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Defending young earth is not biblical?

A New Zealand correspondent who supports our ministry has expressed doubts about whether the Bible teaches a young earth and Dr Carl Wieland responds.

NASA/NOAA/GSFC/Suomi NPP/VIIRS/Norman Kuring 9988-earth

I am an evangelist … and really endorse your ministry. You give me the tools I need to counter the evolutionary arguments I face.

I just wanted to say that I don’t believe the Bible says the earth is young. It may be young, and I have read your many articles on scientific evidences supporting this argument as well as your articles on interpreting scripture as saying it is young.

However, I do not believe scripture says this and am concerned that you are trying to defend a position which is not necessary to defend. All your other work is so wonderful that I would not want you to try to defend a position which is not biblical and then maybe lose that argument or have the whole ministry discredited.

You don’t need to reply to this—it is just a concern of mine that we don’t get tied up trying to defend what the bible doesn’t explicitly say. 

Brett W

Dear Mr W/Dear Brett

I have carefully read your email, and note that you are an evangelist, a very significant calling and task at any time. You may wonder why I am responding, considering you have said it is unnecessary. Perhaps it will help you to understand if you put yourself in the position of just having received an email from someone who says, e.g.: “The Bible doesn’t teach that God is a Trinity. I’ve looked and looked but the word ‘trinity’ doesn’t even appear in the Bible.” I’m sure you would find it difficult to resist pointing out to that person at least some of the many ways in which the teaching (as a deduction from combining various threads of separate teaching) is not only a very, very important one, but a blindingly obvious one. I’m sure you would also want that person to have the opportunity to at least consider things they likely have not done to date. Including not just Bible passages, but also [theological] implications from the evidence of the real world.

Do you really want to be on the side of the scoffers in 2 Peter 3:3–6, even if only partly?

For example, the implications of having bloodshed, disease and suffering before the Fall, which is what long-agism must imply (since fossils show these things, then if they are millions of years old, it means they predated Adam and hence the Fall/Curse).

And it then also means rejecting the clear teaching of the global nature of the Flood. [There are long-age creation ‘ministries’ that push the idea that the earth is old. Consistently, they all deny the global nature of the Flood—but one only needs to read Genesis to see if that is even remotely possible from the language.] Do you really want to be on the side of the scoffers in 2 Peter 3:3–6, even if only partly? Do you really want to say with your stance that the overwhelming majority of great Christian scholars and thinkers were wrong in deducing from the Bible that the Bible teaches a perfect world before sin, ruined by sin, to be restored in the future to a sinless deathlessness? Do you really want to say that Jesus got it wrong about man’s relative position in the history of creation, as in the article below on Jesus and the age of the earth?

I submit for your careful and prayerful consideration just three articles, below, and invite your followup comments. May I suggest first the one featuring Jesus’ teaching. I know you are not advocating theistic evolution, but the implications of a long-age position are exactly the same when it comes to the particular statement by Jesus.

Kind regards in Christ,

Dr Carl Wieland 

Published: 21 February 2015

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