The earth’s age
In your article announcing the “July 8-10 Mequon conference to defend creationism,” on Page 3 of the May Reporter, you reference something that Dr. Joel Heck stated, specifically that “astronomy holds many clues that support the LCMS perspective of the earth being several thousand years old instead of millions of years old.”
The problem is that the LCMS does not have a position on the age of the earth; so this statement is in error and should have been corrected in the editorial process.
No age of the earth is mandated by the “Brief Statement,” and this fact is recognized in an FAQ available on the LCMS website where it is stated quite clearly, “The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod does not have an official position on the precise ‘age of the earth,’ since the Bible itself does not tell us how old the earth is.”
Rev. Dr. Scott Yakimow, Vancouver, Wash.
To the points that the Rev. Dr. Scott Yakimow raises about the “LCMS perspective” on the age of earth, the Rev. Dr. Joel Heck and the Rev. Larry Vogel, associate executive director of the LCMS Commission on Theology and Church Relations, respond with what follows. — Ed.
While I agree that “young earth” is not the official position of the LCMS, I disagree that speaking of “the LCMS perspective” is misleading. I think it correct that the majority of the LCMS holds to a young-earth position. I also think that the only reason why the LCMS has not taken this position is that it has not been asked to take a position. I could be wrong on this, but that would be an error of perception.
Rev. Dr. Joel Heck, Austin, Texas
Although it is true that, strictly speaking, the LCMS does not have an official position on the age of the earth, it is also true (as stated in the FAQ), that the Synod clearly teaches on the basis of God’s Word that “ ‘God by the almighty power of His Word created all things in six days,’ ” that “ ‘Adam and Eve were real, historical human beings,’ ” and that sin’s origin comes “through Adam as described in Genesis 3” (see 1967 LCMS Convention Resolution 2-31).
Moreover, the Synod has explicitly rejected any teaching “that the world came into existence through a process of evolution; that is, that it has, in immense periods of time, developed more or less out of itself” (1932 Brief Statement, emphasis added).
Rev. Larry Vogel, St. Louis