The importance of the age of things
The last stumbling block against my total belief in the Bible’s Genesis account was the age of things. Indeed, initially I found it rather incredible that the creation might be thousands of years in age rather than billions; it’s quite a difference!
In the history of ideas, it was the biblical timeframe that skeptics challenged first, beginning in the late 1700s. They began with dismissing the Bible’s historical record and then went looking for ‘evidence’ for their view. But it was not really evidence; it was in fact their skewed interpretation of the rocks and fossils. However, they were cleverly persuasive and sadly, many Christian leaders capitulated, abandoning the long-accepted biblical age, which is ascertained from Genesis 5 and 11. In this long-age view, fossils were being laid down long before man appeared, and so the death and suffering they display could not have been the result of man’s Fall.
This then made the Bible’s origins account into ‘once upon a time’; a myth, or a quaint story with some theological lessons. Today, some theologians are saying that their view of Genesis can accommodate any ‘scientific’ view of origins. In other words, in their view Genesis says absolutely nothing about real events in time and space.
If that is the case, if you think about it, everything goes:
- Since God ‘created’ a world of death and suffering (over billions of years), He cannot be ‘good’.
- The Gospel is null and void because the New Testament links the reason for Jesus’ death and resurrection to Adam’s sin and the origin of death in Genesis (1 Corinthians 15:21,22).
- Jesus erred in believing in Adam and Eve (Mark 10:6) and the global Flood of Noah (Luke 17:25–27).
Other parts of the New Testament that refer to Genesis as recording real events are also wrong, such as the Apostle Peter in 2 Peter 3, where he spoke of Creation and the Flood, or Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:3 about Satan deceiving Eve.
Furthermore, long ages undermine the doctrine of the end times (eschatology): why would there need to be a new heavens and earth if this one is as God ‘created’ it (if the Fall is ‘just a story’ that had no effect on corrupting the created order, as per Romans 8:19–22)?
Such inconsistencies undermine our ability to understand any of the Bible (hermeneutics).
We often get people wanting us to downplay the age argument; they are happy for us to be ‘anti-evolution’ and pro-design, but our stand on the biblical age embarrasses them. However, real age means real Genesis history means real events, and a real need for the Gospel. It also means that the Bible is God’s reliable Word that will never fail—from the beginning to the end of time.
In this issue of Creation magazine, we show why biological evolution does not stack up (pp. 34–37, 38–41, 56) and we have wonderful examples of design (pp. 12, 24–26, 30–33), but we also have articles dealing with the real age of the creation (p. 53) and the real history of the world: the Flood (pp. 42–45, 46–49, 54–55) and post-Flood Ice Age (pp. 50–52). Appreciating the reality of the world-wide Flood of Noah helped me enormously in jettisoning the myth of the old earth, because it explains how the fossil-bearing rocks formed in the period after Adam and Eve.
I hope you enjoy and also share this issue!
Thank you Don Batten for your article. I may say that a careful analysis of the Bible mentions, among the others, the phenomenon of morality and everything connected with it, as a stumbling block against evolution because the last one, simply can't work in face of the former: a feeling of guilt can't exists in a being that has to survive - doesn't matter the cost - in order to transmit its surviving skills to the next generation; it is 'evolution' that becomes incomprehensible in view of the 'sin' and the reality of 'redemption'. A second example (there are many) is the prophetic phenomenon. Millennia of human history described till to particulars (see Daniel and Revelation - just to mention one among many) is foretold and nobody - but the One that exists beyond time and space - can reveal it. So, out of applied reason and - I would say - following the scientific method of testing the facts, 'evolution' has to be discarded, it can't be proved by facts as the Bible does. As a consequence the Adam and Eve's story and the Fall and Jesus' redeeming act at Calvary (as historically proved) becomes the only reasonable evidence for our existence on this planet; and the glorious ending of our race, toward an eternal existence on a wonderful renewed Earth, becomes the reality of a wonderful and lovable Creator. Thank you CMI for your mission.
For theologians trying to accommodate any form of long age theory, they are basically trying to decide what God can and cannot do, which is foolishness. They are basically saying, "God couldn't have done it in 6 days, I'll give Him a few billion years to get it right".
Your articles always have a positive effect on my faith, thought provoking enough to inspire me to research science and study scripture.
It is interesting to note that satan's number one attack is still "has GOD said" whether it be challenging the Bible or what GOD is telling you via the HOLY SPIRIT. Two main area's where satan has perverted time scales is the Earths age and history as presented in the BIBLE. Real Science always benefits by using the BIBLE as your starting world view as history shows. Keep up the GRAT work. FYI, Just watched Patterns of Evidence r/e Egypt. Another time scale perversion exposed!
Of course if God could create Adam as a fully mature human with all the characteristics of maturity, then He could also create mature trees, mature rocks and mature galaxies. He could create the galaxies "in place" so that billions of years would not be required to locate them there. He could create light waves "in transit" as well. The deeply flawed "narratives" promoting evolution are no more than an alternate explanation trying to deny the necessity of God. All they require in order to persuade those for whom God would be "bad news" is a measure of plausibility. The theory of evolution is everywhere taught as fact. It must believe the scientifically unprovable assumption that the clock in the rock began at zero. There is no scientific way to prove that. It is a faith position. Yet they have bullied entire denominations with the threat that to disbelieve makes you an ignoramus.
Great article! Of course we must realise that since the release of 'Origin' by Darwin that from the devil's viewpoint it has been a supreme test of faith of people identifying themselves as being Christian. It has been a replay of Job 1 & 2 and also of Gen 3:1-5. Hath God said??? and away fell multiples of thousands of people professing to be Christians. CMI is a strong witness for the truth and Christians who believe God's Word need to be morally courageous to stand up for it. Believing Darwinism is like calling Jesus a liar.