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Pastors Tackle “Age of the Earth”

HomeScience and ArchaeologyPastors Tackle “Age of the Earth”

This short-ish video lays out part of the reason that I’m not a young-earther. Most of the young-earth folks I know simply don’t want to talk about this subject, pretending that it’s beneath them to even consider whether the earth is more than 6,000 years old. Leave your comments below.

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14 responses to “Pastors Tackle “Age of the Earth””

  1. Kal says:

    If God is an entity to which man has no comparison, and is an immortal constant, we must understand that time “the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole.”, time is relevant to the individual. God is a constant before the existence of the universe, therefore, god has been here since the beginning of time, and thus is unaffected by it.. What may have only been perceivable a week to him, would have been several billion years to a mere mortal human, or could simply be human reasoning to make God more approachable and easier to relate to by humans, and thus the creation of all life and humanity, while may have seemed instant to God, would actually be substantially longer to a human.

  2. levi Bates says:

    Sounds an awful lot like you are trying to fit evolution into the bible, where it isn’t. Genesis 1;11 is when God made the plants and trees and seed, then waited a couple million years to make the sun in Genesis 1;14-15, when earth is finally being lit, so plants would have died waiting for the sun… I think if you space out the days into billions of years to incorporate evolution, you can’t get around the order of which God made everything.
    The good news is you don’t have to throw science out the window in order to believe in what God says he did. Check out Kent Hovind’s seminars. Be sure to watch all 7.

    • Tony says:


      Who said anything about evolution? I sure didn’t. I don’t remember hearing that in the video, either. =)

      Here’s food for thought: God created day and night on the first day. The sun doesn’t appear until day four, but plants lived anyway…notice in verse 12 that the plants had already sprouted and produced fruit. Here’s more more food for thought: if the days in Genesis 1 were only 24 hours long, why has the seventh day lasted thousands of years? Let me know what you think.

      As far as Kent Hovind is concerned, I don’t put much stock in a guy who can’t read the Bible clearly enough to ‘give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar.’ Obviously, Mr. Hovind spent a lot of time in Genesis, but not enough in Romans 13. Right?

  3. Laura says:

    Hi, can you tell me where you got this video? I’d like to check out more videos by them if there are any. Very cool. Thank you!

    • Tony says:


      If you play the video, and click on the YouTube logo at the bottom right, you will be taken to the page that posted the video. In this case, it’s a ministry called Reasons to Believe. I am happy to recommend them.

  4. Jeannette says:

    Hi Tony

    There’s a lot to discuss, so this comment is likely to be a long one (sorry ). I’ve tried to be brief as possible but there’s so much more that could be said! It’s therefore in two parts, a personal testimony connected with the subject, then about the video itself.

    Part 1:
    “Most of the young-earth folks I know simply don’t want to talk about this subject”.

    Maybe it’s because few pastors are also qualified in science? And few scientists, including many Christians, have any idea that Evolution and billions of years is more due to a particular worldview that specifically excludes a Creator than a proper scientific theory. That worldview is almost all-pervasive in our culture and affects many academic fields as well as science.

    I was taught evolution and billions of years as a fact. I was also taught Bible stories in Sunday school – including creation and Noah’s Ark but never realised that the two might contradict each other. This Cognitive dissonance” was actually a protection, as “Evolutionism” and its implication for faith can be a major stumbling-block.

    I became a Christian wile studying Biology. For a while, having never come across anything to contradict it, I still believed in some sort of evolution. Then I was challenged by a Christian medical doctor, “How can you believe in evolution if you are a Christian?” Though unable to contradict him I was furious…which led to the thought, “Why so angry over a mere theory? I must have been brainwashed!”

    The Lord opened my eyes, and from that time on I began to question and found that the “Theory” didn’t even have enough real evidence to be called a hypothesis.

    I later did a short course in theology and found it very useful in understanding “Both sides” and learning to question assumptions, even of the “Experts” – especially people like Bultmann et al.

    Anyway, as you said, the question under discussion is to do with billions of years, not evolution as such…

    • Tony says:

      Thanks, Jeannette!

      You’re right: most pastors aren’t necessarily well-versed in science. I don’t believe that’s why young-earth folks don’t want to discuss the age of the universe. What I see too often is a dismissive attitude that says the issue is closed, and any discussion would be engaging in unbiblical nonsense. I also see the idea that such an examination would put one in spiritual danger as well.

      Like most people younger than 60, I was taught that evolution is a fact. I was also taught that God created the universe in six 24-hour days. It wasn’t until I started discussing science (which I love) online that I took seriously the question of what YOM means, and how to properly interpret the Genesis creation accounts.

      I’m not following you on the “in the beginning” part. I watched the video twice this morning, and didn’t hear those words. Which speaker? What did he say? I also didn’t hear anything about 13 billion years. You seem to be responding to what they didn’t say. Yes, it seems humanity is quite new in an old universe model. What is your Scriptural objection to the idea?

      As for how to interpret YOM, you seem to be echoing an argument I’ve heard many times. I may have misunderstood, so correct me if I’m wrong. You seem to be saying that when YOM is accompanied by a number, it always refers to a 24-hour period. If that’s what you’re saying, please point to where we can see that this is so.

      As for the sun and moon, which video did you watch? Again, it seems you’re responding to arguments that weren’t even addressed in the video I posted.

      Have a great day!

      • Jeannette says:

        Thank you for your reply, I have to go out but will have a proper look at it when able.

        My first answer wasn’t intended as a direct response to the video but an attempt to show where I was coming from and that my reasons for rejecting both evolution and the old-age view are mainly scientific. As you know, the “Experts” are not always right and often highly biased. I have therefore learned to question and check up on things as far as possible, as well as attempting to allow for my own biases.

        Does “Part 2” answer the rest? I do have a tendency to (as in rugby football) “Pick up the ball and run with it” sometimes!

        Yours in Christ


        • Tony says:


          No, I’m afraid that neither of your comments seem to be a direct response to what was said in the video, or to my explanation for why I posted it. Let me suggest that you watch it again, with a bit of an open mind, and ask whether their QUESTIONS are good questions. You may disagree with their conclusions, but good questions are a starting point. My reasons for rejecting Darwinism and questioning young-earth creationism are not primarily based in science, but in the Scriptures themselves… so, if you’d like me to reconsider my position, I would suggest starting with God’s Word. You’re free, of course, to run with the ball if you wish. Have a great day!

          • Jeannette says:

            Deep breath and start again. Maybe we were somehow watching different videos!

            Summarising my notes – as accurately as possible. I didn’t comment on all the points but did on some.

            The speaker asked.
            Is the idea of an “Old earth” Biblical? Can it be supported scripturally?

            He said that we need Biblical integrity and that words don’t just have one meaning. We need the context. [agree on that of course] for example with “YOM”

            He then said there was a 13 billion or so (forget the exact number) year difference between “The Beginning” to Adam.

            Some quotes from the video:

            • “If you are going to say that God put man on the earth in the beginning then you’re saying that He put him on the earth at the time of the earth was without form and was void.

            • “So it’s contradicting what it says in Genesis chapter 1. In Genesis 1 it says He went through a big process – at least 6 days.

            • “God…was talking in a broad sense…does not mean for us to take those words and to conclude…” that the beginning spoken of in Gen 1:1 means when man was created.

            • “…we already have a problem when comparing those words with…what Jesus said.” Man wasn’t at the beginning he was at least 6 days later. We would argue many days later…”

            • He also said about sun and moon made on day 4. “How is that possible?”
            • “In the beginning God made the heavens and the earth… means the heavens were there, therefore the sun was there.”

            • “The earth was covered in water and there was a thick cloud layer.” So from the surface of the earth you couldn’t see the sun and the moon until the 4th day.

            He seemed to be trying to show that the young earth belief made no sense. But to me his arguments made even less sense.

          • Tony says:

            Yeah, we’re not watching the same video. Here’s a direct link to the one I’ve embedded on my site: Not sure what video you’ve been watching, but that seems to be the reason for the disconnect. =)

  5. Jeannette says:

    Part 2, the video:

    Even if he is correct in his long age assumption, the speaker’s logic seems very poor.

    How did he get the idea that the literal approach to the words “In the Beginning” means a tiny point in time which didn’t happen to include more than God speaking light into an unformed watery earth? It sounds sillier than saying a baby born six seconds (minutes? Hours? Days?) ago shouldn’t be called “Newborn” any more. The cut off point is completely arbitrary.

    He then makes the equally arbitrary assumption that there were 13 billion or so years’ difference from “The Beginning” to Adam and Eve. A study of the creationist literature will show that this is also an unproven assumption based not on science but on how much time evolutionists estimate for everything to “Evolve” to its present state. And even that many billions of years are not enough to be able to observe galaxies that seem even more distant. (Look up “The horizon problem”).

    Of course, the creationist belief of four days doesn’t explain it either. In both cases it may be to do with time distortion of some kind – after all God invented time! Also, the creation account is from the viewpoint of the earth. It is perfectly consistent with a literal understanding of Genesis that distant starlight did take billions of EARTH years to arrive, while only four days passed on earth itself. Einstein postulated (and it was later proved with the invention of super-accurate time measurement) that time goes relatively faster the further away it is from the observer – for example the speed of time at sea level is a few nanoseconds slower than at the top of a mountain. Satellite orbits actually need to be adjusted to take that effect into account. How much more for galaxies many light years away!

    He says, correctly, that words such as “Yom” should be understood in context. But then he proceeds to take it out of context in an attempt to show that the days of creation couldn’t be literal days! I know very little Biblical Hebrew but the days are apparently in a “Wav consecutive” form. Their numbered order, first day, second day etc restricted by “Evening and Morning” show they. Even scholars who don’t believe it happened agree that in this context and word form they were intended to mean literal earth days, not long periods of time.

    He also tries to wrestle with how there was light before the sun and moon were created, and again comes up with a convoluted argument to avoid the obvious. In fact all you need to produce a regular night/day effect is that the earth revolves about once every 24 hours and has a temporary “Fixed” light source at one side (maybe even an angel???) Until the Sun took over the job on Day 4.

  6. Jeannette says:

    HA! Thank you.
    What seems to have happened was that someone asked about the video’s source. I thought they meant the full video of which the one you posted was an extract, followed the other link and got the first one on the site by mistake. DUH!
    The right one is much more challenging and certainly food for thought. But again it is turning out to be very long. And there is much more. For example, I would love to explain why billions – or even millions – of years is scientifically impossible anyway, however you interpret the relevant scriptures. But even this answer will have to be in two parts at least!!!!
    Will have to shut up then, worn out, but hope you are not worn out too!

    Part 1
    Beginning with the summary at the end.
    The interviewer said “We have to wrestle with three things”:
    A high regard for scripture…
    What does the Bible actually say?”
    What does your position on this issue reveal about your theology or what you think about God?
    However there is a FORTH thing that we need to wrestle with, and could well make all the difference to the other three. That is our prevailing culture and worldview. It has far more of an effect on Bible interpretation than is usually realised.

    Some examples:

    • The reason for Galileo’s downfall was not because the Church persecuted him for his scientific discoveries as such but because other astronomers opposed him. The Church however believed the other scientists (Maybe the earth being the centre of the solar system sounded good theologically?) The main reason for his eventual execution was apparently because he (not being the nicest or most tactful of men) seriously offended the Pope.

    • Around the time of Darwin many scientists in the Christianised western world still believed in the existence of a Creator God and took the Bible account at face value. Darwin was probably nervous about writing the “Origin of Species” because of fear of public opinion. But his aim (unlike Galileo’s) was not purely scientific but an attempt to exclude God as Creator and replace Him by some sort of blind chance.

    • Charles Lyall, the geologist helped Darwin by inventing the idea of slow and gradual changes in the earth, (thus discounting the possibility of a worldwide Flood) Lyell’s declared aim was to “free the science of geology from Moses.” As Romans 1:21-22 says, “21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools…”

    This in itself does not of course prove anything about the age of the earth. But it has had a very profound influence on the development of scientific and theological thought ever since.

    Always the temptation is to take on the world’s attitudes and believe the world’s pundits just because they are “Experts”.

    • Tony says:

      Mystery solved!

      I posted the video that’s on this page because it helps explain something about my own view.

      You seem to suggest that my view comes from godless scientists with an axe to grind. That’s not the case. My argument is simple: the Bible doesn’t actually specify the length of time God took to create the universe. There’s simply too much ambiguity in the text, so any one of several views might be correct… but any correct view will fit. Darwinism doesn’t fit, but multiple views of God as creator might.

      YOM is pretty flexible. For that reason, some early theologians suggested that the whole thing was done in the blink of an eye. Some thought it took a long time, some just a week. Here’s a view I simply reject: “My view is the only biblical view.” That’s not in keeping with the text itself. There’s only ONE answer, of course… but we don’t know what it is. It seems unwise for people to be dogmatic when the Bible isn’t clear. Where the Bible is clear, we should be clear: God created it all. Where the Bible isn’t clear, we shouldn’t pretend that it is: we don’t know how long it took.

      My view isn’t based on the opinions of modern experts. My view is based on my understanding of the text, and on the various interpretations found in early church writings. I have no idea how long it took, but I doubt it was just one week. There seem to be too many problems with the view that God created in six 24-hour days. It’s a good thing this is a secondary issue… right?

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