Young Earth and the Unnecessary Debate

youngearth  Recently Pat Robertson caused some sort of a stir when he said on his broadcast, “I know people will probably try to lynch me when I say this,” he stated, “but Bishop Ussher — God bless him — wasn’t inspired by the Lord when he said it all took 6,000 years. It just didn’t …. There was a time that [dinosaurs] were on the earth and it was before the time of the Bible. So don’t try to cover it up and make like everything was 6,000 years. That’s not the Bible.”  James Ussher being the first theologian to publish an accepted age of the earth.

Of course there have been a number of people who have taken issue with Robertson’s assessment of the theology that the earth is young and not millions and billions of years old.  Answers in Genesis, a creation focused ministry has taken issue with Robertson’s stand as well as his understanding of dating methods and the science involved.  An article explaining the story can be found at http://onenewsnow.com/culture/2012/12/10/christian-broadcaster-straying-from-scripture.

This has been a debate that has raged since the days of Darwin, and in truth it is nothing more than a red herring to lead Bible believing people away from being Bible believing people.  The conflict has always essentially gone like this, “The Bible says the earth is young, and science says its old; therefore science and the Bible are at odds, and the intellectual mind will side with science.”  Because of this debate theologians have proposed things such as the famous gap theory in order to give a Bible answer to the science that is before their eyes.  Evolutionists and Big Bang proponents point to scientific evidence that the earth is much, much older and therefore the Bible cannot be trusted, it is merely a book of ancient myths.

Without asserting myself to be an “intellectual,” which I am not, nor to be naive and demonstrate cheap ignorant “faith” the fact is that there is no intrinsic need to play the science against the Bible.  Christians need not trade their mind for their faith, or the Bible for science, and neither does the Bible have to explain the science.  This is an unnecessary distraction for the Christian.

Science can say how hold the earth appears.  There is no need to argue with how old the earth looks.  Rock strata, carbon-dating, and every scientific method man knows can point to an old earth just fine, and it still not have anything to do with the actual age of the earth.

Science may show how old the earth appears, the Bible can tell us how old it is.  I can stand flat-footed with my brain in my head, and my mind in tact and say that the earth is a young earth in time based on the evidence from scripture.  I do not argue with science that shows its millions and billions of years old, because it may in fact look that way. How old the earth appears and how old the earth is, is not the same thing.

  How old the earth appears and how old the earth is, is not the same thing.

I can say with certainty that the earth was created in six days, and I have not counted the generations back to Adam, but I know it could be done.  I also can say that an honest scientist may look at the dirt in his bucket, and demonstrate that it appears to be much older.  Actual age, and appearance of age are apples and oranges.

How old was Adam on day 1?  He was one day old, yet he was a full-grown man.  I wonder how many rings would have been in the trees of the garden were we able to cut them open and see.  How much rock strata was already in the ground?  How old were the animals on their day one? 

The fact is that God made a mature earth, complete with fruit producing trees, a full-grown man, and a full-grown woman, and mature animals.  The Bible is completely trustworthy, and there is no science or understanding that can contradict it and win.  We can take God at His Word, regardless of what men may see or say, and recasting it in a negative light is not a change worth making.

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6 comments on “Young Earth and the Unnecessary Debate

  1. Danny Fudge says:

    Robertson is losing what mind he had. danny

    ________________________________

  2. Where does the Bible say how old the earth is? I can’t find any passage which says “The Earth was 4000 years old when Jesus walked the earth” or something else.

    If it’s via the calculation of genealogies, then why is the Bible explicitly silent about calculating them? Moreover these genealogies left people out. This falls under the the term “modern technical precision” that the Chicago Statement article 13 mentions.

    In short it is not Biblical to argue for a 6000 year old earth.

  3. OSO,

    Thanks for stopping by and for your comments on the article. As far as a black and white statement about “The earth being 4000 years old” you are correct of course it doesn’t say that, and I wouldn’t say that it does.

    It does give us the ages of the ancients from Adam to Noah. Those years can be counted, though admittedly I never have. Once we get to Noah, Genesis eleven gives us the ages and lifespans from Shem down to Abram. Whether men are left out I know not, but the ages and lifespans connecting one man to the next are accounted for and specifically numbered. Then from Abram on, not many people argue about the passage of time between Abram and Christ.

    Whether one wants to argue over the earth being 4, 6, or 10,000 years I’ve not attempted to do the math. What I do know, is that it was a six day creation, as God spoke and it was done. I also know that Macro Evolution is a matter of fiction as all things produce after their own kind.

    All of that being said, science really has nothing to do with the age of the earth. As I said, Science can speak to how old the earth appears, but that’s all. The Bible does in fact tell us how old the earth is. It tells us that the earth is 5 days older than the human race. The earth being created on day one, and man being created on day 6. From there, the lifespans are given, and math should take over.

  4. You say “From there, the lifespans are given, and math should take over.”

    The thing is, the Biblical writers at that point do not do the math. We do the math and come up with the age of the earth but the Biblical writers do not. All they describe are the various ages of the people they write about.

    I therefore come to the conclusion that the age of the earth is not something that the Biblical writers are concerned about and, because the Bible is the Word of God, it is something that I am not worried about. Moreover it is also something that I can listen to science about.

    So while you say that it is possible for the earth to be 4, 6 or 10,000 years old, it is also possible that the world could be 6 billion years old. And a 6 billion year old age does not discount a 6 day creation, not the creation of man on the 5th day.

  5. “not the creation of man on the 5th day.” was meant to read “nor the creation of man on the 5th day.

    Nor, not “not”.

  6. OSO,
    been there done that on the typo, i knew what you meant.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but what I hear you saying is, “Since the Bible doesn’t do the calculations, or explicitly instruct us to, then we shouldn’t attempt it either or worry about it.”

    In and of itself you may have a thought. The problem is that it’s not in and of itself.

    Two things come to mind.

    First – The earth is only 5 days older than the human race, to which we agree, The problem is that all of human history, from Adam to now, even in sketchy bare bones knowledge doesn’t cover the “zillion” years spans of time. There is no history before Adam, and most all of time since Adam can be accounted for, if we wanted to do the accounting.

    But Second, (and most important) The “Zillion Year Philosophy” is primarily used to undermine the authenticity and veracity of the Bible. This is why men “do the math.” To stand against the spirit that seeks to discredit the scriptures. As I said, there’s no need to be afraid of the science in its correct context. Science only tells us how old the earth appears.

    Had the “lifespans” and “generations” not been for us to learn, know and mark their history, they would not have been given to us. The main reason that we need the math, is to demonstrate the historical accounts as given to us by God. The reason that we insist on them mattering in this discussion is because they are there. God doesn’t waste words, and what He’s given us is given for us to learn.

    I am glad to hear that you believe the six day creation.

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