Do Christians Need to Believe in a Young Earth?
On page 24 of his book The Bible, Rocks and Time, Davis Young writes: “… Christians who believe that the earth is extremely old have interpreted the creation account of Genesis One in a variety of alternative ways, and they also maintain that Genesis does not necessarily require belief that the flood of Noah cover the entire globe. We present evidence that the biblical text does not demand adherence to the traditional interpretation that God created the world in six successive, 24 hour days only a few thousand years ago. On that basis we claim that the Bible does not demand assent to any specific age for the planet.”
Then he states on page 473: “... certainly the Gospel of Jesus Christ does not demand acceptance of a young earth. Nor is the eternal salvation of anyone anywhere ever dependent on acceptance of a young earth. It is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ that saves us from the wrath to come, not belief in a young earth.”
The employment of good exegetical and hermeneutical processes used to arrive at the theological position that Jesus Christ was and is absolute GOD and absolute man are the same exegetical and hermeneutical processes used to arrive at the theological position that GOD in fact is Triune. The exercise of these same exegetical-hermeneutical processes causes one to arrive at the theological position that Jesus Christ was born of a Virgin. These same processes cause us to arrive at the theological fact that Jesus will one day return physically to the earth. It is those same exegetical-hermeneutical processes that cause us to arrive at the theological position that Jesus rose from the dead on the third day according to the Scriptures.
Therefore, when one uses these same exegetical-hermeneutical processes applied to Genesis One to Eleven, they cause us to arrive at the theological position that creation took place over 6 normal rotational days of the earth about 6,000 year ago; that Adam and Eve are historical people and they historically disobeyed GOD, bringing about the fall and curse; that Noah was a real person who built an Ark, that saved his family and the land animals from a real, historic, global cataclysm.
The issue here is not over one’s “interpretation” or “personal preferences.” It is over the integrity of GOD and the perspicuity of Scripture. One cannot use one type of hermeneutical-exegetical set of principles just for Genesis, then another set of hermeneutical-exegetical principles for the rest of Scripture. One must be CONSISTENT in the use of these principles to arrive at good Biblical theology. When this hermeneutical-exegetical CONSISTENCY is maintained, one will hold to Truths such as the Divinity of Christ, a 6 normal day creation taking place around 6,000 years ago, and a global – not local – Flood. This IS what Bible Believing Christians are to believe IS FACT, based on the use of consistently applied exegetical-hermeneutical principles in understanding – NOT interpreting – Scripture. This inconsistency is the failure of “Old” earth ideas.
Today’s guest blogger is Allen J. Dunckley, a frequent contributor to our Facebook group and CEO and presenter for Beginning with Genesis Ministries, an Apologetic ministry defending the normal (literal) truth of Scripture, especially Genesis.