The Question of Universal Age

(Matthew Mingus) #1

Good day everyone,

Many questions that I get asked in conversations with some of my atheistic or agnostic friends relates to the creation of the universe. These can range from discussions about the big bang theory, to the age of the universe, to scientific discoveries and biblical validity. One thing that I have found very interesting over the past few conversations that I have had about this topic is that, many times, it is more highly charged a discussion among Christians than it is among non-Christians. There seems to be a divide between Christian groups that centers around the universal age question.

I have had talks with many of my Christian friends about things such as the gap theory, the day-age theory, discussions on the meaning of time and infinity, and a wealth of other topics sprouting from just this one general topic. It is a topic that I could probably sit and discuss with anyone for hours. So, I thought I would pose the general topic on here to see what people have to say about what they have heard or discussed in their own lives.

I will leave my personal views and ideas out of this post and instead allow others to voice their ideas and thoughts on this subject. I will answer in another post to give my own personal thoughts and views as well but I really want to hear from others here and see what conclusions you have about this subject.

God bless you all and thank you. I look forward to hearing from you.

Matthew Mingus

(C Rhodes) #2

@mmingus36. My viewpoint involves the need for prioritizing. Especially when the present situation is overwhelming in its nature. My focus becomes very narrow. Some might accuse me of oversimplifying but that is not my intent. It is a matter of focus on what brings immediate results and relief. In the overall scheme of living, I cherish the peace of the certain, not the endless conversation about things that will not affect my living before GOD.

Still, my convictions lie within the belief that time in our world holds no structural limitations or definition for GOD. By the nature of our human limitations, we can never know what time is or how it is truly measured. But scripture supports that our sense of time bends to the will and manipulation of GOD. (See example in Joshua 10:12)

If time is just one of the tools of the Creator, then its relevance can only apply to this world, not anything signifying the truth of the existence of the Creator who exist in and outside of His Creation. Since time is an integral part in how we establish age than the aging process is also obedient to the manipulation of GOD. Readings such as Oz Guinness’ “Prophetic Untimeliness,” have been instrumental in formatting my convictions.

(Warner Joseph Miller) #3

Hey Matthew!!! Thanks, for broaching the topic, man! I wanted to ask, though, (just for clarity sake AND for potentially better [more] community engagement)…what exactly is the question you’re asking? Is it that you’re polling people on what they believe the age of the earth, universe, etc. is OR do you want people to give their opinions of even the very relevance of the topic of universal age OR something totally different? I think knowing that may help a bit in giving responses.

Thanks, again, man for broaching this very interesting topic. Blessings, brother!:v:t6:

(Matthew Mingus) #4


Thank you for asking. I am looking to see how people feel about both of those things I suppose. First of all I suppose that I am looking to see what the particular beliefs are that people hold in respect to the age of the Earth and the universe, and why they believe that. I am also looking to see what they believe in respect to the importance of this issue.

It seems to me that this quickly becomes a very heated debate, among believers especially. But I also feel that on the other end of the spectrum, there is a certain amount of avoidance of the topic altogether. I believe that as God’s word tells us in Proverbs 30:5 “Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.” So, I am also looking to see what other people think in the terms of relevance for this issue.

Thank you for asking Warner and I hope that you have a great day. If you have any other questions, please let me know. God bless.

Matthew Mingus

(Jimmy Sellers) #5

I have attached a link with links to some good conversations. This is not to suggest that the subject has been settled but it will give you some food for thought when you talk with your friends.



Sep 18

Not all Christians believe in a young earth . Below I have provided some threads on Connect that should help you grapple with how to interpret Genesis 1 and why there are different views of the age of the earth among Bible believing Christians. Personally, I have read the books produced by ICR that suggest that decay rates may not have been constant in the past and that we therefore cannot extrapolate beyond a few thousand years because catastrophic events like the flood may have altered decay rates (or God may have altered them). Personally, however, I do not think this argument would convince a skeptic who has a naturalistic worldview and the Bible says nothing about decay rates being changed - so it seems like the whole argument is circular. If the earth is young the decay rates must have changed - we believe the earth is young, so we posit that the decay rates were not constant. I do believe that this branch of science is particularly prone to bias both ways because the implications are believed to directly impact foundational assumptions of peoples’ worldviews. The issue of the age of the earth should not divide Christians, so I believe there is room for disagreement here.

This first link from Paul Copan gives a brief summary of different approaches to the science / faith dialogue and should help you get your footing.

May the Lord Jesus grant you wisdom as you study. Feel free to ask further questions.

Here also is a book you may consider reading:

The Gospel Coalition

Why Christians Should Not Divide Over the Age of the Earth

“If I had the power to require every Christian parent, pastor, and professor to read two books on creation and evolution—ideally alongside their mature children, parishioners, and students—it would be . . .”

Controversy of the Ages: Why Christians Should Not Divide Over the Age of the Earth

Theodore Cabal, Peter Rasor II

Few topics have generated as much heat amongst evangelicals as the age of the earth and the doctrine of creation. Three camps have emerged to offer solutions: young-earth creationists (Answers in Gene …

4.7 out of 5 stars, ISBN: 978-1941337752, Weaver Book Company, May 1, 2017, $15.99

Gen 1 - Light before creation of the sun? Daily Evangelism

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I came across a short video (11:46 mins) of a montage of speakers on the subject of Genesis 1 compiled by BioLogos. The speakers include Alister McGrath, John Polkinghorn, NT Wright, John Walton, Chris Tilling, Ard Louis, Peter Enns, Karen Winslow, Nancy Murphy and Michael Ramsden. There was a wide range of views which differed from the traditional teaching of Genesis 1 in my church upbringing and I am in the process of digesting them. Here are some: Genesis 1 is an ancient document not wri…

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What do we do with elements of OT that look mythical? Daily Evangelism

@tabby68 Those are great questions. Let’s start with this definition of myth: myth definition - a traditional story, especially one concerning the early history of a people or explaining some natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events So, a myth is just an origin story with supernatural beings that explains some element of history or culture. To our modern ears, the word myth also means not true - made up - fictitious Now, if the Bible’s stories are tru…

(Matthew Mingus) #6

I would like to thank everyone who posted answers and resources into this subject. This is a subject to me that has always been very difficult to provide answers for, because of the views held on both sides of the debate, and also because of personal viewpoints that many take on the Bible.

I said that I would provide my personal view after I had allowed for others to share the resources and opinions that they had on this subject. Personally, I do consider myself to be a young Earth creationist. There are two major reasons for this: one is that I see no evidence in the language,the dialogue, or the translation of the Bible that indicates the Earth or Universe as being millions or billions of years old; second, I find none of the scientific evidence, nor the methods of obtaining that evidence, to be convincing or reliable indicators of the proposed ages. As for the theories that many have produced over the past years, I refer to one of my favorite passages of all time for grounding myself on such issues: Romans 3:4 “Let God be true, and every human being a liar. As it is written, so that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you are judged.” When it comes to theories and interpretation, my focus is to pray for guidance to the truth and not allow the ideas of man to corrupt the purity of God’s word.

What about the priority of the gospel over all else? I believe fully that the gospel is the heart of the word of God. But what building can stand without a foundation? If Genesis breaks down, the entire word loses it’s authority. It is because of the events accounted for in Genesis that we need the gospel in the first place. While I believe the gospel is very important, I believe it is also important that we stand for the authority of God’s word, and not allow compromise in our walk with Him. So, all of that to say that I find the views of Genesis to also be a very important subject. That is why I opened this dialogue in the first place. Not to start a debate, but to build a focus on getting to the truth that only God can provide to us.

Finally, I understand the views that many have when they look at those who believe in an old earth, or those who believe in a young earth, and how they interact with each other. My personal view on this is that we need to work together to seek the truth of God’s word, not bicker like children over who is right or wrong. My view, God is right and all men are subject to Him first of all. Whether you believe the earth is old or young, what matters is the truth. I accept that I may not find the absolute certainty I am looking for on this subject while I am still in this life, but I hope that we can all work together to seek the truth. Not only will this help our relationships with each other, but it will provide a better witness to those around us that even when we disagree, we still work together to resolve those disagreements through prayer and the counsel of God.

This subject could probably be debated for billions of years and still probably not find its peaceful resolution among all of the great minds in this life who have examined it. I hope that, no matter your view, we can all look at subjects like this with a heart of patience, and help each other in our quest to better understand God’s word. As we are told in Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you.” Let us be able to discuss these subjects together, but let us first pray for the counsel of the only one who has the answers. Thanks for reading this and I look forward to hearing from you. God bless.

Matthew Mingus