You are hereWhy Doesn’t Answers in Genesis Tell You the Truth?

Why Doesn’t Answers in Genesis Tell You the Truth?

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By MiddleKnowledge - Posted on 26 February 2009

by Timothy P. Martin
About a month ago I wrote a brief article regarding a sermon Charles Haddon Spurgeon preached on July 17, 1855. What makes this sermon notable is that Spurgeon made his view of creation clear. He believed planet Earth is millions of years old. Here is the passage on creation from the sermon titled “The Power of the Holy Ghost”:About a month ago I wrote a brief article regarding a sermon Charles Haddon Spurgeon preached on July 17, 1855. What makes this sermon notable is that Spurgeon made his view of creation clear. He believed planet Earth is millions of years old. Here is the passage on creation from the sermon titled “The Power of the Holy Ghost”:

“In the 2d verse of the first chapter of Genesis, we read, ‘And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.’ We know not how remote the period of the creation of this globe may be—certainly many millions of years before the time of Adam. Our planet has passed through various stages of existence, and different kinds of creatures have lived on its surface, all of which have been fashioned by God. But before that era came, wherein man should be its principal tenant and monarch, the Creator gave up the world to confusion.”

-- Charles Haddon Spurgeon. Sermon delivered on Sunday, June 17, 1855 at New Park Street Chapel.

The timing is interesting. Note the date. This sermon was delivered some four years before Darwin published his Origin of Species in 1859. Yet Spurgeon, universally acclaimed as a conservative, Bible-believing preacher was already preaching some form of old-earth creationism from his pulpit at New Park Street Chapel.

My initial article caught the attention of someone else who was shocked about Spurgeon’s statement. He wrote his own article on Spurgeon’s sermon, expanding on what I had said earlier. My point was that Spurgeon would have been characterized as a “liberal evolutionist” if young-earth creationist organizations were consistent in their criticism of old-earth creationists. According to them, Bible teachers and preachers who accept an ancient universe are guilty of compromising with modern science and atheistic Darwinism.

Imagine my surprise when I noticed that Answers in Genesis recently began putting Spurgeon’s sermons on their website! They called their program, which began on January 29, 2009, “Charles Spurgeon - Reloaded.” AiG says it was designed so that the “…version you read adheres as closely as possible to the original intent—but updated so that the sermons can be enjoyed for years to come.” I thought to myself, “Hmmm…This should be interesting...”

I curiously waited for “The Power of the Holy Ghost” to show up on the AiG website. It arrived right on schedule, but guess what I found when I read the sermon? Compare the original with AiG’s “updated” version to see the difference for yourself.

Here is the original again:

“In the 2d verse of the first chapter of Genesis, we read, "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." We know not how remote the period of the creation of this globe may be—certainly many millions of years before the time of Adam. Our planet has passed through various stages of existence, and different kinds of creatures have lived on its surface, all of which have been fashioned by God. But before that era came, wherein man should be its principal tenant and monarch, the Creator gave up the world to confusion.” Full text of original edition is available online here.

Here is Aig’s “updated” version of the same passage:

“In Ge 1:2, we read, ‘And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.’ Our planet has passed through various stages in creation, and different kinds of creatures have lived on its surface, all of which have been fashioned by God. But before that era came, when man should be its principal tenant and monarch, the Creator initially created the world as a chaotic mass on the first day of creation.” Full text of AiG’s “updated” edition is available online here.

Did you catch what is missing? This sentence was entirely removed:

“We know not how remote the period of the creation of this globe may be—certainly many millions of years before the time of Adam.”

Poof! Gone. Like it never existed.

Spurgeon’s sermon has been sanitized for the AiG audience. Apparently, the reality of Spurgeon as an old-earth creationist is too much for AiG to allow the viewing public to know about. They even rewrote a portion at the end to change Spurgeon’s statement that “the Creator gave up the world to confusion” to make it appear that Spurgeon merely that “the Creator initially created the world as a chaotic mass on the first day of creation.” And presto! The editors turned Spurgeon into a young-earth creationist, even though he said no such thing.

This handy-dandy doctored version of Spurgeon’s sermon expunges anything young-earth advocates might find offensive. But it also reveals something about AiG. They are willing to literally rewrite history when it serves their own agenda.

I guess I shouldn’t be all that surprised about AiG’s dishonesty. People have been complaining about shenanigans like this from AiG for years. But it does raise a question in my mind. If they are willing to brazenly misrepresent Spurgeon’s views, even to the point of deleting “sensitive” parts and re-writing Spurgeon’s words to make it appear he preached nothing but young-earth creationism, then what else might AiG be lying about? I mean, if they are willing to do this with something as widely available in public as Spurgeon sermons, are they trustworthy in more obscure and technical matters such as scientific research? Would they fudge on those details if they didn’t line up with their young-earth doctrine?

Why doesn’t Answers in Genesis tell you the truth?

Tim Martin

www.BeyondCreationScience.com

Spartan-117's picture

I see the PP crowd is still at it. Slamming anyone if they don't agree with the anti-biblical views of Tim and his Beyond Creation Science.

I've been gone a long time from this site. I see it hasn't changed.

I'll give it another year and see what happens.

mazuur's picture

You don't have a problem with AiG altering Spurgeon's words to make him support something he does not? Not to mention Spurgeon's OEC position has nothing to do with Tim's position. Tim's position (CC) isn't even in anything that was presented above.

And talk about slamming those who hold a different view, how about your statement "the anti-biblical views of Tim and his Beyond Creation Science."

Anti-biblical or anti-Spartan-117's interpretation?????

-Rich

-Rich

Ed's picture

see you next year!

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

Virgil's picture

Guys - I removed an entire thread under this article which was completely unrelated to Tim's points and the AiG controversy, including all the other replies which contributed to inflaming the conversation.

I thought we were at the point where we could have respectful disagreements without flame-baiting but apparently I was wrong.

Also, don't blame Jason for this - he may have started it, but some of the replies to him were cans of gasoline thrown on the fire.

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Now Mark Looy no longer wants to speak in public:

http://johnscorner.blogspot.com/2009/03/sinner.html

Virgil's picture

This is typical response from AiG - Brandon Vallorani did the same thing when he was working for them and never really responded to my open letter, although he was gracious enough to at least give us an update about what happened to the fired preterits from AiG. They posture is always attack, attack, attack.

The bottom line is this: Answers in Genesis is reaping what they have been sewing for many years, namely hate, division and judgmentalism. They have been going around calling anyone and everyone disagreeing with them on scientific grounds "heretics." Heck, they have created an environment where if one suggests a local flood, you are branded a "heretic." How can that be? How can an opinion regarding a biblical text about the flood be a heresy?

flannery0's picture

"How can an opinion regarding a biblical text about the flood be a heresy?"

Because it is completely tied to their view of the "fall" and the physcial/future nature of the redemption of "creation."

They have to have a global flood to explain the fossil record, because without their so-called "flood geology" the record shows biological death before Adam's fall. And the fact that there was death before the fall contradicts their physical view of the "curse" which determines their physical and future view of redemption. That is why they maintain that any "old earth" view undermines "the gospel." THEIR "gospel," which maintains that for 2000 years and counting, the cross remains ineffectual.

It is ever so sad....

mazuur's picture

That was a very thorough and succinct summary. And it only took you four sentences. WOW. I am going to save your summary for future use.

Thanks!

-Rich

Virgil's picture

Yes yes...see my reply to Rich below. :)

mazuur's picture

"How can that be? How can an opinion regarding a biblical text about the flood be a heresy?"

Well, because the dispys hermeneutic is the right one, and they contain the ability to interpret the Scriptures without error. Did you not know that?

-Rich

-Rich

Virgil's picture

Yes but they (Answers in Genesis) deny being dispensational, which blows my mind to begin with. They are careful not to include anything "dispy" in their faith statement though, which is smart, plus that's how they get their tentacles into all the denominations out there, by avoiding specific eschatological statement and just maintaining a "future physical return of Christ."

Funny thing is that they leave dispensational lingo out of their statement of faith but include other ridiculous things like eternal conscious punishment, global flood, premarital sex, etc...all things which have nothing to do withthe message of the Gospel.

mazuur's picture

Virgil,

You know, I never really dug into their faith statements etc., to notice they purposely leave out the dispy lingo while at the same time pushing all their beliefs and hermeneutic. I guess I never really spent that much time at their site. Being an Engineer, and having some exposure to the sciences, I have always had trouble with some of the conclusions their "science" came to. Not to mention the Bible just does not support their universal presentation of things like the flood.

That is where Tim and JL's book excels. It obliterates their entire understanding. While, there are some things I disagree with in their book, and think Preterism still has further work in working out Genesis, one thing that can't be denied is YEC is a joke.

-Rich

P.S. I just renewed by plates for my car. I payed the extra money and got a custom plate that reads, "AD70 OEC". :)

-Rich

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Rich,

Ahhh... but the real question is whether or not your car is as nice as this one (bottom of page):

http://beyondcreationscience.com/index.php?pr=PE_TruthVoice_2008

You guys crack me up...

Tim Martin
www.BeyondCreationScience.com

Virgil's picture

Oh no...Mick Denen has some competition now!!

MiddleKnowledge's picture
MiddleKnowledge's picture
MEL41042's picture

It's a shame that Christians will use a public arena like the worldwide web to label other Christians/ministries as being "dishonest" and for "lying" without first contacting those persons (or ministry) to get its perspective -- and thus hear all sides before coming to a conclusion (per Proverbs 18:13), and certainly before going public. Such "gotcha police" in the Christian world are not being good police detectives at all when they don't make inquiries and thus potentially ignore evidence, rather than practicing good common sense (moreover, following the instruction of Proverbs 18). Furthermore, making this issue public and hurling false accusations for all the world to see is hardly manifesting the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5) and is ultimately talebearing.

Quite simply, a mistake was made in posting the devotional/sermon of Spurgeon to our website, where an editor's note was inadvertently missing. That note has now been re-inserted. A staff member in our web dept. informed us that "the note dropped off the file we received [from a person in Canada who supplied us with the devotional/sermon]. The man who supplied it says he put it in, but I checked the file he sent and it wasn't on it, but I got it to be resent."

The original editor's note is now in position at the end of the sermon/devotional: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2009/02/26/power-of-holy-ghost

Please be aware that the note was NOT added because we were "caught" at something. It was composed for the web before posting.

Please, if someone has a gripe about someone or a ministry, do the Proverbs 18 thing (as did an enquirer in Georgia about this matter). Indeed, there can be another explanation, which, if discovered, would prevent false charges from being made about a ministry's actions and integrity.-- Mark Looy, CCO, Answers in Genesis

Starlight's picture

Mark,

You really shouldn’t start a correction off by blaming others. Your duty to your AIG site should be to right fully the error of misrepresentation and accept full responsibility for that error which by the way still is not being corrected to the level needed.

You simply invite more disdain to your organization by the kind of inadequate response you posted above. By AIG’s circling the wagons to a certain extent you are further demonstrating a non Christian vanity that is quite unhelpful to your long term reputation.

You guys need step back and quit digging yourselves in deeper if you want to salvage what reputation and good will you have established. The improper handling of difficult issues has often been the start downward for many a Christian organization that lets pride overrule humility.

Norm

Kyle Peterson's picture

Something tells me that if such issues were brought privately before AIG they would be brushed aside. Scripture calls us to be accountable to eachother as well; so when something starts smelling fishy it's important to shine a light on it so it may be corrected and integrity restored. My suggestion to AIG? Immediately restore Spurgeon's quote verbatim so there are no further misunderstandings.

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Mark,

Thank you for your explanation.

I will point out that the deception and misrepresentation in that article on AiG's site is still ongoing.

Here is how AiG renders Spurgeon's sermon:

"Our planet has passed through various stages in creation."

Here is the original from Spurgeon:

"Our planet has passed through various stages of existence, and different kinds of creatures have lived on its surface, all of which have been fashioned by God."

Can you see how the substance of Spurgeon's statement has been changed in the sermon? Are you willing to correct this error in the body of the text?

Here is another revision that changes the meaning of Spurgeon's words.

AiG's rendering of the sermon:

"...the Creator initially created the world as a chaotic mass on the first day of creation."

Spurgeon's actual statement in the sermon:

"...the Creator gave up the world to confusion."

Can you see how the substance of Spurgeon's statement has been changed in the sermon? Are you willing to correct this error in the body of the text?

Mark,

I will say it plainly. You folks at AiG are not being honest with your readers, even with the addition of the "missing" note.

You and I both know that not every reader will see the note at the bottom of the article. Even fewer will stop to consider, given the note, that the sermon has been purposely sanitized.

Add on to that the fact that people will be sending citations from this doctored edition of Spurgeon's sermon as evidence that Spurgeon, according to his own words, was a young-earth creationist!

That reality means AiG not only continues to engage in deception and dishonesty with this article, but actually facilitates the spread of false information around the web. Your presentation will foster more deception and lies the way it stands now.

Why doesn't Answers in Genesis just present the honest truth?

Tim Martin
www.BeyondCreationScience.com

Virgil's picture

Mark, thanks for acknowledging the error.

Perhaps you guys could restore the text from Spurgeon in its entirety in order to maintain academic integrity? Removing a paragraph from the middle of the text, and sanitizing it into a footnote does not lend credibility to AiG's position, in fact it casts doubts on your motives and integrity.

Please, for everyone's sake remove the footnote and restore the text back into the body of the sermon where it belongs. Spurgeon was not a heretic for his views on the age of the earth; he simply had another opinion, unless you are suggesting that he would be a "heretic" in the eyes of Answers in Genesis today. Is that what you are saying?

mazuur's picture

Oh, that is classic. Your behavior gets exposed and it's everyone else who is acting in an ungodly manner. Classic blame shifting. Adam would be proud.

So, how is it that you don't correct the editing of the original sent to you and put the statement back into the sermon where it belongs? It is clear they acted in deception by editing the statement out and putting it down in some footnote where they knew it would go unnoticed. Seems to me since you are willing to continue their deception makes you just as guilt. To post a censored document willingly does nothing but make you a willful partner.

If you want to show some real integrity put the statement back up into the sermon where it belongs.

-Rich

JL's picture

Mark,

Why would AiG change the meaning of the text of Spurgeon's sermon in the first place?

Why would you folks put such a thing in a footnote in the first place?

Why not just quote Spurgeon accurately and place a footnote below saying you disagree?

People will be quoting that sermon as proof that Spurgeon was a young-earth creationist.

You have made a career of calling those who hold Spurgeon's view "compromisers." Why are you even posting the work of a "brilliant" compromiser?

By the way, the Georgia woman inquired because of my posting elsewhere. I'm actually surprised she got a response. I've sent dozens of questions to YEC organizations over the years, including AiG, and have never gotten a response. Would you care to make it the first time?

JL Vaughn

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

Missina's picture

We may be quick to jump on something like this, but a lot of it comes from our shock that the text was removed in the first place. Leaving in the opinion of Spurgeon with an editor's note about that would not tear down the ministry of AiG. But instead, what we get is a removal of the opinion, and then an explanation as to why it was removed. How is that giving due honour to a well respected man in the Christian community when updating his wonderful sermons for us to read?

Ed's picture

Yes Mark, and we'll expect AiG to do the same when reporting on what old earth creationist say. We know of course that AiG and those who support you ALWAYS hear both sides of an issue before going public about such issues as the age of the earth, the veracity of scripture, how Christian someone is for not believing in young earth creationism, etc.

This is indeed the pot calling the kettle black.

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

MiddleKnowledge's picture

What a difference a day makes!

Apparently, AiG has just inserted a note to the portion of Spurgeon's sermon in question.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2009/02/26/power-of-holy-ghost

Here is the addition that just showed up this morning:

--------------

(a) [We do not know how remote the period of the creation of this globe may be—certainly many millions of years before the time of Adam. Our planet has passed through various stages of existence, and different kinds of creatures have lived on its surface, all of which have been fashioned by God. But before that era came, when man should be its principal tenant and monarch, the Creator gave up the world to confusion. He allowed the inward fires to burst up from beneath and melt all the solid matter, so that all kinds of substances were commingled in one vast mass of disorder; the only name you could give to the world then was, that it was a chaotic mass of matter; what it should be, you could not guess or define.] Bracketed text removed from the sermon. As brilliant as Spurgeon was, even he did not understand the age issue. –Editor
**Please also note that this footnote was intended to be in the original posting, but was lost somehow in the transition of these files for web publication. Thanks to our astute readers for finding and reporting this error.

-------------

At least now they tell you that they have edited Spurgeon's teaching on creation.

Nice!

Tim Martin
www.BeyondCreationScience.com

markedward's picture

First off, it's deceitful enough for them to remove the sentence. But then to actually have the nerve to claim that it was "lost somehow in the transition of these files for web publication" is absolutely unbelievable.

The one sentence in the entire sermon that they disagree with was "lost somehow" is just too convenient to be true.

(P.S. - Tim, just in case you were serious about catching a screenshot of the webpage, I did so, and linked to it in a reply to the initial comments on the article.)

mazuur's picture

The fact that they don't put it back into the sermon text, shows their continued motive to deceive. These are Christians???

Also, it is also clear to me they are flat out lying if they expect anyone to actually believe that the footnoted material "was intended to be in the original posting, but was lost somehow in the transition of these files for web publication".

First, if you realize it is suppose to be in the sermon, why don't you put it back in?

Second, how is that possible? The text would have been copied and pasted. If it were a sentence on the very bottom or very beginning I could buy it was somehow just missed in the selection process when it was copied, but it isn't.

Third, it just so happens that the one statement in the whole sermon that goes against everything they stand for was the one and only part mistakenly "lost" in the transition??? Give me a break!

Sorry, but this is just pure, unadulterated, deceitful behavior. If I wasn't seeing this happen right before my eyes, one would have a hard time believing it was actually happening.

-Rich

-Rich

Virgil's picture

This is still messed up. So they remove a critical piece of the sermon, then they get called on it and instead of fixing it they add the missing piece as a footnote?? How can AiG have any credibility left after this?

Starlight's picture

Tim,

I’m sorry but editing a piece out like that in the first place and presenting it as his sermon just burns me up. I don’t care how they try to dig themselves out, this episode should be used time and time again to show their deceitfulness and untrustworthiness.

Why don’t they do the proper thing and put the deleted portion back into the sermon and highlight it with a footnote stating their difference instead.

Norm

Missina's picture

Well that's what I'm wondering too. Any reputable source would have left the text in the first place, and put a foot note saying something along the lines of, "back then this might have been what he believed, but he didn't have all the information and resources we do now." The fact that they just flat out deleted it, even IF they intended to put something at the bottom noting its deletion, makes absolutely no sense.

After all the work they have done, you'd think they could credit their audience to be smart enough to use critical thinking skills and not depart from young earth thinking just because of one sentence in an old sermon. What are they so afraid of??

MiddleKnowledge's picture

That's OK, Norm.

Here's how I put it on the BCS website:

http://www.beyondcreationscience.com/index.php?pr=Why_Doesnt_Answers_in_...

"At least now they tell you that they have edited Spurgeon's teaching on creation. You see, Spurgeon was 'brilliant,' but AiG is even smarter!

--wink-- --wink--"

Tim Martin
www.BeyondCreationScience.com

Virgil's picture

Yes, he is "brilliant" only as long as he is a young earth creationist.

MiddleKnowledge's picture

More in-depth analysis by John Holzmann from Sonlight Curriculum for Homeschoolers:

http://johnscorner.blogspot.com/2009/02/honesty-its-such-lonely-word.html

Tim Martin
www.BeyondCreationScience.com

KingNeb's picture

others have done the same thing to Spurgeon regarding his calvinism...publisher even.

sad stuff.

thereignofchrist.com

Life14all's picture

When I read your article Tim I thought of that line from "A Few Good Men," from Jack Nickelson,

"You can't handle the truth"

Like a gifted screenwriter, it seems AiG can't handle the truth of history so they re-write the script to please thier audience.

They just don't seem to like the script you're trying to write from the actual evidence of history:-)

Good detective work Tim!!!

PreteristArtist

Jer's picture

Wow, it's the New Living Translation of Spurgeon.

Perhaps AiG should consider a new acronym:

FAiG - Fabricating Answers in Genesis

DAiG - Deleting Answers in Genesis

MAiG - Marketable Answers in Genesis

Virgil's picture

This is scandalous! Someone needs to actually call them and ask what's up with this!

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Virgil,

It's like the Orwellian memory hole. Just quietly change the history and then keep repeating over and over. Before long...

Now we get to see if AiG goes back and re-inserts the right citation now that someone caught them red-handed, or if they just go on like nothing at all happened.

Get a screen-shot of that page!

Tim Martin
www.BeyondCreationScience.com

Writerx's picture

What are you talking about? Eurasia has always been at war with East Asia.

Spurgeon has always been a proponent of young earth creationism...

-A.J.

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