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The Young Versus the Old December 24, 2010

Posted by jetson in Personal.
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2 comments

I’m talking about our planet earth, and it’s age. How old is the earth anyway? According to science, our planet is approximately 4.5 billion years old. Within the scientific community, there really is no debate worth considering over this, as the facts and evidence to support this estimate are well documented and tested.

On the other hand, there are many people, especially in the United States, who believe that our planet is somewhere between six to ten thousand years old. The scale of difference between 4.5 billon and 6 thousand is not even worth writing down (.0000013). Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

So why do people believe this young and very absurd age? Because they were told that the biblical story of Genesis pinpoints the beginning of the earth, God’s creation, at about 6,000 years ago. That’s it. God did it, they believe it, end of story. Science be damned, they say. Although, to be fair, I think that most of these people just don’t want to challenge religious doctrine, or biblical stories.

But this also poses what I consider a serious problem for Christians who hold either the young earth or old earth position. Yes, there are Christians who reject the young earth idea, and adopt an old earth version of creation, which they somehow have decided matches very well with science. Go figure. The problem is that only one of these positions can be true, and Christians do not agree with each other.

So, what if Genesis is just a metaphor for how God created the earth, and science has it about right? Well, Christians still get to believe that God did all of this work, and they can rest easy knowing that science is finally catching up to the truth of God’s creation. But if they believe the rigid accounting from The Bible as accurate, then they must hold that the earth is much younger than science thinks it is. This of course creates all sorts of problems for scientists if it is true, but whatever.

One thing I would like to add to this is the fact that I personally know Christians on both sides of this issue. And when I challenged them to this obvious difference, I was astounded to hear them both agree that this difference in no way affects their salvation! What? Seriously? Apparently I am supposed to sit back in awe of Christian knowledge of scripture and science catching up to scripture, and just ignore this magnanimous, blunderingly sad excuse for an explanation?

Christianity holds that accepting Jesus is the way to eternal life and salvation after we die, as well as the horrific fiery torture and burning in hell for not believing. So when people like myself want to find out why we should accept Jesus as our savior, we are expected to suspend all critical thinking and only be concerned with salvation? Is that it, really? And if this is true, then I ask this simple question:

Why do Christians care about anything in scripture that does not speak directly to the faith-based acceptance of Jesus for one’s salvation? And please don’t try to tell me that every word in scripture matters, if you can’t agree on how old the earth is based on scripture.