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Here's a debate between Hugh Ross of "Reasons to Believe" and Ken Ham. These men are popular spokesmen for each of Old Earth and Young Earth Creationism, respectively. In the hour-long discussion, Ken repeatedly shuts down any use of passages other than Genesis to get information about the details of creation. For example, he didn't want to talk about how Job (9:8) or Psalms (104:2) speak of God "stretching the heavens"

Setting aside the whole YEC/OEC debate for the moment, is there a biblical reason to limit creation-detail information to the book of Genesis?

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I didn't watch this version because my sound is out, but please be aware the poster admits to editing it(it's half the length!), and we can tell from his other videos he heavily evangilizes Hugh Ross's position. I recomend you watch the debate between Ross and Ham on the John Ankerberg show (it's divided over several weeks) for a slightly more in depth debate between the two. Also Ham was not expecting a debate that night as they did not tell him Ross would be there until he came to the studio, so he felt a little ambushed, I watched the pre-show unfold on his facebook page. –  2tim424 May 7 '13 at 6:35
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3 Answers 3

There is no reason to limit information about the creation week to Genesis, but...

1) There are a number of good reasons to limit information about the creation week to Scripture. For instance, philosophically, the word of God is truth, and all men are corrupt and limited, which makes the revealed word of God the only reliable source for truth.

2) There is good reason to give preference to historical narrative over image-rich, emotional songs, etc. If it is a psalm, its purpose may be to praise God, but may not be to relay historical information about the creation week in a straightforward and sequential manner. (See, for example, Psalm 6:6)

3) Whenever you interpret Scripture, it is always wise to consider the purpose of the passage in question. Genesis 1 is the only passage in Scripture whose primary purpose is clearly to provide information about the creation week.

4) There is good reason to believe that most (if not all) of the information about the creation week that appears subsequent to the first two chapters of Genesis is based on the first two chapters of Genesis.

For these reasons, Genesis can easily be regarded as the best source of information about the creation week, and is certainly the first place I would go in studying the topic.

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Short answer: We do need to look at all verses describing creation. But we need to know when creation 'the process' is being talked about and when creation as in 'the physical universe' is being talked about. I encourage you to search the scripture for the phrase "since the beginning of creation" and you will always find human observers being talked about. Besides the clear progression of Genesis ... we know that it is meant to be the historical account by the verse Genesis 2:4

"This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the LORD God made the earth and the heavens."

So at the very least, we know with certainty that the purpose of the verses in Genesis was to give the account of creation.

Long Answer: I've seen several debates between Ham and Ross, Hovind and Ross, and Several Others with Ross. If you're referring to the recent TBN debate I could see how you get that idea, they have already debated thoroughly before that though so they were each familiar with the others reasons. But just to clarify the problem is not using other passages, Ham and us all would encourage reading all passages related to creation. The problem is using other passages to try to contradict what Genesis said about creation week. The Bible is full of verses that support a young earth view. And Ken Ham would never suggest otherwise . But the point is that for the most part Ross tries to create a moving target nit picking verses that were not talking about creation week, and proving his(and yes other respected christian leaders) position that we can agree with secular 'science' about the age of the earth. As R.C. Sproul put's it, it's "Hermeneutic Gymnastics". And I would say it's an example of what Jesus said "You strain at a gnat but swallow a camel" , Or Peter "Twisting the scriptures"

Genesis is clearly written in the language of Historical account, Psalms are contemplation and praises to God, not written in a way that says "a happened, then b , then C". So to get historical information out of them is reading something into the text that it does not claim. Job has a written record of conversations that happened, but the content of those conversations where not meant to contradict what Genesis already said.

So the point is we do take the whole Bible to look at creation, but when you find something that seems to contradict and warrant a re-interpretation of what was already plainly spelled out, you need to see what the context is. Is it poetic, is it prophetic, is it just recording what men said, How much do you really have to read into the text to make it say something other than what we already know?

Ross says one thing that is a kind of psychological convincer to make it seem like he's telling the truth, but I encourage you to take it to heart anyway. "It's not enough to take the scriptures literally, we must take them consistently." Which for him includes his interpretation of the "book of nature". I encourage you don't let Ross lead you into what that means, but let the Holy Spirit guide you into understanding what is consistent.

Also there is no YEC speaker that I am aware of that denies the expanding universe. The problem is trying to cram the big bang theory into the verses speaking about God stretching out the heavens.

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This is kind of a pet topic of mine, and one thing I've learned is that what you accept as worth looking at for insight will be almost wholly dependent on what you already think. For example, I grew up realizing the importance of trusting God, and trusting that He will tell the truth is an important part of that. Because of this, I immediately allied myself with young-earth creationism when I encountered it.

For me, Genesis is really the only book that can be relied on to give any sort of accurate timeline, considering it was written as history. On the other hand, I also recognize a lot of support for young-earth creationism outside of Genesis. One prime example is in Exodus, where a 7-day creation is re-affirmed as the example the Israelits should follow.

Some big reasons why it can be important to stick to Genesis in debates is that arguments based on other books are often taken out of context, can be explained very simply, and inherently reject ideas that YEC's consider unarguable. I'll give an example of the latter: YEC's (especially Ken Ham) argue that it is impossible to argue against an atheist evolutionist because the YEC's entire point is based on the Bible, which he considers indisposable, but the atheist will reject all arguments from Scripture. In the same way, verses from non-Genesis books often have the appearance of dodging the issue or ignoring things that should be taken as granted.

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