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Dispensationalism & Young Earth Creationism


Bruce Waltke recently “resigned” (just like Helen Thomas “retired”?) over the publicity received from a youtube video when he promoted billions of years of evolution to a church group where he was lecturing. Though a teacher at a Christian university, and an author and speaker popular amongst Bible believers, Waltke has rejected the historical Creation account of Genesis 1-2. This has reminded me that I wanted to post my position on Young Earth creation, especially in light of some of the dispensational modules we have here at


The Hebrew text of the Bible teaches a literal six day creation that took place about 6,000 years ago. It isn’t language that causes folks to reject creationism: it is philosophy.


When Darwin’s book “Origin of The Species” exploded onto the scene in 1859, the unbelieving world of science was just waiting for this kind of popular expression of what it had referred to as “natural selection” and “survival of the fittest.” It then applied uniformitarianism (“the process of the present is the key to the past”) to the hypotheses of Darwin, and any type of theism was thrown out the door. Evolution was god, and it was embraced by “the world system (kosmos).”


For the hundred years following “Origin,” Christians were left scrambling with very little “science” on their side. Two main theories were proposed in order to bridge the Bible into “modern science”: The Gap Theory, and Theistic Evolution. Theistic Evolution seemed completely out of the question for the growing fundamental movement of the early 1900's, so - with what they thought was no other scientific option - many conservatives embraced “The Gap Theory.”


[DEFINITION: The Gap Theory states that there are millions/billions of years of earth history (evolution) that exist in a gap between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. Prophetic texts from Jeremiah & Ezekiel are primarily used to explain this teaching.]


Good men like dispensational king Clarence Larkin worked modern science (and therefore, billions of years) into his understanding of dispensationalism. He worked with the best he had in the day he lived. It is a shame, though, he didn’t do a better job of expounding The Word.


Nearly one hundred years after “Origin,” Henry Morris released a book that launched a renewed interest and understanding of The Creation. His book “The Genesis Flood”, released in 1961, provided the intellectual firepower to begin a new movement called “Creationsim.” To use Ken Ham’s phrase, it is a defense of the Bible “...from the very first verse.”


Men like Henry Morris & Ken Ham have shown us that the scientific evidence for a Young Earth creation tremendously outweighs any credible evidence for evolution and m(b)illions of years. The Bible has always taught creation in 6 days about six thousand years ago; but for a period of about 100 years (1859-1961), some conservatives wavered on that doctrine. That time period exactly coincides with the documentation of dispensationalism.


Modern day dispensationalists (at least of the fundamentalist perspective) have broadly rejected the gap theory. The Gap Theory is not necessary to teach and grasp dispensationalism, nor has it ever been necessary.


Here is a modern example of a dispensational chart without the Gap Theory.


See also Charles Ryrie’s book “Dispensationalism Today.”


Now let’s add to the mix copyright. Anything copyrighted prior to 1923 is now public domain; but much of what was copyrighted in 1923 and after is still under copyright (and therefore cannot be distributed). And everything copyrighted after 1963 will be in copyright for a very long time. That means that most of what can be distributed as an eS resource was written prior to Henry Morris’ “Genesis Record” and the rebirth of the modern Creation movement.


The dispensational writers of the older era (prior to Henry Morris) are great on dispensationalism after Adam and Eve; however, their understanding of Genesis 1-2 is sadly somewhat off. Their works are listed here for their tremendous contribution to the study of dispensationalism, and not because of their teachings on Genesis.




Check out our dispensational modules here at You’ll also want to check out any works by Henry Morris - they’re quite excellent.


I strongly recommend Answers In Genesis and The Institute for Creation Research.


Added 7/2/2010 is an excellent “young earth” module by Dr. Paul D. Ackerman called “It’s A Young Earth After All.” Check out the “Doctrinal Theology” page “Apologetics” for the download. (Other creationist modules will be added here, too, as they come available.)

NEW!! Added 11/26/2010 is another creationist module by William A. Williams - “The Evolution of Man Scientifically Disproved.” While not a Young Earth creationist per se, his arguments decimate evolution.