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Bible Ah-Ha! #11

Over the last few decades, it has become common for followers of Christ to divide over the age of the world. Some of us think we are living on an ancient planet, billions of years old. Another group of us are just as convinced that we live on a young earth, 4 to 10 thousand years old, with only the appearance of great age because of sediment patterns caused by catastrophic events such as the flood in the days of Noah.

As for me, I believe God is powerful enough to have created the earth in seven, twenty-four hour days, and that he is eternal enough to have used millions of years to do the same thing.

But what does the Bible say? I personally find the biblical language of Genesis 1 as inconclusive, and am influenced by the fact that scholars who share a high view of inspiration and the Bible are on both sides of this issue. I believe the age of the earth is an issue over which followers of Christ need to disagree among ourselves, without regarding the other side as being disloyal to the faith.

We have plenty to agree about and hold in common. I’m convinced that the first two pages of Genesis give us a foundation for reading the rest of the Bible. Where I find a moment of Ah-Ha! is when I see that within the first pages of Genesis we find truths so important that they provide a basis for reading the rest of the Bible:

Bible Ah-Ha! #11– The first pages of Genesis form a foundation for reading the whole Bible

The Genesis Account shows us that, for openers, the God of Creation can–

1. Make something out of nothing

2. Speak light into darkness

3. Bring order out of chaos

4. Reflect his own goodness in all that he does

5. Shape relationships in his own likeness

6. Offer real freedom of choice as a test of trust

7. Bring new beginnings out of failure

The rest of the Bible shows us that what God first did in creation, he can now do with us…

So now, let me ask you, do you disagree? Do you think that what the creation account implies, or doesn’t imply, about the age of the earth is just as important, or even more important than this list of what I find so insightful and foundational?

PS By the way if you’ve missed the earlier posts in this series, I’ll copy them below. Scroll past them to find the comment link… I hope you have a great day!

10– Christ fills more than predictions–


9– More Symphony than Solo


8– Two kinds of truth


7– Real times and places


6– Everything the Bible encourages us to do is the opposite of our fallen inclinations.


5– All truth is in tension


4– The rule of context


3– Exodus before Genesis


2b– Degrees of Implication (more examples)


2– Degrees of Implication


1– The Story Books of the Bible


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11 Responses to “Bible Ah-Ha! #11”

  1. poohpity says:

    I believe that the deceiver will use anything possible to cause division among believers even something as beautiful as the creation story. There may be not be completeness as we see it but obviously that is all we were permitted to know. I believe there is enough information there to see that we worship God who created everything. When telling a story about ourselves we leave out hours of truth but try to tell enough for someone to get the big picture. I will not deny that some of those hours left out my be important to different audiences but we as a whole have enough information to understand a very little piece of who God is and exactly how powerful his ability to speak into existence life its self. Picking on every detail of what we believe to be missing details gets us again focused on the creation rather than the creator. It would be nice to continually sit around and discuss our differences while our neighbor goes hungry or we neglect the poor. One thing we can all agree on is that God is God and we will understand what He has revealed through scripture about His nature, character, and His will for our lives then the best parts are for last when we get to heaven. When we get there if we even care we can ask about the parts left out but I believe we will be in such awe at the very presence of God we will just start worshiping.

    The bible does mention in James that anyone who wants wisdom just ask and He will generously provide. Aw but great is the responsibility you will have with the wisdom. Look what it did to King Solomon.

  2. igetbored says:

    Fom what I’ve learned there is quite the stretch of time between Earth’s creation and the creation of Adam. Earth was around even before Lucifer turned on God. So we are talking about alot of time between Earth’s creation and the creation of man. How much time? Who knows but God. But some day all will be revealed.

  3. brownsfan1642 says:

    I agree with poohpity. This is an important issue but not one that determines the legitimacy of one’s faith. I believe that these kinds of issues can become Bible wars that distract Christ followers from living in His name in a way that impacts our world. If we can agree that God created the heavens and the earth by his own power, and that it displays his design, random chance evolution is no longer the issue. Poohpity is right. Our focus needs to be on the Creator, not the creation.

  4. dachshund says:

    This reminds me of what I remember of the “Evangelical Free Church” statement of belief or church doctrine – whatever the little publication was which described who they were. It said essentially that they/we are to “major on the majors,” meaning salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, and agree to respectfully disagree about other matters, such as mode of baptism, speaking in tongues and probably the question of how old the earth is. Although these other topics can be very important to people, the most important and really the crucial focus is Jesus saving us by grace, not based on our own merit. When we realize, remember and affirm this, it is unifying.

  5. jabadu says:

    we all agree that human are finite while God is infinite. so let’s not limit God in our minds… let’s trust and obey and worship… isn’t He awesome to have spoken in the whole of creation in 6 human-time days? and gave all a thumb print of existence for human-time billions of years? gives us a preview of why we’ll be singing for all eternity in worship of Him…

  6. daisymarygoldr says:

    Its awesome to see those 7 truths in the first pages of Genesis and I did go Ah-Ha (7 times)! Just like every other book in the Bible, Genesis is very important for me not only because it is the ‘Book of Beginnings’ but it is also the only authentic historical account that tells me about my origin and that of everything around me. The writer of the creation account was none other than the Creator Himself who in His divine wisdom chose to inscribe every detail of His creative work with His own finger on ‘tablets of stone’ (Deuteronomy 9:10). When Moses broke those tablets (or rather the enemy wanted it destroyed) God wrote it again (Deuteronomy 10:4)! Obviously, it was very important for Him that we should get the first hand info of how wonderfully we are created. Therefore there is no known logical reason for me to not accept Genesis 1 at face value, being eternally convinced beyond doubt that God created everything within literal 24 hour periods of six days and rested on the 7th day. It’s interesting to note that the 7-day week cycle is universal and has no basis outside the book of Genesis!
    By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen (Heb 11:3). All things were created by Him, for Him and in Him all things consist (Colossians 1:16-17). The spoken WORD caused life to exist… and the WORD is God eternal who has no beginning or end. The finite mind of mortal man can never measure or grasp the concept of God who surpasses time and space. I would much rather exercise my God-given child-like faith to believe in Him and His word but then I also understand the ones who want to conduct a methodical study by touching, observing, hypothesizing and theorizing in order to believe. God loves both the Marys and the Thomases and takes pleasure to reveal Himself- The Truth to every diligent seeker!

  7. chfranke says:

    I agree with your statement that reads: “As for me, I believe God is powerful enough to have created the earth in seven, twenty-four hour days, and that he is eternal enough to have used millions of years to do the same thing.”
    (Is that a plea you have buried in this post that you’ve heard enough about this subject?)
    And then you skip right to what Christians need be able to do: “I believe the age of the earth is an issue over which followers of Christ need to disagree among ourselves, without regarding the other side as being disloyal to the faith.”
    You have dodged the issue.
    The issue is between Christians and non-Christians. We Christians cannot bury the overwhelming evidence found in geology and anthropology (truths of science) with the truths of the Bible. I, as a Christian and a scientist am not satisfied with that response. Nor am I satisfied with the response that “we’ll find out when we get to heaven” because we have been made in the image of God and He has told us in 1st Corinthians: “16For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.”
    From this I believe that we can understand this conflict of information and it is important enough to be explainable so both non Christians and Christians can understand it. It bothers me greatly that I can hold two conflicting views of creation in my mind and deeply believe in them both. It’s not enough to wave this issue off. It is a core issue to our credibility as Christians.
    Thanks for still being open to hearing disagreements. It is not more important than the truths you expressed in your post but, to me, it’s just as important.

  8. Mart De Haan says:

    Chuck, thanks for pressing the point. I am not saying that I think we’ve heard enough on the subject.

    With you, I’m also concerned about our relationship with non-Christians– as I am about our young people–some of whom are being led to believe that affirmation of a young earth (a few thousand years old) is an essential point of orthodoxy– and even faithfulness to Christ.

    That’s my main concern. I don’t think any follower or non-follower of Christ should be burdened with the impression that the logic of the Bible necessarily pushes us to believe one way or the other on the age of the earth.

    By straddling the fence, and dodging the issue, I don’t mean to suggest that the issue isn’t important. I’d like to see both “young and old earthers” have enough room to vigorously and honestly debate the issues– without either side characterizing the other as disloyal to Christ.

  9. stroo says:

    One of the Ah Ha’s you left out from the first pages of the Bible is that God created Adam and Eve, they rebelled against God – original sin – thereby polluting the world, and God graciously promises to send His Son to die for the sins of the world. This really is the ultimate point of the creation story.

    The problem theologically with accepting an “evolutionary” creationist approach is Adam and our original sin. If one is going to continue to hold to Adam and original sin, at some point, one must say that the “science” is wrong and the Bible is right. Otherwise there can be no Adam, no original sin and no need for Christ.

    I choose, not being a scientist, to believe a more literal reading of the creation story in the Bible and a young earth. Genesis seems to indicate that Adam was created as an adult. If so, why couldn’t God have created a mature Earth as well. Others may choose less redneck theories, but at some point, a Christian is going to have to say that God created a distinct man, Adam. And at that point, you are going to disagree with the “evidence” that evolutionary “science” puts out. The issue for Christians is not really how to integrate the evolutionary “science” with the Genesis creation account but rather to recognize that the evolutionary “science” is as much based on faith and required for atheism as the Genesis account is required for Christianity. I choose to reject the “science” and rely on the Genesis account.

  10. Mart De Haan says:

    stroo, I also accept the Genesis account of the creation and fall as historically true, without assuming that there is not a place for large amounts of time within the intended meaning of the Genesis narrative.

  11. daisymarygoldr says:

    Science does not contradict Scripture and God the Creator is the greatest scientist of all times! The Law of Biogenesis experimentally proved that “Life begets Life” and every cell comes from a preexisting cell and that includes even the primordial soup! The hierarchical structure of living things supports the order of creation recorded in Genesis. The universality of the genetic code proves that all life uses the same 4 nucleotides- points to a common creator/designer. Extensive genomic studies of all living organisms converges all forms of life to a common ancestor. Thermodynamics states that matter/energy cannot be created or destroyed but are interchangeable. God is the ultimate source of all energy, light and matter and He spoke these into existence. There is nothing wrong with the Earth dated in terms of billions of years….I believe God’s age extends even beyond that. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made (John 1:3).

    Having said all of the above, it is wise for a follower of Christ to accept by FAITH the infallible WORD of God which is the absolute TRUTH. Everything else apart from that is ‘truth with a twist’ which is a.k.a a lie! The scientific method deals with facts- observable, testable, reproducible under controlled conditions. With no human eyewitness to the creation event there are no observations to conduct a logical study. Unless one wanted to base it on a set of assumptions which then does not qualifies as ‘Scientific truth’. ‘Structure determines function’ proves that everything has been created with a definite purpose… nothing occurred randomly out of chaos. “He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
    Carbon dating is based on the ASSUMPTION that decay rates are constant and a good scientist knows better than to depend on the reliability and reasonable accuracy of the Accelerator Mass Spectrometer. How long can one keep learning and never be able to come to a knowledge of the truth (2Tim 3:7)? As for me, I’m just happily contented to know that amidst His vast creation God is still mindful of a miniscule like me!!
    There is nothing new under the sun (at least for once I seem to be agreeing with Solomon the wise:) and hence it is re-searching (get it?) and not just searching. God has revealed it all…twice on tablets of stone and for the third time on the fleshy tablets of human hearts (2 Cor 3:3). The only missing link that prevents us from knowing is lack of faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God and FAITH comes from the hearing of His word!

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