Why Doesn't Answers in Genesis Tell You the Truth?
 
February 26, 2009 
 
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 said 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


  Click here for more in-depth analysis by John Holzmann. 


Update: February 27, 2009

What a difference a day makes!

Apparently, AiG has just inserted a note to the portion of Spurgeon's sermon in question titled "The Power of the Holy Ghost."

Here is the addition that just showed up this morning:

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(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.

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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--

Discussion, including official word from AiG, continues here

John Holzmann responds to Mark Looy of AiG

Another Followup by John Holzmann

You be the judge: final thoughts by John Holzmann

Video: C.H. Spurgeon calls Answers in Genesis to Repentance

 


 
Are you curious about the origin and development of modern young-earth creationism?
 

 

 

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