading?

Fourth, most young-earth creationists I talk with say that the Bible clearly or plainly says that the earth is young. However, these people are often highly selective as to what they say the Bible clearly or plainly says. For example, the Bible says that seeds die before they grow (John 12:24). The Bible also says that mustard seeds are the smallest (Matthew 13:31-32). The Bible says that salvation is not by faith alone (James 2:24). These are things that the Bible clearly and plainly says, but things that my opponent most likely rejects. If young-earth creationists want to believe what the Bible clearly and plainly says, why are they selective as to which verses they read plainly?

In conclusion, there are four solid reasons to reject the young-earth creationist claim that believing that the earth is old and that God used evolutionary processes to create is heretical. First, this is never made a condition in the Bible. Second, a literal reading of Genesis 1-11 was never outlined as a fundamental of the faith in any ancient creeds. Third, many early church fathers rejected a literal reading of Genesis 1-11. Fourth, many young-earth creationists are selective as to what they read literally.
Debate Round No. 2
AnotherInconvenienttruth

Pro

This first objection seems legitimate if you don't think about it. However, as someone who has thought about it, and as a former Old Earth Creationist, this objection doesn't fly. Let's go with an easy example to compare with: Muslims tell us all the time that if Christians cannot produce one verse or passage in the Bible where Jesus says the exact words "I am God; worship me", then Jesus clearly never claimed to be God. Muslims also tell us that if we don't find a verse or passage that uses the word "Trinity", then the Bible doesn't teach the doctrine of the Trinity. My opponent and I both know while the phrase "I am God; worship me" never appears in Jesus' mouth and the word "trinity" is not found in the Bible, we both know that Jesus claimed to be God in all kinds of different ways, and we both know that the Bible does describe the concept of God that we call the Trinity, and we know that this therefore makes those doctrines fundamental to salvation.

The same is true with the 6,000 year-old Earth and universe. Even though the phrase "you must believe in a 6,000 year-old Earth and universe in order to be saved" (or something similar) never appears in the Bible, we know from the passages I shared in my opening statement that the Bible clearly teaches a 6,000 year-old Earth and universe; it's so clear that I'm 100 percent comfortable in saying that the teaching of a 6,000 year-old earth and universe is just as clearly taught as the deity of Jesus and the doctrine of the trinity. Because it's so clearly taught, anyone who denies this after being made aware of the passages I shared in my opening statement probably isn't saved because saved people conform their beliefs to what the Bible says, regardless of how they feel about it initially.

By the way, when my opponent says that 1 Corinthians 15:14 says that someone's salvation is contingent only on Jesus' resurrection, he's wrong. When you actually read the verse, it says that if Jesus didn't rise from the dead, then our faith and preaching is useless. This would be true because if Jesus hadn't risen from the dead, his movement would have been like all the false messiah movements that came before his, and it would have died. You will not find the word "only" in this verse or in the surrounding verses, so it is incorrect to say that 1 Corinthians 15:14 says that Jesus' salvation is contingent only on his resurrection from the dead.

As far as your second objection goes, I've actually had this discussion with Jay Hall, a young earth creationist and apologist that I did two podcasts with. He argued for my opponents position by pointing out that all the confessions and creeds my opponent is referring to don't contain a 6,000 year-old earth and universe as an essential doctrine. I pointed out to him off-camera, and I'll point out now, that there is an easy answer to this argument. The most likely reason why the confessions and creeds don't mention a 6,000 year-old earth and universe as an essential doctrine is because the age of the earth and universe was not as contentious of an issue back in the first and second centuries as it is now. Back then, Jesus' life, death, and resurrection had just happened, so those would obviously be the most contentious issues for a while. The fact of the matter is that contentious issues change over time; homosexuality was not a contentious issue 30-40 years ago like it is today. The idea of a man and woman being married, only having sex with each other, and staying together until death was not contentious at all 60 years ago; now it's a very contentious topic.

The other problem with your second objection has to do with the fact that Old Earth Creationism is a man-centered religion; when I was an old earth creationist, I believed in billions of years and the Big Bang theory because my old earth creationist authority figures told me so, and they seemed like such good guys. Because old-earth creationism is so man-centered by nature, it doesn't surprise me that my opponent would appeal to creeds and confessions of men to justify his position instead of the Bible. Whether he realizes it or not, my opponent cannot justify his OEC beliefs with nothing but the Bible, so he has to appeal to what men have said in creeds, confessions, and modern OEC apologetics. I was exactly like my opponent back when I was his age and a little older than him, so I can relate to his position.

This third objection about the early church fathers rejecting YEC is hilariously false; I know that my opponent didn't do his homework on this because the OEC authority figures he got this argument from did not do their homework on this. While it is true that Augustine believed that God created everything in an instant instead of over six days, Augustine also said the following in his book "City of God" under the chapter "Of the Falsness of History Which Allots Many Thousand Years To The World's Past":

"Let us, then, omit the conjectures of men who do know not what they say, when they speak of the nature and origin of the human race...They are deceived, too, by those highly mendecious documents which profess to give the history of many thousand years, though reckoning by the sacred writings, we find that not 6,000 years have yet passed."

Since Augustine believed that everything was created in an instant, he reasoned that the time from Adam to the present was also the time from the beginning of creation to the present, which was less than 6,000 years. Augustine was technically right because the world was around 4,500 years old when he wrote that.

My opponent is flat out lying when he says that Origen thought people who took Genesis 1-11 literally were foolish. In Contra Celsum 1.19, Origen said the following:

"After these statements, Celsus, from a secret desire to cast discredit upon the mosaic account, which teaches that the world is not yet ten thousand years old, but very much under that, while concealing his wish, intimates his agreement with those who hold that the world is uncreated."

If Origen didn't read Genesis 1-11 in a straightforward and contextual manner (which is what my opponent probably means by literally), when why on earth did he say that the world was far less than 10,000 years old?! Origen is clearly a young earth creationist by today's standards.

If Irenaeus didn't believe in a literal Adam, then why did he say in "Heresies" 5.28.3 the following:

"For in six days as the world was made, in so many thousand years shall it be concluded...For that day of the lord is a thousand years, and in six days created things were completed: It is evident, therefore, that they will come to an end at the sixth thousand year."

By writing this, Irenaeus showed that he believed that the Earth was just over four thousand years old at the time that he wrote that; in order for him to come to that conclusion, he had to believe that the days of creation were regular days like today, and he would also have to believe in a literal Adam.

With the exception of Justin Martyr, every early church father that my opponent referred to in this objection explicitly states in their writings that the earth is either less than 10,000 years old, or less than 6,000 years old. In order for them to come to that conclusion, they all had to take Genesis 1-11 literally, which is exactly the opposite of what my opponent asserts about them.

When it comes to this third objection, my opponent needs to realize that his OEC authority figures lied to him about the early church fathers he referred to, which should lead my opponent to ask himself what else his OEC authority figures have lied to him about.

My opponent's fourth objection is hilarious. I'm in young earth creationist circles, and I don't know any young earth creationists who deny that seeds have to die before they grow; I don't know any young earth creationists who actually believe that a mustard seed is the smallest seed in the world today, and I don't know any young earth creationists who believe that salvation is by faith alone. Who are these young earth creationists that my opponent is referring to? Why is it that old earth creationists always find young earth creationists with these weird beliefs, but I never do? There's nothing more to say to this objection because if my opponent actually knew me, he wouldn't have used this objection.
Batman97

Con

There is one major problem with Pro's opening argument. Pro defines a heresy as something contrary to an official belief or teaching of a particular religion. However, Pro never demonstrates how a literal reading of Genesis 1-11 or the belief in a 6,000 year old universe ever was an official teaching of Christianity. Unless Pro can do this, his argument falls flat.

Even though Pro's math is solid, he never demonstrates that Genesis 1-11 must be read literally. Concerning the days of Genesis 1, I hold the literary framework view. Therefore, his evidence against the gap and day-age theory doesn't hold any water against what I believe.

There are many problems with Pro's objections to my opening statement. He says that since the Trinity or Christ's divinity aren't explicitly laid out in the New Testament (like the age of the earth), then the age of the earth could still be a salvation issue like the Trinity or Christ's divinity. However, Peter's sermon at Pentecost referenced the Trinity and Christ's divinity, but not the age of the earth nor how one ought to interpret Genesis 1-11. Why is that? The simple answer is that what one believes about the age of the earth or how Genesis 1-11 ought to be interpreted is not a salvation issue.

Pro's objection to my second point makes a very large assumption. He assumes that even though how one interprets Genesis 1-11 has always been a salvation issue, the early church fathers never said it was the case because it had never been an issue. This assumes that the early church fathers would not meticulously laid out every foundation of the Christian faith, but only laid out the foundations that were divisive at the time. Would not the early church fathers have wanted to preserve every fundamental belief to Christianity, not just the ones that were causing division?

The next point that Pro brings up is a petty attempt at a fallacy known as poisoning the well. He says that old-earth creationism is a man-centered religion in order to discredit anything I say on the topic before I even say it. This is a dishonest way to get the audience on your side before they hear both sides.

Pro misses the point of my third argument. I never said that early church fathers thought the earth was millions of years old. I said that many early church fathers rejected a literal reading of Genesis 1-11. The very reason why Pro rejects old-earth creationism as heresy is because it denies a plain reading of Scripture. Even though all early church fathers who rejected a literal reading of Genesis 1-11 thought the earth was young, Pro thinks that as long as the early church fathers accept a young earth, they are within orthodoxy. However, these early church fathers rejected a literal and plain reading of Genesis 1-11. So which is it Pro? Do we need to read Genesis 1-11 literally, or do we need to believe the earth is young?

Pro said that Origen interpreted Genesis 1-11 literally, but this is a blatantly false statement. Origen wrote in De Principiis, "Again, who would think that one was a partaker of good and evil by munching on what was taken from the other tree? And as far as God walking in the paradise in the evening, and Adam hiding himself under a tree, I do not think that anyone doubts that these things are to be taken figuratively, and that they indicate certain mysteries, the history having taken place in appearance, and not literally."

In fact, Augustine even warns against literal readings of Genesis 1-11 in The Literal Meaning of Genesis. He writes, "In regards to things about the earth, the sky, other elements of this world, the motion and rotation or even the magnitude and distances of the stars, the definite eclipses of the sun and moon, the passage of years and seasons, the nature of animals, of fruits, of stones, and of other such things, it should not be surprising that such things can be known with the greatest certainty by reasoning or by experience, even by one who is not a Christian. Therefore, it is an utterly disgraceful and ruinous thing-something that should be greatly avoided-if [a non-Christian] hears a Christian speaking like an idiot on these matters and trying to make them accord with Christian writings. When that happens, [the non-Christian] will say that he can't keep from laughing when he sees how totally in error they are. In view of this and in keeping it in mind constantly while dealing with the book of Genesis, I have, insofar as I was able, explained in detail and set forth for consideration the meanings of obscure passages, taking care not to affirm rashly some singular meaning to the prejudice of another and perhaps better explanation." What this quote says is that since non-Christians can know things about nature, we should be hesitant to hold onto one reading of Genesis so tightly that we become the laughingstock of anyone who knows anything about nature.

So I ask Pro again: is it reading Genesis 1-11 non-literally that is heresy, or is it believing in an old earth that is heresy?

I really don't think Pro understood my fourth argument at all. My point was exactly that there aren't Christians who think that seeds must die before that they grow, or that mustard seeds are the smallest seeds. Also, considering Pro is a Protestant, I'm guessing he believes that salvation is by faith alone. However, my point was that the Bible plainly says that seeds must die before they grow, that mustard seeds are not the smallest seeds, and that salvation is not by faith alone. He rejects these plain teachings by the Bible, but says anyone who rejects the plain teaching of Genesis 1-11 is a heretic. Why is Pro selective with what he considers plain? Using his own standards against him, Pro is a heretic because he denies the plain teaching that seeds must die before they grow, that mustard seeds are the smallest, and that salvation is not by faith alone.

In conclusion, there are many problems with Pro's argument. First, he needs to decide whether the issue is how old one thinks the earth is or how one interprets Genesis 1-11. Second, he needs to demonstrate that whatever option he chooses has always been an official teaching of Christianity. Third, he needs to show how denying a plain reading of certain passages does not make him a heretic. If he cannot do these three things, his argument falls flat.
Debate Round No. 3
AnotherInconvenienttruth

Pro

My opponent says that he holds to the Literary Framework theory. Literary Framework basically says that the entire creation account is poetry and metaphor, and is not meant to be understood in a straightforward fashion. Literary framework says that Day 1 and Day 4 are related because it involves light; it says that day 2 and day 5 are related because they revolve around water, and it says that day 3 and 6 are related because it has to do with dry ground and vegetation. By accepting Literary framework theory, my opponent can believe in evolution, billions of years, and Big Bang Theory, and he can justify saying that it doesn't contradict the creation account because the creation account is not a literal account of how God made things.

The problem with this claim is that Genesis 2:4 says that the creation account is a literal account of how God made the heavens and the Earth. Another problem with Literary Framework is that, as I pointed out before, God himself says in Exodus 20:8-11 that he made the universe, the earth, the sea, and everything that is in them in six days, and rested on the seventh. Since God said this in the context of talking about the seven-day work week we all experience today, God himself is clearly saying that he made everything in six ordinary days like we experience today. Another problem with this is that, like I pointed out before, Jesus taught in Matthew 19 and Mark 10 that male and female were created at the beginning of creation, which is a statement that can only be true if the days of creation are ordinary days like today, and if you accept the genealogies and timespans provided by scripture that I listed in my opening statement.

My opponent claims that I said that Christ's divinity and the concept of the trinity are not explicitly laid out in the New Testament; this is a blatant misrepresentation of what I actually said. If you go back in read my opening statements, you will see that I laid out a bunch of scriptures that showed that the New Testament EXPLICITY TEACHES Christ's divinity and the concept of the trinity. As far as why Peter didn't mention the age of the Earth or taking Genesis 1-11 literally in his sermon at Pentecost, I already answered that in the previous round when I dealt with my opponent's second objection.

I did not poison the well when I said that Old Earth Creationism is a man-centered religion because I went on to explain exactly why I said that, and it has everything to do with how I viewed the Bible and my OEC authority figures when I was an old earth creationist, and how I see that OECs do what I used to do.

My opponent brought up quotes of early church fathers rejecting the straight-forward reading of certain parts of Genesis as being straightforward history, and I quoted those same church fathers teaching that the earth is only 6,000-10,000 years old, which is something that can only be arrived at by accepting the genealogies and timespans provided by the scriptures I listed in my opening statements. The only thing this shows is that the early church fathers were not consistent in how they approached the Bible. The early church fathers picked and chose which parts of the Bible they wanted to accept the straightforward reading of, and they picked which parts of scripture they didn't want to accept the straightforward reading of. Their inconsistency has been emulated well by Old Earth Creationists, and only supports my point that old earth creationists like my opponent evaluate the opinions of men over the Bible when it comes to origins.

My opponent says that I deny that seeds must die before they grow, that mustard seeds are the smallest seeds, and that salvation is not by faith alone. That is a blatant misrepresentation of what I have already said. My point in pointing out that I don't know any young earth creationists who deny these things my opponent listed is that I do believe the things he says that I deny. I acknowledge that seeds have to die before they grow, I acknowledge that Mustard seeds were the smallest seeds used by gardeners and farmers in Israel in the first century, and I do believe that salvation is not just by faith alone because James 2:22 says that your faith and actions work together, and the context of the New Testament makes it clear that if you have saving faith, doing good works will be the fruit of your faith.

Also, I am not a Protestant; I do not belong to any denomination. I am a Bible-believer in the purest sense of the phrase.
Batman97

Con

Pro's arguments against the Literary Framework view are very weak. First, he says that Genesis 2:4 proves that Genesis 1 ought to be read literally. However, this verse does no such thing. In fact, it says that God created the universe in one day, not six days as Genesis 1 says. So if anything, Genesis 2:4 is giving us a cue that we should not read Genesis 1 literally. Second, he says that Exodus 20:11 proves that Genesis 1 ought to be read literally. However, if Genesis 1 was meant to be read poetically, then the ancient Hebrews would have known that. Also, a mere literary allusion does not prove that something ought to be read literally. Christians do this all the time when we reference Jesus's parables. When someone references the prodigal son, we don't assume that he thinks that that parable actually happened. Third, Matthew 19 and Mark 10 do not prove Genesis 1 ought to be read literally. As I said before, a mere literary allusion does not prove that it ought to be read literally. Also, considering the context of both passages are about marriage, it is reasonable to assume that Jesus was speaking about the creation of marriage, not the creation of the universe.

I don't find Pro's argument as to why no apostles or early church father said the age of the earth is a salvation issue to be persuasive at all. His argument assumes that even though they knew what the foundations for Christianity were, they didn't ever bring it up since it wasn't a divisive topic. What is more likely: that the age of the earth is not a salvation issue which is why no apostle or early church father made it so, or that it is a salvation issue but nobody said it was because it was never a divisive topic back then? Occam's Razor demands that we go with the former explanation, meaning that the age of the earth is not a salvation issue.

Pro then criticizes early church fathers for being inconsistent in how they interpret Genesis 1-11. He ends up shooting himself in the foot, because he defined heresy as something that goes against an official teaching of the church. By criticizing early church fathers, he acknowledges that a literal interpretation of Genesis 1-11 has never been an official teaching of the church. This means that rejecting a literal interpretation of Genesis 1-11 cannot be heresy, according to Pro. Since that cannot be heresy, then accepting an old earth or evolution cannot be heresy. Since they cannot be heresy, those issues do not affect salvation. If Pro wants to salvage his argument, he needs to provide evidence that a literal reading of Genesis 1-11 has been an official teaching of the church. If he cannot do this, his argument fails miserably.
Debate Round No. 4
AnotherInconvenienttruth

Pro

My opponent is flat-out wrong when he says that Matthew 19 and Mark 10 do not prove that Genesis 1 ought to be read literally. In Matthew 19:4, Jesus says, "Haven't you read that at the beginning the creator..." and then Jesus directly quotes the Greek Septuagint of Genesis 1:27 when he says "made them male and female." In other words, Jesus is saying that the creation of male and female as described in Genesis 1:27 took place at the beginning (we know it's the beginning of creation because Jesus says "beginning of Creation" in Mark 10:6). The next thing Jesus does in Matthew 19:5 is he directly quotes the Greek Septuagint of Genesis 2:24, which is the verse that describes marriage.

Think about it carefully; Jesus said in Matthew 19 and Mark 10 that the events of Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 2:24 took place at the beginning of creation. To rephrase it, Jesus is saying that marriage was created when male and female were created, but he precedes that by saying that male and female were created at the beginning of creation! There is absolutely no wiggle room for re-interpretation; the only way Jesus can be correct when he says this is if the days of creation are ordinary days like today, if there is no gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, and if the timeline of history that I laid out in my opening statement is true.

My opponent's argument this whole debate about the early church fathers he quoted is that they don't teach that you're supposed to read Genesis 1-11 in a straight forward fashion, and he supposedly proves this by showing that they didn't accept the straight-forward reading of certain parts of Genesis 1-11 such as a literal Adam or Eve eating a piece of forbidden fruit leading to Sin entering the world. However, I directly quoted those exact same church fathers saying that the earth was only a few thousand years old, and they all said that the scriptures taught this, which means that it's a fundamental teaching of scripture. This clearly shows that the church fathers my opponent quoted were picking and choosing which parts of Genesis 1-11 that they wanted to believe in and which parts they didn't, and yet my opponent twists this by essentially saying that because the church fathers he quoted rejected the straight-forward readings of PARTS of Genesis 1-11, then they must have rejected a straight-forward reading of the entire thing! This is blatantly dishonest because in order for all the church fathers he quoted to say that the scriptures teach that the earth is only a few thousand years old, they have to accept the straight-forward reading of the genealogies found in Genesis 1-11.

In his last paragraph, my opponent once again blatantly misrepresents what I've said, which is something he's been doing in all the rebuttal rounds. I did not define a heresy as something that goes against an official teaching of the church; I said that a heresy was a belief or teaching that goes against the official belief or teaching of a particular WORLDVIEW. I then spent the rest of my opening statement quoting nothing but the Bible. The obvious takeaway is that the Bible is what defines a heresy, not the church.

My opponent is the one who believes that the church gets to define what a heresy is, and the reason he does this is because his old earth creationism religion is man-centered. My opponent cannot use the Bible to prove OEC because I showed in my opening statement that the Bible clearly teaches a 6,000 year-old earth and universe, so he has no choice but to appeal to human authority figures like his OEC leaders to justify his beliefs, and to twist the writings of the early church fathers he quoted to make them teach things they never taught.

But what is absolutely hilarious is that even if we grant my opponents assertion that the church gets to define what a heresy is and what the official teachings of scripture are, then my opponent is still wrong when he says that a young earth was not an official teaching of the church because the EARLY church fathers he quoted said that the scriptures teach a young earth, which means that a young earth was an official teaching of the scriptures back in their time.

This is what happens when my opponent appeals to things he doesn't understand: My opponent is clearly a heretic if he appeals to the Bible to justify his OEC beliefs because as I showed in my opening statement, the Bible explicitly teaches a 6,000 year-old earth and universe. However, if he arbitrarily declares that the early church fathers get to define what the official teachings of scripture are, then my opponent is still a heretic because the early church fathers he quoted all said that the scriptures teach that the earth is only a few thousand years old, and my opponent says that the Earth is billions of years old. Either way, my opponent is a heretic.

As we bring this debate to a close, this debate has gone exactly as I thought it would. I knew that as soon as I established that both my opponent and I agree that people who contradict the clear positions/teachings of scripture were heretics, and as soon as I laid out all the scripture that shows that the earth and universe are 6,000 years old, my opponent would not appeal to the Bible to justify his OEC beliefs. Instead, he misrepresented what I actually said, he attributed false beliefs to me that I don't actually believe in, he twisted the writings of the early church fathers to make them say what he wanted them to say instead of what they actually said, and he ignored the words of Jesus in Matthew 19 and Mark 10.

I'm 27 years old now, and up until I was 24, I was an OEC like my opponent. I blindly believed what I was told by my OEC authority figures such as Frank Turek and James Bishop, and I had such little respect for the Bible when it came to origins that in my own personal Bible reading times, when I would come across the genealogies and timespans of scripture that I've listed here today, I would skip reading them because I saw them as unnecessary text that had no purpose in being there in scripture. It was only after I was exposed to young earth creationism for the first time that I understood what those genealogies and timespans were there for, and that is to calculate how old the earth and universe is.

Having been a Young Earth Creationist for three years now, and having made lots of material dealing with and debunking old earth creationism, I can see that not only does OEC contradict the clear teaching of scripture on the age of the earth and universe, but it also leads people into further heresies. For example, Frank Turek's denial of the YEC timeline of history that the Bible teaches has led him into teaching multiple heresies such as teaching that we don't need the Old Testament to understand the Gospel message of salvation, and teaching that we have to reinterpret the Bible with objective truths that exist outside of the Bible.

Mike Licona is another example; in 2011, Mike Licona wrote a paper where he claimed that Matthew 27:51-53 was not intended to be understood as a real historical event. In this paper, Mike Licona said that people who think that Matthew 27:51-53 is a real historical event are just like people who think that the scriptures teach a 6,000 year-old earth and universe because neither party understands hermeneutics. What this shows is that Mike Licona's denial of the YEC timeline of history has lead him to start picking and choosing which parts of the gospels he wants to believe, and which parts he wants to reject.

William Lane Craig is another example of denying YEC leading to heresy. In a 2013 interview where he called Young Earth Creationism embarrassing, William Lane Craig said that we aren't supposed to reinterpret the Bible in light of modern science, but then he said that we had to take what we learned from the Bible along with what modern science supposedly tells us in order to create a synoptic worldview that makes sense of the data in both; this idea of creating a synoptic worldview out of the Bible and modern science is exactly what reinterpreting the Bible in light of modern science is.

Think about it: William Lane Craig, who is considered to be one of the top champions of Christian apologetics, tells us that even though we aren't supposed to reinterpret the Bible in light of modern science, we have to reinterpret the Bible in light of modern science in order to justify Old Earth Creationism.

My opponent is already a heretic because he denies the explicit teaching of the Bible that the Earth and universe is roughly 6,000 years old, and he is heading down a path that will easily lead him to believing in other heresies if he lets it. Despite all that, my opponent is not stuck in his position; he doesn't have to be a heretic all of his life. My opponent simply needs to repent of his heresy just like any other sin, and he needs to submit to God by not only entering into a personal relationship with Jesus, but by also accepting the clear teaching of God's written revelation to man, The Bible. He will lose a lot of popularity and prestige among men if he converts to YEC, but the truth and being in right relationship with Jesus is more important.
Batman97

Con

Pro's argument that Matthew 19 and Mark 10 support a young-earth is very weak. First, Jesus never specifies as to what was created. Second, the context of these passages implies that Jesus was referring to the beginning of marriage, not the beginning of the universe. Third, Jesus was an ancient Jew, so if Genesis 1-11 was not meant to be read literally, he and his audience would have understood that. Fourth, a mere literary allusion to something does not necessitate that it must be literal.

Pro's argument that the early church fathers said that a young earth is a foundational belief of Christianity is also weak. He said that the early church fathers believed in a young earth because that is what the genealogies prove. However, in the quotes he provided where the early church fathers said that the earth was young, not a single one of them referenced the genealogies. In fact, Irenaeus said that since there are six days in the creation week, the earth will be end when it is six thousand years old. The quote that Pro provided in the third round concerning Augustine is taken out of context. Augustine was opposed to the idea that humans have always been around, not that the earth is older than 6,000 years old. Since the early church fathers never used the genealogies to argue for a young earth, it is reasonable to assume that a young earth is not a foundational belief of Christianity.

Pro then demonstrates that he is unaware as to how something is determined to be heretical. Throughout the history of Christianity, it has always been the church that has defined what heresy is. All Christians, regardless of what they think of the age of the earth, worship God alone. So Pro's claim that OEC is a man-centered religion has no basis in reality.

Pro then concludes his argument with two fallacies: the post hoc fallacy and the hasty generalization fallacy. Even if Mike Licona and William Lane Craig are heretics, which they aren't, that doesn't follow that it is their rejection in the belief of a young earth that led them to accept other 'heresies.' Pro just conflated causation with correlation. In addition, even if these two men do hold to heresy, that doesn't mean that every person who rejects a young earth will accept other 'heresies.'

In conclusion, Pro's argument fails. First, he defined a heresy as something that goes against an official teaching, but never provided any evidence to prove that a literal reading of Genesis 1-11 has ever been an official teaching of Christianity. Second, he said that rejecting a literal reading of the Bible is what makes something heresy, but he admitted that the rejects the literal reading of some passages (James 2:24, Matthew 13:31-32, John 12:24). Third, he assumes that even though every early Christian knew that the literal reading of Genesis 1-11 was a salvation issue, nobody said that it was since it wasn't a divisive topic at the time. After examining his claims carefully, there is no reason to accept his claim that believing in an old earth and/or evolution affects one's salvation.
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by bbar97 9 months ago
bbar97
You can't lose your salvation, and if you believe in evolution chances are you don't believe in God (in most cases) and so you probably also haven't accepted Jesus as your savior so you aren't saved. However there are some Christians (who have been misled and haven't fully considered the book of genesis and it's implications for the creation of the earth) that believe in evolution so the answer is no it doesn't affect salvation. Why is this a debate? its more of a straight up answer because if you have any significant biblical knowledge you would know this.
Posted by missmedic 9 months ago
missmedic
Believing is not a choice.
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