Today I’m at the Northwest Creation Science conference. Acutually I was here last night as well, just for the record. I’m sure that this isn’t a new idea at all, but this stuck me in a way I had not considered before.
Dr. Johnathan Sarfati was giving a talk on Refuring Comprimise (based on his book of the same title). I’ve heard the idea that if billions of years is true then God’s word isn’t true, because the plain reading of scripture says that God created the earth and the universe 6,000 years ago in six days. Everyone agrees, Christian or not, that the plan meaning of the text of Genesis 1-2 is trying to communicate that God created everything in 6 days, not billions of years. Even if you think that these passages are poetic and not literal, the words are trying to communicate that idea. Those of us who take it as literal history (which is how it is suposed to be taken) understand that if billions of years of cosmic history is true, then God’s word is untrue, and if any of it is untrue then none of it can be trusted.
There are those who are Christians that believe in both billions of years and God’s word, that a “day” in Genesis 1 isn’t an actual day it’s a long period of time, so science that is biased against the Bible and the Bible are really compatible. They say that God’s creation is another means by which God reveals His truth to us, and the study of God’s creation via modern science tells us that the earth and universe is billions of years old, and that man has been around for millions of years.
Here is the idea that occured to me. Initially God’s written word communicated to people that the world and universe were very young and created quickly. A few thousand years later, man’s technology and understanding advances enough to determine that God’s creation communicates that the world and the universe were very ancient and created slowly. So which is God trying to communicate? Which are we to understand? These concepts are contrary one to another. If God told some people one thing, and others something that was contrary to what He told the first people, then God is lying to one of them. These two opposing views call into question God’s integrity. That is not a good thing.
This is why this issue really is an important one for Christians to get a grip on. It is separate from the question of salvation, but it has oh so much to do with many other things in God’s word and how we live them out.
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