Recently a popular political blogger sent shock waves through the conservative community when he posted a rather lengthy Facebook video explaining why he is not a young earth creationist.  Although prefacing his rant with a plea for healthy discussion, as well as an acknowledgment that this position could cost him half of his followers, Matt Walsh went on to assert that belief in a literal six-day creation was actually harmful to the Gospel message.  In the days that have passed since then, other bloggers have done a great job of pointing out his fallacious reasoning and blatant misconceptions, while a few of his followers have actually abandoned him like he predicted.  As I pondered the situation, I was struck by both the remarkable similarities and the stark differences between this man and another famous Catholic apologist . . .

The Donkey

Precisely 501 years ago this month, Martin Luther risked life and limb by posting his 95 theses on the door of the castle church in Wittenberg, Germany.  Pleading for biblical discussion on the practice of indulgences, Luther boldly asserted that encouraging people to purchase forgiveness of sin was detrimental to the Gospel.  His claims sent shock waves throughout Christendom and very nearly cost the monk his life.  Today, we honor Luther for his courage, even celebrating his day of defiance as “Reformation Day.”

When called upon to defend his beliefs, Martin Luther traveled to the University of Leipzig, where he faced the infamous Johann Eck, a master of debate.  During the course of their disputation, Eck continually appealed to the traditions of the church fathers, while Luther kept pointing back to Scripture.  Finally, in exasperation, Eck demanded whether Luther thought himself to be the only person in one thousand years of Christendom to have the truth. Trembling, the courageous monk replied,

“Whether I am the only one right in one thousand years or ten,
I stand on the Scriptures alone.
And surely, even if a donkey speaks the truth,
It is still the truth.”

A donkey? Was Luther really comparing himself to the biblical account of Balaam and his talking donkey?

Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey,
and she said to Balaam,
“What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?”
Numbers 22:28

I don’t know whether Matt Walsh would accept Balaam’s account as literal.  However, it seems pretty clear that, by the command of God, even donkeys speak the truth sometimes.

What is Truth?

The Truth does not need Matt Walsh, Martin Luther, or anyone else to assent.  It is not threatened by dissent.  Truth is Truth.  And only God has complete Truth. (John 14:6) 

Watching the video by Matt Walsh was definitely troubling.  This is a man who seems solid on so many topics.   Through his courageous convictions on many conservative positions, he has gained traction and amassed an impressive following on social media.  But he is, after all, only human.  And humans are prone to error.

Then the Lord met Balaam, and put a word in his mouth…
“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent.
Has He said, and will He not do?
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
—Numbers 24:16-19

As Christians we should accept truth because it is truth and not because any man, monk, or minister claims it to be so.  But does that mean that we must reject science?  Are we blindly clinging to our positions, as Walsh claims, and rejecting practically every field of scientific study?

Ironically, not only are there mountains of evidence supporting a young earth position, and many scientists who hold to a literal, six-day creation, but almost every field of science was started by someone who embraced the biblical account.  Our friends at CMI have compiled an impressive list of these well-credentialed scientists, if Matt would be willing to do some research on the subject!

We have a Book for that!

From one donkey to another, I would personally love to ask Mr. Walsh just one question: “In your video, you accuse “young-earthers” of accepting the words of Ken Ham over the intellect of Albert Einstein.  Do you believe the intellect of Einstein over the Words of God?”

Like Martin Luther, I stand on the Scriptures alone.  And as Ken Ham would be the first to say, we don’t need to listen to his words because, “we have a book for that!”

For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea,
and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day.
Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
—Exodus 20:11