But what I’m not seeing is why local flood advocates imagine that the global view is controversial. Is there some serious problem that local flooders see with the global approach? It seems like local advocates are fighting an uphill battle, and I don’t know why. Is there a reason we should all reinterpret what we heard as children? What’s the underlying motive here? What’s so difficult about the global view? I cannot identify the problem that local flooders think their alternate view is solving.
That is an excellent question. Why is the global view seen as controversial?
The problem for some believers, such as Hugh Ross, is that they think the idea of a worldwide flood (and also a young earth) ends up creating unnecessary intellectual roadblocks for nonbelievers considering Christianity. Hugh Ross has bemoaned that in the past.
One might say, yes, but what about all the miracles of the New Testament—walking on water, raising the dead, healing the sick, etc.? But there is a difference. A miracle, by definition, does not follow the normal day to day way things happen. If one is going to accept that Jesus is God and died for our sins and rose again then one must accept some miraculous events. Science has no data against quick miracles like multiplying the loaves and fishes. One can say “That isn’t how things work!” but has no data remaining today against the event.
However, when it comes to both the age of the earth and the question of the extent of the flood, there is actual data to be considered.
Age of the earth (and the universe):
U-Pb dating is used to claim an age of the earth greater than 4 billion years
Red shift and parallax are some of the methods of measuring distance to stars. If the calculated light-years distance is great (say >50,000 lt-years), then how did that light reach the earth since the time of (a recent) creation?
Extent of the flood:
Although virtually the entire earth shows evidence of extensive flooding, many claim that animals repopulating the earth in the pattern we have today from just the pairs on the ark only about 4000 years ago is not possible.
Now, please realize I hold to a young earth and also a worldwide flood. So I do not think those issues are insurmountable. I posted a number of times earlier in this discussion concerning a worldwide flood. But old earth and local flood folks are not happy with Christians claiming the Bible teaches things that the scientific mainstream position rejects based on their understandings of currently available data. Especially for someone like Hugh Ross, who is an astrophysicist, a worldwide flood is problematic and a young earth is untenable.