Was Jesus A YEC? BioLogos Says No, CMI Refutes Them

This interesting article from CMI attempts to refute a writing of @TedDavis…I thought they did a very good job.
Anyhow, I would be interested in hearing all of your thoughts on this article…

[Spooky ghost moderator inserts link to original article: https://biologos.org/blogs/ted-davis-reading-the-book-of-nature/does-modern-science-make-jesus-a-liar :ghost:]
[Thanks Brad…

I can only say it’s a masterpiece of eisegesis and pedantry. It reminds me a bit of something my brother once said to me about lawsuits: they involve lawyers spending vast amounts of time at their clients’ expense arguing in court about the precise meaning of the word “the.” Seriously, these people are straining at gnats and swallowing camels.

I couldn’t help having a chuckle at this little gem:

Regarding Mark 10:6, Davis says the context is merely about marriage, and therefore has no relevance to chronology. “The Pharisee’s question had nothing to do with the age of the earth, and neither did Jesus’ answer,” he insists. However, just because Jesus was not focused on the age of the earth does not mean His words have no bearing on the subject.

If that is true of Mark 10:6, then it must also be true of 2 Peter 3:8 and Psalm 90:4.


While they do present some aspects of their perspective,

The argument generally boils down to this:

Plain reading and our version of infallibility are sacrosanct.

Biologos disputes what cannot be disputed.

Biologos are teaching heretical beliefs

Slippery slope

Historical grammatical when we want

If not “true” about science, then “not true” about all things


Followed by this wonderful tidbit in the comments section, with a reply from the author

Bob J., Canada, 25 January 2018
Amen - Matthew 12:34-37 tells us that the words we speak come from our heart, and they will either justify us or condemn us. BioLogos in my estimation is what our Lord calls “wolves in sheep’s clothing!” Matthew 7:15. Also He tells us in Matthew 7:21-23 that not everyone who calls Him Lord will enter heaven but those who do God’s will. Also we will know them by their fruits. The fruits brought forth by BioLogos betrays them and proves them to be a contradiction of their claim to be followers of Christ! How can one claim to be a follower of the Living Word, while at the same time destroying the written word? This is a contradiction! Paul warns about these people as well in Acts 20:28-31. It seems today that all one has to do is “say” he’s a Christian and then go on and destroy God’s word and we are supposed to give them room to proclaim their false teaching! BioLogos should give heed to James 3:1 teachers will receive a stricter judgment! This article was a good refutation of their false teachings and double talk! Thanks - God Bless You - In Christ - Bob J.

Keaton Halley responds
I largely agree with this sentiment but do want to be careful not to tar all theistic evolutionists with the same brush. See what we’ve written before about whether it’s possible to believe in evolution and yet be a genuine born-again Christian."

I personally understand and have been in the place where the plain reading drives and limits all possible understandings and fruit of the Scriptures. Yet there are large inconsistencies that cannot be reconciled and even such depth of meaning, symbols, and many other facets that are lost in view. I am still working on figuring this perspective out but I think most Christian perspectives are closer to the early 1900s when our view of Newtonian physics as truth was starting to crumble.


There is so much that could be said here.

It seems that so much of their argument is based on the relative “shortness” of creation in the literal YEC view, compared to the vastly longer creation timescale of mainstream science. But the words “young” and “recent” are only meaningful in a context where it is being compared to a much longer view. Furthermore, they are using the relative brevity of the creation week to get around the fact that humans are not created at the actual beginning of creation, but several days later. Basically, they are saying, “sure, humans are created at the end of the creation week, but compared to billions of years, it’s still more or less in the beginning.” But again, it all depends on the origins debate looking the way it does now. Imagine this debate happening in the time of Augustine. Wouldn’t Augustine’s view of an instantaneous creation actually have more “biblical” merit, according to the exact arguments they are using?

One more thing: I think it’s telling that they don’t even hyperlink Ted’s piece directly at all. You have to find it in the footnote, and even there, it’s just a URL, not even a hyperlink. The word “BioLogos” hyperlinks to a critique of us, not even to our homepage.


This is something I’ve noticed in YEC articles all over the place. It seems that when it comes to citing their sources, half the time they throw every rule of usability and user-friendliness out of the window.

And then they complain about how they kept getting accused of quote mining. If they were really serious about refuting such a charge, they would go out of their way to make it easy for their readers to get to their sources with a single click, direct from the body of the text.


Hey @BradKramer
Would you mind posting a link to Dr. Davis’s writing on this thread for the gratification of all (and me specifically)?


1 Like

Sure, I put it in the OP.

1 Like

Amusingly enlightening! Thanks!

1 Like

I think this is a great point. To CMI, when Jesus says “in the beginning male and female”, this must be a statement about the chronology of natural history, even though it’s not even the main focus of that passage (at all). Yet, when Jesus clearly states the mustard seed is the smallest one on earth, suddenly they say, “well, Jesus didn’t really mean that, he was just saying that a certain type of seed is the smallest one in a certain geographic area.” I have a hard time believing that modern botany has nothing at all to do with that interpretation. Man’s Word over God’s Word?


I’ve noticed that too. It would seem they don’t trust their audience to weigh actual evidence and come to a conclusion, but that they must simply receive a filtered, “acceptable” version through them – in other words, it certainly wouldn’t lead me to believe that I was viewed very highly or competently as a reader.

1 Like

I do not believe that Jesus was for the Young Earth Creationist view. John 1 says he was the Son of God, i.e., the Creator; therefore, I believe he would know.

Edward Miller

1 Like

Really? I mean, really?

Whenever I read those verses, I think about Einstein’s theory of general relativity.

1 Like

Nice to meet you, Jonathan, even if it’s only electronically. I see your initials are J. E. S., awfully close to Jonathan Sarfati’s J. D. S. But, I don’t honestly think he’s paying us a visit in disguise! Just a coincidence that seems funny to me.

My thoughts are legion, but mostly I would just repeat what I said in the column. However, let me make sure that you have a chance to see this related piece: https://biologos.org/blogs/ted-davis-reading-the-book-of-nature/did-john-calvin-make-god-a-liar

To the best of my knowledge, neither CMI nor any other YEC organization has responded to that one–and they really need to respond to it, in tandem with the column they did respond to. Why? B/c they say these three things:

(1) “[Davis] not only fails to interpret Scripture properly, but he actually thinks that the text—the God-breathed text (2 Timothy 3:16)—contains errors.” This isn’t exactly what I said, but that’s their interpretation and I’ll leave it as is for my purposes here.

(2) “Is Davis saying that Jesus said something here that is untrue? If so, this is disastrous. If Jesus is using popular expressions that are not completely true, what other parts of Scripture might fall into this category?” Again, this isn’t exactly what I said; it’s their version of it.

Here’s what I actually said: Jesus “was just using a popular expression whose literal sense is not scientifically accurate.” They quote this, but then they spin it to say something subtly, but crucially, different.

(3) They diss BL and implicitly me as well, by casting scorn on interpreting certain biblical statements as containing “erroneous “accommodations” to pre-scientific cultures.”

SO: If (based on CMI’s version of my ideas) I said something “disastrous” and if we must not appeal to the principle of accommodation in certain instances, THEN, what does CMI think of John Calvin? I treated that statement of Jesus in EXACTLY the same way in which Calvin treated David’s reference to snake charming in Psalm 58.

I’d love to talk more about this, Jonathan, and (again) I do thank you for drawing that column to our attention. However, I’m not inclined to say more about this unless/until CMI either withdraws the column as an ill-advised assessment, or else states clearly and unambiguously that John Calvin’s commentaries on Genesis and Psalms say some “disastrous” things. Whatever boat I’m sitting in, I’m sharing a bench with the greatest theologian of the 16th century. That doesn’t make us both right, but CMI apparently thinks we’re both dangerously wrong.


It is nice to meet you as well, @TedDavis, if (as you said) only electronically.

First of all, I would like to thank you for your gracious response, and I will try to read your other columns sometime in the future…

If by this you mean Calvin, I am afraid that I must disagree with you there! (I am a fan of Luther, myself). :wink:

Anyhow, have a blessed day!


This topic was automatically closed 6 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

This is a place for gracious dialogue about science and faith. Please read our FAQ/Guidelines before posting.