To repeat a common theme of The GeoChristian blog: One can be a committed Christian with a very high view of the Bible, and yet hold to a 4.5 billion year-old Earth and evolution.
John Piper is pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, and is a leading author and speaker within the Evangelical and Reformed Christian communities. He has a very high view of Scripture, and yet his church takes no position on the age of the Earth or evolution. Here are three aspects of the doctrine of creation that elders at Bethlehem Baptist must affirm:
- A real Adam and Eve fairly recently in history.
- God created the universe out of nothing.
- God’s creation is good.
Piper’s statement specifies that there is no commitment at his church to a recent six literal day creation (e.g. Answers in Genesis or Institute for Creation Research). There is also no statement requiring elders to not believe in evolution.
Despite the vocal insistence of the young-Earth creationists, there are perfectly valid understandings of Genesis that allow for an old Earth. These interpretations are not forced on the Hebrew text, but actually flow out of the text.
HT: Internet Monk
P.S. I am not saying that John Piper accepts either an old Earth or evolution, just that he doesn’t consider the age of the Earth or evolution (apparently) to be issues in terms of Christian orthodoxy.