Insights through Illusion for Daily Living

Does it even matter? Part 1

How old is the Earth?

Some people say that it is very young, only about 6000 years.
While others would say that it is very old.
The main question to consider in all of this however (and slightly overlooked by both sides sometimes) is this most important question…
In the grand scheme of eternity and kingdom work, does it matter how old the Earth is?
Think about it for a second. Before we dive in to looking at the two sides (as if it were just that easy and 2 sided) we need to remember one very important thing. Much like the talks about end times, once saved always saved, women’s role in ministry or discussions on the genre and structure of Biblical texts, this is an in-house debate for Christians. What I mean by that is, this is something that we need to discuss and dialogue about amongst each other, but when it comes to being in front of atheists and other non-believers, this should not be our hobby-horse or main focus.

Breaking Fellowship?-Not necessary.

The problem really comes in when the two sides start attacking each other in front of others. This doesn’t happen too often thankfully, but again much like any of the other topics listed above, there are multiple viewpoints each with their own merits.
I have personally seen one side tell the other side that if they don’t agree with them, then they have a very low view of scripture. This is particularly evident when it comes to the age of the earth argument.
Young earth creationists (I’ll call them YECs) think that OECs have a low view of scripture because they are not reading the 7 days of creation as literal seven days. However the OEC’s would argue that they are in no way diminishing the scripture because of the Hebrew language and the genre of the Pentateuch.
But before we even look at the merits of either side we have to note that there are multiple YECs and OECs views. For instance a YEC might hold the view based on modern cosmology and physics that the universe is in fact around 13.6 billion years old, with a relatively young earth. Likewise many OEC might take the view of a very old earth with 7 literal days of creation with ages in between the days.
So just in the last paragraph alone you see that the issue is not so cut and dry as we tend to think it is.
What’s important to remember is that neither view diminishes what Christ did on the cross for us. Neither view keeps Him in the grave. That is why this is an in-house debate, because if we are honest with ourselves, at the end of the day it really doesn’t matter how old the earth is if Christ is risen. That’s the central claim to our faith not the age of the earth or the timing of the rapture.

 

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2 responses

  1. Brent

    That last paragraph was so good, it felt like I read it twice.

    Seriously, though — and I don’t want to turn your apologetic blog (that I love) into a debate — if there were millions (or billions) of years of death before human sin, than death is not a consequence of sin. If physical death is not a consequence of sin … then what?

    May 8, 2013 at 1:41 am

    • Ha ha, thank you for spotting that. That’s the fun of trying to copy and paste everything on my iphone.

      That is an excellent question. My aim in the next few posts is to look at both sides of the debate showing the strongest and most challenging areas. The question you raise is definitely a tough nut for the OEC.

      Thanks for following and participating!

      May 8, 2013 at 1:49 am

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