Do you believe that this world is millions and millions of years old?
No, I do not.
It is beyond the scope of this forum to debate and cover all the arguments from both sides, so let me give you one fundamental principle that is the bedrock for my conviction.
The Bible has withstood the vicious and unrelenting attacks of critics and skeptics for centuries. At every turn, the Bible is proven right, and the antagonists proven wrong. No matter what angle – historical, scientific, geographical, societal, legal, chronological, political – every time throughout history someone has said “aha! The Bible must be wrong, look what we’ve discovered” or “the Bible says such and such and we have never found evidence to support that”… when those types of declarations are made, they are most often disproven entirely by the very science that produced the original “facts”.
Of course the entire world trumpets the news that “the Bible is wrong! Scientific proof!” but when the Bible is vindicated over and over and over, you hear crickets chirping.
The Bible has stood unwavering and unchanging in the face of man’s best attempts to discredit, disprove and deny it. This is one the strongest – among many – proofs of its divine origin.
Name one other holy book (religious or science; and yes, there are many “holy books” [theories, concepts, beliefs] in science) that can make the same claims… there are NONE. Not even close.
Now, given these facts:
- The Bible has withstood all critics and skeptics and at every turn has been show true, unchanging and accurate
- Science is in constant flux with its “theories” being revised on an almost daily basis in order to somehow fit the holy grail “a priori” assumption that is dominate today: GOD DOES NOT EXIST.
- Evolution, uniformitarianism, theories about the beginnings of the universe, theories about how life came to be… they have changed countless times. (when I say “evolution” I mean Darwinism, the theory of “life came from nothing by chance”)
- The more we discover about the infinite complexity and design of life and the universe the more obvious it becomes that evolution is simply an absurd statistical joke
So what about “millions of years”? Aren’t there lots of honest Christians who believe in it?
Yes, so my answer does not impugn or question their faith or sincerity. Let’s just make that clear up front.
However, here is the primary point I want to make: WHENEVER THE CLEAR AND OBVIOUS MEANING OF SCRIPTURE MUST BE CHANGED TO FIT SCIENCE OR MAN’S CONCLUSIONS, THEN THE FIRST SUSPECT IS ALWAYS MAN, NOT SCRIPTURE.
Take away the creation debate, take away Hugh Ross, take away all the bias and predisposition and simply read the Genesis account. A child, a simple person, a regular Joe… anyone who reads the Genesis account comes away with one simple story: God created the earth, heavens and man in six normal days.
Why? BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT IT CLEARLY AND PLAINLY SAYS. It’s only because of “science” and the declarations of man that we must go in and say that Genesis 1 says something other than what it clearly says.
It’s takes all sorts of textual gymnastics, mental redefining and literary tap dancing to make Genesis 1 say something other than “in six days, marked by the morning and evening of each, God created”.
When I study the preponderance of evidence which simply and naturally fits the “six days of creation” and “young earth” implication of Scripture, it is even more evident.
When I study “long age evidence”, and I have, I’m left with the same thing that drives EVOLUTION: if you start with a predetermined bias that “long age” is true, you interpret all the evidence (and the Bible) to fit accordingly. When you start with a predetermined bias that “evolution” is true, you filter all the evidence through that bias.
But wait a minute!! “Brent, aren’t you doing the same thing??” ABSOLUTELY. I start with a predetermined bias that Genesis 1 is true, and that the simple historical narrative that clearly and plainly tells us God’s story of creation is absolutely true. Why? Again, because of the overwhelming and irrefutable evidence that the Bible is true, accurate and divinely inspired.
Starting with that conviction based on insurmountable facts and intelligent deduction, I go to Genesis and read “God created the heavens and earth in 6 normal days [morning and evening] and rested on the seventh day”.
Then with unapologetic bias I interpret all the evidence of creation – scientific, logical, design, philosophy – through that filter of “six days, young earth”.
Again, it is a matter of trust. Science changes to fit personal agendas, political correctness and voracious personal animosity against God. The Bible stands strong and uncorrupted against centuries of attacks and attempts to disprove and discredit it.
I’m not the sharpest knife in the kitchen, but it is obvious to me that the Word of God deserves my faith and trust more than sinful human scientists, no matter how sincere.
The plain, simple and undeniable fact is GENESIS CAN BE PLAINLY UNDERSTOOD BY EVEN A CHILD TO CLAIM SIX NORMAL DAYS OF CREATIVE ACTIVITY. The unavoidable conclusion then is this happened in recent past unless you want to hang on to an illogical and irrelevant belief that the Earth was around for billions of years before “void and without form”. The only reason the plain account of Scripture is in question is because fallible men say “it can’t mean that”.
The Bible has proven trustworthy on all counts. Scientists have not in ways too numerous to explain here. Any time the Bible must be re-interpreted because science declares the Bible is wrong, I will side with the Bible.
The Bible is clear about the six normal days of creation and the relatively young age of the earth. All of the evidence of creation – filtered through this bias – fits comfortably and naturally with the Bible’s claims.
On the other hand, “long agers”, Christian or not, are forced to explain away or reinterpret plain Scripture, and the preponderance of creation evidence is “crammed” in to the view, rather than fitting naturally.
Why? Because the view wrong. Of course the evidence doesn’t easily fit.
Finally, I also believe that holding the “long age” views has other down sides:
- It’s dangerously close to the uniformitarian evolutionary views, and in fact is only a comfortable step away from it
- Casts doubt on the rest of Scripture
If the simple story of creation in Genesis isn’t what it plainly appears to be, what else in Scripture isn’t what it plainly appears to be? The resurrection? The virgin birth? Miracles?
Turn on the History or Discovery Channel. They are constantly parading “scientists” on screen to tell you why a miracle can’t be true, OR give a naturalistic explanation (“the burning bush was a tree with bright red flowers”).
Why? The underlying and clear message is “the Bible cannot be true, accurate and complete because it appears to say one thing, when in fact it means another as we have ‘proven’ by giving naturalistic explanation to what the Bible calls supernatural, and ‘proving’ with science that the plain text is not plain after all”.
I believe “long age” theories serve the same purpose to cast doubt on Scripture. Think about it. If you believe Genesis doesn’t simply mean what it says, what other plain parts of Scripture don’t mean what they seem to be plainly saying?
In closing, if God wanted us to think that creation took millions of years, or that the universe is billions of years old, He would have communicated that rather than giving us what appears to be a story about “six normal days of creation in the relatively recent past”. God is more than capable of communicating the clear and simple truth – WHICH HE DID IN GENESIS ONE.
If you are forced to change the simple and obvious meaning of Scripture to fit man’s conclusions, then you placing man’s intelligence and authority over God’s. Let the Bible be our source of TRUTH, and filter man’s opinions, discoveries and findings through what God has declared.
If I am wrong, then I’m wrong simply trusting God over man.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Follow-up based on some reader feedback:
If the simple narrative of Genesis 1 means something other than what it simply and plainly says, then consider this:
- If Genesis 1 is about “millions of years” then where does the Bible account turn LITERAL? Genesis 1 seems to be plainly literal as does the following chapters. So do the scientists and academics get the freedom to question the literal accounts past Genesis 1? Why not? If Genesis 1 is not literal (when it is written and presented in a plainly literal manner) then why is Genesis 2 literal? Why can’t ANY Scripture that appears literal be questioned if “facts” from man seem to say “the Bible can’t be true here”? If Genesis 1 is not literal and clear, then what part of Genesis is, and on what basis can we deny someone who says “I don’t think it is”?
- Maybe “Adam and Eve” were fictitious symbols of an entire race or population of people. Did they really exist? Did they really have kids? Was there really a “Cain” who “killed Abel”? Science has proven that man has existed for much longer than several thousands of years, so maybe sin did NOT come through the first human, and if so, then it doesn’t make sense that salvation comes through “the second Adam”. If the Genesis account of creation is not literal, then obviously that one verse about creating man on one day can’t be literal either, turning the Bible upside down concerning sin and salvation.
- What about Noah’s flood? Maybe it was local or regional like “scientists” say. Maybe only a portion of people were killed as a symbolic act of judgment. Science has “proven” that there could not have possibly been a worldwide flood, and the earth’s geological features are easily explain in “millions of years” terms. Maybe that means that God won’t judge the entire earth in the future, since it didn’t really mean worldwide judgment in Genesis concerning the Flood. The Flood must now be redefined to fit uniformitarianism and long age (when all the geological evidence fits perfectly and comfortably with a young earth and a global flood).
- “Scientists” have put forth many reasons why Jesus could not have actually died because “science proves that people don’t come back from the dead”. Why is this “science” wrong, and the “science” of “long age” right? True Christians who believe in “long age” would recoil at someone attempting to prove scientifically that Jesus didn’t rise from the dead. Why? Because the Bible plainly teaches it… AS PLAINLY AS IT TEACHES THE SIX NORMAL DAYS OF CREATION.
- Again, the logical question is: IF GENESIS 1 IS NOT SIMPLE AND LITERAL, AT WHAT POINT, AND ON WHAT BASIS CAN WE BEGIN TO CLAIM THAT ANYTHING IN THE BIBLE IS PLAIN AND LITERAL? Adam and Eve? Noah? The Flood? Moses? Miracles? Jesus? Every one of these things can be explained away, explained in “naturalistic terms”, symbolized, allegorized or otherwise questioned and doubted by “scientists” and “academia”.
Attacking the foundation of the Bible – GENESIS 1 – creates the perfect fissure for questioning EVERYTHING in the Bible. If the opening historical narrative of the Bible (and the premise upon which humankind and salvation rests) does not mean what it clearly says, then what other “clear and plain” Scripture doesn’t mean what it plainly says?