What does everyone feel about the conflicting theories of the timeframe of creation
That is a question that comes up frequently and as you ask imagine has yet to be answered to anyone satisfaction. Here a link to the most recent thread. Please feel free to share your thoughts on the subject.
Here is a question for you, Should modern day scientific facts (not theories or half baked claims) influence how we read and understand scripture as it relates to creation?
Looking forward to your thoughts.
I agree with @JohnV that this is a secondary issue.
As Jimmy has said, you can look at a number of threads on this topic on Connect and discussions all over the world with people who are vehemently determined one way or another. Both, I think, trying to validly connect Scripture to their own understanding and experience. I have my own personal thoughts on the subject as well, but when talking and discussing with other Christians and Non-Christians who hold to different thoughts/interpretations I only focus in on four words… “In the beginning God”. This is the starting point and, in my mind, one of the fundamentals that can’t be let go.
In NO WAY am I saying that the rest of scripture can be let go… ALL I am saying is that in this particular debate with such strong opinions on both sides and with what I see to be a secondary issue of precise timing, we must find ground which we can agree on and build a foundation from that.
All Christians assume (I’m hoping) that God was there in the beginning as per the first four words of the Bible. He is the cause that started everything no matter the mechanism. Atheists (currently) assume a beginning to the universe and believe the mechanism to be the Big Bang… it is argued as to what the cause is and that is where a conversation can begin. For me the mechanism is irrelevant (to some degree) as long as the cause is God. I’ve mentioned in other posts that I think there are theological implications depending on what your view is of certain aspects (I find it difficult to hold to anything other than a literal person of Adam and Eve, for example) but we must be careful not to alienate or dissuade people from the core areas that must be recognised for salvation and I think one of them is God created everything.
Food for thought on the subject… I find it interesting that Genesis is written in sections which begin with “This is the account of…”
2:4 “…the heavens and the earth when they were created”
5:1 “…Adam’s family line”
6:9 “…Noah and his family”
10:1 “…Shem, Ham and Japheth, Noah’s sons, who themselves had sons after the flood”
etc… the list goes on.
So these are all very specific as to what is happening. But the first chapter has no such introduction… it starts “In the beginning God”. At no point do I disregard what scripture says, or doubt it’s veracity… but is it possible that from 1:1-2:3 when the first “account” is started (and note that the first account in 2:4 is of creation), that the first chapter is there to tell us what the cause was of creation and not give a chronological or detailed account of it’s mechanism? I’m not saying it’s an airtight argument… otherwise people wouldn’t argue over it. All I am saying is that I think one can hold entirely to the authority of scripture while still making an allowance that literary devices are used by the writers of scripture in order to make the point they want to make.
How come many Christian scholars claim the earth is around 6000 years. The Bible’s history gives us the answer to the age of the earth according to these scholars. It is also suggested that reasonable accuracy depends on the historical events or ages of things that are determined and subjected to the accuracy of the data we are given. They surmised that we can know that Adam was 130+ years old when Seth was born. But we don’t know the precise age. This is true for all ages. They concluded that the flood happened in 1656, and they have 10 numbers that have less than a year of uncertainty. Seth was approximately 105 years of when he fathered Enosh. and so on. Also, the flood could be as late as 1665 AM ( Anno Mundi= year of the world). This they claim is small claim uncertainty with respect to an exact time.
Many people came up with dates for creation: James Ussher 4004 BC; Johannes Kepler 3992 BC; Gerhard Hasel 4178 BC; and Isaac Newton 4000 BC. However, it is their belief that the plain interpretation of Scripture gives a direct and honest approach to believe that the world is around 6000 years old, irrespective of the chronological framework anyone uses. I agree with Lita Cosner, “we can be confident that God’s word is accurate in its historical details as well as in what it tells us about theology.”