Creation

Why a Commitment to Inerrancy Does Not Demand a Strictly 6000-Year-Old Earth: One Young Earther's Plea for Realism (Part 3)

Originally published in Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal (DBSJ) 2013. Used by permission. Read Part 1 and Part 2.

The 6,000-year-earth position may be questioned on the grounds of logical, hermeneutical, text-critical, and intertextual tensions. Anomalies in the biblical story line and extrabiblical historical records provide additional evidence.

Anomalies in the Biblical Story Line

The life story of Noah seems oddly truncated and his death out of place if there are no gaps in Genesis 11. When we come to the end of the ninth chapter of Genesis, we find the standard epitaph, “then Noah died.” But if the chronogenealogist is correct, Noah did not die until Abraham was 58 years old.1 Of course, it is possible to suggest that Noah had moved away and was quite forgotten by the time Abraham was on the scene, but the finality of Genesis 9:29 seems quite out of sequence if Noah didn’t die until the end of chapter 11. A natural reading of the early chapters of Genesis strongly suggests that the Noah story ended a long time before the Abraham story began.

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Why a Commitment to Inerrancy Does Not Demand a Strictly 6,000-Year-Old Earth: One Young Earther's Plea for Realism (Part 2)

From Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal (DBSJ) 2013. Used by permission. Read Part 1.

The 6000-year-earth position may be questioned on several grounds, some more substantial than others. I would like to suggest, though, that while all of the arguments developed below are load-bearing, the intertextual-exegetical arguments take pride of place in the ensuing material.

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Why a Commitment to Inerrancy Does Not Demand a Strictly 6,000-Year-Old Earth: One Young Earther's Plea for Realism (Part 1)

From Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal (DBSJ) 2013. Used by permission (first appearance at SharperIron in 2014).

The young-earth creationist community is in the midst of an identity crisis relative to the age of the earth. Some within the community aggressively defend a strict 6,000-year-old creation and chafe even at minimal deviation on this point. For these, a rigid terminus a quo for the age of the universe is the simplest and best arbiter for establishing one’s young-earth creationist credentials. Conceding even a slightly older universe is for this group equal to (1) discarding or at the very least compromising biblical inerrancy1 and (2) granting philosophical independence to the sciences, whether astronomy, geology, biology, or archeology.2

This rigidity has not always existed in the young-earth community. John Whitcomb, patriarch of young-earth creationism and co-author of the groundbreaking work The Genesis Flood, defended a span of 3,000 to 5,000 years between the Flood and Abraham, offering a probable date for the original creation of between 6,700 B.C. and 8,700 B.C.3

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Book Review – God of All Things: Rediscovering the Sacred in an Everyday World

The idea "that our universe of things points to God and proclaims his glory, is the foundational thesis for Andrew Wilson’s book.... [which] poses the question why God created things—after all, he could have created only a spiritual world without physical substance." - TGC

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The Heavens Declare the Glory of God: An Interview with Richard C. Barcellos

"In this interview we discuss Barcellos’s new book, Trinity & Creation: A Scriptural and Confessional Account, a defense of the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo in classical Trinitarian perspective, over and against recent revisionist accounts." - Credo

288 reads

The FAQs: What Are People Saying About UFOs . . . and Aliens?

"some Christians believe that, if aliens exist, they are a form of fallen angel (demons). But is it possible that other forms of intelligent alien life exist in the universe? The answer depends on how we interpret the Bible and what we believe about God’s sovereignty." - TGC

1037 reads

The Fading Dream of the Computer Brain

"'They showed you a simulation of some neural activity inside this. Suppose it looked different; how would you know that that was wrong or right?' Sitting behind the camera, I replied, 'Well, I wouldn't know.' Seung reiterated: 'Right, how would anybody know what was a wrong activity pattern or right activity pattern?'" - Scientific American

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