I spent a couple of days this week speaking at a conference at the Creation Museum—my first time visiting it. (Note: this article is dated October 2013.) Before I arrived I decided to put a little bit of thought into why I am a six-day creationist. I wanted to affirm in my own mind that I was walking into the museum already convinced of a position.
I believe God created the world in six days—six literal twenty-four hour periods. I believe the earth is young—probably less than ten thousand years old. I have always believed this. But why? As I considered this position, I realized there are three main reasons I hold to it.
The Bible Teaches It
The first reason I am a six-day creationist is this: I believe it is what the Bible teaches. There have been endless debates about the meaning of the word we translate as “day” in Genesis 1 and so much of the debate stands or falls right here. There have been many attempts, some of them quite compelling and some bordering on the ridiculous, to make it express something other than “day.” But in the end, I believe a natural reading of Scripture, and a natural reading of the author’s intent in the passage, leads to the most natural and obvious conclusion: God created all that exists, from nothing, in six literal days. This is what the author said because this is what the author meant to convey, because this is what the author believed, because this is exactly how God did it.
The Writers Believed It
The second reason I am a six-day creationist is that I believe this is what the other biblical writers believed. When the subject of creation arises elsewhere in the Bible, I see no evidence that the writers held to any position other than literal six-day creation. If we hold that Scripture interpets Scripture, I see the Bible confirming the simplicity of God creating all things in six literal days.
Science Confirms It
The third reason I am a six-day creationist is that I believe this is what science tells us. I believe science confirms a literal six-day creation and a young earth. I find the science demanding millions or billions of years less compelling than the science supporting a much less ancient universe. Even though so many people today scoff at even the suggestion that the world may be young, I find the old-earth science built upon very shaky and ever-shifting ground.
I believe the Bible speaks with greater clarity and greater authority than what I believe I see or what I believe I experience. Where many interpretations of science appear to contradict a literal six-day creation, I am not ready to re-interpret a clear and natural reading of Scripture to make it fit with these observations. The Bible is infinitely more stable than science and infinitely more reliable. G.I. Williamson recently said this well: “ I do not believe that there is, or ever will be, any scientific discovery that will be able to discredit what God has spoken. Yes, scientific theories do appear to discredit that creation account. But be patient. In time it will be seen that those humble Bible believers were right all along: it was a six-day creation.” I believe this too.
I was and I remain a convicted six-day creationist, something that seems to increasingly be a minority position in the church. I do not make belief in a six-day creation a necessary mark of orthodoxy or a necessary mark of a Christian. But I do believe it is correct (I wouldn’t believe it otherwise, would I?) and I do believe it matters. How and why it matters is a topic for another day.