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Friday, July 02, 2010 | Comments (131)

Uniformitarian geologists start with the assumption that the earth is millions and millions of years old. When they go to the evidence, they find what they’re looking for—old fossils, old rocks, and the marks of long ages of time.

But what if you start with a different set of assumptions? What if you go to the evidence assuming the biblical record is true, namely, that the earth is relatively young and there was a cataclysmic event known as the Flood?

That’s what John MacArthur assumes, and as he listens to scientists with similar assumptions, he finds that there are many indications of a young earth. Listen to today’s audio clip, then visit the comment thread to answer the questions below.

Listen to this 7-minute clip:

Launch Player  |  Download  |  Full Sermon

Now that you’ve heard a few young earth indicators from John, tell us what you think. What evidence from the natural world do you think indicates a young earth? Further, what arguments have you heard from young earth creationists that should not be used? As you think about that second question, you might want to look at the lists of bad/questionable arguments over at Answers in Genesis and Creation.com.

Let the games begin.


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#1  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Friday, July 02, 2010at 2:15 AM

Of cause John MacArthur is right, because it is what God words tells us.

Here is a little history info:

Nicolas Steno (Danish: Niels Stensen; 11 January 1638 – 25 November 1686) was a Danish pioneer in both anatomy and geology. Already in 1659 he decided not to accept anything simply written in a book, instead resolving to do research himself. He is considered the father of geology and stratigraphy.

Steno, in his Dissertationis prodromus of 1669 is credited with three of the defining principles of the science of stratigraphy: the law of superposition: "...at the time when any given stratum was being formed, all the matter resting upon it was fluid, and, therefore, at the time when the lower stratum was being formed, none of the upper strata existed"; the principle of original horizontality: "Strata either perpendicular to the horizon or inclined to the horizon were at one time parallel to the horizon"; the principle of lateral continuity: "Material forming any stratum were continuous over the surface of the Earth unless some other solid bodies stood in the way"; and the principle of cross-cutting discontinuities: "If a body or discontinuity cuts across a stratum, it must have formed after that stratum." These principles were applied and extended in 1772 by Jean-Baptiste L. Romé de l'Isle. Steno's landmark theory that the fossil record was a chronology of different living creatures in different eras was a sine qua non for Darwin's theory of natural selection.

The logic of geology was founded, but there are many fundamental errors in the interpretations that was added to the logic. Without the biblical account of the Flood, the interpretations lead to long eras, slow erosion and slow accumulation of sediments and so on.

Only a worldwide catastrophic event as the Flood described in the bible can account for the enormous amounts of energy, erosion and materiel it requires to explain all of the features in the geography.

#2  Posted by Paul Zimmerman  |  Friday, July 02, 2010at 9:09 AM

The entire effort to create a "body of knowledge" regarding the "old earth" concept is simply "doublethink"(from which the word "doublespeak" was coined)as illustrated in Orwell's "1984". Wikipedia describes it thus:

Hence, as defined originally by Orwell, the "double" in "doublespeak" refers to the "two" contradictory concepts juxtaposed against each other to create deep confusion in the hearer for the purpose of producing inaction and apathy.

Bingo.

This has nothing to do with true science, it is all about removing God from all the cultures which exist on the earth He created. Merely bring up the name of the Bible in scientific circles and see what happens to your credibility. But this is no surprise and will get much worse before it gets better.

#3  Posted by Keith Strunk  |  Friday, July 02, 2010at 9:09 AM

Praise God for good old fashioned common sense. Thank you Dr. MacArthur for a brief and sensible articulation of the understandable scientific evidence for a young Earth.

Unfortunately, Truth is not so popular when it is absolute, and this Truth is certainly irrefutable if we're willing to submit to the facts.

Still, the natural man can not understand the things of the Spirit of God for they are spiritually discerned, so they are foolishness to him.

And so we must preach on!!!

#4  Posted by Garrett League  |  Friday, July 02, 2010at 9:41 AM

"Now that you’ve heard a few young earth indicators from John, tell us what you think. What evidence from the natural world do you think indicates a young earth?"

I honestly can't think of any good evidence. I've heard all of these evidences before and really, even as a non-geologist, don't find them convincing. If, after all, oil deposits, due to their pressure, can't be more than 6-10,000 years old, then why do drilling companies not rely upon Henry Morris' flood geology to predict the best place for drilling oil? Why do all oil companies rely on old-earth paradigms to accurately predict where to drill? Modern Reformation magazine (run by Mike Horton) recently ran an article entitled "PCA Geologists on the Antiquity of the Earth." They note the following:

"The agreement is perhaps even more striking in the world of economic geology (oil and mineral exploration) where theories that lead to increased revenue always win, even if philosophically distasteful. Understanding the age of the earth and its layers plays a critical role in natural resource exploration, yet to our knowledge there is not a single oil or mining company anywhere in the world that uses a young-earth model to find or exploit new reserves. Old-earth models work. Young-earth models do not."

Why is that? The authors go on to give two convincing evidences that the earth cannot possibly be just 6,000 years old. Read it here: http://www.modernreformation.org/default.php?page=articledisplay&var1=ArtRead&var2=1137&var3=issuedisplay&var4=IssRead&var5=112 How long will we Christians, with the avalanche of evidence supporting an old earth, continue to merely throw rocks at the scientific establishment, looking for any holes we can to fit a young earth into? To be frank, the arguments for a young earth are even LESS convincing than the arguments against evolution, and I don't even find those very convincing. If dudes like Wayne Grudem, John Piper, Mark Driscoll, etc. have no problem with the possibility of an old earth, why this futile argument? Many of the men who formulated the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy were old-earthers, so that's clearly not the issue.

In fact, when Dr. Mohler gave his talk at the Ligonier conference, he only discussed two major options (though he mentioned the existence of others): 1. The universe looks so old because it IS so old or 2. The universe looks so old but really isn't. Then he said it looks so old because God made it whole, or as Dr. MacArthur puts it, mature. So which is it? Does it really look 4.5 byo, but God just made it mature, with some necessary appearance of age, OR does the earth look young, as the evidences MacArthur cites supposedly demonstrate?

However, cudos on linking to the "Arguments we think creationists should NOT use" articles. Reading those was a turning point for me, as most of my favorite arguments were weeded out. Changed my life, since it was at that point that I made the transition from Kent Hovind to Ken Ham, who is far more responsible. Those articles are a MUST read; Fred has already linked to them in these threads, as some folks here have used outdated arguments (think the "moon dust" argument).

#5  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Friday, July 02, 2010at 10:32 AM

Garrett,

I believe Kurt Wise gets straight to the heart of the issue you raise in your post #4. Kurt talks about the problem with Created History...you should read the article.

http://www.sbts.edu/resources/files/2010/02/sbjt_111_wise.pdf

#6  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Friday, July 02, 2010at 10:55 AM

Hi Garrett: Thanks for the blog.

#7  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Friday, July 02, 2010at 11:14 AM

"How long will we Christians, with the avalanche of evidence supporting an old earth, continue to merely throw rocks at the scientific establishment, looking for any holes we can to fit a young earth into?"

Garrett, the "avalanche of evidence" you suggest as factual is AGAIN based on an old earth assumption to START with. In other words...by assuming that the earth is old before even looking at the data one deducts an old earth. However, one would not arrive at an old earth via deductions based on scripture alone.

I for one am not looking for holes...I have the whole, as it were, in the revealed truth of God's Word. That truth gives us geneologies and other historical evidences that dictate and mandate a young earth.

Finally, the men you cited as supporters of an old earth (Piper, Driscoll, etc) all base their conclusions on the deductions of those who began with assumptions of an old earth originally...they do not even refer to YEC as a source for information on their respective web sites (as far as I can find).

#8  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Friday, July 02, 2010at 11:20 AM

It should also be noted that Piper has publicly said that he hasn't studied Genesis, so it is unfair to him to use him as a key supporter of a position.

It is true that he currently holds to John Sailhamer's position, but I'm guessing probably more out of respect for John and a desire to maintain a kind of mediating position than because his exegesis is more convincing that any other position. Since Piper hasn't invested himself into the study of the Genesis text it appears he is trying to not be dogmatic in any way. Until he does study and preach from the text, we should leave Piper out of the discussion.

#9  Posted by Don Jordan  |  Friday, July 02, 2010at 12:09 PM

Garrett,

It looks like you need to be reminded about our discussion here last May where I refuted the idea that old-earth geology is used to prospect for oil as claimed by the YouTube video you had posted.

Please reference my post #15 in this thread:

http://www.gty.org/Blog/B100507#15

I guess our conversation went in one ear and out the other.

#10  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Friday, July 02, 2010at 12:34 PM

Gabriel,

I respect your respect for John Piper. I would like to know why, if indeed he really has no side in the debate, he promotes on his web site such a one-sided view of the issue. For example...here is an article on John's web site that details John Sailhamer's position and how to go about promoting/defending that position in debate:

http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Articles/ByDate/1998/4645_Science_the_Bible_and_the_Promised_Land/

By the way, I think that Dr McCabe and others have refuted the claims in the article referenced perfectly.

#11  Posted by Garrett League  |  Friday, July 02, 2010at 12:36 PM

#5 Keith: Will do, I like Kurt Wise and naturally he knows boatloads more on this particular subject than I do. My problem with him is that it is painfully clear that his presuppositions prevent him from going where the evidence clearly leads. Dawkins has picked up on this, and gave Dr. Wise a flogging for saying the following: "Although there are scientific reasons for accepting a young earth, I am a young-age creationist because that is my understanding of the Scripture. As I shared with my professors years ago when I was in college, if all the evidence in the universe turns against creationism, I would be the first to admit it, but I would still be a creationist because that is what the Word of God seems to indicate. Here I must stand." Read Dawkins' rant here: http://www.secularhumanism.org/library/fi/dawkins_21_4.html

#6 Paul: Hey Paul, you're welcome! Speaking of blog, I started one earlier in the year and these recent debates have inspired me to really get it going. I have some neat stuff there on my interactions with Travis Allen and Phil Johnson, both very gracious and thoughtful interactions from both sides. Check them out here: http://faceofdeep.blogspot.com/

#7 Keith: "Garrett, the "avalanche of evidence" you suggest as factual is AGAIN based on an old earth assumption to START with. In other words...by assuming that the earth is old before even looking at the data one deducts an old earth."

Then how did European geologists over 200 years ago (all young-earthers who assumed a universal flood) come to accept that the earth was much older than they thought? Clearly the history of geology poses a problem for your thesis, since none of them assumed the earth was old before looking at the evidence. In fact, it was exactly opposite. See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRCq-ZZBg78

#8 Gabriel: "It should also be noted that Piper has publicly said that he hasn't studied Genesis, so it is unfair to him to use him as a key supporter of a position."

Good point. In fact, he didn't even say he's convinced on OEC, merely that he LEANS that direction. I wasn't trying to use him as an OEC poster boy, only as a thoughtful, respected Christian leader who is at least open to the possibility, which MacArthur is clearly not. That's why I was careful to say "dudes like [...] John Piper [...] have no problem with the POSSIBILITY of an old earth." So yea, he's not Hugh Ross, just open to go where the geologic evidence leads and leaning toward Sailhamer's view, which allows that possibility biblically. But hey, he might change his mind like Dr. Sproul for all we know.

"It is true that he currently holds to John Sailhamer's position, but Until he does study and preach from the text, we should leave Piper out of the discussion."

I agree. Don't want any misunderstanding, so I'll try and be extra clear by just leaving him out. My point was that, unlike pastor MacArthur, he's at least OPEN, but clearly not 100% convinced. In fact, in the DG videos, he seemed reticent to even admit that he LEANED toward the old earth position, so clearly he's not all that comfortable with it yet. Good point.

#12  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Friday, July 02, 2010at 12:55 PM

Garrett,

his presuppositions prevent him from going where the evidence clearly leads.

I hope you see the complete irony of that statement. Your presuppositions make the evidence "lead" that way. The evidence doesn't lead anywhere, it just sits there waiting to be interpreted.

I also find it completely ironic that you would reference Dawkins as a refutation of Wise. Dawkins himself is spiritually blind and dead. Of course he'll rail against someone with biblically presuppositions. He has his own religious presuppositions that lead him to worship himself and science. All the evidence leads to the existence of God but Dawkins will still be an atheist because he hates God.

My point was that, unlike pastor MacArthur, he's at least OPEN, but clearly not 100% convinced.

MacArthur, and many of us on this blog, are not open to the possibility because Scripture trumps everything. A literal interpretation leads to YEC as much as the truth of the resurrection. The multi-month series and numerous conversations here and at BioLogos have made one point extremely clear in my mind: if you toss out the literal interpretation, you make a mess of Scripture. No one knows what Genesis means if it isn't literal. There are a number of main views, but those are modified by many people who pick and choose from each view as they see fit.

If anyone wants to convince me (I'll just speak for myself), it will have to be on a purely exegetical basis.

#13  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Friday, July 02, 2010at 1:09 PM

"If anyone wants to convince me (I'll just speak for myself), it will have to be on a purely exegetical basis."

That is what I am screamin'...scripture! scripture!, scripture!, Just quote scripture will you...(my Luther impersonation)

Here is what Luther said about reading a text:

"Everywhere we should stick to just the simple, natural meaning of the words, as yielded by the rules of grammar and the habits of speech that God has created among men … All "figures" should rather be avoided, as being the quickest poison, when Scripture itself does not absolutely require them" (BOW, p. 192).

#14  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Friday, July 02, 2010at 2:11 PM

Hi Keith,

Wow, I read that article on the DG blog and I am extremely unimpressed with that view. There are so many Mac Truck size holes in the exegesis.

I know someone (maybe you) had linked to the refutations, but I can't seem to find that link. Can you either repost it or link to the comment where it is linked?

Thanks!

#15  Posted by Dylan Perkins  |  Friday, July 02, 2010at 3:28 PM

What a fine Friday afternoon! Beautiful here in my corner of the world.

"Uniformitarian geologists start with the assumption that the earth is millions and millions of years old."

Well that's certainly not true.

"But what if you start with a different set of assumptions? What if you go to the evidence assuming the biblical record is true, namely, that the earth is relatively young and there was a cataclysmic event known as the Flood?"

This has been tried, actually. The earliest geologists started with the assumption the biblical record was true. They then quickly found out that the evidence from nature contradicted it.

"What evidence from the natural world do you think indicates a young earth? "

Not aware of any that holds up to any scrutiny.

"Further, what arguments have you heard from young earth creationists that should not be used?"

All of them.

Oh, and to Garrett in #4, good stuff. The part about the mining and oil companies is especially good, because it can't be fobbed off on "bias" or "satanic influence" or any of that. Understanding the real geology of the earth helps these companies earn money. The fake geologies don't work, and are not used.

#16  Posted by Chad Earwood  |  Friday, July 02, 2010at 3:51 PM

Disappointing that Pastor Piper has not thought out this topic. Sounds like he is copping out on it.

#17  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Friday, July 02, 2010at 5:39 PM

Garrett wonders,

How long will we Christians, with the avalanche of evidence supporting an old earth, continue to merely throw rocks at the scientific establishment, looking for any holes we can to fit a young earth into? To be frank, the arguments for a young earth are even LESS convincing than the arguments against evolution, and I don't even find those very convincing. If dudes like Wayne Grudem, John Piper, Mark Driscoll, etc. have no problem with the possibility of an old earth, why this futile argument?

Your appeal to the "avalanche of evidence" is a bit exaggerated. None the less, as Gabe stated, it ultimately comes down to the governing authority. I choose scripture properly exegeted and applied as my governing authority. I don't argue evidence, because evidence does not stand alone as being self-defined. It has to be interpreted. And if the interpretations of the the evidence by the so-called "scientific establishment" supposedly contradicts the Scripture, well, I reject the interpretations of the "establishment." Not because I think they are necessarily "Satanic" or "evil," even though their general anti-supernatural atheism isn't something we can ignore. I reject their conclusions about the "age of the earth" because it contradicts what God has revealed concerning the history of our world and the human race as outlined in the nature of the inspired genealogical record, the record of a global flood, and what the Bible clearly teaches about Adam, his sin, death, and our salvation. I further refuse to embrace some voodoo hermeneutic that attempts to redefine definitions of biblical words and revises the historic understanding of the creation.

Continuing,

Many of the men who formulated the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy were old-earthers, so that's clearly not the issue.

It certainly is an issue and shows me those individuals were severely muddled in their thinking when they signed a document affirming the biblical view of inerrancy. Under article 12 the drafters of the statement on inerrancy wrote:

We affirm that Scripture in its entirety is inerrant, being free from all falsehood, fraud, or deceit.

We deny that Biblical infallibility and inerrancy are limited to spiritual, religious, or redemptive themes, exclusive of assertions in the fields of history and science. We further deny that scientific hypotheses about earth history may properly be used to overturn the teaching of Scripture on creation and the flood.

Can you affirm the last sentence in your mind? How do you square this sentence, We further deny that scientific hypotheses about earth history may properly be used to overturn the teaching of Scripture on creation and the flood with what you have been doing here since you arrived back in late April to comment? Practically every comment you leave favors scientific hypotheses over what the Bible teaches on creation and the flood. Now you may appeal to your favored voodoo hermeneutic to try to get around a lot of what is such a clear disharmony between the evolutionary view of history and the biblical view of history, but you can only go so far before we can no longer take you seriously and you begin to melt down like the Biologos boys. Linking to videos by atheists and non-evangelical Catholics as witnesses to your convictions only make matters worse for you.

#18  Posted by Don Jordan  |  Friday, July 02, 2010at 6:14 PM

Dylan Perkins,

"Oh, and to Garrett in #4, good stuff. The part about the mining and oil companies is especially good, because it can't be fobbed off on "bias" or "satanic influence" or any of that. Understanding the real geology of the earth helps these companies earn money. The fake geologies don't work, and are not used."

Unfortunately, what Garrett said is complete hogwash and was refuted here two months ago. Please see post #9 in this thead.

#19  Posted by Peter Heffner  |  Friday, July 02, 2010at 6:50 PM

Dylan Perkins said:

Understanding the real geology of the earth helps these companies earn money. The fake geologies don't work, and are not used.

Don Jordan aid:

Unfortunately, what Garrett said is complete hogwash and was refuted here two months ago. Please see post #9 in this thead.

Thought-stopping clichés.

We are talking about the age of the earth here. Each of you is saying that if coal and oil companies thought the earth were only thousands of years old they would lose money. Name three examples where coal and oil companies routinely make decisions based on how old they believe the earth to be each at the risk of losing billions of dollars. Think, please.

#20  Posted by Steve Gentry  |  Friday, July 02, 2010at 7:32 PM

Fred,

You said Your appeal to the "avalanche of evidence" is a bit exaggerated. Apparently geologists don't think so. You stated I choose scripture properly exegeted and applied as my governing authority.. Therein lies the rub. "Properly exegeted". Not everyone agrees with MacArthur's exegesis. Lawson Stone has some good comments on interpreting Genesis here, here and here. The language of the text allows a range of possibilities. You may not accept that, but that's your choice. There's room for more than one view.

With respect to your statement on the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy, you know as well as I do that this was the effort of a committee and compromises and negotiations were part of the process. I don't doubt that this statement was included to placate the young earth crowd. In any event, the official IBCI publication "Inerrancy and Hermeneutic in 1988" makes it clear that the doctrine of inerrancy does not require adherence to young earth creationism.

#21  Posted by Dylan Perkins  |  Friday, July 02, 2010at 7:35 PM

Hey Don, I will look at your post in more detail when I have the time tomorrow, but in perusing it just now I couldn't see anything that actually refutes the main points Garrett and I are getting at:

-oil/coal/gas companies employ geologists to find their raw materials

-being trained in geology, they approach their work and understanding from an old earth perspective

-strictly speaking, you might be right that not EVERY SINGLE LITTLE THING (sorry I don't know how to bold) that a geologist does throughout the day is strictly dependent, DIRECTLY, on the earth being 4.5 billion years old. But that's just like saying not every single thing a chemist does in a day is tied directly to atoms and molecular orbitals, etc. Still, though, it ultimately is. It's the underlying theory and framework that explains why things are the way they are. As an example, the signs and markers used to find oil such as index fossils, types of sediment etc wouldn't even exist as such if the earth were young. In fact, even the oil itself wouldn't exist if the earth were as young as the young earthers say it is.

The Modern Reformation article was written by geologists who do this stuff for a living, and here's a direct quote:

"Understanding the age of the earth and its layers plays a critical role in natural resource exploration"

The whole article is really well done, written for the layperson but still conveys the rock-solid (pardon pun) evidence for an old earth.

And here's the kicker:

-nobody is using a young earth model to do better than what the old earth geologists are doing. If the young earth model is correct, then standard "old earth" geology is off by FIVE orders of magnitude, or a factor of about 700,000. How come some company doesn't employ the people who know the "real" geology of the earth to more cheaply and efficiently find what they want? Surely they can do better than the standard geologists, right? Yet no one has used the insights of flood/young earth geology to further our knowledge of anything to do with the earth, whether related to finding raw material for the oil, coal, and gas companies, or anyone else.

#22  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Friday, July 02, 2010at 8:02 PM

The language of the text allows a range of possibilities. You may not accept that, but that's your choice. There's room for more than one view.

Yes. You are correct, I don't handle the Bible with postmodern relativism. The text has one specific meaning. I am curious if you handle the gospel narratives in this fashion? Are there multiple ways to interpret Jesus' resurrection? Miracles? Why or why not? Is N.T. Wright's views of justification derived from "the language of the text which allows a range of possibilities?" How about Greg Boyd's open theism heresy? What about any number of heretical groups who claim the "language of the text allows a range of possibilities?"

With respect to your statement on the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy, you know as well as I do that this was the effort of a committee and compromises and negotiations were part of the process. I don't doubt that this statement was included to placate the young earth crowd. In any event, the official IBCI publication "Inerrancy and Hermeneutic in 1988" makes it clear that the doctrine of inerrancy does not require adherence to young earth creationism.

So essentially, these men committed themselves to the convictions of a document when they didn't really believe what it was teaching? Whatever the case, you are missing my main point in drawing our attention to the statement. What Scripture tells us about history and what evolutionary deep time tells us about history are incompatible. The signers of that document understood there was a serious conflict between the two positions. Either the conclusions of the accepted scientific "establishment" hold precedence in how we understand the history of the world, or God's revelation. But to believe they can be seamlessly woven together is pure fantasy.

#23  Posted by Dylan Perkins  |  Friday, July 02, 2010at 9:04 PM

Peter Heffner,

"We are talking about the age of the earth here. Each of you is saying that if coal and oil companies thought the earth were only thousands of years old they would lose money. "

Actually if the earth were only thousands of years old they wouldn't make any money, since coal and oil wouldn't exist..

"Name three examples where coal and oil companies routinely make decisions based on how old they believe the earth to be each at the risk of losing billions of dollars. Think, please. "

Sure

1) They hire geologists to find where oil might be likely

2) They drill into rock millions of years old to get the oil

Pretty sure without either of these two decisions, they lose billions of dollars. Sorry I could only come up with two rather than three examples, but without those two they don't have much of a business...

#24  Posted by Don Jordan  |  Friday, July 02, 2010at 9:33 PM

Dylan Perkins,

Apart from authoritarian appeals, nothing in what you posted demonstrates that a belief in old-earth Uniformitarian geology is required to prospect for oil. Andrew Snelling, as I quoted in my older post, puts this quite succinctly:

“[T]he techniques that have been found helpful in petroleum exploration, such as seismic surveying and the analysis of organic matter found in sedimentary rock sequences, do not really depend on the historical aspects of geology at all, but only on recognition of the structural, sedimentary, and organic petrological markers that experience has shown are associated with, and a guide to the finding of, petroleum deposits.”

As a matter of fact, Glenn R. Morton began his work in petroleum exploration as a young-earth creationist. As I explained in my earlier post, he became an old-earth theistic evolutionist because of factors unrelated to the actual exploration for oil. Now he explores for oil as an old-earther. Since he has been perfectly capable of exploring for oil as both a young-earther and an old-earther, it follows that his beliefs about the historical aspects of geology play a very small role in his day-to-day work as a petroleum geologist.

#25  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Friday, July 02, 2010at 9:51 PM

Gabriel,

Basically the idea Sailhamer promotes, as you no doubt read, is a gap theory. He says that God initially created the heavens and the earth in Genesis 1:1-2 as a unique act (which he says allows for an old earth). Then Genesis 1 continues with verses 3 and beyond, some time in the future, with God working miracles in six literal 24-hour days to prepare the land of Eden and its garden for Adam and Eve to live in...4.5 billion years after His initial creative act I suppose...although he does not allow for evolution.

At any rate, Dr McCabe has written extensively about gap theories. Below are a few links. The first is Dr McCabe's articles:

http://www.oldtestamentstudies.org/my-papers/other-papers/recent-creationism/what-about-the-gap-theory/

The second set are the links I posted regarding similar data from Mark Rooker (really...really good stuff):

http://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/Ted_Hildebrandt/OTeSources/01-Genesis/Text/Articles-Books/Rooker-Gen1Pt1-BSsac.pdf

http://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/Ted_Hildebrandt/OTeSources/01-Genesis/Text/Articles-Books/Rooker-Gen1Pt2-BSsac.pdf

From Dr McCabe's web site:

In the last part of our class, we examined a young-earth creationist’s understanding of how Genesis 1:1–2 connects with the rest of Genesis 1. Verse 1 is an independent statement declaring that God created the original mass called earth out of nothing. Since Moses used the waw-conjunctive to introduce v. 2, he was explaining what the earth was like at the time of its creation in 1:1. Consequently, v. 2 is answering the question, what was the earth like at the time of its creation in v. 1? The answer of v. 2 is that it was in an abiotic form, it was “without form and empty.” It was covered by water and the Spirit of God was hovering over it. However, for there to be a literal day, God, immediately after his first creative activity, created a light source in Gen 1:3 in order to begin a day-night cycle for day one, as Genesis 1:5 indicates. Day 1 was the first normal 24-hour day of a six-day project. When God created the heavens and the earth, He chose to complete this process in six normal days (see also Exod 20:8-11 & 31:15-17).

The statement above does severe damage to Sailhamer's approach.

Here is a link to where James B Jordon tackles John Sailhamer's position in detail (I believe there are 4 parts to his critique):

http://www.biblicalhorizons.com/category/biblical-chronology/

Here is a concise refutation of Sailhamer:

http://hermeneutics.kulikovskyonline.net/hermeneutics/genunb.pdf

#26  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Friday, July 02, 2010at 10:08 PM

One comment about the "Modern Reformation" guys:

The reformers who broke rank with the Roman Catholic Church were willing to die for their unwavering belief in the authority of scripture. The "modern reformers" seem to be throwing scripture out the window and embracing "science" as absolute authority...what audacity to call one's movement "modern reformed" and hold such a degenerated view of the authority of scripture. The true reformers would be appalled!...and so am I.

#27  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Saturday, July 03, 2010at 12:29 AM

Hi Folks:

Garrett, I don't want to be rude, but the use of Dawkins quote really shows where you are at. I have listened to him and he never gives real evidence as far as I can see. And you never have really listened to the stuff Fred has said, you seem to be waiting to answer his question with an answer before he poses the question. I know that you are a convinced OEE, the dichotomy between what you say you believe as a Christian and what you present as science appear to be two different things. (I am not your judge- nor do I want to be, but I am a fruit inspector- not of your good works but of your ideas, as every believer has the responsibility to be) You may say the same things on this blog until the earth is removed, if God wills; after the process that I have been through over the years, I won't change. I have seen this pattern pop up in theology, philosophy, you name it. But you will need to be convinced in you own mind.

As to the oil fields issue- huh???? You don't believe that oil companies really care about YEC/ OEE/TE? BP shows where their mind is - on their pocket book. The presuppositions they use will not change the facts in the rocks and strata. (That sounds like the moon dust argument- to me.)

#28  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Saturday, July 03, 2010at 12:47 AM

Steve Gentry #24:

What does that statement say about the signers of such a document? What is such a document worth if it does not represent the reality they are proposing to uphold. It is so much cheap print.

As to the question of "interpretations" one of the reasons that folks like Fred, JM, Rudi, Keith, and the rest of us hold to the position we do is because private interpretations are not allowed. (2 Pet 1:20). And while we may not understand every little detail, God has given the illuminating Holy Spirit to guide, as well as pastor-teachers, to help us. The sound doctrine of scriptures is based upon one world view,i.e." one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism". The sense one gets from the simplicity that is in Christ is that the Word of God is straight forward. And while it is maintained that God "accommodated" us to ANE myths- there is no reason to think this, especially after the Exodus. Unless you think that this is also "cheap print". God does not need accommodation in this sense. Why would God use a "story" when the truth would work so much better? Just a thought.

#29  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Saturday, July 03, 2010at 4:33 AM

In my post #25 the link below should not be overlooked with regards to Sailhamer's work in Genesis Unbound. This article was suggested to me by Dr McCabe although he referenced a different link found on AIG's web site. I'll post the AIG link also...same article:

http://hermeneutics.kulikovskyonline.net/hermeneutics/genunb.pdf

AIG link:

http://www.answersingenesis.org:80/tj/v14/i3/rules.asp

#30  Posted by Robert Sorensen  |  Saturday, July 03, 2010at 4:33 AM

I rejected evolutionism because of science, and that science did not support evolution but did support Creation Science. Years ago when I had time to study and stay more current on information, I presented Creation Science to church groups. One presentation was science without the Bible, the other was about why Genesis matters. After all, Christians need to know not only *what* they believe, but *why* they believe it. Also, it is good to know both viewpoints. True science does that, instead of forcing evidence to fit into their presuppositions.

#31  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Saturday, July 03, 2010at 5:44 AM

You can't hear His Words. Why? Because you don't understand and believe that the almighty God has told the Truth. There is a clear chain in the testimony of God - and all to His glory.

By changing the clear teaching of the Words of the Holy God, you are in a very dangerous situation. Why? Because if you do not believe the Truth, then there is nothing God can do. He have given us all the information. Give head to hear it right.

Read 2 Peter chapter 3. The key in this chapter is small, and you have not found it. But it starts with: "For they deliberately overlook"

What is a cataclysm? how would you describe something like that? we are without experiense, if it was not for God's revelation.

All to the Glory of God, to shut the mouth of the wise of this world.

What is it all about? - The Day of the Lord Will Come

#32  Posted by Todd Murray  |  Saturday, July 03, 2010at 6:24 AM

Dylan, post #23,

1) They hire geologists to find where oil might be likely

2) They drill into rock millions of years old to get the oil

Agree with #1, but drilling into rock I don't see where the age of the rock makes any difference. The type of rock, meaning density, may make some difference but the age makes none. They only need to know what kind of rock they are drilling through, and age has nothing to do with it.

The question was asked, what about the resurrection? Science certainly doesn't agree it is possible for a man to be brought back to life after laying in a tomb as long as Jesus did. How about Lazarus? How does science handle those parts of scripture? Since science doesn't accept the possibility of resurrection, does that mean it didn't happen? Where do you draw the line?

#33  Posted by Dylan Perkins  |  Saturday, July 03, 2010at 7:42 AM

Don,

"Apart from authoritarian appeals.."

You dismiss my quotes because they're authoritarian appeals, but then you go on:

"Andrew Snelling, as I quoted in my older post, puts this quite succinctly: ...."

and make an authoritarian appeal? I'm not sure why it's okay for you and not for me. Anyway...

"nothing in what you posted demonstrates that a belief in old-earth Uniformitarian geology is required to prospect for oil. "

Hmm, well, I dunno, more on that below, but my main point has always been that no one has used a belief in young earth geology to do better, which you'd think they'd be able to do if it was more accurate.

"As a matter of fact, Glenn R. Morton began his work in petroleum exploration as a young-earth creationist. As I explained in my earlier post, he became an old-earth theistic evolutionist because of factors unrelated to the actual exploration for oil. Now he explores for oil as an old-earther. Since he has been perfectly capable of exploring for oil as both a young-earther and an old-earther, it follows that his beliefs about the historical aspects of geology play a very small role in his day-to-day work as a petroleum geologist. "

This is a good point. Still when YEC such as Glen Morton go out there to find oil, they might believe because of their religion that the earth is young, but they still *have* to use standard geological practice using stratigraphy and all that stuff to actually get anything done...things that don't even really make sense from a YEC perspective. In other words, they are trained in and use techniques and knowledge from standard geology to do their job. Ultimately, I guess you can attempt it, but it involves a lot of self deception because you'd know you were using techniques the underlying theory of which deal with "millions and millions of years". You'd have to use the tools and knowledge of geology, while at the same time valiantly ignoring *why* they work. It's almost a kind of doublethink. I'm sure this is extremely difficult to do, and is is probably why Morton and people like him don't survive long as young earthers when they actually get out there.

#34  Posted by Ken Wolgemuth  |  Saturday, July 03, 2010at 9:26 AM

As this is my first time on this blog, I want to briefly introduce myself. I am a Christian geologist who believes in the inerrancy of Scripture, the saving atonement of Jesus, and His bodily resurrection. I have studied His Creation through the lense of geology, and have worked as a college professor and petroleum geologist for almost 40 years.

I appreciate that someone has found the article written by a group of PCA geologists, with about 8 authors. Please read it.

For those of you who are young-earth advocates, please be aware that tree rings in European oak trees go back 12,400 years and supported by radiocarbon. Ice cores in Greenland go back about 100,000 years near the base of the ice sheet, and to about 50,000 years they are counted visually. Sedimentary varves in Suigetsu Lake in Japan have layers back 45,000 years supported by radiocarbon. The world's oil fields have trillions and trillions of barrels of oil that no known scientific process would generate in 6,000 years. Please explain these.

Kurt Wise referenced in this blog answers that God did it all miraculously like Jesus turned the water into wine. So he says that science cannot learn about the creation in the past.

I ask you folks, why did God build the appearance of old age into His Creation?

And FYI, there is no credible method of age dating geological materials that point to an earth of 6 to 10,000 years - none! All methods keep on going back.

#35  Posted by Carol Gayheart  |  Saturday, July 03, 2010at 9:39 AM

Steve Gentry #20

“The language of the text allows a range of possibilities. You may not accept that, but that's your choice. There's room for more than one view.”

Have you consulted God on that? Is this a multiple choice question which includes “all of the above?!”

Does GOD accept more than one view of WHAT HE SAID?!

That’s the issue! Proper exegesis IS CRITICAL & not up for man’s debate, but instead requires MAN’S ACCEPTANCE OF GOD’S WORD - AS HE MEANT IT!

Sorry, I’m getting a little tired of people calling themselves “Christians” (which would be followers of Christ – not followers of Waltke, Piper, Dawkins, or even MacArthur!) Christians WORSHIP & FOLLOW JESUS CHRIST! PERIOD! More time spent with Christ in prayer & adoration & worship of Him, & more time spent studying His Word in submission to the leadings of His Holy Spirit’s guiding one’s understanding.

My heart breaks for parents who send their children off to college only to have them lured & brainwashed by satan’s agenda to discredit & dishonor God!

I’m with Keith Farmer #13! Scripture!

The reason I respect Dr. MacArthur’s position & teaching so much is because he STUDIES SCIRPTURE! That’s where he starts, and he builds from there! Not from worldly views on geology or biology or psychiatry,….! If he started brushing Scripture under the rug to ACCOMMODATE worldly views, I’m sure others would join me in looking elsewhere!

Keep up the great work in serving our Lord GTY! You can see that you have your mission cut out for you!

And thanks Mary – I was in a hurry yesterday & forgot to thank you – Feed back is vital! :)

#36  Posted by Carol Gayheart  |  Saturday, July 03, 2010at 9:45 AM

Dylan Perkins #23

“Actually if the earth were only thousands of years old they wouldn't make any money, since coal and oil wouldn't exist.”

Actually Dylan, if the earth really is only thousands of years old, then it is NOT NECESSARY FOR MILLIONS OF YEARS TO CREATE COAL & OIL, because COAL & OIL DO EXIST!

You see – if you teach geologists that certain rocks are "billions of years old", that’s just a “label” for the rock they are looking at! You could call it 5,000 years old & the geologists would still look for THAT rock to drill from!

#37  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Saturday, July 03, 2010at 10:11 AM

So Ken,

With all due respect, how do you explain those geologists who have the same amount of experience you have if not more and yet have no problem with believing the world is as old as the Bible tells us? Are they stupid? Lying? Mistaken? Denying reality?

Additionally, are you comfortable employing some weird, voodoo hermeneutic, most of those systems being no more than 150 years old and developed by liberal, high critics, to explain away the text of Genesis as being some ANE myth, or series of pictures explaining functionality, or periods of creation, or whatever? How can you confidently affirm inerrancy of the Bible when in point of fact what we specifically know about the genealogical record revealed in the Bible does not match any of the so-called "evidence" for an old earth? See my comment #17. Even if you want to insert "gaps" in the genealogies, you may be able to stretch them out a few thousand years, but not millions and billions. So you are faced with a choice: Either God has misled generations of Jews and Christians about the history of the world UNTIL the period of the Enlightenment when anti-supernaturalists told us the earth is millions of years old, or maybe we are misreading all that evidence. Something tells me you will choose the second over the first.

#38  Posted by Dylan Perkins  |  Saturday, July 03, 2010at 10:28 AM

Carol #36

Yes, but AFAIK, based on what we know about coal and oil, it's composition and formation, it is necessary for millions of years to create it. So that sort of breaks the circularity.

Ken #34

Good stuff. Please stick around - I don't think we actually have any relevant experts in the scientific topics thrown around here.

#39  Posted by Don Jordan  |  Saturday, July 03, 2010at 10:36 AM

Dylan Perkins,

“You dismiss my quotes because they're authoritarian appeals, but then you go on…and make an authoritarian appeal? I'm not sure why it's okay for you and not for me.”

My citation of Andrew Snelling was not an appeal to authority because he was listing the basic reasons why oil exploration does not depend on the historical aspects of geology. The person you cite provided no reasons whatsoever for the assertion that old-earth, uniformitarian geology is either advantageous or required.

“Hmm, well, I dunno, more on that below, but my main point has always been that no one has used a belief in young earth geology to do better, which you'd think they'd be able to do if it was more accurate.”

First, you have to prove that the historical aspects of geology have any relevance to the exploration of oil. As an interesting side note, if oil ends up having an abiotic origin, as some have theorized, then any pretense of the need for historical geology to find oil will evaporate.

The rest of your post #33 basically contains a mish-mash of repeating yourself and begging the question.

#40  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Saturday, July 03, 2010at 10:49 AM

Dylan laments,

I don't think we actually have any relevant experts in the scientific topics thrown around here.

"Experts" are a dime-a-dozen. But expertise doesn't equate to being right. If we were speaking on the transmission of the NT documents, I would imagine many folks would be linking us to articles by Bart Ehrman as some "authority" on the matter in order to prove the Bible has been corrupted and is unreliable.

#41  Posted by Robert Sorensen  |  Saturday, July 03, 2010at 10:57 AM

ALL of the evidence does not support a 4.5 billion year old planet. Evidence for a young earth also exists.

The earth, and the universe, were made "mature". One reason is for functionality. After all, those of us who actually believe in Adam believe that God created him fully grown, with the "appearance of age".

To prefer evidence that supports an old earth and deny evidence that conflicts with the old earth presupposition is simply an excuse to accommodate for evolutionism. This does violence to the Gospel message itself.

#42  Posted by Mary Kidwell  |  Saturday, July 03, 2010at 11:18 AM

Ken #64

"I ask you folks, why did God build the appearance of old age into His Creation?"

God created (miraculously) a mature earth that could sustain life. He then gave us His Word to tell us of its miraculous 6 day creation and included the genealogies from which can we can determine the earth's age. There is no reason for any to claim the the appearance of the earth is misleading. His word is available for us to read and trust.

#43  Posted by Scott Christensen  |  Saturday, July 03, 2010at 11:33 AM

Experts are important because they point to what authority you accept in your arguments. The problem is too many Christians are duped into accepting the experts of science whose presuppositions a priori reject divine revelation and espouse naturalism as the foundation for science. If that is your starting point then it will be impossible for you to take the Bible seriously as a far more important and reliable authority for origins and earth history. You will throw out questions like, "Doesn't a mature creation show that God has decieved us?" Instead of accepting the fact that the Bible describes a mature creation at the outset you will feel much more comfortable accepting naturalistic assumptions of modern science which contradicts the Biblical record. In the end, your naturalistic authority trumps the supernatural nature of creation as the Bible describes it. So we have a battle of authority - unbelieving naturalistic science versus supernaturalistic biblical authority rooted in one's belief in the divine nature of its revelation. One set of presuppositions believes in the pronouncements of naturalistic human science the other believs in divine revelation.

#44  Posted by Don Jordan  |  Saturday, July 03, 2010at 11:59 AM

Ken Wolgemuth,

“As this is my first time on this blog.”

Welcome.

"For those of you who are young-earth advocates, please be aware that tree rings in European oak trees go back 12,400 years and supported by radiocarbon. Ice cores in Greenland go back about 100,000 years near the base of the ice sheet, and to about 50,000 years they are counted visually. Sedimentary varves in Suigetsu Lake in Japan have layers back 45,000 years supported by radiocarbon. The world's oil fields have trillions and trillions of barrels of oil that no known scientific process would generate in 6,000 years. Please explain these."

"...And FYI, there is no credible method of age dating geological materials that point to an earth of 6 to 10,000 years - none! All methods keep on going back."

You are coming in with your shotguns blazing! I have a couple of questions for you first:

Have you bothered to search creationist web sites like creation.com for their response to these specific evidences you cite for an old earth?

Have you examined any of the recent creationist literature like Andrew Snelling’s book “Earth’s Catastrophic Past: Geology, Creation and The Flood” or Michael J. Oard’s monograph “The Frozen Record: Examining the Ice Core History of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets?”

I am not trying to be snarky here. I am going to be unavailable for a couple of days, so if you haven’t searched creation.com, then I would request that you do that first before we continue. We can get into this more when I return.

#45  Posted by Carol Gayheart  |  Saturday, July 03, 2010at 12:43 PM

Dylan #38

Please define "AFAIK"

#47  Posted by Don Jordan  |  Saturday, July 03, 2010at 1:19 PM

Carol Gayheart,

"AFAIK" = "As Far As I Know"

Ken Wolgemuth,

And one more thing: Although I am a YEC, I do not necessarily subscribe to the one flood in one year made the entire geologic column ideas of ICR and AiG.

#48  Posted by Tim Helble  |  Saturday, July 03, 2010at 6:19 PM

You guys - just listen to yourselves! The blogmaster asked the question "What evidence from the natural world do you think indicates a young earth?" Nobody has alluded to any evidence other than that hinted at by Rudi (#1), which I believe is a reference to findings by Guy Berthault.

#49  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Saturday, July 03, 2010at 7:07 PM

#34 Ken Wolgemuth

Amazing to see someone come jumping in and pull rank. I could accept that if you were a true Jesus-loving Christian. But even a child can pull your mask off.

You have been taught all the fairy tale of evolution, and have bought it all. And now you try to teach us?

Because of your materialistic beliefs, I would dare to guess that if asked: “Where in the geologic record do you clearly see the evidence of the Flood?” – You would probably say – nowhere. Isn’t that correct?

But God utterly destroyed everything with the Flood according to His testimony right? – So where is God telling the Truth in your worldview? Is God a liar?

#50  Posted by Carol Gayheart  |  Saturday, July 03, 2010at 7:39 PM

Thank you Don, :)

Dylan then admits, "Yes, but AFAIK, based on what we know about coal and oil, it's composition and formation, it is necessary for millions of years to create it."

BASED ON WHAT WE KNOW. Ever think about what we don't know?

I ask, "How do we know?" No one has been around millions of years to verify this. It is all assumptions based on teaching based on presuppositions,... the very "circularity" Dylan is describing & what we've been debating here for many weeks now.

(Example: we still DON'T KNOW what killed off the dinosaurs. WHY NOT? We seem to know everything about how coal & oil are formed, how human beings "evolved," how all the matter in the universe came into being from nothing,... Perhaps if God had told us about the dinosaurs, we could argue with Him about that too.)

John 3:11-12 Jesus told Nicodemus, "Truly, Truly, I say to you, we speak of what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?"

#51  Posted by Ken Wolgemuth  |  Saturday, July 03, 2010at 8:03 PM

Dylan #38

Thanks for the encouragement. My interest is to inform others about the Creation through the lens of geology. But my first passion is to give Bibles to folks in their own language when I travel to foreign countries.

Robert #41.

Please give an example of evidence for a young earth that is 6 to 10,000 years old.

Mary #42 and Robert

God miraculously creating a mature universe and earth with the appearance of age is not testable with scientific methods. Then it is only belief in one literal interpretation of Genesis 1, and there is also no need for any evidence for the earth being young. The presupposition has already been cast, so to speak, as in concrete. How do you witness about the Good News of Jesus Christ to an unbelieving geologist?

Fred #37

I am not that concerned about a geologist who believes that the earth is 6 to 10,000 years old. I have a Christian brother here in Tulsa who believes this and works in the oil industry.

I am very concerned about the few with this viewpoint who use their geology training and have tainted young-earth believers with faulty science. This brings ridicule on the church. This saddens me because the name of my Lord Jesus is trodden underfoot, not because of the cross and Who He is, but because His "followers" bear false witness. "Denying reality" and a "willful blindness" are among the descriptions I have heard. If you are interested, I can give you a specific example, and you may define what the behavior should be called.

#52  Posted by Ken Wolgemuth  |  Saturday, July 03, 2010at 8:48 PM

Don #44 and #47

Thanks for the welcome. I intended to come in with gentleness, grace, humility and patience, and certainly did not want to come in with "shotguns blazing". I am very sorry about that. In my first blog posting, I only presented positive evidence that the earth is older than 6 to 10,000 years, with a word description of 5 pieces of the evidence. I made no comment whatever about the faulty science I have been reading about for almost 40 years.

The creation.com URL is now focused on Sarfati vs Dawkins, with almost nothing else obvious.

I look forward to an exchange when you return. Glad to hear that you do not necessarily subscribe to the one flood in one year depositing most sediments. This hypothesis makes no sense when the Creation is examined thoughtfully. Two other Christian geologists and I presented a paper at the Evangelical Theological Society meeting entitled: "Theologians Need to Hear from Christian Geologists About Noah's Flood". If you are interested, I can send you a copy. My email is wolgemuth2@aol.com.

I know that Michael Oard has proposed an hypothesis of 1 glacial period of 500 years duration after the flood. This does not fit the actual data and evidence in the Creation itself. We can discuss via email when I can send figures to you. Andrew Snelling is a very sharp geochemist with an honors Ph.D. from studying an ore deposit in Australia that he interpreted as 1800 to 1870 Ma. This is geological notation for "Mega annum" or 1,800 million years, or 1.8 billion years. Almost certainly good solid science. He also showed slides at the Sixth International Conference on Creationism in 2008 on a paper: "The Creation Model; It's Past, Present, and Necessary Future." Two bullet points are instructive: 1. "But how well have we done at building the Creation Model?" 2. "If we are honest, by looking at the current status of the Creation Model, the answer would have to be "poorly"!

We can follow this offline in the future.

God bless you as you celebrate the 4th of July.

Ken

#53  Posted by Steve Gentry  |  Saturday, July 03, 2010at 10:40 PM

Fred said (#22): Yes. You are correct, I don't handle the Bible with postmodern relativism. The text has one specific meaning. I am curious if you handle the gospel narratives in this fashion? Are there multiple ways to interpret Jesus' resurrection? Miracles? Why or why not? Is N.T. Wright's views of justification derived from "the language of the text which allows a range of possibilities?" How about Greg Boyd's open theism heresy? What about any number of heretical groups who claim the "language of the text allows a range of possibilities?"

Paul Tucker #28 and Carol Gayheart #35 expressed similar sentiments.

You say the text has one specific meaning. Fine. Theologians have wrestled for centuries to find the correct meaning of the first chapters of Genesis. Augustine thought the earth to be 6000 years old, but considered the days to be non-literal. Spurgeon considered the earth to be old. Warfield, Orr, and Torrey likewise. In fact, among the writers of ”The Fundamentals” many held an old earth view. R. A. Torrey stated rather bluntly, There is no necessity whatever for interpreting the days of Genesis 1 as solar days of twenty-four hours each. They may be vast periods of undefined length. So, Paul, with respect to your comment, God has given the illuminating Holy Spirit to guide, as well as pastor-teachers, to help us, Torrey is a pastor-teacher with a different viewpoint than that of John MacArthur. Both are Godly men and yet hold diametrically opposing views on Genesis 1.

You can dismiss my arguments as postmodern relativism if it makes you feel better, but it doesn’t make your arguments any more sound. These arguments were around long before postmodernity. You’ve elevated your interpretation of Genesis 1 and 2 as the “one true meaning” and dismissed mine and others as mere “postmodern relativism”. This is both presumptuous and arrogant.

With regard to the rest of your “red herrings”, I have no problem with the Gospel account of the resurrection, or miracles. I haven’t read enough of N. T. Wright’s view of justification to have an opinion yet, and I haven’t read any of Greg Boyd’s writings. Judging from your line of questioning, you’ve swallowed hook, line and sinker, MacArthur’s overstatements regarding a right interpretation of Genesis (namely his) as being the pivotal passage of Scripture that affects ones view of the rest of Scripture. Hyperbole like this may sell books, but it just isn’t true.

CHICAGO STATEMENT ON BIBLICAL INERRANCY

Many of the men that signed that statement were already OECers when they came to the conference. They signed it because they obviously saw no conflict between the statement on creation and an old earth view. You’re imposing your young earth views on the statement which causes you to read more into the statement than it actually says. They had already reconciled the teaching of Genesis with an old earth and apparently didn’t consider that as overturning the teaching of Scripture.

The fact that they further clarified the statement in later years to make it abundantly clear that the doctrine of inerrancy does not require adherence to young earth creationism, makes it clear that the statement was not intended to be interpreted as you have interpreted it.

Only 32 years have passed since the Chicago Statement was made and we’re arguing about what the author’s real intent was. It’s no wonder, we’re arguing over words that were written 3400 years ago in Genesis.

#54  Posted by Brian Pettit  |  Sunday, July 04, 2010at 12:34 AM

Really like all the information! Thanks

#55  Posted by John Adams  |  Sunday, July 04, 2010at 1:38 AM

I googled Ken Wolgemuth's paper and found it here - http://www.asa3.org/ASA/topics/Physical%20Science/Geologists_Noahs_Flood_Paper_at_ETS_by_Wolgemuth_Bennett_Davidson.pdf

#56  Posted by Robert Sorensen  |  Sunday, July 04, 2010at 3:52 AM

"God miraculously creating a mature universe and earth with the appearance of age is not testable with scientific methods. Then it is only belief in one literal interpretation of Genesis 1, and there is also no need for any evidence for the earth being young. The presupposition has already been cast, so to speak, as in concrete. How do you witness about the Good News of Jesus Christ to an unbelieving geologist?"

How do you witness about the Good News of Jesus Christ to an unbelieving biker, or coal miner, or office manager, or solder, or ANYBODY? By believing the Bible and without compromise. If we change the truth to fit the ever-changing whims of man-made science, we no longer have the truth. Tell me how you witness to a hardcore atheist, who hates the Bible and says God is a big bad meanie in the Old Testament, a murderer, an evil being that committed atrocities and does not deserve to be worshiped? Do you change the truth to agree with such a one?

"God miraculously creating a mature universe and earth with the appearance of age is not testable with scientific methods." How about this? Neither is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Now what? GOD is not testable with scientific methods. There is plenty of scientific evidence to be found to support God's work. I'd rather please God, keep my self respect and probably even gain the respect of others because I'm not compromising, and show the evidence to support the validity of the Bible.

#57  Posted by Robert Suttles  |  Sunday, July 04, 2010at 5:15 AM

Greetings to you all in the name of our Savior, Christ. Long time lurker, first time poster. Quite frankly, much of this conversation has been over my head. But the question Mr. Wolgemuth asked in post #51 caught my eye:

"How do you witness about the Good News of Jesus Christ to an unbelieving geologist?"

1) Prayer. My prayer for the unbelieving geologist, unbelieving carpenter, unbelieving accountant would be the same. That God open their heart and ears to hear the glorious Gospel of Christ. That he convert their soul. That he use me as a tool, an instrument, to share the Gospel.

2) I would open up the law of God to him, the Ten Commandments. Galatians 3:24 describes the law as our "schoolmaster" to bring us to Christ. Psalm 19:7 says that the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. I would show him his status before God, and it is the same as all unbelievers. Guilty before a righteous and holy God, and deserving of Hell.

3) I would share with him what Jesus Christ has done to save undeserving souls, the incredible love of Christ to take the punishment that we rightly deserve for our sins and transgressions against God. Romans 5:8 says "But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

It is our privilege to share this Gospel with a dying world, without consideration to a person's label, status, or occupation. It is prayer and hope that this helps!

Have a blessed day!

Robert

#58  Posted by Mary Kidwell  |  Sunday, July 04, 2010at 5:21 AM

Ken,

I appreciate your heart for unbelievers, but you seem to be saying that something could not have happened if it cannot be tested with scientific method. I have a hard time understanding why a geologist who can’t believe that God could create a mature earth would find it easier to believe that a virgin bore God’s Son, who then walked on water, turned water into wine, stopped the wind with His words, healed the sick, raised the dead, allowed Himself to be crucified, rose from the dead, and then ascended into Heaven with many watching.

We are instructed to preach the Word (2 Timothy 4:2). It is the Holy Spirit’s job to bring conviction (John 16:8) and only the Holy Spirit can give spiritual understanding (1 Cor. 2:14). If we tell people that Genesis can’t mean what it plainly says, then we have caused them to doubt God’s Word. Genesis doesn’t stand alone. What about all the other Old and New Testament scriptures that support a plain reading of Genesis? I believe we should preach the Word, and trust God to work in people's hearts. God is a mighty God and if He could create a mature earth, He can convict a geologist's heart:)

#59  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Sunday, July 04, 2010at 6:32 AM

I have linked to it before, but here it is again.

Sean D. Pitman is going against mainstream thinking and teaching because he believes in a young earth and the Flood described in the bible. He therefore points to the elephant in the room that should be obvious to geologists:

http://www.detectingdesign.com/geologiccolumn.html

#60  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Sunday, July 04, 2010at 8:53 AM

Ken: Thanks for your blog, I believe that it was Tim Heible that suggested that I take a course or two in geology. (and I might take him up on it, I have a cousin who is a geologist, maybe it will work it's way to me by osmosis, he he) He is under the assumption that it would change my point of view, because I think he believes that the foundations of modern geology are firmly planted in a non biased bedrock. Your statement regarding YECs acceptance of their creation model based upon a literal rendering of Genesis, (not just chapter one) biases our foundations. We do have a tendency to believe the Word of God as it is lay down for us, but that does not equate necessarily to the kind of bias you assume for us. And it is no different for your OEE crowd- you assume your axioms too.

You know just as well as I do that the geologic column was formed upon assumptions and that the methods of testing were based upon uniformatarian assumptions, and materialist assumptions. (As has been pointed out before,( by Fred Butler), "Saganites" have a much more profound bias then a Christian has ever had. And he is, unlike we are, content to believe "in spite of" any evidence to the contrary.

The truth is that Christian's are much more accommodating to ideas than materialist are any day,(you yourself are the proof of that). And you worry about looking "uneducated" and being a "bumpkin" in front of the unbelieving world- "How can an unbelieving world believe, if I appear as an uneducated fool?" seems to be the mantra I hear most often as to acceptance of your materialist OEE position.

YECs are much more attuned to looking for the "Yea hath God said" statements of modern science, and testing them then simply debunking them. And I think that you do not understand the dynamic that YECs go through to reach their conclusions. They know that their methods are going to come under a large amount scrutiny, much more then your's will, unless your's seem to agree with the YECs position- then they will try and destroy you. I've seen it time and again. (Just a thought)

#61  Posted by Robert Sorensen  |  Sunday, July 04, 2010at 9:18 AM

"Theologians have wrestled for centuries to find the correct meaning of the first chapters of Genesis." Really? Seems to me that it was not an issue until people wanted to appear to be "enlightened" by science, so they compromised to accommodate evolutionism and huge amounts of time. (Real thinkers know that "given enough time, anything can happen" is an utter failure, because given an almost infinite amount of time, things will still never happen.)

There really should be no question. The word "yom" in early Genesis is translated "day". There are two kinds of day: INDEFINITE period of time, or LITERAL 24-hour period. When there's a "qualifier" (evening and morning, or a number), then it is a literal day. So, it is impossible to have the world created in "six indefinite period of time", and "God rested for an indefinite period of time". To further complicate matters, Exodus refers to six literal days of creation, and Jesus also affirms it as an actual fact.

#62  Posted by Steve Campbell  |  Sunday, July 04, 2010at 10:50 AM

My position would be that of a young-earth creationist. I don't know that I agree with much that Garrett said (re evidence for an old earth), but he made two good points: 1) Ken Ham (of Answers in Genesis) is worlds ahead of Kent Hovind - Ham really sticks to the scriptures, uses science to back himself up and is not in jail; and 2) The moon dust argument is wrong and should not be used by anyone - least of all Rev MacArthur. Quoting "non-science" detracts from credibility and blemishes his otherwise rock-solid foundation in the scriptures. It gives detractors ammunition.

For more arguments creationists should never use, see: http://www.answersingenesis.org/get-answers/topic/arguments-we-dont-use

Kindest regards

#63  Posted by Millard Lightfoot  |  Sunday, July 04, 2010at 11:16 AM

I would offer rebuttal to many of these post but it appears there are plenty that have already done so, however, I think it would be quite interesting to understand denominational beliefs or doctrines of those posting their position here. This should help some, if not all, understand those they face with words for understanding and why the message is or is not being absorbed. By the way I’m independent reformed Baptist believing in the doctrines of Grace as John MacArthur outlines in his sermons and understand from Scripture that this Heaven and Earth as spoken of in Genesis 1:1 is young perhaps as young as 6,000 years and created in just six twenty-four hour days. Also it might be helpful to understand how long one has believed in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and studied Scripture and extra-Biblical text in that Light. I’m ashamed to say that I have only studied Scripture and extra-Biblical text for sixty years and by far that is not enough to understand God’s creation in its entirety.

#64  Posted by Carol Gayheart  |  Sunday, July 04, 2010at 12:18 PM

Ken # 51

“How do you witness about the Good News of Jesus Christ to an unbelieving geologist?”

You will never be successful informing any unbelievers by trying to “inform others about the Creation through the lens of geology.”

Geology doesn’t teach the Gospel – the Bible does. (Apples & Oranges per se.)

And as Geology throws out the Bible, it can NEVER therefore TEACH what the Bible says with any credibility.

Welcome to Robert#57. Kudos & Dittos to you & Mary#58!

#65  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Sunday, July 04, 2010at 12:33 PM

Ken #37,

Thanks for the reply, but you blew past my main question. I too could care less of the opinions of geologists, however, Scripture has much more to say to the age of the earth than geology. So I'll ask again by reposting my comment from before:

Additionally, are you comfortable employing some weird, voodoo hermeneutic, most of those systems being no more than 150 years old and developed by liberal, higher critics, to explain away the text of Genesis as being some ANE myth, or series of pictures explaining functionality, or periods of creation, or whatever? How can you confidently affirm inerrancy of the Bible when in point of fact what we specifically know about the genealogical record revealed in the Bible does not match any of the so-called "evidence" for an old earth? See my comment #17. Even if you want to insert "gaps" in the genealogies, you may be able to stretch them out a few thousand years, but not millions and billions. So you are faced with a choice: Either God has misled generations of Jews and Christians about the history of the world UNTIL the period of the Enlightenment when anti-supernaturalists told us the earth is millions of years old, or maybe we are misreading all that evidence. Something tells me you will choose the second over the first.

Stephen can feel free to chime in too seeing he hasn't really answered this question either, but instead wants to argue the "intentions" of the authors of the statement on inerrancy. The words are fairly clear to me, and if they contend with those words, like I stated, they are radically inconsistent in their thinking on these matters.

#66  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Sunday, July 04, 2010at 1:19 PM

Stephen writes,

Theologians have wrestled for centuries to find the correct meaning of the first chapters of Genesis. Augustine thought the earth to be 6000 years old, but considered the days to be non-literal. Spurgeon considered the earth to be old. Warfield, Orr, and Torrey likewise. In fact, among the writers of ”The Fundamentals” many held an old earth view. R. A. Torrey stated rather bluntly, There is no necessity whatever for interpreting the days of Genesis 1 as solar days of twenty-four hours each. They may be vast periods of undefined length. So, Paul, with respect to your comment, God has given the illuminating Holy Spirit to guide, as well as pastor-teachers, to help us, Torrey is a pastor-teacher with a different viewpoint than that of John MacArthur. Both are Godly men and yet hold diametrically opposing views on Genesis 1.

No. Theologians have not "wrestled" with the interpretation of Genesis for years. Only in the fertile imaginations of modern individuals who refuse to relinquish the authority of "science" to the plain meaning of the text. The men you mention like Torrey and Warfield wrote in an age when they believed they had to appear "reasonable" to the so-called academic community. Warfield regrettably operated with a compromised apologetic methodology that was endemic of Princeton Seminary. Read Jack Lewis' treatment of the interpretation of "days" through out the history of the church,

http://www.etsjets.org/files/JETS-PDFs/32/32-4/32-4-pp433-455_JETS.pdf

And there are a couple of chapters of note in the book published last year, "Coming to Grips with Genesis."

#67  Posted by Michael Procella  |  Sunday, July 04, 2010at 1:33 PM

Hello all, here are some interesting excerpts from John H. Sailhamer's book, "The Pentateuch as Narrative." They really aren't specifically related to this discussion about the age of the earth, which I believe to be about 6,000 years according to the genealogies in Scripture, but they are relevant to the creation order. FOR EXAMPLE, Sailhamer argues that the SUN, MOON, and STARS were created "in the beginning" on DAY 1. So I thought I would pass on this information to anyone who might read this. God bless.

PAGE 84

{The phrase “the heavens and the earth,” or more precisely, “sky and land,” is a figure of speech for the expression of totality. … Of particular importance is that its use elsewhere in Scripture suggests that the phrase includes the sun and moon as well as the stars (e.g., Joel 3:15-16 [MT 4:15-16]). Since Genesis 1:1 describes God’s creating the universe, we should read the rest of the chapter from that perspective. For example, the “light” of verse 3 is the light of the sun created already “in the beginning.”}

PAGE 92-93

{First, we must decide on the meaning of the phrase “the heavens and the earth” in 1:1. If the phrase means “universe” or “cosmos,” as is most probable, then it must be taken with the same sense it has throughout its uses in the Bible (e.g., Joel 3:15-16 [4:15-16]); thus it would include the sun, moon, and stars. … Second, we must consider the syntax of verse 14. The syntax of verse 6 suggests that when God said, “Let there be an expanse,” he was creating an expanse where none existed previously (creation out of nothing). … We should be careful to note that in verse 14 God does not say, “Let there be lights…to separate…,” as if there were no lights before this command and afterward the lights were created. Rather, the Hebrew text reads, “God said, ‘Let the lights in the expanse be for separating. …’” In other words, unlike the syntax of verse 6, the syntax in verse 14 assumes that the lights were already in the expanse, and in response to his command they were given a purpose, “to separate the day and night” and “to serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years.” … A third observation comes from the structure of verses 15 and 16. At the end of verse 15, the author states, “and it was so.” This expression marks the end of the author’s report and the beginning of his comment in verse 16. Thus, verse 16 is not an account of the creation of the sun, moon, and stars on the fourth day, but rather a remark directed to the reader to draw out the significance of that which had previously been recounted: “So God [and not anyone else] made the lights and put them into the sky.” In other words, behind this narrative is the author’s concern to emphasize that God alone created the lights of the heavens and thus no one else is to be given the glory and honor due only to him. The passage also states that God created the light in the heavens for a purpose: to divide day and night and to mark the “seasons, days, and years.” Both of these concerns form the heart of the whole of chapter 1, namely, the lesson that God alone is the Creator of all things and worthy of the worship of his people.}

#68  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Sunday, July 04, 2010at 2:07 PM

Michael Procella

Perhaps you missed some of the previous posts. I urge you to read the article in the link below with regards to Sailhamer's work.

http://hermeneutics.kulikovskyonline.net/hermeneutics/genunb.pdf

#69  Posted by Ken Wolgemuth  |  Sunday, July 04, 2010at 3:12 PM

Robert Suttles #57

Amen and amen. This is how we witness, depending on the Holy Spirit to reach a person's heart.

Mary Kidwell #58

Amen to "preach the Word, and trust God to work in people's hearts.

Robert Sorenson #56 and all:

Personally I focus on the Bible with Rom 3:23, Rom 6:23, John 3:3, John 3:16, John 14:6, Rom 10:9, and Rev 3:20, with prayer support from a team of believers as I travel and sow seed of God's Word.

I notice that your focus is on who Jesus is, man's sinful condition, and no discussion about the age of the earth. In my opinion, the age of the earth is not significant to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I am having a blessed day as I thank the Lord for the freedoms we enjoy in this country.

Blessings,

Ken

#70  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Sunday, July 04, 2010at 5:19 PM

"In my opinion, the age of the earth is not significant to the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

Anytime someone starts a sentence about the Gospel with "in my opinion" EVRYBODY within earshot should run!!

Ken, we have discussed this specific notion to the point of ad nauseam on this site. I suggest you avail yourself to the myriad of posts relating the absolute necessity of properly viewing/reading/understanding Genesis (in a historical literal fashion)to the entire redemption story.

One may not necessarily need to preach the Gospel by starting with detailing the age of the earth...but the way you guys are twisting the text we all may have to start there from now 'til Christ returns just so there are no mistakes. I know for one that I teach my students a steady lesson in creation so guys like you and other OEE'ists will not prevail on them and warp their minds.

#71  Posted by Tim Helble  |  Sunday, July 04, 2010at 8:26 PM

Hey Paul (#60) - I wasn't suggesting you take a geology course under the assumption that you'd automatically change your mind once you took it, I was just suggesting that you do so to be exposed to the position of the "other side." And don't worry about the 5th grader thing - some of those questions they ask on that show are pretty tough! BTW - we may both live in the same state -- I'm in Maryland.

I see we're now at post #69 and we still really haven't gotten to the subject of young earth arguments. In the sermon clip I did hear Dr. MacArthur allude to the recent volcanic rock that was dated to be millions of years old. Of course, the idea he's trying to convey is that radiometric dating is completely unreliable, and that's yet another evidence for a young earth. There's more to the story than YECs may be aware of - Dr. Steve Austin gave some pyroxene minerals from some dacite taken from the new dome forming in Mt. St. Helens, and sent it to a lab company that clearly advertised that it did not perform the kinds of dating techniques applicable to young rocks (did you all know that - there's not just one technique). This is because isotopes of various elements have widely varying half lives, and you can't use a technique that was designed for medium- or long-half life isotopes on very young rocks. Anyway, Dr. Austin said he was just asking them how much argon was in the mineral, and the lab came back with a potassium-argon (K-Ar) date that was in the millions of years. So, of course he got a result that was ridiculous - the potassium-argon method wasn't designed in the first place for young rocks. So Dr. Austin wrote this up in a ICR paper and now this bogus rock age has been spread through the YEC world and people like Dr. MacArthur recite it without understanding the true background or the science. Anyway, at a hike Dr. Austin led last November at Mt. St. Helens after the Northwest Creation Conference, I asked him in front of the group if K-Ar was a good method to use on young rock, and he kind of stared off in space for a few seconds (obviously knowing he was cornered and weighing his options) and he said "yes." I got it on tape. The point is, when Christians get caught spreading what amounts to urban legends, how does that make the Name of Christ look?

#72  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Sunday, July 04, 2010at 9:05 PM

Hi Steve Gentry: Thanks for the post #53.

I have read R.A. Torrey, James Orr, and a host of other authors. Most of these were "Gapest" which is different then OEC/OEE. To put them in the same camp as the modern movement under TE, would be a mistake, I think. The Gap theory has been pretty well refuted by Weston Fields work "Unformed and Unfilled: a critique of the Gap Theory". Much of what he says also applies to TE. (He is a Dead Sea Scroll Scholar, and graduated under John Whitcomb at Grace Seminary- as a point of reference for you).

And with reference to the other authors you mentioned, you must admit that they have issues with their hermeneutic. It is much easier for scholars who are "amill" to have trouble in these areas, much as the Gapest have with their theory.

However I must return to my previous statement- Why would God use accommodation when the plain truth works much better? And why is it so hard for you to believe that God could create the world in six days as he stated he did when you know that the foundations of modern science are "Atheistic materialism". You know how geologist and paleontologist used circular reasoning to found the geologic column, etc etc ad nauseam. They have a bone to pick- I do not, I take a plain reading of the scriptures as they set, and it says what it says.

As to my "Red Herrings" they point to the fact that God does not need to use long periods of time to do his work. And I am surprised that you are so dismissive... and I was with JM before I knew exactly what he thought. John's reputation was around along time ago, I heard about his ministry in the early 70s, and have been following his work. But he is not the only one who believes this way, and you give him far to much credit. He stands in a crowd of good men on this issue, most you will probably never hear of. I will mention one, he went to be with the Lord recently, Harry Gray. I'm sure that his name does not come up around the coffee table, but he was a very learned individual and one who would have agreed with John on most issues, and this is one in particular. (I've stopped thinking for tonight , my head hurts.)

#73  Posted by Douglas Grogg  |  Sunday, July 04, 2010at 11:59 PM

Ken says, “Personally I focus on the Bible with Rom 3:23, Rom 6:23, John 3:3, John 3:16, John 14:6, Rom 10:9, and Rev 3:20, with prayer support from a team of believers as I travel and sow seed of God's Word.”

“When the heart has been renewed, when the soul, enlightened by the Divine Spirit, sees the beauty and the loveliness of the Divine character, it cannot seriously reflect upon a life of sin without unfeigned grief. The leading thought that influences the soul in all godly sorrow is the intrinsic vileness of sin. The mind must be imbued with a deep and settled conviction of the great evil of sin as committed against God. The main thought that affects the mind of the penitent is that he has sinned against God! Sin is contrary to every attribute of the divine nature, and is the abominable thing which God’s soul hateth. The penitent sinner feels that he is the perpetrator of this foul deed! He has been rising up in rebellion against His legitimate authority; he has done what he could to pour contempt upon His infinite majesty and excellence, to trample upon his goodness and forbearance, to despise His grace, and diminish and destroy His influence in the world. He sees also that he has sinned always; that he has been cherishing a totally depraved heart, and has never ceased from its unprovoked and ungrateful disobedience. He is sensible that he is a vile transgressor; that he has no excuse for his iniquity, and is altogether criminal; that the evil of his transgression is chargeable on himself alone, that he deserves to the blamed rather than pitied, and that he might well bear the blame as well as endure the curse of his iniquities to all eternity. His laughter is heavy and he goes bowed down to the earth. He is abased before God. He loathes himself in his own sight for his iniquities and abominations. It breaks his spirit to look back and survey the multitude of his transgressions.” Quoted from “The Distinguishing Traits of Christian Character” by Gardiner Spring.

The above is an excellent description of biblical repentance which is but one of several characteristics of one who has been “born from above”. The scriptures describe one who evidences repentance as being “poor in spirit”. The Greek comes from a word meaning “to crouch or cower” see Matthew 5:3, 4. Biblical self denial or “renouncing of self” is a characteristic that is closely related to repentance and one cannot be saved without this “distinguishing trait”, see Matthew 16:24-26.

It is incomprehensible to think that a person could be brought to such an end of self, and still exalt his own reasoning above the historical, grammatical, literal rendering of God’s revealed truth to mankind. So much of evangelicalism is a damning lie that appeals to the flesh in the name of the Spirit. Unless a person is brought to the end of self and are enabled by God’s grace to renounce their own wisdom, their pride will damn their own souls forever. Truly, truly, I say unto you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3).

I have said it before and it bears repeating again; “Our churches are filled with unregenerate people who do not understand what it is to be born again.” Recently I recommended “The Almost Christian Discovered” by Matthew Mead (1629-1699). I also wholeheartedly recommend “The Distinguishing Traits of Christian Character” by Gardiner Spring adapted from the fifth edition, published in 1829 under the title, “Essays on the Distinguishing Traits of Christian Character”. We are exhorted to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith. These are two excellent resources towards that end.–His Unworthy Slave

#74  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Monday, July 05, 2010at 1:41 AM

I was visiting some of your TE's links, reading a lot of the nonsense.

I found some conclusions that crucifies my Lord and now I just want to trample a dead horse through a sewer grate.

Here are some quotes from: www.asa3.org/asa/pscf/2003/pscf12-03seely.pdf

Here is Oard’s rediculed as speculation because he doesn’t agree:

"Oard’s young-earth model is essentially

just speculation. It does not have the

extensive empirical foundation that

underlies the dating of theGISP2 ice core."

Well - that is just some academic discussions I think, but here this self assigned prophet changes the Holy Bible:

"The 110,000 regular annual layers of

fresh-water ice in the GISP2 ice core

falsify the theory of a global Flood in the

time of Noah."

Is Gods Word a theory?

I would not stand next to you, handling His Words this way. You definitely need repentance.

#75  Posted by Carol Gayheart  |  Monday, July 05, 2010at 7:20 AM

Tim Helble #71

Ok, I can’t let this slide.

Your own words: “the kinds of dating techniques applicable to young rocks (did you all know that - there's not just one technique). This is because isotopes of various elements have widely varying half lives, and you can't use a technique that was designed for medium- or long-half life isotopes on very young rocks.” And… “So, of course he got a result that was ridiculous - the potassium-argon method wasn't designed in the first place for young rocks.”

Tim, do you understand what you are saying?

Basically ~ “You can’t use old rock dating methods on new rocks or your results are skewed?”

The only way you know a “Young Rock” is to see it formed I assume. But if you find a rock you HAVEN’T seen formed, you ASSUME it’s an old rock? Therefore you can use radiometric dating & your results will PROVE it’s an old rock!

What kind of phoney-baloney is that?!! “Well, if we KNOW it’s a young rock, we use this method, so the results show it’s a young rock; but if it’s an old rock, we use this method which gives the results of an old rock.” But that requires the ASSUMPTION that the OLD rock IS OLD!

#76  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Monday, July 05, 2010at 10:19 AM

Thanks Carol for the blog: you pulled the words right out of my mouth,ouch!

In addition there is some issue regarding Potassium/Argon dating methods, a book was written on this in the 70's that indicated a variability in the samples that made this method unusable- does anyone have this reference or one like it? I believe -if I remember correctly- that it had to do with decayed material being at odds with the "live" material right next to it, there was some issue tied to this variability. I think that it was an unexpected result because the decay rate should have been uniform through out the samples but was not. However it has been so long since I read this book it is entirely possible that I have forgotten everything and am sitting here with a big goose egg on my brains. (Not thinking ~ in receive mode he he)

#77  Posted by Tim Helble  |  Monday, July 05, 2010at 10:26 AM

Carol (#75),

Dr. Austin is a sharp guy. He knows way more about this subject than I do. I'm sure he knows that you can't use a technique designed to detect changes in the amounts of very long half-life isotopes on rocks that just formed. That's straightforward algebra. There are many other factors geologists take into account when determining which radiometric technique to use on an igneous rock - they don't just assume an age for the rock and then cherry-pick the technique based on that assumption. Similar to what I said earlier to Paul, you should understand both sides of the radiometric dating issue before making statements like this. I would suggest getting a hold of a copy of Davis Young's "The Bible, Rocks, and Time." You can buy it for $19.80 on Amazon.

#78  Posted by Tim Helble  |  Monday, July 05, 2010at 10:29 AM

In posting #1 of this thread, Rudi appeared to be quoting from Guy Berthault, who is frequently cited by YECs as proving that multiple sedimentary layers can be deposited by the global Flood. However, if we do a little digging ourselves, discerning Christians should be able to readily detect the underhanded tactics of Berthault and many other YECs. For example, on page 266 of his paper "Time Required for Sedimentation Contradicts the Evolutionary Hypothesis" (Creation Research Society Quarterly, Vol. 46, no. 4, 2010, page 266), Berthault states:

"An investigation of sedimentary formation on the Crimean Peninsula (Lalomov, 2007) concluded that the current velocities derived from sedimentary particle analysis would have resulted in the deposition of the entire sedimentary sequence in a very short period of time, rather than the millions of years implied by a stratigraphic analysis using the geological timescale.”

Checking the actual paper in a Russian journal that Berthault was citing by A. V. Lalomov entitled "Reconstruction of Paleohydrodynamic Conditions during the Formation of Upper Jurassic Conglomerates of the Crimean Peninsula" (Lithology and Mineral Resources, Vol 42, No. 3, 2007, page 277), it turns out Berthault was grossly mis-characteri­zing Lalomov's conclusion, which was:

"However, even the most approximate estimate shows that, although the formation of the UJCS sequence was a stratigraphically long-term process (several millions of years), it can be referred to as a virtually instantaneous episode from the geological point of view" (parenthesis were Lalomov's, UJCS = Upper Jurassic conglomerates and sandstones).

To cover this up, Berthault now has the nerve to post a modified version of Lalomov's paper on his website (www.sedimentology.fr), where this same sentence now reads:

"However, even the most approximate estimate shows that, although the formation of the UJCS sequence is considered as a stratigraphically long-term process (several millions of years), in reality in terms of geology it can be referred to as a virtually instantaneous episode (not millions of years)." (see http://wilders.me.uk/sedimentology/wp-content/uploads/2010/03//Reconstruction_of_Paleohydrodynamic.pdf)

Can anyone spot the changes Berthault made and describe why they are significant? This is yet another example of the kind of people Christians are signing on with when we hitch our wagons to young earth creationism. Personally, I chose to follow the commandment not to bear false witness.

#79  Posted by Robert Sorensen  |  Monday, July 05, 2010at 10:34 AM

"This is yet another example of the kind of people Christians are signing on with when we hitch our wagons to young earth creationism. Personally, I chose to follow the commandment not to bear false witness."

There's a problem with your logic. You're grouping all young earth creationists as liars. That's good. You see, we're fooling people by pretending to believe the Bible so we can convince people to come to Christ, who disapproves of such things.

Unbelievable.

#80  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Monday, July 05, 2010at 10:38 AM

Tim,

By your own admission, you say Dr. Austin is "a sharp guy" and "knows more about this subject than you do," yet you question his ability and crow about some question you asked him on a field trip?

At any rate, in spite of your over confidence in this matter, you are still faced with the authority of God's word. I have asked visiting geologist Ken W. and Stephen twice now about how they reconcile their convictions about the infallibility and inerrancy of God's written revelation as to what IT records concerning the age of the earth and neither one of them have bothered to respond. If the genealogical record means anything, a record cited multiple times in the OT and certainly in the NT in Luke 3, the point of creation to the time of Jesus is under 6,000 years old. How do you reconcile this Tim? Do you take the text at its face value or appeal to some hermeneutical alchemy to strip the text of any meaning?

#81  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Monday, July 05, 2010at 10:41 AM

#78 Have you ever heard of Mount St. Helens?

There goes all your theory.

#82  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Monday, July 05, 2010at 11:03 AM

#78 By the way, I had never heard of Guy Berthault before you mentioned it.

The problem is not what you and I think happened, but what actually happened. Only God knows, and He has told us.

Because you believe in evolution, you can't see the Flood. It wanishes in your great timescales.

#83  Posted by Tim Helble  |  Monday, July 05, 2010at 11:47 AM

Rudi (#82),

You really shouldn't appeal to the Flood to vanish the geologic time scale unless you show me a quantitative model that shows how lateral sediment transport could form a single regional sedimentary layer "in a matter of days" (as the YECs like to put it), while preserving all the intricate features we see in those layers such as soil horizons, buried channels, and complex cross beds. No YEC scientist has yet to do it, because they know it's not possible.

Mt. St. Helens? That's where I was on Dr. Austin's hike. Perhaps you could describe to me how the composition of the layers deposited by the eruption of Mt. St. Helens and its aftermath compare to, say, layers of the Wscogame Formation in Grand Canyon. Also, be sure to discuss the fossil content of layers at each location.

#84  Posted by Ken Wolgemuth  |  Monday, July 05, 2010at 12:15 PM

When I mentioned whether something is testable by scientific methods, questions were raised about my belief in miracles such as Jesus turning water into wine or His resurrection. I very much believe in miracles. An article in the SBJT, evangelical theologians describe the relation between scientific inquiry and miracles:

http://www.sbts.edu/media/publications/sbjt/SBJT_2007Spring6.PDF

I will quote some sections here from D.A. Carson and Kirk Wellum. Page 78: "Yet God normally does things in a regular way. That is precisely why science is possible." Page 79: "All of the physical phenomena bound up with the water cycle are ordered by God. They are regular, analyzalbe, measurable. Science is thus not only possible, but a means of discovering how God regularly does things through means he himself has established and ordered, and which he continues to control. On the other hand, nothing prevents him from doing something very unusual, quite outside the regular ordered array. That is what we call a miracle, and, precisely because such an event does not follow a regualr pattern, science is unlikely to have any useful or accurate explanation." Same page in column 2: "The first asserts that science is tasked with understanding as much as possible of the physical order, using time-tested tools of careful obserevation, measurement, controlled experiments that can be replicated, depolying testable hypotheses that win consensus or are modified by subsequent advances, and so forth." Please also see Kirk Wellum's on page 83, column 1.

Over 40 years ago the Lord guided me into studying His Creation through chemistry and geology, based on a solid Christian worldview. I want to state my presuppositions: 1. God is the Creator of everything in the universe (Gen 1:1). 2. God's Word in special revelation and His World in general revelation axiomatically must tell the same story. BUT, these are different, in that His Word is Truth and stands firm forever. Science is a moving landscape and changes every decade, as described by D.A. Carson. So my comments about geology relate to 2010. We may discover things in future that completely change our understanding of the age of the earth. From these decades of studying the Creation, an old-earth description is the best model that fits with the abundant data, including hundreds of thousands of results of radioactive decay timers in minerals. (I will add to Tim Helble's comments about Mt. St. Helens K-Ar measurements later)

As Christians, how should we think of science and carry it out in practice when God has lead some of us into the study of His Creation.

One of the best descriptions I have found is from young-earth advocates Don Batten and Jonathan Sarfati in their booklet, “15 Reasons To Take Genesis as History.” They have quoted from Prof. Rodney Start on page 25: “I argue not only that there is no inherent conflict between religion and science, but that Christian theology was essential for the rise of science.”

Later they continue: “This is not surprising, because science presupposes certain axioms, without which it cannot function.”

1.The universe is real (because it was created – Gen 1), not the illusion of Eastern mysticism.

2.The universe is orderly, because God is a God of order not of confusion – 1 Cor. 14.33. But if there is no Creator, or if Zeus and his gang were in charge, why should there be any order at all? If some Eastern religions were right that the universe is a great thought, then it could change its mind at any moment.

3.Man can, and should, investigate the world, because God gave us dominion over His creation (Gen. 1:28); creation is not divine.

4.Man can initiate thoughts and actions; they are not fully determined by the laws of chemistry. This is a deduction from the biblical teaching that man has both a material and immaterial aspect (e.g. Gen. 35:18, 1 Kings 17:21-22, Matt. 10:28). This immaterial aspect of man means that he is more than matter, so his thoughts are likewise not bound by the makeup of his brain. But if materialism is true, then ‘thought’ is just an epiphenomenon of the brain, and the results of the laws of chemistry. Thus, given their own presuppositions, materialists have not freely arrived at their conclusions, because it was predetermined by brain chemistry. But then, why should their brain chemistry be trusted over yours or ours, since both obey the same infallible laws of chemistry? So in reality, if materialists are right, then they can’t even help what they believe (including their belief in materialism). Yet they often call themselves ‘freethinkers’, overlooking the glaring irony! Genuine initiation of thought is an insuperable problem for materialism.

5.Man can think rationally and logically, and that logic itself is objective. This is a deduction from the fact that he was created in God’s image (Gen. 1:26-27), and from the fact that Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity, is the logos. This ability of mankind to think logically has been impaired but not eliminated by the Fall of man into sinful rebellion against his Creator. The Fall means that sometimes the reasoning is flawed, and sometimes the reasoning is valid but from the wrong premises. So it is folly to elevate man’s reasoning above that which God has revealed in Scripture. But if evolution were true, then there would be selection only for survival advantage, not necessarily rationality.

6.Results should be reported honestly, because God forbids false witness (Ex. 20:16). But if evolution were true, then why not lie? Unsurprisingly, fraud is an escalating problem in the modern (evolution-dominated) scientific enterprise, as it is in business and politics.

“It is no accident that science has flowered since has flowered since the Reformation, and that this was initially in countries with the strongest concentrations of Bible-centred faith, i.e. Western Europe. And it is no accident that the country today with the strongest remnants of Bible-based Christian faith, the USA, leads the world by a long measure in the output of useful science.”

I am not asking you folks to change your theology, but I am asking you to follow Batton and Sarfati's counsel in Point 6, "Results should be reported honestly", and to challenge your mentors to do the same.

Ken

#85  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Monday, July 05, 2010at 12:22 PM

Yes I should, because that is what God tells us happened!

The details about how He did it is not my concern. One day I will ask Him.

But your concern should be to explain to God why you didn't believe.

The Flood is a key element for Jesus: Matt. 24:37-39

When did that happen? 450 Million years ago?

When will He come again? In about 2 Billion years?

#86  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Monday, July 05, 2010at 1:16 PM

"In my opinion, the age of the earth is not significant to the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

I want to come back to this statement. It (or some variation) has been made by numerous folks throughout the series of blogs on many of the topics. This sentiment seems to be the very heart of the matter with regards to how someone rationalizes deconstructing the Genesis text to allow for an old earth age and all of the apostasy that follows through the door promoters of this ideology leave open.

We as Christians must not view the Gospel as pragmatic and/or originating in time. The bible is extremely clear that God PLANNED to redeem a chosen people to Himself via the sacrifice of His beloved Son before the world began. I will be happy to list the myriad of scriptures that state that truth unquestionably but I challenge any doubters to do your own research.

Dr Robert McCabe wrote about the subject...here is his summation and a link to the article:

"We have furthered demonstrated that these figurative interpretations compromise the foundation of the Gospel in three ways: by creating a hermeneutical problem for the literal sense of narrative literature, by having an inconsistency with the perspicuity of Scripture, and by undermining an aspect of Christ’s atonement. Any figurative interpretation that has corruption and death disconnected from the fall of Adam also has a disconnection with redemption in Christ’s atonement." Dr Robert McCabe

http://www.oldtestamentstudies.org/my-papers/other-papers/recent-creationism/literal-days-in-the-creation-week/

#87  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Monday, July 05, 2010at 1:35 PM

"But if evolution were true, then there would be selection only for survival advantage, not necessarily rationality"

Where do your mentors and/or yourself find anything about evolution written in God's Special Revelation? ALMOST everything you wrote sounds dramatic and heartfelt then out comes the dagger...just when one thinks it is ok to let down one's guard (not that I contemplated that but you get the picture) the deadly poison of evolution is injected and everything you wrote turns deadly.

"Results should be reported honestly"

Amen to that...but I think the finger should be directed in the other direction. When YOU drop your presupposed ideas of an old earth and evolution and embrace the primacy of God's Word above and beyond any scientific data and turn to a life of faith rather than empiricism THEN discuss honesty with me. Otherwise you sound like the cheating husband telling his wife "but she really doesn't mean anything to me" or the same cat telling his adulterous girlfriend of 10 years "I will divorce her soon baby and marry you...I promise".

I posted this on another thread but I believe it has relevance here since empiricism seems to be the god of even many professing Christian scientists:

"I also understand that the way God holds things with mass together can be described by the physical, naturalistic laws that physicists have discovered."

What you are describing is what Berkeley would label as secondary qualities. What one can know through empiricism...knowledge based on our sense perceptions and limited to the physical.

God however maintains essence...which we cannot perceive. He operates not only in the physical but also and primarily in the metaphysical realm. He is transcendent and His perception of reality is beyond what is perceptible to the senses of men. Isaiah wrote in 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.

9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

so are my ways higher than your ways

and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Paul would say in Acts 17:28 that in Him (not naturalistic laws which God can and does override when He deems necessary such as when Jesus passed through solid doors/walls with His physical body in John 20:19) we live, and move, and have our being. All things are held together by the omnipotent power of God and governed by the omniscience of the Creator and Sustainer of everything.

So, Dirk, the way you understand how God holds everything together must by His definition of man's thoughts fall way short of the reality that God alone can know. We simply must live by faith...God is God alone.

#88  Posted by Yeon Lee  |  Monday, July 05, 2010at 2:27 PM

I don't understand how oil creation ties to proving the earth is millions of years old?

What if it is proven that oil is produced ambiotically? (As Don #32 mentioned)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiotic_oil

Here is an interesting article about that here ->

http://memes.org/abiotic-oil-nutshell

I don't think it is a safe assumption that a. some fossils are millions of years old and b. some bi-products take millions of years to produce (like oil). Of course if you believe that you will lean to an old Earth theory.

-P

#89  Posted by Ken Wolgemuth  |  Monday, July 05, 2010at 3:57 PM

Tim Helble is right about Steve Austin, the Mt. St. Helens minerals on which he had potassium and argon measurements, and the bogus rock age that has spread through the YEC community. Because the Lord lead me to study chemistry and geology, I do understand the principles of the potassium-argon radioactive decay timer. I have heard this urban legend spread by AiG speakers in 2 different churches, and will describe it to you now from a book authored by John Morris and Steve Austin, "Footprints in the Ash - the Explosive Story of Mount St. Helens." So yes Carol, please make the effort to understand "the radiometric dating issue before making statements like this," as Tim requested.

By analogy, what Steve Austin did was like applying a baby thermometer to determine the temperature of meat in an oven - he applied the wrong tool for the situation. Yes, Dr. Austin is a sharp guy, and has handled this cleverly. He likes to think outside the box and raise doubt. In his long paper he reported the results of the potassium-argon as 2.4 million years and combined ages as 350,000 years. I will write "K" for potassium, and "Ar" for Argon, the chemical notations for these elements. Then he concludes: "Argon analyses of the new dacite lava dome at Mount St. Helens raise more questions than answers. The primary assumption upon which K-Ar model-age dating is based assumes zero Ar-40 in the mineral phases of a rock when it solidifies. This assumption has been shown to be faulty. Argon occlusion in mineral phases of dacite at Mount St. Helens is a reasonable alternate assumption. This study raises more fundamental questions - do other phenocryst-containing volcanic rocks give reliable K-Ar ages?" (Dacite is a type of volcanic rock that has solidified from a liquid lava to solid crystals. A phenocryst is a large crystal of a mineral that you can easily see with your eyes, within a very fine-grained volcanic rock)

What Steve has not told you is that this was already known by geochronologists (geologists who do radiometric dating work) back in 1969 before Mt. St. Helens erupted.

What is required to happen geologically for a K-Ar radioactive decay timer to give a credible result.? 1. A liquid lava (about 1800 degrees F or higher) must come out of the ground. 2. All the Ar that might be in the lava must escape, because it is a noble gas that does not combine chemically. 3. The lava must cool down until the mineral crystals form that include potassium. For the timer to be started suitably, no argon can be trapped. 4. The crystals must stay below melting temperature until a geologist selects them and takes them to the laboratory for analysis. During this time, K-40, the radioactive form of potassium decays to Ar-40 and this argon must remain trapped within the "birds' cages" in the minerals, as I call them.

Now to the book by John Morris and Steve Austin: On page 33 they write, "No liquid lava flowed out in this volcanic eruption, as it does when less water is present in the magma, but the devastation was not less dramatic."

To me this means that the K-Ar radioactive decay timer cannot be set to time = 0 when the crystals formed. Remember Mt. St. Helens - it was explosive with gas and ash blowing out. So the minerals already had the Ar-40 in them as they were blown out of the volcano.

On page 67, they write: "Radioisotope dating techniques claim to be able to determine the age of a rock. Only those rocks that were once in a hot molten condition, such as volcanic rocks, are candidates for radioisotope dating. Thus, the rocks at Mount St. Helens are, in principle, datable."

"Samples gathered have now been dated using the potassium-argon method. According to radioisotope dating, certain minerals in the lava dome are up to 2.4 million years old. All of the minerals combined yield the date of 350,000 years by the potassium-argon technique. However, we know that these minerals and the rocks that contain them cooled within the lava between the years 1980 and 1986."

Dr. Austin has not reminded you of what they wrote on page 33, no liquid lava flowed out. So here are two of your mentors with Ph.D.s, Dr. Austin in geology from Penn State, and Dr. John Morris in geological engineering from the Univ. of Oklahoma.

I call this book as tainted with faulty science, including half-truths. What do you call it?

Like Tim Helble, "I chose to follow the commandment not to bear false witness."

As Jonathon Sarfati writes, 6. Results should be reported honestly, because God forbids false witness (Ex. 20:16). Dr. Steve Austin has basically done so, but other YEC advocates have turned it into a urban legend. I do not know why, but this verse just came up on my screen, Proverbs 12:17 "Whoever speaks the truth gives honest evidence, but a false witness utters deceit."

Thank you Tim for raising Mt. St. Helens. I have some posters and a PPT presentation about this for anyone who wants to send me their email address. Mine is wolgemuth2@aol.com.

Blessings to you all as you wrestle with this type of faulty science that taints the YEC movement, literature, and conferences. I hear it from church after church where AiG or ICR speakers are invited. What saddens me is that the name of the Creator, Jesus Christ, is ridiculed, not because of the cross and the Gospel, but because of the faulty science.

To the King of all Creation,

Ken

P.S. Steve Austin also has not told you that geochronologists have developed an argon-argon method which is also derived from the decay of K-40. This additional step in the analysis can help detect when the "birds' cages" have not suitably trapped the K-40 and Ar-40 after the mineral formed, and evaluate whether an age derived is one in which we can have some confidence or not.

For those of you who have heard of the half-live of a radioactive atom, the half-life of K-40 is 1,300 million years.

#90  Posted by Ken Wolgemuth  |  Monday, July 05, 2010at 4:26 PM

Fred Butler #80

You have asked about my reconciling my old-earth viewpoint with my conviction about the inerrancy and infallibility of Scripture. I obviously have a perspective on that, but am not going to respond to that question at this time. Because I am not a Hebrew scholar of the Old Testament, what I write I want to have it reviewed by a Hebrew scholar, so I do not follow the path of YE seminary professors when they write about geology - making obvious and glaring errors.

I also want to remind you that, regardless of my hermeneutics of Genesis, I am not attempting to persuade you toward my viewpoint. I am asking you to hold your YE mentors accountable to speak the truth about the Creation. Tim and I have given you 2 examples, examples that you can understand, where the YE speakers bring ridicule on the church, and not because of the cross of Christ and the Gospel.

I have no difficulty with God as the allpowerful Creator having done so 6,000 years ago or 10,000 years ago with the appearance of age built in as we discover it. Note that this means He created thousands of logs of oak trees that never lived, and miraculouly adjusted the width of the growth rings and synchronized these with trillions of radiocarbon atoms in those rings to present a history that goes back 12,400 years. And He miraculously put dust and gases in the ice of the Greenland ice sheet to give us a 100,000 year record of climate history. He also synchronized trillions and endless trillions of atoms of dozens of radioactive isotopes to present geologists of a consistent history of the earth for 4.5 billion years, including fossils of trillion of animals that never lived, but placed those in sediments around the world to give us a consistent geologic time scale, with animals appearing in the sediments and going extinct.

I pray that God is with you and gives you wisdom about what can be done about this challenging age-of-the-earth controversy that is rending some segments of the evangelical church.

Blessings,

Ken

#91  Posted by J Ellerbrock  |  Monday, July 05, 2010at 4:51 PM

In Revelation 21:23, it says there is no need of the sun (or moon) for light because the glory of God lights it and the Lamb is its light. Could this is the light without a sun in Genesis 1.

#92  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Monday, July 05, 2010at 5:00 PM

Ken writes,

You have asked about my reconciling my old-earth viewpoint with my conviction about the inerrancy and infallibility of Scripture. I obviously have a perspective on that, but am not going to respond to that question at this time. Because I am not a Hebrew scholar of the Old Testament, what I write I want to have it reviewed by a Hebrew scholar, so I do not follow the path of YE seminary professors when they write about geology - making obvious and glaring errors.

Does that mean you are going to pick a Hebrew "scholar" who is going to tell you what you want to hear or force you to deal honestly with the text? Either the Bible is inerrant in all matters pertaining to spirituality AND history of the world, or it isn't. It is not like the world of scholarship is devoid of anyone who has done exegetical work on the text of Genesis, so I don't really see the need to find a "new" voice in the matter.

It may be that Austin made errors, but in the manner you are framing his disagreement with your position, it is more along the lines of him lying and deceiving, which would have an impact upon his character as a believer, let alone a scholar. Blogging comments accusing him of fraud and deceit I take with a grain of salt, since I know him a bit and certainly know men at my church who are personal friends with the man. I personally would like to hear Austin's response to your all's claims rather than just taking your word for it.

#93  Posted by Ken Wolgemuth  |  Monday, July 05, 2010at 5:41 PM

Fred,

Please do go find out for yourself, about K-Ar of Mt. St. Helens and also the hundreds of thousands of radioactive decay timers that do form a consistent history of geologic events, not just the small percentage that do not fit. Go visit with Steve Austin yourself - he lives in California and I am sure visits ICR in Dallas on some regular basis. Hold them accountable. Do not take my word for it.

If your faith in Jesus Christ depends on the earth being young, as a Christian brother, I recommend you not pursue this path.

I have heard several other urban legends from YE speakers and organization leaders within the last year if anyone is interested in hearing how and why they are urban legends:

Radiocarbon is usable back to only 3,000 years.

Salt in the sea indicates the earth is young.

Uranium-helium data in zircon indicates the earth is young.

The earth's magnetic field is undergoing exponential decay over the last hundred years or so, and if the earth were a million years old, it would have a magnetic field like a magneto (sp?) star. Therefore the earth is young.

Here is sad story from a university professor: "I have taught students at the college level who were confronted with the scientific evidence.... and had crises of faith. Once, I held the hand of a young woman as she cried because she felt that she had been 'lied to' by her parents and pastor. For her, as well as for others, the solution seemed to be to throw out the bably with the bathwater, rather than re-evaluate the particular issue."

Blessings,

Ken

#94  Posted by Travis Allen  |  Monday, July 05, 2010at 5:44 PM

Ken Wolgemuth:

Unless I am mistaken, to conduct radiometric dating experiments must make certain assumptions. You have to assume you know:

(1) the original state of the starting material God created in Genesis 1:1-2, even though you weren’t there (Job 38:4),

(2) the Fall had no effect on the rate of decay, even though Genesis 3:17 says God cursed the ground,

(3) the global Flood had no effect on the rate of decay, even though Genesis 7:11 speaks of cataclysmic tectonic activity,

(4) the stable atoms were all produced by radioactive decay, even though you can’t be certain your sample wasn’t contaminated, and

(5) your radiometric dating methods and results are bulletproof, even though you know they’ve been updated and have yielded inconsistent results.

As a geochemist with an expertise in radiometric dating, could you please help us understand how your starting assumptions affect your results?

Further, could you please explain how the Bible, interpreted according to a consistent grammatical-historical hermeneutic, informs your approach to science? Does your scientific study determine how you understand the Bible, or does the Bible determine how you understand science?

#95  Posted by Travis Allen  |  Monday, July 05, 2010at 5:52 PM

Garrett League (and others who have posed the "oil exploration" challenge):

I have a friend whose job it is to conduct feasibility studies all over the world for oil companies. He is a young-earth geologist, and he's done quite well in his field for more than 30 years. His YEC views haven't prevented him from helping oil companies make money.

So, can you please explain exactly what evolutionary/old earth assumptions are essential to finding oil?

#96  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Monday, July 05, 2010at 6:36 PM

Ken exhorts,

If your faith in Jesus Christ depends on the earth being young, as a Christian brother, I recommend you not pursue this path.

My faith in Jesus Christ depends upon His revelation being accurate and honestly communicating to me what He told me as His creator. If Jesus was wrong (like for instance, Bart Ehrman suggests He was in his writing) then the Bible is worthless as an historical document. If it didn't accurately convey to us the creation and history of the world, then there is no sense in trusting it to accurately convey to us the history of Christ's ministry, death, and Resurrection, and eventual Return.

Your overconfidence in the "evidence" of geology has a severe conflict with what the Bible tells us about the age of the earth. Jesus (and the writers of Scripture) specifically utilized the genealogical record of Scripture to place the beginning of creation no more than 10,000 years ago at the greatest stretch possible within the record. SO a significant disconnect exists between what the record of Scripture tells us and what the "evidence" tells us. The two cannot be married faithfully. SO you either have to side with the inerrancy of scripture or wonder if we are reading the "evidence" correctly. For me, Scripture trumps the so-called evidence always.

Continuing,

I have heard several other urban legends from YE speakers and organization leaders within the last year if anyone is interested in hearing how and why they are urban legends:

Radiocarbon is usable back to only 3,000 years.

Salt in the sea indicates the earth is young.

Uranium-helium data in zircon indicates the earth is young.

The earth's magnetic field is undergoing exponential decay over the last hundred years or so, and if the earth were a million years old, it would have a magnetic field like a magneto (sp?) star. Therefore the earth is young.

Actually all of these so-called "urban legends" are serious holes in old earth convictions. Particularly the radio halos in diamonds (which we have photographic evidence of) and much of the RATE findings that is documented in two massive 600 plus page books. I would throw in the finding of viable DNA-protein in dinosaur bone and Diamonds containing C-14 as well. I know you guys dismiss them as bunk, but again, that is your confidence in the certainty of the evidence as you have traditionally interpreted. Traditions are a hard thing to shake, I know.

Ken laments,

Here is sad story from a university professor: "I have taught students at the college level who were confronted with the scientific evidence.... and had crises of faith. Once, I held the hand of a young woman as she cried because she felt that she had been 'lied to' by her parents and pastor. For her, as well as for others, the solution seemed to be to throw out the bably with the bathwater, rather than re-evaluate the particular issue."

I was one of those students confronted by the evidence (you're over here from Biologos confronting us with the evidence right now) and I don't believe I have been lied too by either the men at ICR (or any number of reputable creationists) or my pastors who have discipled me. I reckon you think I am deluded, but so be it. If anything my faith is only strengthened and made more sure in what is our ultimate authority, God's Word on when and how long ago He created. If I had a woman crying in my arms over what some geologist thinks he knows about the world, I would merely point her back to thinking right about her theology. She has a theology problem, not a crisis of faith due to interpretive methods concerning lines of "evidence."

#97  Posted by Mary Kidwell  |  Monday, July 05, 2010at 7:19 PM

Ken,

“God's Word in special revelation and His World in general revelation axiomatically must tell the same story. BUT, these are different, in that His Word is Truth and stands firm forever. Science is a moving landscape and changes every decade, as described by D.A. Carson. So my comments about geology relate to 2010. We may discover things in future that completely change our understanding of the age of the earth.”

It seems to me that if you believe this statement than you could not possibly be dogmatic that the earth is not in fact young. You focus on holding young earth creation scientists accountable for the science they put forth and I would agree that this is important. But I think you should also be accountable for your words. When you share your thoughts about how the evidence points to an old earth do you also point out that there is much scientists don’t know and that the consensus of scientists is ever changing? Do you discuss the assumptions and presuppositions that go into evaluating that evidence? Since you are obviously contradicting the plain teaching of scripture, are you as concerned about the doubts you are giving those you speak to as to the inerrancy of scripture? You say that you are going to consult with a Hebrew scholar. I would hope that you will prayerfully study all of scripture (New Testament too) before so boldly contradicting the plain teaching of it and giving doubts to your readers or hearers about the reliability of scripture. I appreciate your desire that the name of Christ not be ridiculed, but we must also be concerned that we don’t cause anyone to doubt His Word. How sad the professor did not counsel his student to study the scriptures for herself and base her faith not in man’s fallible understanding but in the inerrant Word of God.

#98  Posted by Steve Gentry  |  Monday, July 05, 2010at 7:31 PM

FredButler #80: I’ve finally been able to get back to this blog and read some more of the responses. I’m not ignoring you in spite of the fact that you’ve asked a question twice, but I do have a life outside of posting comments. Patience, my man, patience.

Paul Tucker #72: My reference to red herrings was to Fred Butlers post not yours. Sorry for the confusion. We started discussing Genesis and Fred branched off to what I think of the resurrection, miracles, N. T. Wright, and Greg Boyd.

Fred was kind enough to post a link to an article from a href="http://www.etsjets.org/files/JETS-PDFs/32/32-4/32-4-pp433-455_JETS.pdf">Jack Lewis which basically supports my point. The conclusion of his article states:

Our survey shows that Bible readers have never been of one mind concerning the nature of the days of Genesis. The interpretation given has never been in isolation from the general approach to Scripture of the individual interpreter. As with many other parts of the Bible, eisegesis has been as common as exegesis.

Thanks Fred, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

In fairness to Fred and to keep this thread a little shorter, I think the reason he pointed me to this article was the section on “THE MODERN PERIOD” where Lewis states “with the rise of the natural sciences people began to yield to the millions of years that some conjectured. This “modern” period apparently started around 1698, some 300 years ago.

For the record, I believe that it’s important to interpret Scripture using all of the knowledge we have at our disposal. I realize that’s probably not Fred’s hermeneutic, and that’s Fred’s choice. Special Revelation and Natural Revelation will eventually agree.

Paul, I will not argue that many of the men I have cited held to the Gap theory and were not true theistic evolutionists as found at BioLogos. They were doing the best they could do with what they knew at the time. You also mention that the other authors have issues with their hermeneutic and referenced “amill” scholars having trouble in these areas. Milliard Lightfoot (post #63) suggests it would be quite interesting to understand denominational beliefs or doctrines of those posting their position here. I started as an Independent, Fundamental Baptist, and gradually move to a more Reformed, covenant view of theology with an amil eschatology. Consequently, I will disagree with many of the commenters here on a number of levels.

Now to the question Fred’s asked twice and is anxious to pin me down on regarding genealogical records. I haven’t arrived at a position that I’m willing to be dogmatic on, but BioLogos published an article titled a href="http://www.biologos.org/blog/adam-and-eve-literal-or-literary/">Adam and Eve: Literal or Literary? that seems to be on the right track. I believe that there was a literal Adam and Eve, so I would go with Adam and Eve being specially chosen by God as representatives for a relationship with him. I realize that this may raise as many questions as answers, but it is one explanation for genealogies which go back 4000 to 6000 years.

#99  Posted by Chad Smith  |  Monday, July 05, 2010at 7:43 PM

Hello all....All this date and debate is very confusing to me and frankly with all due respect I don't care to know much about Evolution ,I mean I dont see anything wrong with studying it for defence purposes or just to know where other people are coming from but really the Bible just makes more sense to me a whole lot more and well its simple its also yet intelligent and just amazing how you can get all those 40 men who wrote the Bible with the power of the holy spirit to all agree on everything in it(thats amazing to me). The Bible has never changed ever and it never will , I think it makes more sense to put your Faith into something that never has changed rather then something that almost changes weekly.Science has went against the Bible before and sooner or later they discover that the bible was right the whole time(I can post some examples if someone would like I have done it before on here).Also to say that this universe came from some explosion to me that's just not logical ,actually its kinda of funny because I have never witnessed something come from nothing nor do I know anyone who has .To me I think this universe if it were millions or billions of years old would look alot older to me then what it does ,because I am hunter and I go into the woods on a fairly regular basis and I can tell its old but billions and billions of years old man thats seems like a major stretch to me.I mean dont you think that if it were billions of years old that the human race would be alot more advance then we are I mean you may look at us and say "hey we are advanced " but thenV you look look at something like a automobile for example and it took us roughly 200 hun yrs to get to the point where we are at now, thats it 200 hun yrs from a steam rolling 2.5 mph car to a engine running V10 600 HP muscle engine I mean thats prettie extreme to me and it didnt take that much time.The invention of rockets took place some time in the 1900's thats not very long considering how far along we are now .The point is this, we are a very intelligent race and I think in billions and billions of yrs or even millions and millions of yrs we would be just well above where we are at right now....just some thoughts in my head sorry if I dragged it out a little bit. for all the believers keeping pressing one toward the upward call (phil. 3:12-14)

#100  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Monday, July 05, 2010at 8:09 PM

"If your faith in Jesus Christ depends on the earth being young, as a Christian brother, I recommend you not pursue this path."

It is interesting. While searching through the material available on Dr McCabe's personal web site I came across a discrepancy of years in terms of the geneological records between Dr McCabe and someone else. The difference being looked at was not billions of years...but 1000 years.

It appears to me that men who are serious about dealing with the truth of God's Word properly handle it as directed in 2 Timothy 2:15 "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth."

The nonsense of billions of years is not rational, not logical, not theological, not biblical, not from God. If an old earth age is not from God then it cannot lend credibility to the message of faith at all...in fact the heresy of it, if unchecked, leads one directly to the antithesis of faith...apostasy.

#101  Posted by Carol Gayheart  |  Monday, July 05, 2010at 8:51 PM

Ken #89 says,

"So yes Carol, please make the effort to understand "the radiometric dating issue before making statements like this," as Tim requested."

"For those of you who have heard of the half-live of a radioactive atom, the half-life of K-40 is 1,300 million years."

OK Ken, since you weren't around 1,300 million years ago to accurately verify this claim or prove that your dating methods are that accurate, I'll come back & ask you again in 1,300 million years if you still stand by this claim. (Sorry - I guess I do mean to be facetious, but making the point I honestly cannot accept such a claim.)

You see, I agree with Fred #96

"My FAITH in Jesus Christ DEPENDS upon His revelation BEING ACCURATE and HONESTly communicating to me what He told me as His creator. If Jesus was wrong ... then the Bible is worthless as an historical document. If it didn't accurately convey to us the creation and history of the world, then there is no sense in trusting it to accurately convey to us the history of Christ's ministry, death, and Resurrection, and eventual Return."

And just as the Apostle Paul preached to the Corinthians that if Christ's crucifixion & resurrection were not true, then "we are of all people most to be pitied." (1 Cor 15:19b) [Substitute "God's account of creation" - Gen 1-3 - FOR "Christ's crucifixion & resurrection"! You see where this is going?]

You see, I can't tear pages out of my Bible; it is the complete word of God - AS IS. And you won't catch me standing before God, my Creator, and "TELLING HIM" (!) He should have been more clear & accurate in explaining evolution & old-earth to these YEers, or "TELLING HIM" (!) He shouldn't have been so confusing to OEers. I am in NO POSITION TO TELL GOD ANYTHING! HE IS IN THE POSITION TO TELL ME... & He has! It's my responsibility to LISTEN TO HIM!

I will not presume to speak for HIM, because He has already spoken. And right now HE convicts me that when I started blogging on this site, I was faithful to quote Him & His word, just as Jesus quoted scripture when confronted by the liar, satan. I will challenge my YEC brothers & sisters now, not to accept the premises these OEers seek to establish with all of their "quotes & teachings of men" & their "weblinks." We should be defending our faith as Christ did, with Holy Scripture, because satan cannot defend himself against the truth. (It also keeps us in the Word & Plugged in! ;)) And we need to keep these OEers (& their university professors) in our prayers, that God would grant them the spiritual faith to accept His word without question.

I Cor 13:8-12 "Love never ends. ... as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9) For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10) but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. ...12) For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known."

#102  Posted by Carol Gayheart  |  Monday, July 05, 2010at 9:35 PM

Tim #77

"Dr. Austin is a sharp guy. He knows way more about this subject than I do. I'm sure he knows that you can't use a technique designed to detect changes in the amounts of very long half-life isotopes on rocks that just formed. That's straightforward algebra."

Ok, for us laymen, May I substitute, "You can't use a Phillips screwdriver to tighted a flat-head screw."?

This is the point of this blog - you can't use physics or geology or biology to verigy HOW creation took place, & HOW LONG AGO. (Incompatible tools.)

As Christians, we accept God's word, His teachings, & His standards. We are to live in the world but not be of the world.

1 Jn 2:15 "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

Rm 12:2 "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God; what is good and acceptable and perfect."

1 Cor 1:22-24 "For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23) but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24) but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God."

And Jesus taught us in Jn 15:18-19 "If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you."

Then our Lord said to God in Jn 17:14 & 17 "I have given them Your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world." 17) "Sanctify them in the truth, Your word is truth."

(Somehow, I tend to think I'm on the right track when the majority of the world - especially the UNbelieving world - is so adamantly opposed to me!)

(BTW - It is not my goal to know "way more about this subject", it is instead my goal to "Know way more about my God through time spent studying His word, & humbly & submissively spent before Him in prayer." I don't want to be a stranger on the day I am presented to Him face to face!)

#103  Posted by Carol Gayheart  |  Monday, July 05, 2010at 10:26 PM

Ken #69

With regard to your witnessing to the lost; you said, “Personally I focus on the Bible with Rom 3:23, Rom 6:23, John 3:3, John 3:16, John 14:6, Rom 10:9, and Rev 3:20, with prayer support from a team of believers as I travel and sow seed of God's Word.

I notice that your focus is on who Jesus is, man's sinful condition, and no discussion about the age of the earth. In my opinion, the age of the earth is not significant to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

If I read that correctly, all of that was “your” comment.

Forgive me if I come across coarsely, but I recall learning all of those verses in VBS in the 70s! (And I can tell you that learning them DIDN’T make me a Christian!) I hope in addition to citing scripture, you will present a life that matches what you’re teaching (not that ANY of us is perfect, but we ALL must be on our guard,) as the lost do scrutinize our own lives to see whether we live up to that which we preach; in other words, do we believe the very Bible we’re trying to sell them? If you can’t stand firm on Genesis in your beliefs, how do you expect those listening to you to believe anything it says? As Mary Kidwell said in #58, “It is the Holy Spirit’s job to bring conviction (John 16:8) and only the Holy Spirit can give spiritual understanding (1 Cor. 2:14). If we tell people that Genesis can’t mean what it plainly says, then we have caused them to doubt God’s Word.” (Excellent Mary!)

And as has been noted a number of times on this blog, to doubt God’s word brings doubt on one’s very own salvation.

My own observation is that “Christianity is not simply a belief; it is a relationship to God, our Creator.” If you can’t trust what God clearly tells you in Genesis, how can you trust what He says in the Gospels? To borrow Paul Tucker’s tagline, “Just a thought.” :)

#104  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Tuesday, July 06, 2010at 12:06 AM

#89 Ken Wolgemuth

1. A liquid lava (about 1800 degrees F or higher)

How would you know that a sample taken from an old rock was over 1800 degrees F?

2. All the Ar that might be in the lava must escape

How would you know that all the Primary AR was escaped?

3. The lava must cool down until the mineral crystals form.

How do you know that nothing happened in between?

Actually you can't know, and that is why even secular scientists reports the same problems.

Tree Ring Dating is the same rubberband. It's not as nice as you think it is.

http://www.detectingdesign.com/carbon14.html#Tree

What about C14 in diamonds?

There is no reliable measuring method.

Only God is trustworthy

#105  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Tuesday, July 06, 2010at 12:22 AM

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#106  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Tuesday, July 06, 2010at 4:45 AM

Steve Gentry:

Not sure if you have gone back on previous threads to search for answers to your questions but the last paragrapgh you wrote in post #98 has been dealt with. Here is a link to a very helpful article:

http://www.oldtestamentstudies.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/fi-ets.pdf

Here are my questions to you: If you are indeed searching for truth from and/or about God why are you using as your source a group of folks who have made it known that their intent is to dismantle Christian orthodoxy as we know it?

Why are you not instead crying out to God in earnest desire for Him to illuminate your mind with the clear truths of His Word? He'll do it for you if you are a child of His and seek that help.

#107  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Tuesday, July 06, 2010at 4:59 AM

"I will challenge my YEC brothers & sisters now, not to accept the premises these OEers seek to establish with all of their "quotes & teachings of men" & their "weblinks." We should be defending our faith as Christ did, with Holy Scripture..."

Carol:

This is what I have been shouting from the start of my participation on these blogs. Anytime we stray from God's Word to the turf of the enemy we are fighting a losing battle. The attempt by every OE'er who blogs here (or anywhere for that matter) is to drag the conversation away from biblical authority and place authority on some empirical data so that they may have a foundation from which to argue.

Ken Ham has demonstrated this tactic for years with his picture of two world views at war...each with a different foundation. The problem, according to Ham (and I agree), is that Christians go off fighting the effects/products of the lie instead of attacking the lie itself with the truth of God's Word. When we begin to do battle by utilizing ONLY God's Word as our source, as the Reformers demonstrated to us, then we will begin to see victory.

This is not a battle about the age of the earth...that conflict is merely a product of the lie that God's Word is not suffecient for all purposes as described in 2 Timothy 3:16. I agree wholeheartedly that every Christian on this site and anywhere such battles rage must resolve to not be dragged into the arena of the enemy but rather demand the fight be on the grounds of God's Word alone...SOLA Scriptura-Soli Deo gloria!!

#108  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Tuesday, July 06, 2010at 5:47 AM

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#109  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Tuesday, July 06, 2010at 7:46 AM

Tim and Ken: Hi there,

My problem with your approach to dating methods is really fundamental to a problem I have seen far too often in evolutionary thinking.

1. There is an assumption that "known data" includes the age of the rock prior to testing. This is a problem especially at new sites such as Mount Saint Helen because some of the rock is old and some new, you may not know which you are testing. If the testing method you are using can not distinguish between old and new- you probably need a new method.

2.You use the geologic column, which is also based upon assumption and circular reasoning (as admitted before). So now you have two assumptions before you start.

3.You also assume uninformatarian views as to how strata are formed, yet dismiss (rightly, I think) that presupposition. (Several web sites have been addressed your issues, I don't know if you have bothered to look at them, but they might be worth your valuable time.)

4.The fossil records is assumed to be old, but show a great deal of variability as far as time is concerned, i.e. there are points at which the record demonstrates a quick rate of sedimentation such as shown by the trilobite tracks over several layers before being buried in the sediment itself. (A previous blog web site) The fact is there are a lot of instances where the strata do not support the assumptions of the "column" which the dating methods are based.

I could go on but I should keep it short. (to just a few thoughts.) #:)

#110  Posted by Steve Gentry  |  Tuesday, July 06, 2010at 10:22 AM

Keith Farmer #106: Thanks for the link to Dr. McCabe's paper. I will read it although I'm about as likely to be influenced by it as you are by links to BioLogos or others I've linked to. McCabe represents a fundamentalism that I find unnecessary to true Christianity. I can link to papers that deal with problems in using the "literal" method of interpretation. There are good men on both sides of this argument. Two views I find helpful are the framework and analogical day theories. There is no view without pros and cons, including the literal view.

You ask, why are you using as your source a group of folks who have made it known that their intent is to dismantle Christian orthodoxy as we know it? I assume you mean BioLogos. You can read their mission statement here. Their intent is not to dismantle Christian orthodoxy but to promote dialog and explore the harmony between science and faith.

Next you ask, Why are you not instead crying out to God in earnest desire for Him to illuminate your mind with the clear truths of His Word? He'll do it for you if you are a child of His and seek that help. I did, and found BioLogos. A voice of reason in the wilderness of ever increasing rhetoric and misinformation.

#111  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Tuesday, July 06, 2010at 10:44 AM

Steve,

If Dr. McCabe "represents a fundamentalism that [you] find unnecessary to true Christianity," then there are deeper, and more important, issues involved than creation/evolution.

Nevertheless you must agree, though, that BioLogos has zero interest in promoting dialog or trying to harmonize science and faith. It is clearly a monologue where science is put forth as innerrant and faith is treated like clay, being molded whatever direction made necessary by science. All issues of Christian orthodoxy are on the table for discussion since there is no baseline to define what a Christian is to begin with. BioLogos welcomes anyone and everyone who claims to be a Christian regardless of what gospel they believe.

#112  Posted by Ken Wolgemuth  |  Tuesday, July 06, 2010at 11:54 AM

Travis #94. I am willing to offer some answers via email if you wish. Another blogger has sent me his email. Mine is wolgemuth2@aol.com

Mary #97. I appreciate that you agree it is important to hold young earth creation scientists accountable for the science they put forth. And as a fallable human being, I am accountable to the Lord Jesus whom I follow, to obey His Word. Please look at this website related to homeschooling, written by a Christian mother:

http://theupsidedownworld.wordpress.com/2008/02/25/teaching-creation-science-or-id-a-formula-for-putting-your-childs-christian-faith-at-risk/

I encourage you to push toward holding AiG accountable. They have 5000 articles on their website, and some percentage are infected with problem science - I have heard it myself in Southern Baptist churches - and will not correct it. God bless you as you pursue this monumental task. And hold them to teaching God's Word, rather that all those endless 5000 articles with man-made ideas.

It may be hard for you to believe me, but I do not have a presupposition of an old earth. This is the result of almost 40 years of studying God's Creation through geochemistry, as a follower of Jesus Christ. When there is a body of scientific data and logical interpretations that the universe and earth are 6,000 years old, I will accept that. For 2010 and for now, that is not the case. And the name of our Lord Jesus is ridiculed because of young-earth creationism. As Andrew Snelling showed in a YEC meeting in 2008, the Creation Model is poor.

God bless you, as you deal with this difficult controversy about the age of the earth.

Your brother in Christ,

Ken

#113  Posted by Mary Kidwell  |  Tuesday, July 06, 2010at 12:29 PM

Steve,

"'Next you ask, Why are you not instead crying out to God in earnest desire for Him to illuminate your mind with the clear truths of His Word? He'll do it for you if you are a child of His and seek that help.' I did, and found BioLogos. A voice of reason in the wilderness of ever increasing rhetoric and misinformation."

I would be careful about listening to voices that are clearly contradicting the Word of God. 2 Timothy 4:3 warns us: "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;" You have clearly indicated from your posts that you are quite comfortable molding God's Word to fit man's fallible understanding of science. You have found teachers who will agree with you, but I believe they are the teachers that 2 Tim. 4:3 is warning about.

#114  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Tuesday, July 06, 2010at 12:38 PM

"And the name of our Lord Jesus is ridiculed because of young-earth creationism"

That may well be the case with pseudo-intellectuals but Christ's name is not ridiculed among His sheep. Further, the only reason Christ's name would be ridiculed is the fact that folks who claim to be Christian doubt His Word and give credibility/authority to atheistic empirical science. I personally know many Christians (as evidenced by their spiritual life) and cannot name a single one that embraces an old earth, evolution, or theistic-evolution. Further, I cannot name a single one that would claim empirical science has authority over God's Word. The reason for that is not because they have been influenced by AiG or GTY or any other YEC proponent but because they read the text of the bible as God intended it and come to their own conclusions.

It is obvious Ken that you are avoiding discussing the scriptural data regarding this topic. You continually spout your rhetoric, claim love for everyone, then leave. When are you going to bring some scriptural evidence that supports your theories rather than your "40 years" of worldly knowledge?

"God bless you, as you deal with this difficult controversy about the age of the earth."

Again, the controversy really is much deeper than that. The age of the earth is a product of the lie that God's written Word is not suffecient to give answers to these issues...that is the real controversy and the only one that matters.

#116  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Tuesday, July 06, 2010at 1:31 PM

"I would be careful about listening to voices that are clearly contradicting the Word of God."

Perfect counseling Mary!

That is the kind of mature Christian response we must give when someone, no matter how sincere they may be, assaults God's Word then claims that He had something to do with it.

#117  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Tuesday, July 06, 2010at 1:37 PM

Ken,

I'm a bit surprised that you would link to a homeschool mom for this discussion. I'm glad, though, that she made it clear that what she wrote was purely her opinion and, I would add, bears no authority whatsoever.

While it may be true that teaching children about creation in a certain way can cause problems later on, teaching them how to properly interpret Scripture will only benefit them for life and godliness. If we teach our children by forcing them to believe the "what" without the "why" problems will indeed occur. But we must children the "why" behind the "what" so that they will have a biblical worldview.

Children need to learn about the anti-supernatural and anti-biblical presuppositions that evolution and an old earth conclusions stem from. Children need to learn that they live on God's planet and are totally dependent on Him for everything. The starting point for all knowledge is God. Once a child learns to inherently trust God's word and view man's word with suspicion they will succeed in God's eyes. Sure, the world will ridicule them, but that is to be expected anyway.

One thing that has been made clear through the interactions on this blog and at BioLogos is if Genesis doesn't mean what it says, then no one can figure out or agree on what it means.

#118  Posted by Michael Varley  |  Tuesday, July 06, 2010at 4:44 PM

Hi ladies and Gentlemen, I am new to this site and I am intrigued by your arguments. I am a literal word, Bible believing Christian who accepts the young earth explanation in the Bible. It was not always so and through out the years my faith has led me to search the scriptures, study world views and Christian viewpoints on matters such as these and observe the Body of Christ in dealing with such matters. I understand the many faith issues all Christians wrestle with and grow in and I hope that my participation in this Blog serve to edify the body of Christ.

My first thoughts from what I have read so far are the following:

1) Earnestly contend for the faith once for all delivered unto the saints?

Jude 1:3

2) I am reminded of Joshua and Caleb returning with a good report from the land of Canaan only to be countered by the evil reports resulting in a prolonged stay in the wilderness.

Numbers 13:30.

3) The just shall live by faith.

Hebrew 10:38

It has been my experience that the world laugh's when they see the Church arguing amongst themselves trying to fit their world views into the Bible instead of embracing what the Bible clearly declares and teaches. I think young earth Christians offer rather good Science on this matter and I am reminded that Jesus said, he who finds his life shall lose it. And he who loses his life for my sake shall find it. Mathew 10:39

#119  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Tuesday, July 06, 2010at 5:12 PM

"It has been my experience that the world laugh's when they see the Church arguing amongst themselves..."

Welcome Michael!

I will make one comment with regards to the above from your statement: I don't believe that the debate the world sees here is an argument amongst the Church. I believe what anyone that looks on here sees is the Church defending God's Word over worldy so-called wisdom.

Jesus promised us the Holy Spirit (Who is the Spirit of truth) would guide us, His sheep, into ALL truth...not some truth, not half truth, not 3/4 truth but ALL truth...see John 16:13 Those that propagate lies such as old earth age, evolution, theistic evolution, etc. do not represent the Church with such false teachings. Therefore, there is not an internal argument...rather a sustained fight for the truth with false teaching; what John MacArthur deemed the Truth War.

I state the above for the sake of perspicuity.

#120  Posted by Michael Varley  |  Tuesday, July 06, 2010at 6:12 PM

The world love's to point at all the contradicting views from proclaiming Christians because they see it for exactly what it is. An attempt to bend the ever changing Bible by those who know not how to wield the word of God. It is one thing to inspect, test and study the science but would it not be wise to submit to the scriptures until the matter is settled in ones mind when it comes to evangelism? Could an approved workman not ashamed really believe in old earth and evolution? I definitely get the sense from several on this blog that they claim to be Christians but openly argue old earth. Am I mistaken?

#121  Posted by Mary Kidwell  |  Tuesday, July 06, 2010at 6:38 PM

Ken,

I appreciate your sincere response, but as a homeschooling mom who used AIG materials to teach creation, I first and foremost taught my sons to see scripture as their absolute authority, not the best interpretations of fallible man. If there is no scientific evidence to support a young earth, I will still believe in a young earth because that is what I believe the whole of scripture teaches. Hopefully, I have taught my sons well to search the scriptures diligently and compare all that they learn to what God says in His Word.

I graduated from the University of Virginia in nursing and know that some of what I was taught thirty years ago is obsolete today. I see scientific conclusions as shifting sand, which is why I am so puzzled that someone who believes God’s Word is inerrant would not have great concerns about accepting scientific conclusions that contradict the straightforward reading of scripture. The idea that scripture can be shaped to fit current thinking is dangerous because it is man making scripture say what he desires instead of allowing God to speak.

I have great concerns that the presentation of an old earth and evolution as settled science is causing many to see God’s Word as unreliable or untrustworthy. The daughter of a friend of mine is one of so many who have gone away to a “Christian” college and were taught that evolution and the Bible are compatible. She came home still believing that God exists but no longer believing much else that the Bible teaches. I don’t believe that problem was that she had been taught creation as a child. I believe her “Christian” professors, in essence, taught against the authority of God’s Word and she trusted in their wisdom over that of scripture.

#122  Posted by Sarah Javaheri  |  Wednesday, July 07, 2010at 5:21 AM

Ken,

I think that you're forgetting one simple truth. Any science regarding the formation of the world is at best a hypothesis. It cannot be recreated and retested by men; it is an impossibility. Therefore it is untestable as the world and the universe cannot be recreated by man. We can at best try to look at the world around us NOW and extrapolate about the past based on the now. Trying to use science to look at the past is based on one simple idea: that scientific truths are eternal: that they were the same yesterday as they were today and will be tomorrow. However, this is faulty science, as it is both untrue and and is unverifiable. According to the best scientific model (the Big Bang), all of creation, including scientific laws, came into being at once. Therefore, scientific truths had a beginning, and are not eternal. We should not treat them as such. Further, we cannot go back in time to test any of these hypotheses.

Radioactive dating is based on the assumption that half-lives of elements are a constant and are eternal. We cannot verify this; we can't even go to another planet to see if Newtonian mechanics functions there. Radioactive dating is also based on certain assumptions about concentrations of elements at certain points in the distant past. Again, we cannot verify this. It is an inherent impossibility. Further, science, as you have pointed out, is continually changing. Geologists used to believe that the earth was 3 billion years old, and now believe it's 4.5 billion years old. That's a 50% increase in the age of the earth. The 3 billions is based on flawed data; there is no reason to believe that the current hypotheses are similarly flawed.

One final flaw in using science to study the past: the idea the time itself is a constant. This is simply not true; there are places in the universe where time does not run in the same manner that it does here on earth. Why do we assume that time itself is running at the same pace now as it did in the past? There is no basis for this belief; for all we know time ran much more slowly in the past so that one day then would really be the equivalent of a billion years now. We have no way of knowing this. Furthermore, we "know" that scientific models fall apart at the extremes. For example, Newtonian mechanics does not work at a subatomic level. Is there any reason to believe that time itself does not work the same way? Or that scientific truths were the same at the beginning of creation? We have no basis for believing this. Only GOD is eternal; his creation is not.

At best, we can struggle to look at current phenomena in the now and hope to learn something about the past, but we cannot KNOW any of this as no human was there. So what do you use are your source of knowledge? Faulty, limited, and finite human reasoning or the all-knowing and eternal God?

Sarah

#123  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Wednesday, July 07, 2010at 5:47 AM

"I definitely get the sense from several on this blog that they claim to be Christians but openly argue old earth. Am I mistaken?"

Michael...that is the point of my post #119. There are those who "claim" to be Christian yet what they say and what they do demonstrate what Matthew 15:18 declares "'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me."

I once had a conversation with a man who called himself a Christian. He called me brother. He said he believed the bible. After several days of conversing with this man he dropped the bomb on me that he believed in Jesus as his Savior but "Jesus is not God" (his words exactly). My retort to that was by what tenets of the Christian faith do you adhere if at first you do not acknowledge Jesus as being fully divine, sovereign, God?!

Much like that conversation I believe one can see the same thing here. Some sort of mangled pseudo-Christianity is perhaps in the mind of those who would say that God used evolution to bring about what we see but just because someone claims to know Jesus does not make them a member of His Church.

Ephesians 4:4 says: "There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all."

Note that there can be no diversity among true believers with regards to the Lordship of Christ, the faith once and for all handed to the saints, the baptism of believers into the body of Christ, and the permeating presence and sovereignty of God in the form of the Trinity. There cannot be division among true believers over crucial matters of the faith except the Holy Spirit fail to uphold the duty with which he was sent to us...to guide us into all truth; and that is not possible!

This drives me back to the premise that the creation account is not crucial to the Gospel (as some here have claimed). That notion is the underlying source of the attack that allows such heresies as old earth, theistic evolution, and outright naturalism to be introduced into our midst. If we allow the creation story to be relegated to a second class doctrine then all manner of deviancy will ensue as is evidenced by some opinions expressed on these blogs. In response to these issues we must do as Paul instructed in Ephesians 5:11 "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them."

#124  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Wednesday, July 07, 2010at 2:25 PM

Point of clarification...the first scripture reference in the previous post should be Matthew 15:8...not 18.

#125  Posted by Adam Morris  |  Wednesday, July 07, 2010at 6:23 PM

Firstly, I believe wholy in God's word. I need to put this out there for anyone who might debunk this. Could it be that during the flood of Noah's ark, the earth changed exactly how it did in the movie 2012, which would then pretty much kill all life on earth, bring up from the seas EXTREMELY OLD MATTER from beneath the Earth's crust and fossillise the dead, which would then SEEM like dinosaurs were there 65 million years ago? Is the dating taken from the fossil itself or the matter surrounding it?

#126  Posted by Tim Helble  |  Wednesday, July 07, 2010at 6:53 PM

As I write this, there are 125 postings on this thread - is this a record? So far only three made by young earth believers (#1 Rudi, #88 Paul W., and #93 Fred) respond directly to the moderator's questions: "What evidence from the natural world do you think indicates a young earth?" and "Further, what arguments have you heard from young earth creationists that should not be used?" Rudi pointed me to the global Flood and Mt. St Helens, but nobody has yet to point me to where a quantitative model can be found that shows how lateral transport of sediment could form a single regional sedimentary layer "in a matter of days," (let alone most of the sedimentary column) while preserving all the intricate features we see in those layers such as soil horizons, buried channels, and complex cross beds. Also, nobody has responded to my challenge to describe how the composition of layers deposited by the eruption of Mt. St. Helens and its aftermath compares to, say, layers of the Wescogame Formation in Grand Canyon and how the fossil content compares for layers at each location.

Perhaps inadvertently, several posters here have stated that arguments for a young earth are irrelevant -- science is not the real issue for the young earth believer. Instead, Keith Farmer has described the true issue for the young earth believer several times, including:

"We should be defending our faith as Christ did, with Holy Scripture..." (#107),

"It is obvious Ken that you are avoiding discussing the scriptural data regarding this topic. You continually spout your rhetoric, claim love for everyone, then leave. When are you going to bring some scriptural evidence that supports your theories rather than your "40 years" of worldly knowledge?" (#114), and

"The age of the earth is a product of the lie that God's written Word is not sufficient to give answers to these issues...that is the real controversy and the only one that matters." (#114).

The posts of several others echo the same theme - scripture trumps science, and any "falsely so-called science" you see pointing towards great age for the Earth is from the pit. Returning to the questions asked by the moderator at the top of this thread, this raises an important question -- why bother with young earth arguments at all? What's the point of a young earth believer bringing up young earth arguments if the real issue for him/her is biblical authority? Back in 2003, I thought Ken Ham was headed in the right direction when he stated:

“In 1986 a number of leading creationist researchers decided that the evidence of supposedly human and dinosaur footprints, found together at the Paluxy River in Texas, had serious problems. They decided that, pending further research to establish the correct interpretation of the prints, they could no longer be safely used as evidence supporting the fact (based on the biblical account of creation) that man and dinosaur lived at the same time

Regardless of what the correct interpretation really is, I want to discuss a related phenomenon that is rife throughout the church. I believe it is one of the reasons so many Christians believe in millions of years, and do not accept the days of creation as ordinary-length days. It is also why so many creationists are not able to successfully argue with evolutionists in a convincing way."

Later in the article, Ham stated:

"Most well-meaning creationists would agree in principle that things that are not carefully documented and researched should not be used. But in practice, many of them are very quick to accept the sorts of evidences mentioned here, without asking too many questions. Why this seeming urge to find a startling, exciting ‘magic bullet’?

I think it is because probably the majority of Christians believe that the ‘evidence’ overwhelmingly supports an old (millions of years) earth. For many, it causes them to reject what the Bible makes so plain about history, to the great detriment of the Gospel founded on that history.

But even those who keenly support Genesis still tend to see it as if there is a ‘mountain’ of ‘their’ facts/evidences lined up ‘against our side.’ This is, I believe, why they are less cautious than they might otherwise be, because they are so keen to have ‘our’ facts/evidences to counter ‘theirs.'

That is, both of the above groups suffer from the same basic problem. They really don’t understand that it is not a matter of ‘their evidence vs. ours.’ All evidence is actually interpreted, and all scientists actually have the same observations—the same data—available to them in principle.

Still later in the article, Ham stated:

“My point is that if we Christians really understood that all evidence is actually interpreted on the basis of certain presuppositions, then we wouldn’t be in the least bit intimidated by the evolutionists’ supposed ‘evidence.’ We should instead be looking at the evolutionist’s (or old-earther’s) interpretation of the evidence, and how the same evidence could be interpreted within a biblical framework and be confirmed by testable and repeatable science.

I believe if more creationists did this, they would be less likely to jump at ‘flaky’ evidence that seems startling, but in reality may be being interpreted incorrectly by the creationists themselves in their rush to find the magic-bullet, knock-down, drag-em-out convincing ‘evidence’ against evolution that they think they desperately need."

“Searching for the ‘magic bullet’ - Why do creation-defenders often seem to be too quick to jump onto the latest ‘evidences’?" (see http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v25/i2/bullet.asp).

Now, I would dispute Ham on some of his points, such as his idea that it's just a matter of looking at the same evidence as the "evolutionists" and coming to different conclusions, but I credit him with cautioning believers about the use of "magic bullets" (young earth arguments). Unfortunately, it doesn't appear he is following his own advice. He used the "Lost Squadron under 250 feet of snow in Greenland" magic bullet in the 2006 "Great Debate on Science and the Bible" on the John Ankerberg Show. On Labor Day of 2008, I visited AiG's Creation Museum in Kentucky and found it was riddled with magic bullets. For example, the "angels" in the "Men In White" video in the Special Effects Theater peppered an atheist teacher with a whole string of young earth arguments, including the one about salt in the sea. I saw Dr. Tommy Mitchell give a PowerPoint presentation that day which included a slide with some 50 magic bullets. It seems like AiG feels their rules only apply to others such as Kent Hovind or Carl Baugh.

Looking at the young earth argument vs. old earth argument issue from the viewpoint one might have when observing a classic debate, it would seem the best you can hope for is a draw. In the classic Gish/evolutionist debates held at universities in the 1970's and early 1980's, a cursory review of accounts on the web shows that the young earth believers always felt their side won and the evolutionists always felt they won (at least after the later ones after they started passing the word around about Gish's shotgun tactics). Given the way the average young earth believer readily shifts the discussion to the subject Keith refers to as "scriptural evidence" when evidence against a young earth argument is provided, it would seem to me that young earth arguments are just a device for making young earth believers think that science supports their position. That is the conclusion I would come to as an outsider reviewing this blog thread at a later date.

If the situation was that half the data collected from God's creation indicated a young earth and half the data indicated an old earth, I'd have side with the young earth position because it lines up with a surface reading of a modern translation of the text in Genesis 1-3. I'd probably still question whether a global flood deposited most of the fossil-bearing rock layers because there are often overlooked clues in the text that it wasn't the case. However, young earth arguments notwithstanding, the physical evidence in God's creation is totally stacked in favor of an old earth -- it's not even close, more like a million to zero. That causes me to think the problem is that there are some serious flaws in the young earth interpretation of Genesis that we should consider. Perhaps we have been reading modern science too much into the text.

#127  Posted by Larry Bucar  |  Wednesday, July 07, 2010at 8:16 PM

Hello Tim, Garrett and all,

God Bless you for your gracious comments and willingness to face this issue head on. I'd like to be responder #4 to the original questions. Answer: the measurable slowing rotational velocity of the earth gives evidence to a < 10,000 year old earth.

Hypothetical question: Say Jesus raised a man named Lazarus from the dead 2000 yr ago. What evidence would exist that Lazarus had truly died? Thank you for your input the past weeks. LJB

#128  Posted by Tim Boan  |  Thursday, July 08, 2010at 1:39 AM

This blog is very long. I about wore out the track ball on my black berry scrolling through Tim Helble's post alone.

Tim H., your posting is a lot of detail, but still, I need to add. I am right there with the YEC's. It seems right. Until Scripture says otherwise, that's where I'm camping.

What do you do with Exodus 20:11? This is strong evidence that God created the earth in 6 days. I don't care to debate science till I'm blue in the face, but Scripture I'll debate till the cows come home. I'm not pointing to you to prove that your lop-sided arguement to stab at YEC's, but since you seem so passionate about OEC, I hope to point you to a nueteral ground.

See the fact of the matter is, Scripture hasn't given us enough info to solidify either claim, thus the pending debate. So we pick a side and we must be garcious to Christians about this.

Why do I pick YEC? Because its what the bible seems to say. Creation was a miracle, it cannot be studied under science. Sorry Tim H. And the others, but you can't bash on YEC's. You really have no way around Exudus 20:11, it clearly points to 6 literal days. Thank you for your time.

#129  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Thursday, July 08, 2010at 5:34 AM

Tim

My responses have been primarily a rebuttle of what you and a few other have posted. I did not intend on answering the original question regarding geological data. I believe there are plenty of resources available, as many have stated, that will give you answers for your questions.

My intent here, as I have stated many times, is to defend the faith...not geology.

#130  Posted by Ken Wolgemuth  |  Thursday, July 08, 2010at 6:58 AM

Sarah, (#122)

Thanks for your thoughtful comments. I want to complement you in particular in recognizing that time itself is different in different parts of the universe. I believe that this piece of scientific infomation ultimately is the key to decipher the riddle of the controversy about the age of the earth going on in the church, for those of us who believe the Bible is the authoritative , infallible Word of God.

You are so correct that any concept about the formation of the earth is an hypothesis. Geologists are like forensic scientists, observing evidence left behind by physical processes that occurred in the past, but not observed by anyone. But it is incorrect to suggest that looking at clues in the past is based on scientific truths being eternal. See my comments in #84 in paragraph 3 that science changes every decade if not faster. I entered geology just as a major paradigm shift occurred that had been brewing for 30 years. And nothing in the universe is “eternal” except God, because as we believe as Christian, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Science has learned this in the last several decades, and God inspired Moses to write it 3500 years ago.

You are also correct that radiometric dating of minerals is based on assumptions, 3 basic ones, plus several others used by some geochemists to strengthen the results. The assumption that half-life is constant is examined, but it is not “eternal” – because God created everything, including the atoms with their respective half-lives. Another assumption is that we can demonstrate the amount of the daughter isotope derived from radioactive decay. They may be trapped in the crystal lattice when the atoms formed into a crystal lattice from a liquid lava. Email me and I will send you a file that demonstrates how we as geochemists accomplish this. To say that “it is an inherent impossibility” is not correct, and I would like to explain it to you. I spent about 4 hours with a group of theologians and they could understand, and so can you. To point out that geologists said the earth was 3 billion years old and later 4.5 billion years is a very common falacy of young-earth advocates who do not understand the scientific process. The book, “The Dating Game” by Cherry Lewis describes the gradual improvements of radioactive dating methods during the 1st half of the 20th century. By the 1950s, geochemists had narrowed the answer to about 4.5 billion years, and for the last 60 years the age has been about the same. This is not a weakness of the scientific methods, but its strength, and we are all blessed by the dramatic improvements in medical science.

You are absolutely correct that time is not a constant in the universe, and in fact runs differently on the surface of the sun. Even slightly differently on the top of Mt. Rainier than down near sea level in Seattle. Relativity demonstrates that time is related to gravity. So when all the mass of the universe was in one place “In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth”, the passage of time was VERY different. Notice Genesis 1:2, “and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” Could the use of ‘day’ which God placed in Genesis 1 be this “universal time” that has changed as God “stretched out the heavens”. As the universe expanded and gravity changed, therefore the passage of time changed and did not run in the same manner as it does now here on earth. Could the use of ‘day’ of this “universal time” represent vastly different “earth-based” years as we now use time? I am not an astronomer or physicist, and do not have the skills to explain this to non-scientific people. Apparently God has given you this gift. So I ask you to explain it to every pastor and theologian you can find. We are now living on the earth in 2010 with the heavens stretched out, and radioactive decay of uranium indicates that the earth formed about 4.5 billion years ago, based on how time runs now here on the earth, which is our home.

This concept was included is a book, “The Science of God” by Gerald Schroeder”. I am guessing you are as brilliant as you sound in writing, and may want to learn more. I suggest you get the book, and learn to teach this curious behavior about time to non-scientists.

You are also completely correct that the best we can do is examine current phenomena, and do our best to understand the causes in the past that formed the earth into what we find today. Indeed, it is true that “we cannot KNOW” that this is the correct answer, because our knowledge is so insignificant compared to God’s. What we can say is that there is an enormous body of evidence of many different types, and with trillions of radioactive atoms that result in the best hypothesis for now to answer an important question. It was addressed by Dr. Albert Mohler in a recent talk at the Ligonier National Conference, “Why Does the Universe Look So Old?” Hundreds or thousands of Christian geologists affirm that the answer to this question is that the universe looks so old, because it is old. This is based on many different types of evidence that is abundant and compelling, using the earth-based running of time now, because this is our frame of reference today in 2010. This may not be the case in the future as new scientific discoveries are made.

If you are interested enough in the Creation to learn more about geology, I am happy to answer questions as best I can. I will gently ask that if you are going to write about radioactive decay timers in minerals, go find some Christian geologists and find out how these methods work, and understand their strengths and weaknesses. Over the next few years there will be conferences that include a geology component, and I invite you to attend.

Your brother in Christ,

Ken

Solid Rock Lectures

Wolgemuth2@aol.com

918-852-3082

#131  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Thursday, July 08, 2010at 9:30 AM

Gerald Schroeder's ideas are basically a "day-age' theory. His idea about time, as Ken tried to relate it to what Sarah wrote, is this:

"According to Dr. Schroeder, since the universe started in such a very tiny volume, the first twenty-four hour day was a time period of 8 billion years. As the universe continued to expand, the second day was only 4 billion years, the third day was 2 billion years, the fourth day was 1 billion years, the fifth day was 1/2 billion years and the sixth day was 1/4 billion years for a grand total of 15 3/4 billion years. He does not rest this choice of variable “day” lengths on any discernible scientific reasoning, nor does he offer any biblical basis for such a division. We are merely supposed to accept his re-definition of the word “day” and ignore all the biblical evidence (such as Genesis 1:5 and Exodus 20:8–11) that each creation day was essentially the same length of time as an ordinary day of the week today."

http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2/4355news8-1-2000.asp

#132  Posted by Mary Kidwell  |  Thursday, July 08, 2010at 11:27 AM

Tim Helble (#126)

In reference to the conclusions you believe would be drawn by an outsider coming to this blog, let me remind you of a point that has been made repeatedly. Presuppositions play a pivotal role in the interpretation of the evidence, so perhaps your evidence is not quite so overwhelming.

It is hard to see something when you refuse to look at it. Scientists begin their study of the origins of life with the belief that it has natural origins. Supernatural origins are rejected out of hand. That would be religion, not science so they won’t go there. So all the evidence that is sorted through is only looked at from the perspective of natural origins. Is it any wonder that the only conclusions they come up with are natural ones?

So when you talk about the overwhelming evidence in favor of an old earth (one million to zero according to you), please remember it is easy to get good odds when you stack the deck.

Let me also assure you that speaking for myself, and I suspect most of those on this blog who believe in a young earth, the belief in a young earth was not reached by a “surface reading” of Genesis 1-3. Rather, because we regard scripture as God’s Word, we diligently look at all of scripture and in doing so find a unified voice in support of God’s miraculous creation of the world in six days approximately six thousand years ago. If you want to attempt to argue an old earth scripturally, there is much more scripture you must deal with than just Genesis 1-3. I hope you will diligently search all of scripture before reaching your conclusions.

#133  Posted by Adam Morris  |  Thursday, July 08, 2010at 4:28 PM

To Mary #132

That's a very significant point, scientists will never get it right if they are looking for a "natural" conclusion. Scientists base EVERYTHING off "natural". This is also why they can't conclude. This is the crux of the argument. The evidence is in front of us. God created it "super-naturally" (maybe to test people of their true faith, lol). I suppose when you look at it this way, one could then justifiably conclude the proof of creationism.