Understanding the enemy’s schemes: Long ages of time is the atheists’ “bedrock and launch pad”


Many Christians rightly understand that the evolution-derived ‘doubt-missiles’ that atheists hurl at believers to undermine their trust in God’s Word are dangerous especially to young people’s faith, and therefore need to be destroyed. But there’s plenty more missiles coming unless the launch pad (analogous to rock strata assigned ages of millions and billions of years) isn’t also dealt with.
Published: 9 March 2021 (GMT+10)

In 2 Corinthians 2:11 the Apostle Paul speaks of not being “outwitted” by Satan, of not being ignorant of his schemes. We recently received this insightful testimony from Craig P., of the Northern Territory, Australia. Note especially his identifying of the atheists’ “bedrock and launch pad”:

I converted from atheism [from age 8 until 23] to Biblical creation and Theism through the correct interpretation of our geology and topography. … As I grasped the correct Biblical perspective about our planet’s major features, I also understood that the anti-Biblical movement requires a steadfast faith and adherence to Charles Lyell’s uniformitarianism—the bedrock and launch pad used by atheists to bring doubt into people’s minds, ‘Did God really say?’

This undermining of the authority of The Word of God as being true has been clearly demonstrated in U.S. colleges and growing general illiteracy about The Bible generally, including in Australia …

For readers who are unaware, 19th century geologist and lawyer Charles Lyell’s uniformitarianism can be succinctly described as the notion that “the present is the key to the past”. So with that mindset, the history of the earth must be very old for canyons and gorges to have been eroded by the rivers and creeks that flow through them today. Given that Charles Darwin’s theory of slow step-by-step evolution intrinsically needed long ages of time, Charles Lyell’s uniformitarianism indeed provided the ‘bedrock’ that Darwinian evolution required.

However, Charles Lyell was no unbiased scientist. He had an agenda, in his own words, to “free the science from Moses”. He didn’t want people to believe that the global Flood of Noah’s day was a real event. But as the likes of Craig P have realized, it’s the biblical Flood, not today’s small volumes of flowing water, that makes sense of dramatic geological features such as the Grand Canyon, and ‘water gaps’ where small creeks flow through massive gorges running transversely across mountain ranges.

And note how Craig P’s conversion from atheism was contingent on his realization that it’s the Bible, not Charles Lyell’s uniformitarianism, that allows correct interpretation of the earth’s geology and topography. So he is most definitely personally qualified to identify that the secular timeline with its millions and billions of years is the atheists’ “bedrock and launch pad”. The key platform they use to blast ‘doubt-missiles’ towards all and sundry. “Did God really say …?”

There’s a key lesson here for us all, and especially for Christians who are rightly opposed to evolution but might not otherwise have thought that long ages of time are a problem for Christianity. Of course anti-evolution but silent-on-long-ages Christians deserve credit for endeavouring to blast the doubt-missiles out of the air. But if the launch pad isn’t also dealt with …

Helpful Resources

The Great Turning Point
by Dr Terry Mortenson
US $25.00
Soft Cover
The Geologic Column
by John K Reed, Michael J Oard
US $15.00
Soft Cover

Readers’ comments

Murray S.
As a born again Christian whose only education is studying the learned brothers at CMI, ICR, AiG, et al, I try to keep things simple when speaking to atheists and indeed all unbelievers. Carbon-14 found in diamonds, helium in granite, polonium halos, soft tissue in unfossilized dinosaur bones and so on are strong indicators of 1000s not millions/billions of years. To add to these things are the two accurate scientific, Bible based predictions from D. Russell Humphreys, Ph.D from almost 31 years ago concerning Voyager II and planetary magnetic fields. Consider the following quote from an atheist science professor:

"Predictions have value. The classic test of a theory is its ability to predict. Successful predictions are so rare that they are usually regarded as compelling evidence in favor of the underlying theory." - Dessler, A.J. "The Neptune challenge," Geophysical Research Letters, 14 (September 1987), 889.

The fact this physics professor is (presumably) still an atheist demonstrates the stark truth communicated to us by God via the apostle Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12. I cannot link the article but you can type "Beyond Neptune: Voyager II Supports Creation" in the Institute for Creation Research search engine, or alternately, click on the link in the CMI article "The earth’s magnetic field: evidence that the earth is young", authored by Dr Jonathan Sarfati.

We have the truth and the infinite power of God on our side. Let us continue to witness and pray for the lost and the blind souls that they may come to the glorious truth of the Gospel.
David G.
Long ages, like all chronological dislocations in pagan origin stories, serve one purpose: to make God distant...so unimaginably distant that his immanence is rejected and his presence and activity in our 'life-world' is floccinaucinihilipilified (yes, there is such a word). Yet Genesis goes to great detail to drive the point of the tempo of creation: rapid, and framed in the time denominator of our experience, placed in the world that we are in and in the same continuous history that we occupy. That's what the days tell us. The genealogies go on to provide an explicit timeline to locate the events of creation in that time-line. To set aside this biblical data for the slenderest of interpretative reductions that pretend to find in the text what is inconsequential is to completely misunderstand the great implication of the account that here 'heaven and earth' overlap. This is shown tangibly, setting the context for God's activity in our world.
Jim M.
It seems to me that Lyell got it exactly backwards. Rather than the present being the key to the past, the past is the key to the present—in pretty much everything.

In geology, as the article points out, the global flood of Noah’s time (and the ice age that immediately followed it) and its historic timing, are the keys to understanding the present geology and topography. But they also provide the keys to understanding the fossil record, the biological tissue found in dinosaur fossils and the high levels of 14C found in shells, coal and dinosaur bones.

In biology and genetics, the creation account and its timing are the keys to understanding the present diversity of life, the limits on the ability of animals to interbreed, the unbridgeable difference between man and animals, and why genetic entropy has not made everything extinct.

The history of the ‘very good’ creation, destroyed by the Fall, and the consequent curse are the keys to understanding why there is so much present suffering and death and why mankind is so permeated with a proclivity for evil.

And on it goes.
Norman P.
There are two types of Christian: those who know and understand God's word, and embrace the narrative, and apologetics in support, and how it all hangs together; these find great liberation in having the mind of Christ.
Then there are those who 'have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof'. I have fine friends among the latter, but they simply cannot, or will not, abandon themselves to the Spirit of truth in Christ. To me, this is a mystery - reflecting the nature of grace. God knows our hearts.

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