Don’t forget RZIM’s own John Lennox and his book:
VERY helpful in my opinion.
Don’t forget RZIM’s own John Lennox and his book:
VERY helpful in my opinion.
Also keep in mind Hugh Ross and Reasons to Believe. I sat under a conference led by him along with other scientist and it was most compelling!
Hello everyone. I personally believe in the Old Earth Creationism (OEC). I agree with @SeanO when he says that the central message of Scripture is about salvation, therefore debating over how God created the earth is irrelevant for our own salvation. Nonetheless, it is a very interesting topic to discuss. I came to believe in OEC thinking about how the light from the stars came to us. If stars are millions of light years away, then we can expect the universe to be very old, incluiding the Earth. Either the Earth appears to be old, or the Earth is very old. Thinking about this should not scare us Christians. If the universe is old then we can percieve God as an even more powerful being, making 14 billion years a glimpse when compared to eternity.
There are many interpretations of Genesis 1, which includes topics from astronomy like star formation, the Earth’s atmosphere when created, dust clouds, etc. I will leave a couple of links below. Lastly, this should not cause division between christians. Both interpretations are unnecesary for salvation.
“But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless.” Titus 3:9
This is my first post, so let me know if I gave you some insight! God bless!
@sanechev Thank you for contributing! I appreciate your recognition that this issue is not central to our salvation. I find it interesting that the rate at which starlight travels was a key factor for you in deciding between OEC and YEC. Did any other factors play a major role? Blessings!
@SeanO Yes! Besides the travel of starlight is the wording of Genesis 1. Verse 1 says that God created the Heavens and the Earth, so the already existed when God said let there be light. If Earth already existed when light was created, then it would appear that God made the sun after the Earth. The sun is created on day 4 aacording to OEC, but astronomy tells us that the sun existed long before the Earth. If we also think about how plants appeared before the sun on day 3, then photosynthesis existed before the sun. God is light, but if God said let there be light, and we argue that this light (God himself) was able to do photosynthesis, we are saying that God created himself or that he decided to start shining, which doesn’t make much sense. If we use the hebrew word for day “yom” and translate it as an era (which is one of its definitions) much more makes sense. Genesis 1:1 states that the Earth was without form and void after God created it, it already existed when God said let there be light. Now, in astronomy, stars form when dust clouds begin to fuse as atoms collide due to their own gravity. So, God created the Earth, and there was still a large dust cloud (also, hydrogen cloud) so thick that light could not pass. In time, it would dissipate and let sunshine pass through. That is the light. Then we eliminate the problem of photosynthesis.
Regarding creation day 4, the Earth had lots of CO2, and after plants were created they cleaned the atmosphere, allowing the view of the sun, moon, and stars.
This theory is a longshot, but it does eliminate many problems with science. What we can only know for sure is that God created everything. How he did it is just brainstorming for ideas, as we may never find out how he did it exactly.
@sanechev Thanks for sharing! I really enjoy hearing how people have thought through Gen 1 and what you described reminds me of Hugh Ross’s explanation a bit. It sounds like you would be interested in Hugh Ross’s ‘creation model approach’ if you are not already familiar.
I suspect answer is in verse one
In the beginning
There was a beginning. No scientific theory denies this. Big Bang…
precise order of universe strongly suggests a Creator
The heavens and the earth
Sheer size and complexity proves whoever Creator is, is beyond anything in creation itself
For me, verse one makes age of universe much less important
@manbooks Yes, the reality that there is a Creator is fundamental to our faith, while the age of the universe is something we can disagree upon while maintaining unity in the Body.
Hi everyone I just want to reiterate how important it is to keep our love for each other central to this debate over young earth and old earth and indeed any other view believers of Christ hold. When we get to heaven our salvation will not be dependent on what view of we held about creation but whether we know Christ. So let’s keep that in mind.
This being said , I’ve personally been on a significant journey regarding all this. Mainly because I got into an ongoing friendly debate with a non Christian atheist evolutionist colleague. And guess what . I knew that my yec view which I had held for over 40 years was going to inhibit my interaction with him. So I started doing some research on the various views held by Christians.
I took another look at genesis and realised that genesis 2 contradicts genesis 1 if you hold a young earth view. Let me explain this and a few other points. Okay if you’ve been to church for many years you would be familiar with the preacher who says the Hebrew word for this means this.
Well The heavens and the earth means the totality of everything being created . There is no Hebrew word for universe. Moses had to use heavens and earth. So the sun and stars and the earth were indeed made to a point on day 1. Also The Hebrew word for day has 4 different literal meanings. It can mean , the daylight hours , a 24 hour period , a three hour ( soldiers watch ) period or a long period of time. And get this , There is an evening and morning for day 1 , day 2, day 3 , day 4, day 5 day6 but not day seven. Why not? Because we are still in the seventh day. Well that would mean s long period of time wouldn’t it.
And there are scriptures in the New Testament which support the seventh day interpretation . But get this . If we take a yec view in genesis 2 . On day 6 , God created Adam . Then he placed Adam in the garden and he tended the garden Then Adam names all the animals. Now in Hebrew if you name an animal it means you have to study it. Adam was in fact the first biologist studying and naming all I said all the animals. Then Adam was put into a deep sleep and eve created from his rib.Adam was awoken and Adams response to seeing her was “ “At long last.” ( most translations say this) why would he say that if it wasn’t a long period of time. There is also the fact that the genesis account matches the scientific evidence ie the earth starts if a watery mass then gets a thin atmosphere and then light is able to shine through. It goes on .
So my response to this was , wow I wish I was shown or at least given this option of interpreting scripture. Now for me I have not only been engaging in more conversations with my atheist friend but been able to bring him to Christian meetings. His worldview has started to change . He is no longer an atheist . He is moving towards acknowledging Gods hand in his life alongside creation.ive also been sharing more with others . What I have found out in this journey is that in the field of astronomy particularly there is a wealth of evidence that overwhelmingly supports a personal creator and indeed Christ. Get this , astronomers agree that there is someone behind the universe. The anthropic argument in astronomy has well and truly been settled in favour of a creator . It has been heartening to be able to use all this evidence to share with my non Christian friends who are searching . And the evidence continues to grow. Each week scientists in astronomy are finding new evidence which shows that the universe and our earth is fine tuned for humanity’s existence . In no other apologetics arena do we have so much evidence as in the field of astronomy. It is really encouraging.
When we join the great arguments from philosophy and Rzm with the astronomical evidence you really have compelling arguments even the astronomers agree with. To be honest I really don’t care how old the universe is but guess what my non Christian Science compelled friends and colleagues do. If I can reach them for Christ that’s all I care about . That’s what we all should feel. When missionaries in years gone by went out to some remote place they got to know the people groups they were with and then presented Christ to them. Anyone with a science mind is like that. Largely An Un reached people group.now we can use the uncompromised inherent word of scripture and the science to share the gospel Cheers Bronwyn
I think there is a Hebrew word for universe
at least that’s what I was taught it means
In any case, no matter how old Olam is, the most important thing is that highly ordered creation requires a personal Creator.
Also, I’m no anthropologist, but I’ve never seen any evidence for organization of society older than 6000 years.
One argument I have heard in favor of an old Earth, and Universe, has to do with the stars.
When you look at a star today you are seeing it how it was years ago, depending on its distance. Some of the closest stars are about 100 light years away but some of the more distant ones might be as many as a million light years away.
So you are seeing that star how it looked a million years ago. If it even existed then. Certainly it is possible for God to create the star more recently but with a light trail that APPEARS to be a million light years long, but that seems to go against God’s nature since it would be very strange for God to create something with deception in mind.
So that would seem to point to an old earth/old universe. With Genesis 1 explaining more of a hierarchy of creation rather than an actual time frame. (Remember a day to the Lord is like 1,000 years).
There is another possibility too. Like Einstein said “time is relative”. Since time and space are woven together in a “fabric” called “space/time”, perception of time will be different depending on your position in space. 1 day in God’s eyes could literally be a million years in mans eyes.
It gets complex, but that is something to think about.
I think there was a book called “Genesis and the Big Bang” where I read some of that.
I am no astrophycicist either, but if time is not an absolute standard, we can’t know how old anything is, really. Something to ponder . . .
I also am in the YEC camp, but am always open to the possibility of being wrong. As long as we believe in the central message of the Gospel, we are all part of the church/family of God. We will know things better once He comes back! (Still very grateful for forums/ministries like this though - and civil ones at that )
I’m not officially an apologist, nor an astrophysicist haha, but one thing that makes me lean more towards the YEC side is the thought that - when God created Adam, He created him as a man, with age. I’m wondering, can’t we also apply that logic to other created things as well? I suppose I have to read more on the other explanations as well, but this is something that made me think.
Yes I agree ‘ with genesis describing A hierarchy of life rather than a time frame. There is also an evening and morning for days 1-6 but not day seven . Implying we are still in the seventh day.
I agree light travels at speed and consistency. When we look st the sun it is actually looking back in time as to when the sun was 8 minutes ago . That’s how long it took the light to travel from the sun to our eyes. With this in mind the same goes for other stars . But they are a long way away. If we got in a rocket ship and were able to travel at just 10 percent the speed of light( which we can’t yet) it would take 40 years to reach the next nearest star. They are millions of light years away. Light speed is a resolved mathematical equation. For me my God is big enough for the universe to be as old as he wants it to be or endeavours it to be for earth to accumulate the resources we need in the 21st century. But that’s another story . God bless
Heres another point. The Genesis account fits the scientific chronology of how the universe and earth were formed.
Ie when the spirit of god was hovering over the surface of the deep and darkness and water was all that there was . The science shows that all planets start on this way . A watery mass. There’s more I’ll mention later if anyone is interested.
Good point. How old was Adam on the day he was created? Only He and Eve never had to grow up to be adults, they were old when they were created. How old? Could be any span of time, we only know that it was on the sixth day, man’s day, that he was formed.
Hope that’s all ok now Sean sorry about that
@Bronie Haven’t been keeping up with this thread, but thanks for sharing your thoughts Bronie
Great points . While it is irrelevant as far as salvation goes. I personally don’t care how old the earth is because I’m saved . But this fact does hinder those who don’t know Christ and think that the bible teaches YEC. Interesting fact ‘There is not one scientist outside Christianity who believes the earth is young. ‘So it would appear to them that Christianity contradicts the scientific evidence and this would be I would suggest hinder them from considering Christ . I’ve worked with these people in the teaching field and it is hard to share with them if you retain a YEC viewpoint. Moreover we live in a world where many people just believe there isn’t a God. They vehemently suggest that science disproves him. How can we get them to John 3.16 if we can’t get them past genesis?? In Australia the salvation soil is even harder than in America. At least you gave a heritage to draw from.
I am in the YEC camp as well. The ‘there was evening and there was morning’ behind each day leads me to believe that ‘day’ is a 24-hour day. Also, I cannot get past the passage in Exodus in which God tells Moses to tell the people that He made everything in six days and rested the seventh (Ex. 20:11).
As for the science (as it pertains to testing the age of the Universe/Earth), I simply do not trust the math that is used to determine the age; I believe there is something missing.