theology

young earth or old earth: day age theory

young earth or old earth?
young earth or old earth: do answers exist?
young earth or old earth: answers do exist
young earth or old earth revealed
young earth or old earth revealed, part two
young earth or old earth: the testimony of theology
young earth or old earth: the testimony of theology, part two
young earth or old earth: theistic evolution
young earth or old earth: the gap theory
young earth or old earth: the gap theory, part two

Our question is, Has God revealed the age of the earth? We are on this series because of a message my pastor gave at church, saying that the answer could not be known, and that anyone who says they have the answer is lying. I disagreed with him, and decided to look at the question through each of the truth disciplines, to see if the answer has in fact been revealed, and what each of the truth disciplines says about it.

We began with what God has revealed through theology (we will get to science and mathematics and logic and philosophy, and history, a truth discipline I failed to mention in my first post on the subject), and so far, the results have not been encouraging for an old earth. The plain reading of Scripture, in both the Old and New Testaments, come down in favor of a young age of the earth. Throughout the history of the Church, its theologians have come down in favor of a young earth; in fact, the old earth question is a recent one, not arising because of theological concerns, but in attempt to accommodate an old age theory proposed by science.

The theories so far proposed to address the theology of an old earth are theistic evolution, the gap theory, and the day age theory. We have discovered that theistic evolution does such violence to the Gospel, that the Gospel of Jesus Christ as it is taught in the New Testament must be discarded wholesale if theistic evolution is accepted as true. We have discovered that the gap theory ultimately does the same violence to the Gospel that theistic evolution does.

As Christians have come to realize that neither theistic evolution, or the gap theory, can be viable theologically, they have sought another answer, and many, probably the majority, have settled on the day age theory, otherwise known as progressive creation, popularized by Hugh Ross, as the answer to the puzzle.

As a new visitor to Hugh Ross’ website, Reasons to Believe, I had a difficult time finding a succinct explanation of day age theory to link to. However, on their Myths page, they do state that Reasons to Believe accepts that:

the earth is of old age;
an old age creation of the earth does not compromise the inerrancy of Scripture;
the days of creation were not 24- hour days;
the ‘universal’ flood of Noah was not global;
plants, animals, and homonids did experience death before Adam;
their deaths are not a contradiction of Rom 5:12.

Not finding a clear and brief explanation of day age, or progressive creation theory on Reasons to Believe (this is not clear, but it is the only posted summary I could find), here is the brief summary according to Answers in Genesis.

On the age of the earth, by Reasons to Believe.
On the age of the earth, by Answers in Genesis.

Continued in young earth or old earth: underlying assumptions

2 thoughts on “young earth or old earth: day age theory

  1. I await your post on math and logic, but while you are waiting.
    I am writing this post on a computer and it will shortly be on your blog.
    All of the operations connected to this process pass through solid state electronics.
    All solid state electronics are based on quantum physics which grew out of relativity (Einsteinian) physics.
    Young Earth Creationsim MUST dismiss modern physics, because it points so accurately to a creation event about 11 billion years ago.
    You are writing using a medium you are trying to prove does not exist.
    Critics of modern science who are believers should first be very careful they are not not being thankless. To use the internet and try to prove it does not exist is arrogant ingratitude.

  2. Neil, I realize you are convinced on the old age of the earth. You must make two assumptions regarding old age in order to be convinced. First) that everything which we observe in the present is equally applicable to every possible moment of the history of the universe, including the history of creation, when the physical universe and all its elements, including its laws, time and gravitation, were still in the creation process. That the creation of time and gravitation in no way left an imprint upon the physical universe which would alter its appearance. How do you know that for certain?

    And second) that everything about time, gravitation, relativity, quantum mechanics, and the physical cosmos has been conclusively discovered, and no future discoveries remain to be made which would cast past discoveries in a new light. How do you know that for certain?

    You accused me of arrogant ingratitude, based on a discussion of age rooted in *theology* which has not even touched on science as of yet. But if you hold to the two assumptions I suggest, I am not the one who is arrogant. And your argument is not advanced by name- calling. I respectfully suggest if you truly want to engage in a dialogue instead of a bashing, you desist from logical fallacies in the future.

    I for one would like to engage in a dialogue, not a put down session. If that is your desire as well, I await your remarks on the theology of age, which I have replied to your earlier objections here: http://www.alittleperspective.com/young-earth-or-old-earth-the-testimony-of-theology/

    And for those who would like to understand Niel’s comments about relativity and quantum mechanics, who would like to follow this discussion, may I suggest a Teaching Company course on dvd by Dr. Richard Wolfson of Dartmouth College, called Einstein’s Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for non-Scientists available here: http://www.teach12.com/ttcx/coursedesclong2.aspx?cid=153&pc=SiteIndex
    It is a steal right now, a $255 course on sale for $70.

    God bless you with grace – Christine
    (Edited 2014 feb 06 to correct links only.)

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