Young Earth or Old Earth - Is it really so important?

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Philip
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Young Earth or Old Earth - Is it really so important?

#1

Post by Philip » Wed Jan 23, 2019 10:39 am

What I'd love to see someone passionate about whatever (YEC or OEC) position they might hold, please explain WHY the issue of HOW LONG it took God to create our universe and world truly matters - as long as they accept that God was the Creator and they somehow believe the Scriptures related to this issue are true.

Note, both positions can be used to deny evolution. OEC does NOT depend upon evolution being true.

People don't typically come to Christ based upon their take on this issue - as many new Christians weren't even aware of the argument before being saved.

People come to Christ because they first began to realize God exists and that the universe didn't create itself. The rest - AFTER God began to interact with man - is all that truly matters. The rest are just interesting and reasonably debatable details - but they simply don't have near the importance people assign to it. You'll see no prophet or apostle focusing on this issue of time and the creation, other than general references to it. That should tell us something about whether God sees it as the big honking deal Christians make of it - that He does NOT!

I think, when Christians make a huge fuss over the age of the creation - to the point of potentially, personally divisive and heated arguments, OR to use it to question another's sincerity of belief in Christ or the truth of His Word / Scripture - THAT is when what should be just an interesting discussion becomes sinful!

As he has been attacked over his stance on this same issue, here, Dr. Norman Geisler points out how many Christians have wrongly made this YEC vs. OEC issue almost into a sinfully divisive idol per whatever THEY assert should be orthodox Christian belief about it, in his very thoughtful response to criticism by Answers in Genesis:https://normangeisler.com/a-response-to ... ung-earth/

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Re: Young Earth or Old Earth - Is it really so important?

#2

Post by DBowling » Thu Jan 24, 2019 9:12 am

I do believe it is important... and here's why.

I believe that YEC is an impediment to the message of the Gospel.
We have enough evidence from many different scientific disciplines to know with certainty that the universe and the earth are billions of years old.

So when Christians and non-Christians associate the truth of the Gospel with an untrue YEC Tradition, then the truth of Scripture is compromised in the minds of those who desperately need the truth of the Gospel of Jesus.

When those who claim to speak the truth embrace a known lie, then the integrity of their message immediately becomes suspect.

I was raised YEC, and I dearly love many people who embrace YEC, but I do see how equating YEC with the accuracy of Scripture does hinder acceptance of the Gospel.

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Re: Young Earth or Old Earth - Is it really so important?

#3

Post by Philip » Thu Jan 24, 2019 12:25 pm

DB and others - please don't misunderstand my rhetorical question over the issue's importance, as is aimed ONLY at CHRISTIANS who are willing to make this issue an idol - to the point that they constantly are damaging each other's relationships in the process - that they don't seem to know how to have both passionate and CIVIL discussions with the right attitude. And that goes for ALL Christians who can't seem to discuss their creationist beliefs (whether YEC or OEC) with their fellow Christians or non-Christians with a good attitude and respect. If one is damaging relationships or turning people from belief because of their aggressive focus on this issue - then it's simply wrong! BTW, OECS are sometimes like this towards unbelievers who have an unshakeable faith that evolution explains everything. So, in such situations, what they believe about the age of things should likely be of secondary importance as to what a Christian should initially speak to an unbeliever about. Of course, sometimes, a person will ask how one reconciles their faith and science. With such people, I tend to focus on the gateway-to-belief issues - that there had to be a superintelligent, eternal, all-powerful Source to cause the Creation to come into existence to begin with. It's also why I don't get bogged down in arguing with evolution know-it-alls!

And to clarify, I AGREE that the issue of the age as it relates to Scripture IS important, especially per what one insists to unbelievers, because most moderns respect the widespread analysis of scientific investigations in which it is overwhelmingly concluded, and from so many diverse kinds of studies across so many fields - that the universe and earth are ancient / billions of years old. And that we don't merely see things that APPEAR so old, but that we also see their ongoing and connective processes that have produced their present state - from geologic processes to the red-shifts and distances of the stars, they ALL reveal immense age. So if I were a YEC attempting to encourage an unbeliever towards Christ and belief in the Bible - and certainly knowing that most unbelievers almost certainly accept what science says about the age issue, AND because unbelievers typically know very little about the Bible that they almost always refer to it out of context and perceive it entirely literally, then the LAST thing that YEC should do is to get involved with conversations with unbelievers while referencing an earth they perceive to be only in the thousands-of-years old. Because many thinking people will automatically shut down believing anything one says, if that becomes the context of their evangelizing attempts.

I written about this before, but the belief that God created things in such a way that they merely LOOK billions of years old - that's a really problematic issue - and because of two things. One, the fact that all of the sciences and their studies overwhelmingly conclude an ancient universe - AND that those seeking the answers about this issue are not scientists just out to conclude pre-conceived results, but are people following rigorously designed studies and scientific methodology - with the result across ALL of the sciences correlate with results indicating great age. And as God is the Creator, why would He both want us to believe Scripture to be true, but also create all things in such a way that it would make us doubt a literal reading of it - IF literalism is how the various Creation passages SHOULD be read. And if these many things aren't truly ancient, then their appearance of great age would be intentionally deceptive - as God would know the unanimous results of mankind's science would make us conclude great age, even though it's very young (Remember the question - would God have created Adam with a belly button or healed scars, etc. - as this would be deceiving). Remember, the Creation, according to Psalms and Romans are ANOTHER testimony to God as the Creator - Psalms says the heavens broadcast "knowledge." So why would their be conflicting, contradictory knowledge given if God wants us to trust both of His testimonies (from the Creation and Scripture)?

Also, again, we don't just see the end results of how the heavens or earth layers appear today - as we see all of the connective processes still ongoing. We can tell WHERE the stars were, where they expanded to, in comparison to what we see now. Are we to believe God also put fake processes into play, that have nothing to do with why things appear ancient?

So, Christians have good reasons for believing in an ancient earth - and that's just from the "knowledge" broadcast by the Creation itself. Notice, that nowhere in Scripture do we see how long a Creation - or GOD day is? Days that begin without a sun and moon? Etc.

http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth ... earth.html

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Re: Young Earth or Old Earth - Is it really so important?

#4

Post by Philip » Thu Jan 24, 2019 12:26 pm

DB: I was raised YEC
DB, just curious - I know you've referenced your dad's knowledge of theology a lot - is he a YEC today?

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Re: Young Earth or Old Earth - Is it really so important?

#5

Post by DBowling » Thu Jan 24, 2019 3:59 pm

Philip wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 12:26 pm
DB: I was raised YEC
DB, just curious - I know you've referenced your dad's knowledge of theology a lot - is he a YEC today?
I don't think so...
I know he doesn't believe the earth is only 6000 years old.

He doesn't really make dogmatic proclamations regarding the age of the earth, because for him so much is still unknown and there are many other topics that are so much more important to Christians than the age of the earth. He has friends who are YEC and OEC.

On a slightly tangential topic, we have spent hours digging into my "Old Earth, Young Adam" ideas, and he has indicated that our discussions have led him to consider new options.

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Re: Young Earth or Old Earth - Is it really so important?

#6

Post by abelcainsbrother » Thu Jan 24, 2019 6:47 pm

Philip wrote:
Wed Jan 23, 2019 10:39 am
What I'd love to see someone passionate about whatever (YEC or OEC) position they might hold, please explain WHY the issue of HOW LONG it took God to create our universe and world truly matters - as long as they accept that God was the Creator and they somehow believe the Scriptures related to this issue are true.

Note, both positions can be used to deny evolution. OEC does NOT depend upon evolution being true.

People don't typically come to Christ based upon their take on this issue - as many new Christians weren't even aware of the argument before being saved.

People come to Christ because they first began to realize God exists and that the universe didn't create itself. The rest - AFTER God began to interact with man - is all that truly matters. The rest are just interesting and reasonably debatable details - but they simply don't have near the importance people assign to it. You'll see no prophet or apostle focusing on this issue of time and the creation, other than general references to it. That should tell us something about whether God sees it as the big honking deal Christians make of it - that He does NOT!

I think, when Christians make a huge fuss over the age of the creation - to the point of potentially, personally divisive and heated arguments, OR to use it to question another's sincerity of belief in Christ or the truth of His Word / Scripture - THAT is when what should be just an interesting discussion becomes sinful!

As he has been attacked over his stance on this same issue, here, Dr. Norman Geisler points out how many Christians have wrongly made this YEC vs. OEC issue almost into a sinfully divisive idol per whatever THEY assert should be orthodox Christian belief about it, in his very thoughtful response to criticism by Answers in Genesis:https://normangeisler.com/a-response-to ... ung-earth/


I believe it is Young Earth Creationists that do this as it is YEC's that make their creation theory equivalant with the Gospel,insinuating that if a person does not accept Young Earth Creationism they are decieved and have been misled.It is a cult mentality with YEC's much much more than it is for Old Earth Creationists. I myself like to discuss creationism and I can tell you that YEC's are the most difficult people to discuss creationism with if you do not hold to their interpretation.They cannot discuss creationism without judging you as I have had YEC's use scriptiure to judge people who do not hold to young earth creationism instead of using the bible to show why they are correct.They are much much more likely to get angry over this issue. I really do not see this kind of hostility when dealing with old earth creationists or even theistic evolutionists.I think to get to the core reason of why this is one must go back and watch young earth creationism seminars and how it is taught as it is the teachers and how it has been taught that is the main reason.It is the way it has been taught in churches that is the reason why.
Hebrews 12:2-3 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,despising the shame,and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

2nd Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,lest the light of this glorious gospel of Christ,who is the image of God,should shine unto them.

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Re: Young Earth or Old Earth - Is it really so important?

#7

Post by Philip » Thu Jan 24, 2019 7:48 pm

DB: On a slightly tangential topic, we have spent hours digging into my "Old Earth, Young Adam" ideas, and he has indicated that our discussions have led him to consider new options.
DB, you are so blessed to have a dad you could talk to about such things. My dad was a good man, but he wasn't theologically savvy. He made sure I knew about Christ, but I really wasn't discipled - learned a lot on my own and from others. I would have loved to have had those kind of discussions with dad.

One of the sad things about Christians who would probably like to have discussions / compare notes about creationism, is that they avoid it because of the potential for disagreement.

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