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Biblical inerrancy and the age of the earth

Published: 16 March 2019 (GMT+10)
Bible-Genesis

Today’s feedback is from Mauritz V., South Africa, who featured in a previous feedback article in 2014 when he wrote:

There is something that all atheists and creationists miss. It is the simple fact that we confuse our interpretation of scientific fact and the Word of God with what God actually wants us to understand. I believe evolution is the way God created all life on this planet. That is what science tells me. I accept it as such. …

Dr Carl Wieland, CEO of CMI-Australia at the time, answered Mauritz. They continued to exchange emails for a period afterwards.

Recently, Mauritz wrote to Carl to say that he has changed his mind.

Dear Dr Carl Wieland

I do not know if you can remember me, but we had a discussion a few years ago (2014). I unfortunately lost the email string, but I remember that I said, “I will let you know if I change my mind on the age of the earth.”

I just want to let you know you were right. Something you said about the Bible stuck with me and now I have to admit I was wrong. Maybe it could help someone if I could tell you what it was that convinced me.

You told me that the Bible is inerrant.

I thought I believed it at the time, but I see now that I didn’t understand it at all.

When I read this in Hebrews 11:3, “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible,” the penny dropped for me. If I do not want to believe Genesis word-for-word why on earth would I believe Romans 5:11 (sin entered through one man, and death through sin) or the really difficult parts in Ephesians 5 (living a Spirit filled life) or any other book or doctrine of the Bible?

Sola Scriptura.

Not only the inerrancy of God’s Word but also the sufficiency of the Word of God is what made the difference for me. It is through faith that we know that God created everything out of nothing in six days. God said so in His Word, Jesus said so, Paul said it, Mark, John etc. so that settles it for me.

I believe it now. I know it is true. And I apologize for my obtuseness and unwillingness to listen to you. I feel ashamed reading that letter again, but I’m also grateful to think how much has changed for me since I took God’s Word seriously.

I thank God for His patience with me and I thank you for the continued effort at CMI. It really does make a big difference.

Kind regards and blessings.

Mauritz V.

It’s a joy to receive a message like this, and to see the change that happens in a person when they believe the Word of God: “I’m also grateful to think how much has changed for me since I took God’s Word seriously.”

It is also insightful to read the comment, “I thought I believed it at the time …” He sees now that, at that time, he did not believe the Bible was inerrant, but he didn’t realise he did not believe it. His comment reminds us that everyone is on a journey (compare Can Christians believe evolution?). As we are open, with time we change in our relationship with our Creator and Saviour, in our experience of life, in our confidence in God’s Word, and in our understanding of His world. This is one important reason that CMI publishes Creation magazine, Journal of Creation, books, videos, and other resources. And it is for the same reason we make material freely available on the web, spend time talking with people, and aim to show courtesy and respect.

Mauritz gave permission to share this letter for your encouragement. He said, “You may use the letter. I hope it could be to the glory of God and maybe it could benefit somebody who is in the same position I was.”

Helpful Resources

The Genesis Account
by Jonathan Sarfati
From
US $24.00
Refuting Compromise
by Jonathan Sarfati
From
US $10.00
The Creation Answers Book
by Various
From
US $10.00

Readers’ comments

Glenys and Stuart W.
Wonderful article
Reverend Robert W.
Yes, the Holy Bible is the Word of God and therefore we can be sure that it is utterly without error in all that it teaches and in all that it touches. The difficulties come in a few areas, where we are not sure how to understand it or to which situations it applies; but, compared to the big issues of creation, the fall, redemption, regeneration, justification and judgement these are relatively small areas and are largely confined to matters of church government or ritual. I was converted by reading an Apologetics book which had a very strong strain of theistic evolution to it, 'Yes, but....". But it did not take me long to see that the empirical evidence for Evolution was faulty (non-existent); and we should all be thankful for that.
Norman P.
Such testimony brings gladness in Heaven.
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (John 17:17)
Mike D.
This is exactly why I believe a person can start where he was. Yet the Holy Spirit & the Lord can't allow them to stay there. If they continue to stay there & due to pride or any reason refuse to listen to Holy Spirit & what Roms 1:20 God has made so plainly obvious. The verses of Jesus quotes warnings of what happens to the lukewarm & those He will say to someday Depart I never knew you. A person can't reject any part of who Jesus is. That means fully creator God as Inerrant Bible that Jesus Himself validates. Those are foundational issues. The damage they are doing to children is huge & we know Jesus warnings about those that do damage to children. That theist evolution & Bible is not inerrant can't coexist with true believers. Why Holy Spirit will continue to work on them like this man & many of scientist for CMI, ICR, Apologetics Press etc.
I worry once Holy Spirit quits working on them. Does that mean God has given them over to their reprobate mind & they never really were His despite their claims.
Why I believe they need to be fully warned of the consequences of staying in that area of lukewarmness & unbelief. Jesus sure warned about it. We can't but do likewise! For their sake. Many couldn't handle Jesus teachings & left. Same happens today when we present Jesus same Truth. It doesn't stop us like it didn't stop Him from proclaiming it!
THOMAS D.
Mauritz: Wonderful, humble testimony to the precious sanctification of the Holy Spirit! God is ever FOR us and not against us, counting our faith in Him so valuable a gift as to refine and improve our grasp of it! God is indeed glorified by your witness, brother!
Geoff W.
Australia's exclusive secular humanist education creates an evolutionary progression narrative that implies that with the gaining of knowledge westerners have moved out of 'ignorant superstition' into the more 'educated view' of evolution.
But this letter demonstrates the opposite which I have more often seen: that western education gives people an unthinking evolutionary assumption, but then as they gain more knowledge beyond secularism, as they start thinking for themselves, reading more widely, and encounter an educated Creationist view, they often move out of evolutionary assumptions (which don't fit the totality of the data so well) toward more thoughtful (and life-giving) interpretations of Creation.
So CMI, keep going! Keep opening minds and hearts as the Spirit enables.
Michael B.
A beautiful testimony... thank you for sharing.
The Scripture that pulled back the veil for me was the wedding at Canaan. How long would it take me to make wine? Given that I even had any grape vines to began with and it was to be the best wine ever made?
The Creator had but to tell them to fill the jars with water and have the steward taste it.
The other miracles of full grown ready to eat fish and bread only served to seal the deal.
David R.
The Theory of Evolution isn't even a good scientific theory. There are so many holes in it, I would have thought they would have come up with something else by now.
John P.
Thanks , praise and glory to our Wonderful God! This is fantastic, the angels are rejoicing in heaven and we should be joining them. We should be praying there are many more like Mauritz out there who will come to believe the inerrancy of God's Word.
Marilyn A.
Tears of joy over one person. God is so good, so ever faithful.
Mauritz V.
Thank you CMI. I really appreciate you placing my letter.

Michael B. Good point! John Macarthur uses the resurrection of Lazarus to make a similar point. No amount of medical tests or investigation would be able to explain the miracle of his resurrection...
Julie M.
Mauritz, you are wonderful for being so humble, and I'm so blessed by your conclusion. I actually didn't realize that Hebrews said that, and it really gives the theist-evolutionist no excuse, doesn't it? Thank you so much for sharing. God bless you and CMI.

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