Dr. David Menton – What a Difference a Day Makes!

The lyrics of a popular song remind us, “What a difference a day makes—24 little hours.” Nowhere is this observation more profoundly true than in our proper understanding of the Hebrew word for day (yom) which occurs over 2,000 times in the Old Testament. Like our English word “day,” yom can be used to mean an ordinary 24-hour day or an indefinite period of time (such as “in the day of Abraham”). In both English and Hebrew, the intended meaning of “day” is generally obvious by the context in which it is used. For example, in over 100 instances where the phrase “evening and morning” accompany the word yom in the Old Testament (as it does in the days of Creation in Genesis), it always refers to an ordinary 24-hour day. Also, in all the places in Scripture where the word yom is preceded by a number (as it is in the days of Creation), it always means a 24-hour day. Despite these simple and quite obvious rules governing its use, interpretation of the Hebrew word yom in the Creation week of Genesis has become one of the most contested issues among professing Christians and Jews. How could this be, and is it really important?

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Dr. David Menton – The Dating Game

Much of the controversy between evolutionists and creationists concerns the age of the earth and its fossils. Evolution, depending as it does on pure chance, requires an immense amount of time to stumble upon anything remotely approaching the integrated complexity we see in even the simplest living things. For over 100 years, geologists have attempted to devise methods for determining the age of the earth that would be consistent with evolutionary dogma. At the time Darwin’s On the Origin of Species was published, the earth was “scientifically” determined to be 100 million years old. By 1932, it was found to be 1.6 billion years old. In 1947, geologists firmly established that the earth was 3.4 billion years old. Finally in 1976, they discovered that the earth is “really” 4.6 billion years old. These dates indicate that for 100 years, the age of the earth doubled every 20 years. If this trend were to continue, the earth would be 700 thousand-trillion-trillion-trillion years old by the year 4000 AD. This “prediction,” however, is based on selected data and certain assumptions that might not be true. As we will see, selected data and unprovable assumptions are a problem with all methods for determining the age of the earth, as well as for dating its fossils and rocks. It has all become something of a “dating game” in which only the evolutionarily correct are allowed to play.

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Dominic Statham – The Age of the Earth and Why It Matters

From time to time, we meet people who reject evolution and would call themselves ‘creationists’, but who, nevertheless, accept that the earth and its rocks are millions of years old. In some cases, they feel that identifying as ‘young earth creationists’ would cause them to appear foolish and that this would undermine the credibility of their Christian witness. In responding to this, I believe that it is a mistake to begin with science. Instead, I find a better approach is to talk about God, His nature and glory, His original, perfect creation and how this changed due to our sin. This helps people to see why an ancient earth cannot be reconciled with the Bible’s teaching.

The glory of God

God’s love, holiness, justice and wisdom are beyond telling. Such is His glory that anyone who actually saw Him might expect to die. When God’s goodness passed in front of Moses, God had to provide protection, placing him in a cleft in a rock and covering him with His hand (Exodus 33:19–23). In heaven, God is worshipped incessantly, day and night (Revelation 4:8). The worshippers prostrate themselves before Him proclaiming, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created” (Revelation 4:11, emphasis added).

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Bodie Hodge – About 6,000 Years or 10,000 Years: Does It Matter?

Brief Introduction

In a culture that demands Christians give up the Bible and accept the secular humanist age of the earth at billions of years, it seems the discussion about 6,000 years vs. 10,000 years gets left behind. Yes, biblical creationists unite to battle the secular dating system and that is the “bigger fish to fry,” but at times, we can’t ignore the little fish in the bucket that needs to be cooked up too.

Where Is the Debate?

Statements of faith from various ministries can range, depending on their ministerial focus—and rightly so. But the foundation of our faith goes back to the early pages of Genesis, so we at Answers in Genesis encourage Christians to take a stand on biblical creation and have a statement to reflect it. Many times we applaud the way these statements on creation are stated, and in other cases we groan.

Some Christians try to avoid the subject by generically stating that God created. Of course that leaves room for Christians who mix their Christianity with certain tenets of other religions like humanism’s origins account. For example, when Christians deviate from the Bible in Genesis and deny biblical origins, they are trading it for secular humanistic origins such as evolution, millions of years, and/or the big bang.

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Greg Hall and Ken Ham – The High Stakes of Good Thinking: The Age of the Earth

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Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind (Luke 10:27; NIV)

When the Psalmist declared, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made,” it was never more true than as it relates to the functioning of the human mind. Our cognitive abilities are an endowment from our Creator. Over the course of a lifetime, these abilities are squandered or developed. In fact, the greatest change and development in your life comes from your personal attention to your ability to grow in your power to think and reason. The Apostle
Paul put it like this in Romans 12:2:

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Here again is the importance of worldview. It will be the framework for human thinking. Worldview is all about making decisions about what ideas you will think about, embrace, and apply to your life. Christian worldview is about discovering the ideas, thoughts, values, and perspectives of Jesus Christ. It is applying these concepts to our lives in such a way that Christ can be woven into the fabric of our lives.

If we are going to bear the marks of a Christian mind, it is time to engage with the person and work of Jesus Himself in ways yet unrealized. To “have the mind of Christ” is what the Scripture promises us. But you cannot know it from a distance. You do not see it from a long way off — you must get up close. And you certainly don’t see it vicariously, through someone else’s experiences. Stop blindly reading and listening to what others say about Christ. Go to Scripture, read, meditate, pray, and find out what He says to you. Others’ experiences may bring clarity to understanding the mind of Christ, but it will never bring reality.

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Bert Thompson – The Bible and the Age of the Earth

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INTRODUCTION

In the current controversy over creation and evolution, it is a rare event indeed to find something on which those in both camps agree wholeheartedly. Generally speaking, the two world views are widely divergent from start to finish. There is one thing, however, on which both creationists and evolutionists do agree: evolution is impossible if the Earth is young (with an age measured in thousands, not billions, of years). R.L. Wysong addressed this point in his book, The Creation-Evolution Controversy.

“Both evolutionists and creationists believe evolution is an impossibility if the universe is only a few thousand years old. There probably is no statement that could be made on the topic of origins which would meet with so much agreement from both sides. Setting aside the question of whether vast time is competent to propel evolution, we must query if vast time is indeed available” (1976, p. 144).

It may be somewhat ironic that so much discussion has resulted from something on which both sides seemingly agree, but it should not be at all surprising. Apart from the most basic issue of the controversy itself — i.e., whether creation or evolution is the correct view of origins — the single most serious area of conflict between those who accept the biblical account of creation and those who accept the theory of organic evolution (in whole or in part) is the chronological framework of history — viz., the age of the Earth. And, of course, this subject is of intense interest not only to those who promulgate atheistic evolution, but to those who are sympathetic with certain portions of that theory as well. While a young Earth/Universe presents no problem at all for creationists who accept the biblical account of origins at face value, it is the death knell to almost every variety of the evolutionary scenario.

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Tim Challies – Why Does the Universe Look So Old?

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When it comes to the age of the universe, Christians find themselves in a bit of a conundrum. At least, those Christians do who hold to a traditional interpretation of the first two chapters of Genesis—an interpretation that leads them to believe the universe is something less than the billions of years indicated by contemporary understandings of the scientific data. Those, like me, who hold to a six-day understanding of creation have to face this question: Why does the universe look so old? Why does it look older than it actually is? This is a question Dr. Albert Mohler took on at a Ligonier Ministries conference several years ago and his response was (and remains) helpful to me.

Before I comment on his answer, I want to point out that all Christians, no matter their interpretation of the opening chapters of Scripture, have difficult questions to face as they attempt to strike harmony between Scripture and science or, better, between God’s book of special revelation and God’s book of natural revelation. Those who believe the universe is ancient have to grapple with the existence of death before the fall, for example, or why the creation account is so clearly laid out as if it all takes place in six literal days. It is not only young earth creationists who have to admit the existence of difficult questions.

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Roger Patterson – It All Adds Up

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A 6,000-year-old earth? When you look up the Bible references, the math’s not that hard!

We’ve all heard the horror stories. Teachers in government schools force students through strange, torturous machinations to do simple math. For example, many of us used to be able to add 121 + 13 in 1.72 seconds. The Common Core method takes 7 steps and 3 minutes and 18 seconds.

You might think you need to do similar mathematical gymnastics to arrive at the age of the earth, so you leave it to the scientists. Or maybe you just ignore the subject because you don’t see how it relates to your everyday struggles to follow Jesus. Well, this is not a salvation issue, but it is an issue of authority. Here is what I mean.

For those who trust in an evolutionary view of history, determining the earth’s age is a complicated process. First, you have to find a meteorite, crush it up, and then send it to a lab for analysis. (Why a meteorite? I’ll get to that later.) Technicians measure the ratio of isotopes and enter that into a complex calculation that factors in the rate of radiometric decay. Out pops a number somewhere around 4,500,000,000 years (or at least that’s the expected result). That’s a whole lot of zeros!

But if you look to the Bible as the ultimate source of truth, a much simpler answer emerges. And you don’t even need to find a meteorite. All you need is a Bible and a calculator. In fact, open your Bible to Genesis 5.

While people might joke about reading genealogies as a substitute for counting sheep, they serve a very important purpose as part of God’s Word. These lists demonstrate the historical nature of the early chapters of Genesis. Real men had real sons, and we know how old each man was at the birth of his son.

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Shaun Doyle and Tas Walker – BioLogos and the Age of the Earth

Recently, BioLogos published an infographic entitled “How do we Know the Earth is Old?” Many Christians have wondered what to make of this poster since BioLogos presents itself as an association of evangelical Christian academics committed to harmonizing science and conservative Christian faith. That sounds good, especially the word “conservative”, but their starting position is anything but orthodox. They promote evolution over millions of years, as taught by secular scientists, as truth, and that Christians must accept it. They do not concern themselves with how such acceptance undermines the authority and the message of Scripture itself.

Moses has a lot to say about the age of the earth, and ignoring this fact leads to heretical Christian teaching and very bad natural history.

To many the age of the earth may seem an innocuous topic but it has a massive impact on conservative Christian doctrine such as the integrity of the gospel. If the earth is billions of years old, as the BioLogos poster presents, then Jesus made mistakes in his teaching and the gospel is false. It is that simple, as we will see.

According to BioLogos, all we have to do is reinterpret Moses, Jesus, and Paul, and everything is harmonized. A historical Adam doesn’t matter, and Jesus’ Incarnation allows him to make errors concerning what the Father commanded him to say about the age of the world (Mark 10:6; Luke 11:50–51; cf. John 8:28). However, their ‘reinterpretations’ look nothing like what Moses, Jesus, and Paul actually said. Neither were such interpretations ever entertained in church history before the advent of long-age geology in the 18th century (on which see The Great Turning Point). The reasons are pretty obvious. If Jesus made mistakes, especially in his teaching ministry, then He is not perfectly trustworthy, as Christians have believed through the ages. If a historical Adam doesn’t matter, then the whole doctrine of salvation, as presented by the Apostle Paul, falls to pieces (see articles on Romans 5, Romans 8, and 1 Corinthians 15). One could say that there never has been a time when Jesus’ words about Moses have been more important for us to hear than now: “For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?” (John 5:46–47).

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