There are some godly men who believe in the young earth position. There are some godly men who do not accept its position of the earth being only 6,000 years old. Unfortunately, in my opinion, the young earth position is indefensible and presents a major hurdle in communicating to men who are versed in the sciences and are familiar with cosmology.
I get asked questions about the age of the universe, the earth, or man in many different settings. From small groups to Q & A with students and churches, this seems to be a topic of interest. Inquiry about this subject is important for anyone attempting to reach out and evangelize this generation. We cannot lift the draw bridge and hide in our small castles and expect to hide from the issue of geology or cosmology when standing upon the authority of Scriptures. A refresher course on how the Church dropped the ball in the Nicholaus Copernicus issue (ca. 1532 A.D.), when he proclaimed that the earth was not the center of our solar system but that the sun was, should be a quick reminder of our need for humility.
It is my opinion that young earth proponents are missing the mark. I do not believe the Bible tells us the age of the universe. In fact, it appears to go at great lengths to avoid the issue. Holding to the young earth position does not make a person more or less faithful to being a Christian. However, it will make a person less credible in the defense of the gospel to those outside a rigid fundamentalist view of Scripture.
Here are some elements (theological and natural) that the young earth proponents fail to answer that must be involved in any attempt to ‘date the universe.’
* When did Satan fall? All the “Sons of God” (angels, including Lucifer) sang and shouted when the foundation of the earth was laid. (Job 38:7) Therefore, between the earth’s formation and the garden, Satan led a rebellion and was expelled from heaven and was Adam’s enemy. Where does it fit into the young earth position?
* When did the dinosaurs roam the earth? When were they created? Why is there no mention of them in Scripture? When did they become extinct? Why are their fossils so old? The attempt to stretch Job’s statements to make them into dinosaurs are foolish at best and eisegesis at worst.
* How long is a day in Genesis chapter 1? All six days are called “a day” in Genesis 2:4. Peter tells us a day can be 1,000 years to man. (1Pet. 3:8) Moses, who wrote Genesis, also wrote a prayer recorded in the Psalms. He said a day can be 8,000 years in man’s time. (Psa. 90:4, “watch” equals 3 hours, 8 watches per day.)
* How do you count an evening and morning (in our time) the first three days without a Sun and moon which was not created until the fourth day? Was God marking time with our idea of a clock?
* There are obvious gaps in the genealogy of man, and the Hebrew genealogical terms “Father/Son” are not limited to immediate descendants. Therefore any calculations, especially in the first eleven chapters of Genesis are open for major time adjustments. (Every man living today is a son of Adam and a son of Noah.)
* How can we refuse the archeological dating methods of scientists for rocks and formations while using them for things we agree with from historical digs and ancient manuscripts? (Cherry picking is always wrong.)
* I’ve heard well meaning people say, “God put the bones of dinosaurs in the ground to give modern man an excuse to reject the gospel.” This is foolish. The implications would mean that the God of creation is a deceiver and he implanted fossils into the earth to lead men astray. This position makes God culpable of dishonesty.
We must stand on what the Scriptures declare without forcing it to say something it does not proclaim. Let us never shrink back from its truth, but we must make sure we are interpreting it properly. I trust the truth of the Bible with my whole heart, I just don’t always trust my interpretation of it.
Answering questions which are not explicitly addressed in the Scriptures requires great humility and wisdom. Let us fall on our knees and seek both!