Matt Walsh's Five Bible-Based Arguments Against Young-Earth Creationism
On Thursday, popular conservative Christian blogger Matt Walsh took to Facebook Live to explain why he does not believe in young-Earth creationism (YEC), the idea that God made the universe and the Earth in 6 24-hour days. Walsh explained why the Bible, and Genesis specifically, does not necessarily teach YEC and why Christians should reject this view in favor of more scientifically grounded alternatives.
Before arguing against YEC, Walsh admitted that many good Christians believe in a young Earth, and he suggested that "there's no reason" for this debate to "be a source of division within Christians." That said, he suggested that the young-Earth reading of Genesis is based on a shaky foundation and should be rejected.
1. Genre and taking the Bible "literally."
Walsh addressed the strongest argument for a young Earth head-on. If a young-Earth creationist asks, "Do you take the whole Bible literally?" Walsh would respond, "I always find that to be a confusing question."
"As for literalism, nobody take the whole Bible literally," the blogger argued. "We all agree that there are parts of the Bible that cannot be taken literally."
He referenced Jesus' parables, in which He told stories in order to make key points. Turning to Matthew 16:18-19, Walsh quipped, "Is Peter an actual rock? No, he's not."
"Even in the Old Testament, there's agreement that some of it is non-literal," he suggested. The figurative language in Psalms and Song of Solomon particularly sticks out. Walsh quoted Song of Solomon 6:8, "Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death." This is not an encouragement for lovers to rip open their chests and put a seal on their hearts — "we're not talking about self-mutilation, here."
When interpreting the Bible, Christians "first have to determine what genre each of the books belong to, because they don't all belong to the same genre. The Bible contains what we might call non-literal genres. It also contains literal genres, such as the gospels."
"What genre is Genesis? Is it meant to be read, is it a science textbook?" Walsh asked. "Is it meant to be read as a precise scientific text of the origins of the universe?"
"A historian will certainly consult the gospels," because they are firsthand accounts of the life of Jesus. But "Genesis is not a cosmological resource, it is a theological resource."
Walsh argued that Genesis "is a theological work, not a scientific one. Which is not to say that it is false. It is true, but you have to know how to read it."
2. The word "day."
If Christians should take into account the genre of different books of the Bible when interpreting them, why do young-Earth creationists insist that "day" ("yom" in Hebrew can also mean "age," as "day" can in English) be understood as a 24-hour period in Genesis 1? Walsh argued that there is excellent reason to doubt this interpretation.