Answers in Genesis (AiG) is a ministry dedicated to providing answers to questions about the book of Genesis, combatting evolutionary ideas, and promoting a biblical worldview. In their own words, “Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth” (from their official website, accessed 8/11/21).
Answers in Genesis operates a number of related ministries and outreaches, including the Ark Encounter in northern Kentucky and the Creation Museum. Answers in Genesis publishes a monthly magazine, Answers, as well as VBS and Sunday school curricula. Ken Ham is the CEO.
Answers in Genesis views the Bible as inspired, inerrant, and authoritative. They teach the biblical doctrine of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone. Their assessment of morality, worldview issues, Scripture, and most other topics is entirely correct. AiG provides a wealth of valuable resources for anyone wanting to defend the Christian faith or learn more about creationism and the reliability of the Bible. For all of this we are grateful.
The only caution we might have concerning Answers in Genesis is that they tend to hold such a hardline position on six-day creationism as to cause divisiveness within the church.
The issue at hand is the age of earth and the proper way to interpret the first eleven chapters of Genesis. There are different views concerning Genesis, of course. Some approaches are totally unbiblical; some are better than others. The stance taken by Answers in Genesis is known as young earth creationism (YEC). There is nothing at all wrong with that approach—in fact, it’s the official position of Got Questions Ministries, too. What can be a problem is the way Answers in Genesis weaves that teaching into everything they discuss, and the almost political way they divide others over it.
Published material from Answers in Genesis questions the sincerity or the motives of anyone who does not subscribe to their view on the age of the earth. They see it as a biblical authority issue: the Bible teaches a young earth, so to promote an old earth view is to attack biblical authority. Therefore, Christians who believe in old earth creationism are seen as compromising or lacking in faith. Answers in Genesis even takes a “secondary separation” approach: it’s not enough to hold to YEC views; one must also disavow anyone who is not likewise YEC.
Got Questions Ministries holds to the YEC position, and we affirm biblical authority, but we separate the two. We do not see the age of the earth as a core issue of the faith. In one of our articles, we state, “We believe that Genesis chapters 1 and 2 are meant to be read literally, and young earth creationism is what a literal reading of those chapters presents. At the same time, we do not view old earth creationism as heresy. We are not going to question the faith or motives of our brothers and sisters in Christ who disagree with us on this issue. Ultimately, one can hold to views other than young earth creationism and still have an accurate understanding of the core doctrines of the Christian faith.” That is, we believe that it is possible for one to hold to biblical authority and still interpret the word for “day” in Genesis 1 as something other than a literal twenty-four hours.
Answers in Genesis disagrees with us on this issue. In fact, they have felt the need to attack us for not condemning the error of those not in our camp. We believe that people can be incorrect on the age of earth, yet still be faithful and sincere Christians. Answers in Genesis believes that people who are incorrect on the age of the earth are deceived, at best, or heretical, at worst.
Answers in Genesis is a resource of great value for many people, and the Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum are wonderful destination spots. At the same time, the group is so narrowly focused on YEC that they often create more division and stumbling blocks than are necessary. There is nothing unbiblical about the bare facts they teach, but one needs to be wary of what we see as Answers in Genesis’s overly partisan approach.