During a discussion of Christian apologetics, my believing friend said, “So you are a Young Earth Creationist (YEC)?!” To which I replied that I am a Christian who believes in the Calendar-Day view of creation. The term Calendar-Day view is described in the Report of the Creation Study Committee (2000, to the 27th General Assembly) of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). This report is termed the “PCA Report” and it is referred to frequently on this website. In the PCA Report, the Calendar-Day view is also termed the literal view, traditional view, and twenty-four-hour view. In the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) report on creation, it is termed the Days of Ordinary Length view.
Those who believe that creation was accomplished in six days of ordinary length are often called Young Earth Creationists, or “YEC’s.” In contrast, those who hold other views of creation like to be called Old Earth Creationists or “OEC’s.” The OEC positions are varied and include the Day-Age view, Ruin-Restoration view (Gap Theory), Analogical Days view, Framework view, and various views associated with Theistic Evolution / Evolutionary Creation. All OEC positions a common element – God did not create the earth in six days of ordinary length.
The term “YEC” is not a good descriptive term for those who believe that creation was accomplished in six days of ordinary length. The term YEC unnecessarily restricts the creation discussion to a discussion of the date of creation. This marginalizes the significance of Biblical interpretation and church history; both of which are important elements of the creation discussion.
Many of who hold the Calendar-Day view of creation don’t particularly care for the term YEC. However, name calling by those who disagree is a reality that all must live with. On the positive side, being called a YEC can provide an opportunity to compare elements of the YEC and OEC views on creation. This comparison will be the focus of this series.
Some of these elements the comparison of YEC and OEC views include:
- The YEC and OEC views of Bible Interpretation
- The YEC and OEC views of revelation
- The YEC and OEC views of evidence
- The YEC and OEC views and church history
- The YEC and OEC views of science
- The YEC and OEC views of the world
- The consequences of YEC and OEC views of creation
Before going into a discussion of the differences between the YEC and OEC views of creation, it needs to be emphasized that a person may hold either view and be a Christian. A person’s view of creation is not a salvation issue. However, creation is a very important issue and all Cristian’s should study creation seriously.
Both YEC and OEC views have one common element – that the God of the Bible is the creator. As such, neither view is considered scientific by the scientific consensus. The scientific consensus does not need any god to explain reality – and certainly not the God of the Bible.
In summary, the term YEC is not an adequate term to describe a person who believe in the Calendar-Day view of creation. However, being termed a YEC can offers an opportunity to compare the YEC and OEC views of creation. We will be looking at a comparison of elements of the YEC and OEC views in coming posts. I hope you will join us for this.
But first I would like to assign homework. Your homework for our next post is to download the PCA Report and place it in a binder for continuing reference. The PCA Report may be found at www.pcahistory.org . Read the PCA Report and start your own research on YEC and OEC views of Bible Interpretation.