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Feedback archiveFeedback 2014

An ‘old-earth’ answer provides only problems

Responding to an old-earth critic and his ‘authority’ arguments

by

Published: 4 January 2014 (GMT+10)

Recently, Mike Hore, an author from a specifically old earth creationist website, responded to my article What is your authority? Christians who invoke millions of years cannot make their arguments from the biblical texts. It might be worth a quick divert to my original article first before reading on.

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My responses to his article are interspersed below.

He wrote:1

I’ve deliberately named this article after the heading that Gary Bates (CEO, CMI-Worldwide) used as a heading in his recent supporters’ newsletter. This is really the big issue for YECs, and probably the main issue driving most of them. In fact, in recent years they’ve been calling themselves not “young-earth creationists”, but “Biblical creationists”,

Indeed. As a matter of fact, I was the first one who instigated this suggested clarification of terms back in October 2011 in a CMI newsletter. I advocated its use of the term to highlight the point that we actually believe what the Bible says to contrast with old-earthers or theistic evolutionists whose deference to secular science seems to trump what the Bible clearly indicates. You can read it here We are … biblical creationists?

thus implying that if we don’t believe in a young earth, we’re not Biblical, even if we think we are.

No, I wasn’t implying it, that’s exactly what I am saying. While this might seem a strong claim, I honestly feel that to claim that one is biblical when there is so much reading into the text is a tad disingenuous. Note, that I am not saying that an old earth creationist cannot be a Christian—just that one does not get the belief in an old earth (or evolution) from Scripture. This represents a low view of Scripture. Ergo, one is not being biblical and is being massively inconsistent with Christian beliefs. Our only source of knowledge about what is means to be a Christian, i.e. our fallen state and need for salvation come from the Scriptures to start with. Perhaps those passages need to be reinterpreted as well.

Hore has no problem in believing that God was able to do that in Genesis 1:1 when He created a massive, almost incomprehensively vast universe. What’s ironic is that he does have a problem in ‘believing’ that God is powerful enough to take only six days to do it.

If we defer to ‘science’ as our hermeneutical filter, and do so consistently, that will represent some major problems for theology. For instance, that same science shows that men don’t rise from the dead, so perhaps we should culturally reinterpret the Resurrection also. Science also shows that matter cannot be created or destroyed, but Hore has no problem in believing that God was able to do that in Genesis 1:1 when He created a massive, almost incomprehensively vast universe. What’s ironic is that he does have a problem in ‘believing’ that God is powerful enough to take only six days to do it. This is tragically familiar to the admonition in 2 Timothy 3:5 “having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

See Did God create over billions of years? And why is it important? for the single most important understanding of where the idea of a billions of years old earth came from.

In fact, (they think) we’ve compromised on the Bible, by letting science stand as another authority.

It’s what you’ve actually done—by your own argumentation and admission.

It doesn’t matter that many evangelical scholars of great reputation don’t seem have a problem with long ages; they’re not really Biblical, apparently.

No, they are not. But thanks for demonstrating another point. Not only is secular science your authority, but you are also saying that we should believe in an ancient earth because lots of other Christian scientists and scholars do. I.e. “Let’s believe because they do.” That is also a secondary argument from authority, but again the wrong one. It’s irrelevant if one million Christian scientists believed in an old earth or old universe. At one point in Church History, the non-Trinitarian Arian heresy2 was much more popular than the orthodox understanding of the Trinity, but we are glad that the deity of Christ was not decided by a popularity poll. As Christians, opinions (and particularly those based upon external evidence to the Bible) should not be our final authority—the Bible is, as in Sola Scriptura.3 This is the same tactic that the progressive creationist compromiser Hugh Ross uses to emotionally manipulate others into believing him, “Trust me. I’m an astronomer” or words to that effect!

Gary in his article comes to the crux of the matter when he quotes an answer he gave to a questioner at a meeting, who raised the problem of a reputed scholar having no problem with billions of years. In Gary’s reply, he said “…For instance, could you show me anywhere in Scripture, if I read it at face value, where I can read the term millions or billions of years? Or, even get the impression—just from Scripture—that the universe or the earth is that old?”
Gary appears to have a good point,

Thanks, but the following answer doesn’t negate it.

but the problem with his answer is the words “at face value”. None of us can actually read the Bible, or anything else, simply at face value. It sounds easy, but it’s not. We bring our cultural background understanding to everything we read or hear, and our culture is very different to the cultures at the time and place when the Bible books were written.
This is the huge blind spot that old-earther, theistic evolutionists and the Rossites of Progressive Creation have. They confuse the ‘science’ of an old earth which has more to do with history and beliefs about the past, with ‘real science’, the sort of science that can test gravity, for example.

So, in our enlightened ‘scientific age’ we need to reinterpret Scripture based upon our current (but ever-changing) scientific knowledge. But if this is the case we can never ever be sure that we’ve interpreted correctly and even understood the Bible. Tomorrow we might discover something (using ‘science’) that we don’t know today. Because I understand this principle I can never be sure or know if my current interpretation is correct. For example, if I interpreted Scripture in the light of the big bang theory. I would have changed my interpretation of Scripture many times over due to the ever-changing nature of the big bang. The big bang that I learnt in school is nothing like the big bang of today. For one thing, today’s version is approximately 10 billion years older. Those ‘days’ in Genesis will just have to keep being stretched!

The ‘Hore’ old earth approach is actually no different to the way that the ‘fundamentalist high priest’ of evolution, Richard Dawkins, advocates. He claims that by looking at the natural world one could easily deduce it has been designed. But his starting hypothesis is that naturalism is true so he says: “biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose4 [but are not].” In short, you need a scientist (read: evolutionist) to help you understand. In the same way, Hore is kind of saying “Gary Bates has a good point. At face value Genesis 1 appears to speak about normal days and nowhere in the Bible are millions of years mentioned, but this is not what Genesis 1 means.” Huh?

To be clear; yes, context and studying the grammar of Hebrew, what different genres communicate, etc., is important. But when we do this, we find even stronger evidence that Genesis means exactly what it appears to mean ‘at face value’. For instance, see Syntax and semantics in Genesis 1.

For us in western society, scientific questions are very important, and we look for answers in exact periods of time, or mass, or velocity, or whatever. It’s bred into us. So of course when we look at Genesis 1 we are inclined to see 24-hour days, and pick out all the detail of how God did things. This is natural for us.

As Christians, we should believe that “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16–17). If “God’s Word” is the truth, then what should be “natural” or straight forward is understanding the text the way the author (God) intended. Would we really want to imply that the One called “the Word” was unable to communicate clearly and effectively?

The big issue for old earthers is their eisegetical approach to the text (reading into, rather than ‘out of’). They read into the Scriptures, not based upon empirical, testable science, as in, operational science, but quite tragically via the glasses of ‘secular science’. There have been so many attempts over the years to reinterpret the word ‘day’ in Genesis one to accommodate this eisegetical approach.

Problem 1 for old-earthers. An inconsistent (pick and choose) approach to Scripture.

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Let’s take a closer look at the graphic (right).

As you can see, everywhere else in Scripture the word day (in Hebrew yom) is used outside of Genesis, when combined with a number or the words “evening” or “morning” or “night” and so on, there is no disagreement on the context of the word day. It is only questioned in Genesis chapter 1, and why? Because, if your a priori assumption is that secular science has shown the earth to be millions of years old, then one is forced to look for somewhere to fit the MOYs! So, to repeat, an old earth view does not come from the Bible, nor is it even implied by the Bible.

But for people of another culture, what they get out of the text might be quite different.

Exactly. That’s the point I am making and Hore is actually agreeing with me. Culturally, despite thousands of years of accumulated knowledge post Creation and post Flood, the later Bible authors also always understood the plain simple meaning of the Genesis word ‘day’. The old-earther’s cultural ‘glasses’ are secular science. A tribal culture’s might be spirit gods. But that does not mean that God’s Word should be interpreted or filtered in such a way. If the Bible says there is only one mediator between man and God (1 Tim. 2:5), for example, and this is open for interpretation, then one could argue that all religions are equal and there are many ways to God. As such, Scripture would be open house for any wacky idea or reinterpretation of supposed difficult passages that people want to invoke. What would be wrong with the popular current scientific trend suggesting that aliens are our creators and that maybe the ‘primitive’ Bible writers mistook them for god(s) based upon their cultural understanding of the times?

For example, I’ve worked for 30-plus years with Australian Indigenous people, and they wouldn’t be interested in these “scientific” questions at all. What is important for them in Genesis 1 is the spiritual power at work. We see no other spirits, just God alone, making everything from nothing, and then forming all the plants, animals and humans, just by his word, without any other spiritual forces having any role whatsoever. These people simply wouldn’t be very interested in such questions as what the days are, or how Adam could name all the animals within one day—other things are just far more significant for them.

I’m sorry but this is an illogical premise or line of thought. Firstly, being an Australian myself and having met many Aboriginal Christians, I’ve found that most have no problem in accepting what the text of Genesis says once they are saved. Once they believe God for who He is, they are free to also believe what He wrote, and as He wrote it. In fact, this could be described as their minds being conformed to Scripture, regardless of what their cultural bias might be. Romans 12:2 exhorts us, “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

In this context, although very unfortunate, it might actually be a blessing that many of them have not had the benefit of years of ‘high class’ secular public education (indoctrination) into the idea of millions of years. That’s why they would not be interested in the “scientific questions” as you’ve put it. In short, their knowledge of God comes from the text so they simply believe it without the extraneous baggage that old-earthers want to heap in there. BTW here is the answer to how Adam could name all the animals in one day that was raised.

So, I’m suggesting that while YECs are commendably determined to maintain the authority of the Bible, their particular interpretation is culturally determined, and isn’t in fact necessarily part of what the Bible is actually teaching us. And why should it? Why would God want to spell out for us in his Word details that we can find out for ourselves with the abilities he’s given us?

Let’s say cultural interpretation might have had something to do with the way the author wrote. But here we are today in our ‘modern culture’ still arguing for a plain understanding of the text. And why, because we have demonstrated time and again that the scientific methodology used to claim an ancient earth is flawed and cannot determine the ages of such things. Moreover, real science continues to show us how flawed old-earth interpretations are, and that the Bible’s timeframes are correct.

1. But the real reason that God tells us anything in Scripture (and therefore the reason for it) is so that we can believe in God and have a relationship with Him (there's nothing culturally that can change this view). Thus, this overarching tenet of Scripture would be undermined if we can't simply believe what He wrote. Why trust Him if He cannot be trusted? 2. Everything that we can observe in God's World should also agree with what we read in His Word. Nothing in science should contradict the historical Bible's historical points. While it might not be possible to prove scientifically, for instance, that God created in six days, there is lots of evidence to contradict an ancient age for the earth. 3. If the interpretation was culturally determined, we would expect the interpretation to change with the culture. For instance, a 1st century BC Jew, a medieval monk, and a 16th century reformer would all have a different interpretation of Scripture. Yet, 6-day creation was the majority view (including the church Fathers) until people started compromising on this point because of uniformitarian geology.

If we really have a high view of the authority of the Bible, we should be very eager to find out what it’s really teaching us, and not to look for other information which might interest us greatly, but isn’t actually part of the teaching.

I think that, in light of a plain reading of the text, that the aforementioned statement is again a tad disingenuous (sorry, but it’s actually gobbledygook, but I was trying to be kind 8094-smile). But let’s continue to investigate this big picture further anyway, because the Bible actually does teach us about the very things Hore is claiming it doesn’t.

Problem 2 for old-earthers. The Gospel hinges on a literal interpretation of Genesis.

For example, and this is just one possibility, Genesis 1 might be a parable or story giving a graphic account of creation in everyday terms. In Jewish culture this would be quite common, as we see in the New Testament parables, or when the Saducees [sic] came to Jesus with the story of the woman who’d been married to seven brothers, one at a time. Nobody thought this actually happened literally, but it was a vivid “thought experiment” to try to prove a point. Now I’m not claiming that this is necessarily what Genesis 1 is,

If it is not apt, then why use this as an appropriate illustration? Jesus was using an illustration as a teaching point. This is not the same genre as historical narrative. It’s a totally inappropriate comparison, in fact. This is an instance of a parable, a well-defined sub-genre present in Jesus’ teaching, intended to be interpreted figuratively. Hore’s method here is known as bait and switch , and once again, the arguments are not being made from the text itself. This violates the hermeneutical principle which is to test Scripture with Scripture—something that the church has done throughout its history. This ‘poetic’ approach is similar to the discredited Framework Hypothesis. There are many articles on our site (which have obviously not been read) about the context of the writing of Genesis 1, which demonstrate its genre as historical narrative. And as we shall see, what really happened in history is vital to most of our Christian doctrine including soteriology (the doctrine of salvation).

but just that it’s one possibility that would fit the culture. And this is the sort of question that should be in our minds when we’re trying to understand the Bible correctly. Sorting out the real teaching from the side details or teaching method isn’t always easy, but must be tackled if we really take the Bible seriously. And of course, this has been the lifetime’s work for these same evangelical scholars who have been written off by the YECs.
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Again, this is an appeal to the authority of, “Look we are scientists—trust us”. Please note that I could respond and say that CMI employs more Christian scientists than any other ministry that I am aware of, but it is irrelevant when trying to determine the meaning of the text of Genesis.

Also, Genesis is hardly a side issue that deflects from ‘real teaching’. What about the culture of the New Testament authors who referred back to Genesis 1 when they were establishing doctrines for the church? There are over 100 references to the book of Genesis in the NT. Specifically, 60 references to Genesis 1–11. Every NT author references Genesis 1–11 (see graphic).

Clearly, Paul and the NT authors and even the Lord Jesus Christ believed in a literal Genesis, the six days of Creation, a literal Adam and Eve and a global Flood. You would have to advocate that perhaps the Lord Jesus (the Creator—Colossians 1) did not understand what He was talking about or that He framed His teaching in such a way so that the culture of the day would understand Him. The problem with this view is that we would have to look back and say He was actually wrong. For example, In Mark 10:6 He said that God made human beings right at the beginning of Creation (day 6 of course). If the days were billions of years each that would have put them at the ‘end’ of Creation. See graphic. This is no small thing. Did ‘beginning’ mean after a 14 billion year period? Or perhaps wait a few more years and we will revise that timeframe in the light of ‘modern science’.

If Jesus was wrong then Scripture cannot be inspired. If He is capable of making mistakes, He is fallible and not divine, and therefore cannot pay for our sins. This is similar to the approach of the theistic evolutionary group Biologos who say that the NT authors were wrong when it came to Genesis. See It’s not Christianity!

As such, if Genesis is not real literal history, with a literal fall into sin and death, then we literally don’t need to be saved from anything. Believing in the events of the Garden of Eden is the basis and reason for the entire Gospel itself.

Problem 3 for old-earthers. The metaphorical approach to Genesis.

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus’s lineage is detailed all the way back to Adam. In Matthew it is traced to Abraham. These generations are there (see also Genesis chapters 5 and 11) to demonstrate that the Bible records real history from the beginning of time itself and that the characters in the Bible are real people who existed in real time and space. They are also important because they trace our Saviour’s lineage from Adam. Jesus was the ‘last Adam’ (1 Corinthians 15:45) because there was a real physical and historical first Adam who brought sin and death into the world. And remember, Jesus said Adam was there at the “beginning” of Creation. Jesus had to become human and a descendent of Adam like us to be our ‘Kinsman/Redeemer’ (Isaiah 59:20). If these genealogies are inaccurate in both the Old and New Testament, it would once again invalidate Scripture and also Jesus’ stature as our blood relative and Saviour.

Even if there were a few missing generations as Hugh Ross and some others claim, there are not millions of missing generations which would be needed to insert secular timeframes into Scripture. Such a notion stretches credulity.

Problem 4 for old-earthers. An appeal to an old earth violates the need for a Saviour.

Half the time I am not sure if old earthers really understand where the idea of an old earth actually comes from. Many might think that radiometric dating can somehow prove the age of rocks and fossils etc. and defer to that. Quite simply though, the age of the earth is derived from an interpretation of the earth’s geology. It is the belief that the majority of rock strata and the very fine sedimentary layers within them have been laid down slowly and gradually over hundreds of millions and even billions of years. That’s it!

It is staggering that old earthers, who acquiesce to science then disregard the very same science that now demonstrates these sorts of layers can be laid down rapidly due to catastrophic processes (the latter is now very much a part of secular geology). See Rapid Rock and Experiments on laminations of sediments.

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Guess which one gets modified? Apparently there is no conflict with science even though it is ‘updated’ every few years!

Although they claim they believe the Bible, they see no place for Noah’s Flood in creating the vast majority of these sediments—thousands of metres of them all over the earth. Yet, another inconvenient section of Scripture has to be ignored or reinterpreted (as a local Flood perhaps).

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But here is the rub. These same sediments contain fossils, and fossils are a record of dead things (and there are fossilized human remains in the rocks also). So, if one believes in millions of years then one is actually placing millions of years of death before Adam’s sin. And given that Adam’s fall in real time and space history is the reason we need a saviour, then the Gospel is undermined by a belief in millions of years.

The Bible is not in conflict with science

It’s ironic that the site Mike Hore wrote for is called Old Earth Ministries Bringing the Bible and Science Together Without Conflict. Of course, for there to be any conflict it just depends upon which type of scientific glasses one wears and whether the Bible is your final authority on all things (or things that it clearly addresses—like the age of the earth issue). This is the huge blind spot that old-earther, theistic evolutionists and the Rossites of Progressive Creation have. They confuse the ‘science’ of an old earth which has more to do with history and beliefs about the past, with ‘real science’, the sort of science that can test gravity, for example.

There is no need to resort to the theological gymnastics that the cause the Bible to be ‘modified’ or reinterpreted in some sort of novel or cultural glasses of the time. Although it was meant to be a response, Mike Hore only resorted to arguments outside of the Bible. This actually reinforced the point of my original article which was that the arguments for an old earth do not come from the Scriptures themselves.

Related Articles

Further Reading

References and notes

  1. Creation Science. What is our Authority?, oldearth.org/authority.htm, accessed 7 October, 2013. Return to text.
  2. This was a controversy that arose between Arius (who supported the non-Trinitarian position) and Athanasius (the Trinitarian position). The latter was even exiled for holding fast to what he thought the Scriptures clearly taught. Return to text.
  3. Latin, ‘By Scripture alone’. Return to text.
  4. Dawkins, R., The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design, Norton & Company, 1996, p. 1. Return to text.

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Readers’ comments
Ian N., Australia, 4 January 2014

I had a look at the website and many times they just didn't bother to reply and just used evolutionist replies, which shows who they support. In fact some of their articles are downright deceptive. One of the worst is their article about the word "yom". Often times when they are using to try and say that "yom" can mean an indefinite period of time, they are actually using the word "yomim" which is the plural form of the word, which is far different from the singular. Just shoddy work overall.

Gary Bates responds

Thanks Ian, 'yom' (day) can actually mean an indefinite period of time. But it is really a deceptive bait and switch for them to use it as a claim for long days in Genesis. For example, I could use the statement 'Back in my father's day", and that would be a different usage of the word day. But the issue is what is the author of Genesis trying to say. And all the examples I used in the article along with 'evening, morning' and a number show that the author was trying to convey a normal, 24 hour, earth rotation day. They actually have a low view of Scripture because their authority starts outside of what the Word clearly means.

Terry P., Australia, 4 January 2014

In Genesis God says he created the vegetation on day three, after he had caused dry land to appear. On day five, God says he created every kind of living creature that moves/swarms in the waters/seas, and every kind of bird over the land; and on day six, all kinds of animals on the land. But the old earth creationists’ (evolutionists) claim: All of these living things co-evolved over billions of years, and so the vegetation, sea creatures and birds, and then the land animals, could not logically have been created on separate days. They claim that ‘co-evolution’ is what God really should have inspired men to write in the Bible, had he had got his science and logic correct. However, the logic of how they actually arrived at that conclusion escapes me. But then, doesn't it also say in Genesis, that the serpent said to Eve: Did God really mean it, when he said not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, for on the day that you do you will surely die? Which begs the question: Who are you going to believe, the Creator who died and illogically raised himself from the dead, or Darwin who like Eve was conned into believing God was lying about dying?

Marc K., Australia, 4 January 2014

Mike wrote, "but the problem with his answer is the words 'at face value'. None of us can actually read the Bible, or anything else, simply at face value. It sounds easy, but it’s not." I wonder if Mike can see that his assertion is a self-defeating proposition (or a fine example of intellectual hubris/solipsism). After all, if I don't read his assertion at face value it becomes meaningless, meaningless as say someone who claims that there are no absolutes...well, no absolutes EXCEPT the proposition that there are no absolutes. Mike, I fancy, may argue similarly: One shouldn't take any statement at face value except my statement that you shouldn't take any statement at face value. Mike, you need to think more clearly.

Eugene T., Canada, 4 January 2014

Of course, God created over a long time!! Otherwise He would be a failure if we are the best He could do. Please excuse that terrible comment from a very imperfect person. There are many, many, many - maybe billions of inhabited worlds with people created in His image - but who have never sinned and they cannot visit us yet until this sin problem is settled. Thankfully, Jesus is coming soon - His people wait for Him.

Do not get stuck in Genesis 1, which talks about our home. This is why satan is stuck here. He cannot contaminate the other perfect worlds. Give God some credit. He not only created us but He came to save us also!! I cannot imagine God not creating! Check out Job & Hebrews and search 'worlds' in E.G. White's writings.

Gary Bates responds

Dear sir, you are actually doing the same thing that Hore does by venturing outside of what Scripture says in the following ways.

1. Your idea that the earth is old does not come from Scripture as the article showed.

2. Your assertion that there are billions of inhabited planets is not based on facts. It's not supported by science or Scripture. One can believe anything that one wants but that does not make it truth. Scripture is truth and we should derive our thinking from it.

3. Your idea about unfallen worlds is also unscriptural because the Bible is clear that the whole creation is fallen (the heavens and earth means everything that God created).

4. You defer to the writings of someone who adds such ideas to Scripture.

So, respectfully, you have not made very strong arguments from Scripture to support your beliefs. Also, one of the conditions of submitting comments to this site is that you search the site for answers. The question of Did God create life on other planets? is answered by clicking on the link provided. And it would be worth reading the articles linked to it and the comments below it

Eugene T., Canada, 4 January 2014

Mr. Bates, I commend you on your reply in that you are determined to follow Scripture. This is proper as the age of the earth has little if anything to do with our Salvation through Jesus' shed Blood for us. It is the Cross and Jesus is God again in Heaven that counts for our Salvation. May our faith be upheld in spite of problems in science, but in the end all will agree. Science is very good at observation and manipulation - not so good at origins. God's blessings to you, Eugene.

Gary Bates responds

Agreed, but moreover, all the information we need to know about our fallen state and our need for salvation comes from Scripture. And if Scripture is not infallible, especially at the beginning where the Fall is detailed, then the need for a Saviour is lost.

Rodney D., Australia, 4 January 2014

Thank you Gary Bates and CMI for a sound exegetical approach to the Scriptures and especially to Genesis! I love your articles and appreciate all the work you guys do. Cheers!!

Brian M., United States, 4 January 2014

All four gospels tell the miraculous story of Jesus feeding thousands of people. Starting with only several fish and loaves of bread, thousands ate to their fill. The leftovers filled up 12 baskets of food. That was a clear demonstration of creation power. It did not happen over millions of years. Do the Old-Earthers believe in that miracle?

Joseph M., United States, 4 January 2014

Bravo, Gary! A very fine response to an increasingly dangerous heresy that is creeping into our body. Many Christians are afraid to respond decisively to old-earthism, for fear of offending fellow believers, but this deception is as dangerous as a cancerous tumor, and must be dealt with radically. Just as Jesus never refrained from telling the truth, even when it caused offense, we must do the same. To some the difference of opinion may seem trivial, but a tiny amount of leaven will leaven the whole lump. 2 Pet. '2:1 But there arose false prophets also among the people, as among you also there shall be false teachers, who shall privily bring in destructive heresies, denying even the Master that bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.' 2 Pet. 2:2 'And many shall follow their lascivious doings; by reason of whom the way of the truth shall be evil spoken of.' Jesus believes the plain Scripture, and we must do the same. If we do, doors will be opened to us!

Re 3:8 I know thy works (behold, I have set before thee a door opened, which none can shut), that thou hast a little power, and didst keep my word, and didst not deny my name.

Peter C., United Kingdom, 4 January 2014

An excellent and comprehensive reply to a Christian who, like so many have been deceived into accepting the word of man over the Word of God. Your last point (4) is really the nub of the problem for old earthers. They have accepted “hook, line and sinker” Satan’s subtle but devastating deception (concocted and desperately defended to give credence to the atheistic evolutionary theory) that the age of the earth is a given – a known and established fact – “set in stone” (pun intended) - and that given is millions of years. Then, rather than totally reject the Word of God (which, given their lack of faith in it would probably be more honest) they rewrite (interpret) it to accommodate their flawed understanding. Unfortunately it doesn’t stop there: they pass their deception on to others and by doing so continue to assist the enemy in undermining the truth of scripture and in turn the faith of millions. The only stone on which we can stand with absolute confidence is the rock which King Nebuchadnezzar saw cut out but not by human hands (Daniel 2:34 & 45) - the Rock of ages - the first and last Word.

bill P., United States, 4 January 2014

Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 has an undetermined amount of time between it. God is the God of order and He did not create the earth without form and void. The Hebrew indicates it became that way. He even tells us later in Jeremiah and Isaiah that He did not create the world without form and void. What part of that do you not understand. You also claim that the whole creation is fallen, the heavens and the earth. So why do pray in the Lord's prayer "on earth as it is in Heaven". Heaven is not in a "fallen" state as you claim. No where in scripture does it say Heaven is in a fallen state, name one. The book of Daniel gives us the description of the statue, the first beings on this planet were gold based, just like the bottom ones were clay, thats us, the clay. The clay beings are about 6,000 years old, we were formed in Genesis 2, male first and female out of the male. Not so the being in chapter one, that being was not formed out of the dust of the ground, He/She (one) were spoken into being, and are the spitting image of Elohim, not so the being in chapter 2. Yeshuah, even told the pharisees in John, "I Am from above, you are from below". He came in the form of sinful flesh but He was not sinful flesh, His DNA differed from ours, His blood was sinless and different from ours, the child has the blood of the father, not the mother. He, Yeshuah, never addresses the age of the earth, never. You have mistranslated Genesis, which is fine, but you condemn others for not holding to your incorrect and incomplete translation of the scriptures. Which is not fine.

Gary Bates responds

Sigh, I wonder if you actually read the very detailed exegetical arguments in the article, or just decided to send off a reply seeing that it argued for a 'young Earth' and because you have your favourite 'gap theory' idea. For example, Jesus talking about man and woman being there are the beginning of creation leaves no room for gaps and millions of years. Your gap theory idea and its many incarnations are nothing new and have been answered on this site many times over. Just type 'gap theory' into the search engine please.

Oh, and here's one Scripture to answer your challenge. 2 Peter 3:7 says "But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly." Neither the same heavens and earth mentioned in Genesis 1 are exempt from being destroyed and restored. Why recreate a heavens or a new universe if it has not been subject to decay (Romans 8)? Also, 'condemn' is a rather strong word and emotionally manipulative. I did not condemn anyone. I merely critiqued an unbiblical premise from a professing Christian by using Scripture. Something I encourage you to do (actually deal with the points in an article) before responding--rather than suggesting ideas that are not based in Scripture. Your comment that our translation of Scripture is wrong, is off beam frankly. The only reason you are trying to invoke millions of years or whatever in Scripture is because you somehow think that secular science has proven same. You did not get this idea from Scripture. So respectfully you are the one starting with an assumption that does not come from the Word itself. If you actually don't know where the secular idea of an old Earth comes from I strongly recommend reading Did God create over billions of years? and you will discover why such views are harmful to the Gospel.

James K., United States, 4 January 2014

Interesting article. Starting with the axiom that God created the Heavens and the Earth everything on the Earth (and by implication He also created everything in the universe, then it seems logical to assume that using the intellect God gave us (we are, after all, created in His image), we should be able to discover the mechanisms by which His creations function and how they fit into the overall system He created.

Science is simply the process of trying to learn everything we can about God's creations. Science is an incremental process, what we learn today depends on not only what we have learned in the past, but also on what the investigative tool we have today will let us do that we could not do in the past. If "science" suggests that the Earth is millions or billions of years old, then (a) our science is wrong - or we have been approaching it incorrectly - or our tools of study are flawed; (b) our interpretation of Genesis is incorrect; or ( c ) our science is correct and Genesis is correct but our interpretation/understanding of Genesis is incomplete.We know that God has revealed his plans and intentions gradually over the last six thousand years, and what we "know about" and "understand" from scripture today is more complete than what was known 2000 or 4000 years ago. So maybe there is more we have to learn. Just as you cannot pick and choose which scripture to believe, you cannot pick and choose which parts of science you believe. If God created everything, then both must agree. If they do not, then there is something we need to know about one or the other or both that we currently do not know.

Gary Bates responds

I agree, but what does one mean when using the term 'science'. Science is about investigating and building upon the former. But there is no scientific method that can tell you how old the earth is, or that there was a big bang 14 billions years ago. All scientists, creationists and evolutionists, have the same facts. But it is our presuppositions that cause us to interpret them different. I recommend reading It's not science as I think it would be helpful in casting a bit more light on this subject.

Kenneth L., Canada, 4 January 2014

If the creation days of Genesis 1 were hundreds of millions of years each in duration (as theistic evolutionism requires), then we must still be in day 6, since, by the Bible's chronology, humans were created on day 6 and human lineage from then until now is only thousands of years. Yet the Bible records day 7 as preceeding virtually all of that time. Also, the Bible says that God rested on the seventh day. Was that rest hundreds of millions of years long? Has God done nothing over that period of time since His creation work, encompassing (I speak as a fool) billions of years of creation by death? How absurd! One would have to discard the entire Bible to believe that. One must indeed torture Scripture to believe in long ages and macro-evolution. But one needn't torture science to believe in God's Word as He gave it to us, if one is aware of the vast amount of scientific evidence now extant that confirms a plain reading of Genesis 1-11. I urge Christians who have questions about this to do just that: spend time on websites such as creation.com and learn the scientific evidence that confirms that God gave us the unvarnished truth about His acts of creation in plain language in Genesis 1-11. Only a long indoctrination in the sloppy 'science' of evolutionism has caused doubt of this in many modern Christians. I was once such a Christian, and I thank God for leading me to the evidence that confirmed His plain truth to me: Genesis 1-11 means exactly what it says, not what modern evolutionist 'science' says it says. Have confidence in the Bible exactly as God gave it to us. Real science verifies the Bible's history of God's creation 100%. Interpret science through God's Word, not the other way around, and your life will be built upon the rock of God's Word, not shifting sand.

Anthony G., United States, 4 January 2014

I will make this short because you consistently refuse to argue point by point about Genesis FLAWS due to the fact that Moses was sitting on planet earth when he wrote it. God would NEVER have said those things about the "lamps" in the sky (sun and moon) from His perspective but never mind that. It's a waste of time to argue with you. My question is, what sort of a conundrum will you find yourself in IF the Earth, forget the rest of what is out there for a moment, is found to be 140,000 years old along with evidence that no evolution ever occurred and all life forms here were created in a series of events after catastrophes like the flood and volcanic eruptions and meteors in different time periods along those 140,000 years? Will you just pretend it didn't happen? The bible doesn't tell people to brush their teeth but science has taught us that it's a good idea to do so. That proves that TRUTH is the final authority. The bible does NOT have a monopoly on it as you claim. Jesus Christ is NOT the Bible. YET, He IS the TRUTH. He is the cornerstone, not the old testament. The bible has a purpose but you pretend no other authority is valid if it contradicts the idea that the sun stood still for an hour or more? That's just silly. And that is just one example. I am a 'whatever the age of earth non-evolutionary hard science comes up with' Christian. Instead of addressing issues point by point, you point to "we already answered that" type NON answers or worse, accuse us of being apostates or atheists! May God have mercy on your willful rejection of empirical evidence and reveal to you that the legalistic, pharisaic path you or on is a stumbling block to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I don't believe you will print this but if you do, than you.

Gary Bates responds

I will publish your comments on this occasion so that readers can see for themselves the type of unbiblical arguments that you continually send to our site. It appears that you must have some sort of special revelation that God has not seen fit to also inform us about, moreover, stuff that also contradicts what is written in His Word. So, respectfully, with such a view it would be actually impossible to have a reasonable debate with you because your authority is just whatever you decide to come up with. As such, we would be arguing past each other. However, be aware that because of your insults and condemning attitude at the end, this will be the last comment to be posted by you on creation.com. BTW we are not obliged to answer every email point by point so your emotional manipulation with not gain any traction here. At the time of writing we have over 9,500 free articles on our site as a service to readers that can also deal with your unbiblical claims. The onus is upon you. For example, you should probably deal with the reasoning in articles like Did God create over billions of years?. The only reason you are trying to argue for long periods of time is because of secular science, but that shouldn't be surprising given your low view of Scripture.

Ambrose E., United Kingdom, 5 January 2014

"Comment below it". How can one comment below it when nearly all comments are closed? Please I take that back. It does seem there is a tone of anger here against christians who do support your views. I have have a question for you "Have you ever asked God questions about these things?" Sometimes we end up fighting when we should not be. It is good you are doing this, but What if ....?

Gary Bates responds

How does one know what defines a Christian? How does one know that we are fallen beings and need to be saved? I would suggest that all this information comes from His Word--the Bible. So, if the Bible implies and is pretty clear that His creation is not millions or billions of years old, then what would be the point of asking Him the 'what if?' question? That is, for any information that might contradict what He said? We need to either believe him at His Word. If one wants to have a foot in each camp, how can one really be sure of knowing anything. if our understanding of Scripture was to be changed by some discovery tomorrow, one could never be sure of what one believes.

And surely, if one read the article carefully, it detailed why believing in such long timeframes are damaging to the integrity of his Word. Would you also mind reading Did God create over billions of years? as it will show where the idea of long ages came from.

I am not sure why you thought this article was closed. Articles remain open for two weeks after publication. If you looked at older articles they would be closed for comments. We simply do not have the resources to comment on all of the over 9,500 comments on our site continually.

BTW there is no anger. But if one publishes then it is conventionally understood that one is fair game to criticism and critiquing. The need for a robust response is because professing Christians seem to not understand that when they defer to millions of years their authority is not the very Scriptures they profess to believe in.

Cg A., United States, 5 January 2014

I'll try to be brief which is very difficult when so much has been said in this article. First: From Genesis Chapter 1 of the NKJV. The History of Creation.

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was[a] on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.

"The evening and the morning were the first day." This is a DEFINITION stated in the Word of God. The only argument by 'old earth' folks is whether God knew what he was saying or not. The explanation is quite simple by anyone not trying to use what God wrote to say something else.

"Let there be light." This is not Sunlight but it was shining on one side of the globe and, obvious to this discussion, the Earth was already turning 360 degrees in one 24 hour time period of evening and the following day. THE LENGTH OF THE DAY WAS CREATED on day one. This is unarguable because God said it. When the sun was added *later*, it did not affect the rotation of the Earth by one iota. God did not say the length of a day changed. Sorry, the length of the The first day was no different from any later days.

These long dissertations NEVER SEEM TO HAVE A QUESTION in them! Evolution is based on a set of ideas that are designed to replace the Biblical account of creation without ever asking ONE SINGLE QUESTION that can't be answered by the Bible. To ignore Scripture is to live in ignorance. The Earth is NOT old, evolution never happened and Science will never get it.

Richard L., United Arab Emirates, 5 January 2014

Key Questions:

Q1-Am I able to hear / notice if God speaks—clearly—on topic X in the Bible?

Q2… if [getting harder] (1) God simply instructs? (2) corrects something I have wrongly believed (needing my humbleness)? (3) requires me to publically contend for this corrective truth? (4) even when almost all of society thinks that I am wrong (cross-cultural corrective truth)? (5) even when this issue involves the universe-origin or biological-history areas of science? (6) even when other—seemingly solid—areas of science (e.g., timeframe) are involved?

Q3-Am I able to objectively consider, in detail, what such corrective biblical text would look like (genre, embedded definitions, other textual clarification devices, etc.)?

Q4-Do I pass the Jesus-given test of “He who has ears to hear, let him hear”? (Am I able to see / hear [have intake of input of] what is actually in corrective Bible texts--such as Genesis 1?)

From what I can see of what the old-ager in this article says, he achieves victory up to Level 5 (of Q2), but he fails at Level 6. I used to be in that situation myself (as was my church heritage). The ability of old-agers to contend for the God’s corrective truth up to Level 5—being willing to let SOME science content exist in Genesis 1—makes it harder for them to see their blind spot.

Damien S., Australia, 5 January 2014

Gary Bates responds to Eugene T by saying "So, respectfully, you have not made very strong arguments from Scripture to support your beliefs". Gary, you are wrong! Eugene has NOT made ANY arguments from scripture at all. He made one statement of fact about Jesus' return, but this statement has no connection whatsoever to his argument. Picky, I know, so I apologise.

Colin N., Australia, 5 January 2014

Mike Hore states "their particular interpretation is culturally determined", speaking of Young Earth believers. I'd suggest that he too is influenced by the culture of evolutionism which is really a means of denying the truth of God as we witness in Romans 1. There is also the culture of liberalism to which Mike and his belief in theistic evolutionism has catered. Careful Mike - you can go anywhere with your methods of Biblical interpretation as filtered through the eyes of unbelief.

Craig W., Canada, 5 January 2014

I cannot help but notice the incredible amount of contempt the writer of this article and many of those commenting show for those whose viewpoints do not line up exactly with theirs. Tell me, how does this attitude benefit the church? Is a young-earth belief so vital to you that you would actually question the salvation, faith, or understanding of others based on that fact alone? Tell me, why is it so vital to believe this? Is it necessary for salvation? Is it required for living a life of service and commitment to Christ? It just so happens that there are a number of credible, Bible-believing theologians who are able to consider an old-age earth because of their understanding of the use of the Hebrew language in Genesis. They've done their research. They've committed time and energy into that research, and it certainly has nothing to do with evolution or modern science. This is one of the major reasons I will not subscribe to or support CMI. While I have found a number of articles interesting, I simply cannot support a group of people who are so full of pride and contempt for others.

Gary Bates responds

Craig, I think it would be helpful for you to realize that in academia it is quite normal to have articles critiqued in such a robust way. In short, when one publishes, one expects it and should be prepared to defend your views (as I have done). If not, don't publish. Ironically, I noticed that you apparently have no problem with Hore expressing his critical view that originally came about from critiquing my original article. That's quite revealing as I suspect your view about the age of the earth is similar to his, so you need to resort to emotional wrangling instead of dealing in an academic way with the points in the actual article. I don't have a problem with people critiquing my work, as my deference will always be to what we can actually glean from Scripture in such matters, and, such, I believe we will always be able to defend God's Word on this issue. If someone doesn't believe the Word in this area then we would be talking past each other anyway. My authority is not secular science. What's yours? So, we need to tell it like it us, as it leads people astray from a trust in His inerrant Word.

If you read the article carefully, you would have seen why the age of the earth is important. It's what the Bible clearly indicates. Moreover, the whole concept of an ancient Earth comes from a fault interpretation of the fossil record (See Did God create over billions of years? The secular (millions of years) view would therefore put millions of years of death and suffering before the Fall, and therefore violate the very basis of the Gospel. That is, a good world gone bad as a result of man's sin. And thus, the need for the perfect Son of God's incarnation to save us from this world. And although you say they have equally done their research, that may be so, but that doesn't make them equally correct.

With regard to your comment about not supporting CMI. That's your choice, but onlookers should be aware that you did not engage with any of the actual points in my article. Instead you resorted to emotional pleas (disunity etc.) and the comment not to support is designed to persuade others. Playing the man instead of the ball. I suggest to you that those who cause disunity in the body are those who do not choose to plainly believe God at His Word. Ergo, "Did God really say?" See But it's divisive!

William B., United States, 5 January 2014

Dear Gary,

Thank you for your article. It was well written and explained in depth why it is the Bible is true and how we can trust the very Word of God as the truth. I believe that God used the word "day" as a literal 24 hours just like he used the word day in other parts of the scripture, as you pointed out in your article. Genesis is one of my favorite books of the Bible. The other book I find most interesting is Revelation as well as other scriptures relating to the end times. I was wondering have you wrote any articles on the end times and what part the Church plays in it? I realize that your ministry is about the Creation but it seems to me Revelation and other end times scriptures wrap up what God had started in Genesis. To me Revelation gives a perspective or should I say the purpose what Genesis is about.

Peter D., United Kingdom, 5 January 2014

Thanks for the article. I should just point out for the sake of accuracy that the genealogy diagram has Luke and Matthew mixed up.

Seathrun M., Ireland, 5 January 2014

Dear Sir, In your article you refer at least twice to "Christian scientists". May I suggest that you use another term such as "scientists who are Christians", "born-again scientists", "scientist Christians" or "scientifically qualified Christians" in order to avoid confusion with so-called "Christian Scientists" (with a capital S) who are neither scientists nor Christians but members of a cult which resembles some Hindu ideas more than it does Christianity. God bless your vital work, Seathrún

Gary Bates responds

Hi Seathrun, I understand the concern and it might pay for us to keep an eye on that in future. However, I should point out that the distinction was clear. They were referred to as Christian scientists with a lower capitalized 's' for scientist. If one had been referring to the cult it would have been Christian Scientists with a capitalized 'S'. Thanks for your suggestion nonetheless.

Colin N., Australia, 6 January 2014

Can't help but mentioning the letter by "Craig W" who seems himself very keen to criticize and condemn - the very crime he accuses Gary of. To hold to the Scriptures as God's word, rather than to "interpret" them as we feel led is basic to Christian belief. I did not detect any judgmental criticism in Gary's reply or in the CMI website. I find instead the strong desire to take and teach the accuracy of the Bible. By doing so they can't help but tread on toes. If your toes are trodden on, then get them out of the way and uphold the honest and accurate teaching of the inspired word of God.

bill P., United States, 6 January 2014

I love it, your inconsistency and dogma. You are right and everyone else is wrong, you have God the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit. Everyone that believes other than your puny interpretation of the scriptures is wrong. You also make a lot of false assumptions of what you think others believe. Genesis 1:1 clearly states Elohim brought into being, the upper parts and the lower part, and the lower part BECAME without form and void. Before you get to anything else you have to accept THAT. It doesn't tell you what happened because you and I are on a need to know basis, meaning we don't need to know yet. Time is relative to the earth, even our satellites have to be recalibrated routinely because time is slower the further away from the planet earth you get. All of your exegetical wrangling is just that. The truth is that scholars are making educated guesses to the meaning and grammar of our translations of the Hebrew language. The preciseness that you hinge your arguments simply does not exist. Not to say that they haven't tried. If you disagree, fine, but take a look at any Hebrew dictionary, one word can have many different meanings and some of them are opposite. Also, I don't have a problem with 24 hour days of restoring order to the earth, I never said "creation" took billions or millions of years. Adam was told to re-plenish the earth, re- means do it again. Jesus based the resurrection on the word "is", God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, meaning they still live. The "Gap" theory is an incorrect tag, there is no gap in time, just a pause in the story of eternity, and one day Yeshuah will reveal to us what happened there. It doesn't mean we can't ask. It does mean that you should treat your brothers and sisters in Christ with the same love you have for Him.

Gary Bates responds

It seems ironic that you accuse us of being dogmatic you go on to be actually dogmatic in your own response. You are implying that we are not aware of many other ideas or interpretations, but then your comments go on to indicate that you are not very well informed about the issue yourself, because these have all been answered on this site. Take, for example, your comments about the word 'replenish'. We have numerous articles about this on this site. Although you claim this is not classic gap theory, it is very much part of it. See the article What does replenish the earth mean? or Replenish or refill?. The word 'replenish only appears in the older translations like the KJV but modern translations reflect the correct meaning of the word in today's vernacular.

As I wrote earlier, those who do not believe God at His Word are the ones causing disunity. So rather than criticise us for responding to a critique, have you contacted Mr Hore in the same way for writing his article in the first place? :) I suspect not, but instead you prefer to use an emotional argument by claiming we do not love others because we hold their false teaching to account. According to the Scriptures, bringing reproof and correct teaching is loving others. Evolution and its corollary of millions of years has caused countless people to leave the faith. I would hardly think endorsing that view or staying silent about the damage its caused is very loving. In fact, to accuse us of this seems quite hypocritical given the tone and anger of your own comment, which doesn't come across as very loving does it? Also, it appears the majority of respondents on this site don't seem to have a problem with any tone in our article, except for a couple of people, who, like yourself who want to allow for long periods of time (in eternity or whatever theological gymnastics one wants to attempt). This is really playing the man instead of the ball, somewhat.

Lastly, if you revisit this article, I encouraged you to read the comment by a Kenneth L. I think his words sum up your position quite well, and I echo his comments to you.

Mike J., Canada, 6 January 2014

If one is going to use 'science' to judge Genesis, then to be consistent you would have to deny scripture itself... as 'science' says such a thing is impossible. When people say they take the Bible seriously you need to find out what their view of the Bible is; as for many liberals it's simply the word of man. Almost every OE christian I've ever come across claims that Genesis was a product of late Jewish culture (ie. well after the Flood, probably around the time of the Exile) but this is not what one sees in the text. i.e. we're told repeatedly that passages were family records.... dating all the way back to Adam. So why do they insist on this ''reading'' of the text? It suits their purpose - which is to show that Genesis isn't a historical record but merely a cultural artifact (supposedly written as some kind of polemic against the popular ''creation stories'' of the day. Since this is the case they claim it can be ignored as having no relevance. There's no way Moses could have known Noah... and so we can only assume he used ancient (pre-flood and early post flood) records in compiling the text we know as Genesis. (Since Noah was perhaps the most famous man of his time it's hardly surprising that he left behind family records; in fact it would be strange if he hadn't.)

Kenneth L., Canada, 6 January 2014

Our brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ who believe in an old Earth (as I once did) cannot escape the fact that their OE belief is based not on a belief in Scripture (which Jesus referenced as truth, without qualification by 'academics'), but on faith in the professions of mostly unbelieving scientists, whose version of the 'truth' changes on a regular basis. Also they must admit that their OE belief is a very recent (in terms of Church history) phenomenon. Do they really think that God and His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, left Christians in the dark as to the truth of Creation for most of Church history, only to later suddenly reveal the 'truth' through unbelievers Hutton, Lyell and Darwin? With all due respect to my OE believing brothers and sisters, they need to wake up and realize whose doctrine they are caught up with and Whose they are opposing. Jesus Christ had every opportunity to make it clear to the Apostles if Creation was progressive or evolutionary over hundred of thousands or millions of years. You will search in vain for any such teaching from Jesus Christ, because He did not do so. Instead, He referenced Genesis 1 to 11 over and over without reading anything into it that was not already in the plain reading of the text. Why? Because He knew that Genesis was not written as poetry or concealing crucial information in poetic language, but was written as the plain truth. Days were simply normal days and the beginning was the beginning, not long ages. You cannot read Jesus' teachings and come to any other conclusion than that He was teaching an Earth which had been created as Genesis plainly tells us it was created, with Adam and Eve there in the beginning, not after much time, and that they fell into sin, resulting in death and the need for a Savior.

Paula S., United States, 6 January 2014

It would seem that the application of Occam's Razor would be an appropriate tool in the interpretation of Scripture. In which case, the Biblical creation view of a literal creation week which took place @6,000-10,000 years ago would be the only acceptable view, because this view employs by far the fewest assumptions and contrivances.

Kyle S., United States, 6 January 2014

The problem I see is the aggression in comments and, on a much more minor scale, the article. It is irrelevant what I believe and between believers it is also irrelevant. I find it very interesting to read opinions and views, but as long as someone fully believes in God I don’t see a problem with old or young earth believers. The fact of the matter is that there is a lot God doesn’t talk about in the bible. What does he look like for example? It’s not in there for a reason and we will know what that reason is later. God can make everything in six days…absolutely. He can make it in six billion years or even six nanoseconds. One point I didn’t see anywhere else is that God never said he made a baby or sapling. He made mature animals and plants, and a mature man, not a baby. He very well could have made a mature earth as well. This earth would look similar to one that had the effect of aging for millions of years if made randomly somehow. Could Genesis just be a way God wanted the days of the week to work? Sure. Could it be a literal reference? Absolutely.

One part that I always found odd was the sequence that God used in Genesis. He made the sun and the stars so as to track time after other days had already passed. Of course God doesnt need them but it seems like an odd to put such a "face-value" inconsistancy to new believers.

Just remember that when these discussion turn angry and insults fly, a foothold for Satan has crept in. Stand united not torn apart by curiousity and interpretation. These opinions ,I dont believe are sin; some reactions to one another based off disagreements can be.

(Please forgive any grammer or spelling errors I missed)

Gary Bates responds

Kyle, while your comments are well meaning they fail to understand what's at stake--clearly detailed in the article though. It's not about what God could have done, it's about what He said He did. So any 'coulda, woulda' type arguments are dangerous because then the Bible is up for anything that one wants to invoke in there. I'm not sure if you actually fully understand what is at stake. It reminds me of the passage in Hosea 4:6 "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” The idea of millions of years comes from one area alone. It's an interpretation of the fossil record. That's it! The slow gradual deposition of the rock layers buried organisms over millions of years. (Did you see the picture of Adam and Even on the garden of bones?). Such an interpretation puts death before Adam and the Fall so the Gospel is violated. Did you get that--the Gospel is violated by a belief in millions of years because of the idea of where MOY comes from? Note: the genealogy chart and how Jesus' ancestry can be traced from Adam. Did you see room for MOY in there?

And respectfully raising comments that the Bible doesn't talk about lots of things is a bit of a red herring. We can use 'real operational science' to confirm whether the Bible is correct or not in areas where the Bible speaks about such things. For example, the secular view (like the MOYs) says man evolved from apes. But the Bible is clear that is not the case. So should we also say "Well, God might have done it that way because the Bible doesn't tell us about a lot of things?" What we read in God's Word should agree with what we see in His World. A MOYs interpretation of the world's geology compromises the integrity of the Bible and the Gospel.

May I recommend read the following couple of articles to increase your knowledge on this subject?

Did God create over billions of years?. This will help you understand where the idea came from. Note that the idea did not come from Scripture.

The Earth: How old does it look? You will find that the earth is actually old, 6,000 years old.

john P., Australia, 8 January 2014

The earth is indeed old at 60 centuries. Those of us believing Scripture as is, i.e. Genesis as literal history and God's Word, are biblical revelationists - the YEC term distinguishing us from those placing authority on man's word and myths,which old earth stories are. They don't come from Scripture but are part of the devil's con, his scam. Just because some scholar has spent his life studying the Bible should not result in him being filled with pride and thinking he knows more than God which is the deception some of these old earth scholars are under-they reject the inerrancy and authority of God's Word and use their own imagination. I've read some of these books and they are nonsense, no substance, not truth

Everall T., South Africa, 10 January 2014

I love your site and I am convinced you ONLY use the Scriptures.

Regarding Anthony G. He seems to read your articles a lot and Gods word NEVER comes back void

I sense that he is truly searching.

So beware because (Seek and ye shall find)

Thanks for a well balanced view.

I used to get the mag but cannot afford it now I am on pension but your site is good enough.

God bless your hard work

Everall

Richard W., Canada, 10 January 2014

I am surprised that anyone would, as Hore has suggested, assume that the meaning of a text is relevant to the culture which reads it. Would he suggest that where different languages are used, say the U.N. Assembly, the listener may interpret the meaning of another language by what it "sounds like" in the listener's own language? Hardly. Instead it is more important that what the speaker INTENDS to say is understood as he/she INTENDS that it be understood. That is why we learn another language or find a trusted interpreter.

Creator God is the author of Genesis and his message needs to be understood as He intends it to be understood rather than a private interpretation. I believe God delivered the historical record in a way that we can understand. Becuase we cannot understand His awesome power to do anything He choses is not an excuse for man to invent his own interpretation.

J. M., Canada, 11 January 2014

Jesus clearly accepts Genesis as hard, cold, literal historical fact. Matthew. 24:37-38 "The coming of the Son of Man will be like what happened in the time of Noah. In the days before the flood people ate and drank, men and women married , up to the very day Noah went into the boat; yet they did not realize what was happening until the flood came and swept them all away. That is how it will be when the son of man comes." Jesus is affirming the global flood in Genesis 6-9.

Matthew 23:34-35 "Therefore, behold, I send to you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and pursue from town to town, so that there may come upon you all the righteous blood shed upon earth, from the righteous blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the alter. Amen, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation." In talking to pharisees, Jesus referred to the entire Canon by mentioning all the prophets from Abel (from Genesis, the first book and first martyr) to Zechariah (Chronicles, the last book, and the last martyr). (Genesis 4; 2nd generation of man- Logically, if Abel is real, so is his father Adam.)

Matthew 19:4-6 In reference to divorce “Haven’t you read the scripture that says in the beginning the Creator made people male and female. And God said “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and unite with his wife, and the two will become one. So they are no longer two, but one. No human being must separate, then, what God has joined together. Jesus quoted Genesis 1:27 and 2:24 about a real first man and first woman who became the first couple, and this was the basis for marriage between one man and one woman

J. M., Canada, 11 January 2014

What does Mike make of this scripture? Exodus 20:11 (read Exodus 20:8-11 "Observe the Sabbath and keep it holy. You have six days in which to do your work, but the seventh day is a day of rest dedicated to me...) In six days I, the Lord, made the earth, the sky, the seas, and everything in them, but on the seventh day I rested. That is why I, the Lord, blessed the Sabbath and made it holy." God Himself wrote the Ten Commandments with His finger. The 4th one only makes sense in light of Genesis 1. This scripture alone should make old earth Christians tremble.

Robert S., United States, 14 January 2014

Cutting off Genesis 1-11 from the Bible is a classic military maneuver. The Bible was flanked and Genesis was cut off from the body and isolated where it has remained under attack. Today many to most Christians will defend the scientific interpretation of Genesis. We need to recognise this as an act of spiritual warfare and retake Genesis as God's pure Word. Collaborators in this flanking maneuver must be exposed and isolated from the greater Church. There is a lot at stake and being "nice" is unconscionable. I suggest compiling a list of all Christian opinion leaders that are collaborating with the enemy and expose them in the light of truth.

Alan M., Canada, 14 January 2014

Dear Sir

This is a good article. I think if I were speaking to this man I would ask him the following question. When a doctrinal controversy arises how ought Christians to go about resolving which side has the valid position (w/o judging the issue by the behaviour of the proponents). I think that Jesus gave us the proper test. A good tree produces good fruit and a bad tree produces bad fruit.

1) It is Bad fruit to give the scientific community permission to interpret the Scripture which the Bible teaches is the responsibility of the Holy Spirit

2) Jesus taught that He was the Truth, i.e. the reality of life, and thus what you see in the physical is not necessarily what is real. Think of the change in understanding when Neo takes the red pill in The Matrix. Trusting those with expertise in the physical reality does not always work out in your spiritual life.

3) Many Christians realize that Genesis is a historical narrative but are afraid to say so out of fear of what people will think of them. They become afraid to witness to the glory of God.

4) If Adam is not real how can the last Adam, Jesus, be real.

There are many other bad fruit but I think this avenue has potential. Good fruits are also evident in your walk in trusting Jesus.

Alan Montgomery

Henry S., United States, 14 January 2014

Another stellar job by CMI and Gary Bates. I have never come across an old-earth creationist (OEC) argument that holds up to exegetical, theological or hermeneutical scrutiny. I have yet to see a remotely satisfactory OEC answer to Paul's excursus in Romans 8:19-23, a passage that irrefutably subverts the OEC position. The universally futile and corrupt state of affairs that pervades the sub-human created order points to one event as its cause: Adam’s fall. The futility of the created order is far-reaching and comprehensive: all creation is under a universal death sentence. Paul’s entire thrust concerning the cosmic nature of death extends beyond the immediate context of chapter 8 and reaches back to Romans 5, which emphasizes the transgression of Adam. Any long-age cosmic history necessarily entails the evolutionary development of man from lower creatures. The whole package of long ages in the fossil and archaeological record includes human evolution from lower forms of life prior to Adam. The long-age argument necessitates eons of death in the entire chain of human ancestry. Such a position divorces death from any sinful acts in man’s relation to God, severely undermining the coherence of the Gospel. It undercuts man’s responsibility for his own death, for he is no longer responsible for the fact that he dies. God, in effect, has made him this way. In any OEC construct, death is not “the last enemy,” but a normative part of human experience. This is theologically unacceptable, yet OEC proponents continue to ignore the Gospel destroying implications which flow from their position. Keep up the great work.

Henry B. Smith Jr.

Associates for Biblical Research

Tim P., Australia, 15 January 2014

Kenneth L.,

Both of your comments are great! Well said.

Colin N., Australia, 16 January 2014

Craig W, like many theistic evolutionists uses emotive words to describe those that would dare to disagree with what he likes to believe. His attitude seems to be - "Please do not threaten my settled comfortable beliefs". Anger is no way to answer those that disagree with what you believe Craig, instead why not produce the scientific facts which prove these people wrong? By the way, aren't you treating young-earth believers with contempt as you accuse them of doing? I don't hear or read of the CMI people questioning "the salvation, faith, or understanding of others based on that (young earth) fact alone" Come on Craig, if your beliefs are accurate, then what have you got to fear? Truthfully, I think that fear is your real problem.

Mike H., Australia, 16 January 2014

Thanks for the thoughtful comments Gary. I'm always willing to be challenged and move in my own thinking too. I appreciate that you didn't quote me out of context or make any sort of personal attack. This is the way a response should always be done. And yes, I do receive InfoBytes! Cheers.

Robin S., Australia, 16 January 2014

Thank you for your article. It is not hard to understand Genesis 1 and 2.

When one refer to "scientists", it is often used as code for someone whose conclusions are infallible. However, I propose that people who promote evolution on the basis that they are scientists are not being scientists. Their conclusions remain untested. they may have good scientific academic credtentials but when they promote "evolution" as science, they are really being philosophers; they are merely promoting a philosophy, an idea. Let them remain silent about the "science" of their assertions until they have impirical proof of their propositions.

geoff W., Australia, 16 January 2014

Mike says: "So, I’m suggesting that while YECs are commendably determined to maintain the authority of the Bible, their particular interpretation is culturally determined, and isn’t in fact necessarily part of what the Bible is actually teaching us. And why should it? Why would God want to spell out for us in his Word details that we can find out for ourselves with the abilities he’s given us?

If we really have a high view of the authority of the Bible, we should be very eager to find out what it’s really teaching us, and not to look for other information which might interest us greatly, but isn’t actually part of the teaching."

It would be useful if Mike could explain how we are to find out what the Bible is "really teaching us", when that would presumably be tainted by the same cultural interpretation. If we can't read Genesis 1-11 simply and plainly, what can we read in this way? You can't have your cake and eat it, too.

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