Five reasons young-Earth creationism is not biblically necessary


I was a young-Earth creationist (YEC) during my first few years as an undergraduate geology major, believing that the Bible required that the universe is no older than about 10,000 years, and that geology, properly understood, supported that position. I was a student member of the Creation Research Society, and looked forward to the day that I would have my Master’s degree so I could be a full member. I knew there were problems with the YEC understandings of Earth’s geological record, but figured that these would be solved with further research, and that I might even have a role in the triumph of young-Earth creationism over old-Earth evolutionism.

There are many Christians who are fascinated by God’s good creation, and it is my experience is that it is not all that rare for there to be YECs in university geology programs. Some YEC geology majors are somehow able to hold onto their YEC beliefs all the way to graduation—or even through graduate studies—but many others have a crisis of faith and either abandon Christianity or are hobbled with deep doubts. Other YEC geology students, such as myself, end up switching to old-Earth Christianity with a vibrant faith in Christ, and with their confidence in the Bible still intact.

My conversion from YEC to old-Earth Christianity was driven primarily by the writings of theologically-conservative scholars such as Francis Schaeffer, Bernard Ramm, Arthur Custance, and Pattle Pun. These devout Christian intellectuals demonstrated that one could have a very high view of Scripture as the inerrant Word of God, and hold to interpretations of the opening chapters of Genesis that varied from the young-Earth view. Once my mind was open to old-Earth biblical interpretations, I was able to more objectively weigh the geological arguments for a young-Earth vs old-Earth. I concluded that the YEC side was offering few credible scientific arguments for their version of Earth history.

My reasons for believing that the young-Earth interpretation is not biblically necessary have matured over the decades since then, and do not match the arguments that some other old-Earth Christians might offer. Most significantly, I reject the argument that Genesis is merely a myth with no relation to real events. I believe that Genesis 1-11 is deeply rooted in events that really happened.

Here are my top five biblical reasons I am not a young-Earth creationist.

1. Genre

Bookstores are divided into different sections, such as fiction, history, biography, science, art, religion, and self-help. If you look at a book from the poetry shelves, you will see that its contents follow very different rules than do books off of a fiction shelf. Within the fiction section, the books from the science fiction section are written with different writing conventions than those from the romantic fiction area. These broad categories, such as mystery, fantasy, and graphic novels, are what we call genres. Within a genre, there might be subgenres, each with its own styles and rules of interpretation.

The Bible contains literature written in a number of different genres, including narrative, law, wisdom, psalm, parable, genealogy, prophesy, apocalypse, and epistle. One does not read a poetic passage in the same way as one reads a narrative. As an example, consider Exodus 14-15. Chapter 14 tells the story of the crossing of the Red Sea in narrative form. Chapter 15 retells the story as a poem—the songs of Moses and Miriam. The narrative tells us that “the Lord drove the sea by a strong east wind,” (14:21), while the poem tells us “At the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up” (15:8). Did God send a strong wind, or did he send a blast from his nostrils? We don’t see any contradiction between these passages, because we understand the difference between prose and poetry. Individual books of the Bible may contain multiple types of genre. One cannot make a blanket statement that “Genesis is narrative,” because not all of Genesis is written as a narrative; there are stretches of genealogy, poetry, and other genres embedded in the story.

YECs commonly argue that the book of Genesis is “historical narrative” and must therefore be read “literally.” A YEC biblical scholar who has written much on this is Steven Boyd, who has done a statistical analysis on verb forms in Old Testament narrative and poetic passages, and come to the conclusion that Genesis 1 is indeed in the narrative genre. According to Boyd, old-Earth Christians who say that Genesis 1 is something other than historical narrative can be proven to be wrong by this modern computer-aided statistical analysis.

The problem is one of oversimplification, as Boyd’s analysis assumes that there are only two options: poetry and historical narrative. It is not always easy to determine the genre of a passage in the Bible, as there are subtleties, variations, and overlap between genres and subgenres. Genesis 1 is certainly not poetry in the same sense as a psalm or proverb—we didn’t need a statistical analysis to tell us this—but the chapter also has literary features that distinguish it from ordinary Hebrew historical narrative passages. Boyd’s analysis missed these nuances. One of these distinctions is the overall structure of the chapter, with the repetition of phrases such as “And there was evening and there was morning, the nth day,” and “God saw that it was good.” There is really no other chapter in the Old Testament—or other ancient Hebrew literature—that has a structure quite like this. Furthermore, the vocabulary is at a higher level than in most of the Old Testament, such as using “lights” instead of sun and moon, and the naming of animals with broad categories rather than using specific names. The passage is still a narrative, but has poetry-like elements, and is in a subgenre of its own. Old Testament scholar C. John Collins describes the genre of Genesis 1 as “exalted prose narrative.”

A further problem for the YEC interpretation is that just because a passage is a narrative doesn’t mean that everything in that passage has to be taken literally in the way YECs mean literally. For example, Jesus stated that he is “the door of the sheep” (John 10:7) in a narrative passage, but no one takes this as a literal statement. Likewise, in the long Joseph narrative (Genesis 37, 39-50), we are told that “all the earth came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain, because the famine was severe over all the earth” (Gen 41:57). Few biblical scholars take this as a literal statement which requires us to believe that people came from places as far away as Japan and Mesoamerica to purchase grain.

If one gets the genre of a passage in Scripture incorrect—and YECs get the genre of Genesis 1 at least partially incorrect—then it is likely that one will get the interpretation of that passage at least partially incorrect as well.

2. The meaning of “yom” (day) in Genesis

Genesis 1 begins with “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” and then goes on to describe six days of creation, each ending with “And there was evening and there was morning, the nth day.” Most YECs insist that the only way to interpret this passage is that verse 1 must be included as part of the first day, and that the six days must be literal, consecutive 24-hour days.

There are at least four ways to answer this claim, each of which is sufficient by itself as a rebuttal to the “literal” young-Earth interpretation. To start with, Old Testament scholars are divided as to whether Genesis 1:1—“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” —is (1) a summary of the entire creation week, (2) an event that occurred during day 1, or (3) an event that occurred before day 1. If the initial creation of the heavens and the earth occurred prior to the events of day 1 of Genesis 1, this opens up a variety of interpretive options that do not require a young Earth.

A second consideration that may be a problem for the literal-days interpretation is that there is no sun in the sky until day four (Genesis 1:14-18). According to Genesis 1:14, one purpose of the sun and moon is to “serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years” (NIV). As far back as the third and fourth century, Origin and Augustine—and others—argued that one cannot have a day, in the sense that we understand day, if we do not have a sun as a time marker. We are not, therefore, required to believe that the days of creation are literal 24-hour days in the sense that modern YECs believe is required by the text. This did not lead church fathers to an old-Earth reading of Genesis 1, but it did lead them to question the literal 24-hour day interpretation.

A third observation about the days of Genesis 1 is that “there was evening and there was morning” is not literally a 24-hour day in Hebrew thinking. In our system of reckoning days, a literal day runs from midnight to midnight. To the ancient Hebrews, a complete day ran from sunset to sunset, not “evening and morning.” In fact, “there was evening and there was morning” is literally a night, not a day. The use of the phrase “there was evening and there was morning” could mark a pause in the action rather than the passage of a literal day, or there could even be a figurative meaning to the expression.

Finally, most conservative biblical scholars believe that Moses was involved in the writing of Genesis, perhaps by gathering written or oral materials from earlier times. Moses was also the author of Psalm 90, which includes

For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night. (verse 4)

The immediate context of Psalm 90:4 is creation, with mentions in verses 2-3 of the creation of the earth, and humans being created from dust. One observation we can make about verse 4 is that time is not the same to God as it is to us. God is not restricted by time the way we are. Applying this back to Genesis 1, we are not required to believe that God’s days must be the same as our days. This is especially true for days 1-3, with no sun to mark days, but could also apply to the days in the entire creation week. It seems that modern young-Earth creationists may be more concerned about the “literal” meaning of the days of creation than Moses himself was!

3. Animal death and the fall

Young-Earth believers often argue that Earth cannot possibly be millions of years old because death did not occur until after Adam sinned. They will refer to verses such as Romans 5:12, which states, “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.” The YEC reasoning is that if all death came into the world through Adam’s sin, then there could not have been millions of years of death prior to Adam. Sedimentary rocks in Earth’s crust contain many quintillions of fossils, which are the remains of dead creatures, ranging from single-celled organisms and plants, to vertebrates, such as dinosaurs and mammals. The YEC interpretation requires all of these fossils to have died sometime after Adam sinned. Adam did not live millions of years ago, therefore Earth could not be millions of years old.

The problem with this YEC argument is that it is an over-reading of what the Bible actually teaches about death in our world. The Bible does indeed teach that human death is tied to Adam’s sin. Adam and Eve did not literally physically die on the literal day they ate the forbidden fruit, but they did literally physically die at some point after access to the Tree of Life was denied to them. But the Bible never ties animal death to Adams sin. The relevant passages are Genesis 3:14-19, Romans 5:12-17, Romans 8:19-22, and 1 Corinthians 15:21-28;35-57. None of these verses, nor any other passage of the Bible, teach that animal death began with Adam’s sin. In fact, the Bible never even teaches that animals were created to live forever.

4. Genealogies

Most young-Earth advocates will say that we know how old Earth is by adding up the years in all of the genealogies of the Bible. The genealogies in Genesis 5 and 11 contain chronological information, such as “When Seth had lived 105 years, he fathered Enosh… When Enosh had lived 90 years, he fathered Kenan… (Genesis 5:6,9).” Adding these together, along with chronological information in the rest of the Old Testament, and then tying these genealogies into certain dates for late-Old Testament events, results in a timeline that points back to Adam being created about 6000 years ago (or 4004 BC, as Archbishop Ussher famously calculated). Earth is, according to the YEC interpretation, only six days older than Adam, so Earth itself also is only 6000 years old as well.

There are several problems with this line of reasoning. Some YECs recognize these, and are willing to push Adam back a few thousand years, such as to 10,000 BC. I would like to focus on just one problem. As an old-Earth Christian, I believe in a real Adam and Eve. If we take these genealogies and chronologies in the YEC sense, then Adam lived in the Neolithic, about 6-10 thousand years ago (some old-Earth Christians push this date back further). The genealogies may point to this time frame, but they do not help us to address the interpretive questions we have with Genesis 1. In other words, Adam may have lived 10,000 years ago, and the Earth and universe could still be billions of years old. We can believe in a real Adam, Eve, Garden of Eden, and first sin, and hold to one of the various old-Earth understandings of Genesis 1, such as the day-age, analogical-days, historical creation, or framework interpretations.

In other words, the genealogies are largely irrelevant to the question of the age of the Earth.

5. The New Testament does not teach a young Earth

Finally, YECs often say that the New Testament, including Jesus himself, teaches a young Earth. They will point to verses such as Mark 10:6, where Jesus says, “But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female,’” or Luke 11:50-51, which states, “so that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah.” YECs will emphasize the “from the beginning of creation” part of Mark 10:6, because it seems to place the first humans at the very beginning of time, not billions of years after the initial creation.

We need to think a little more carefully, however, about the phrase “from the beginning of creation,” and ask the question, “Creation of what?” Note that Jesus does not say “from the beginning of creation of the universe.” The context in Mark 10 is a discussion of divorce, not the origin of the sun, moon, stars, and Earth itself. Jesus specifically refers to God making humans male and female, whom he brought together in marriage: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh” (Mark 10:7-8; Gen 2:24). It is possible that Jesus had in mind “from the beginning of the creation of the universe,” but given the marriage context, it is also possible that Jesus was referring to “the beginning of the creation of humans and marriage.” The YEC interpretation of Mark 10:6 is possible, but there are other valid understandings of this verse, so it is a stretch to say that Jesus was a young-Earth creationist.


The young-Earth, calendar-day interpretation is one of several possible interpretations of the opening chapters of Genesis. Other interpretations that are within biblical orthodoxy include the day-age, framework, and analogical-days interpretations, as outlined in the Report of the Creation Study Committee of the inerrancy-affirming, theologically-conservative Presbyterian Church in America. The age of the Earth is not used as part of a theological argument anywhere in the Bible, and has no bearing on any core doctrine, so it should not be a topic Christians divide over. Some YECs insist that the age of the Earth is a gospel issue, but this is clearly not the case. Most old-Earth Christians, including myself, affirm the core doctrines of the Christian faith that are involved in the opening chapters of Genesis, such as creation from nothing by the triune God of the Bible, a real Adam and Eve, a real Garden of Eden, a real fall into sin, and a real promise of a coming savior (Genesis 3:15).

I adopt an old-Earth view for both biblical and scientific reasons, but I fully accept and respect those who, for biblical reasons, accept the young-Earth view. To insist that Genesis only allows for the young-Earth interpretation is not supportable biblically, as I have briefly outlined here. Being that there is overwhelming geological evidence that Earth is much older than 10,000 years, it is harmful for evangelism and discipleship to present the young-Earth view as the only infallible interpretation of Genesis.

Grace and Peace



©2019 Kevin Nelstead

The original title of this article was “Five biblical reasons I am not a young-Earth creationist,” which was a bit misleading as a title. I am not attempting to teach that the Bible does not allow for a young Earth, only that the Bible does not require a young Earth. 3/15/2020

A printer-friendly PDF of this article may be downloaded here: Five biblical reasons I am not a young earth creationist.pdf

Unless stated otherwise, Scripture quotations are from the English Standard Version (ESV). The quote marked as NIV comes from the 1984 edition of the New International Version.

YEC is an abbreviation for young-Earth creationist/creationism that is accepted by many within the YEC community. Other common abbreviations in this discussion are OEC (old-Earth creationist) and TE or EC (theistic evolutionist or evolutionary creationist).

I gave links to books by Schaeffer, Ramm, Custance, and Pun, which greatly influenced my thinking back in the 1980s. A few books I would recommend now are here.

The Facebook discussion for this post is here.

16 thoughts on “Five reasons young-Earth creationism is not biblically necessary

  1. It’s sad how many lies you have to tell, and how out of date your claims are.

    No modern Creationist organisation that I know of “pushes” Adam out 10,000 years. You really need to keep up.

    The major reason you seem to be an old earther is how ignorant you are of the Bible and of what YEC actually claims. But I see that all the time from old earthers.

    I notice you completely ignore Exodus 20:11 which says that God created the heavens and the earth and all that therein is in six days. I know you think that days doesn’t mean days, but God is being very clear in Genesis and here since the context is Jews working for six days and resting on the seventh just as God did.

    I note that your final argument is that the geology is clear. It’s not clearer than God’s word which is obviously teaching a six day creation (as in day normally understood), and was understood that way until geology was hijacked by Bible haters like Lyell and Hutton.

    I would love to discuss this with you, but I know I’ve tried previously and you have difficulty acknowledging scripture and keep moving the goalposts. Because you value secular “geology” over scripture.

    Scripture is very, very clear. You refuse to see it because you don’t want to scripture to say what any child can see it saying.


  2. Responding to Grahame Gould. It is disappointing that you respond to the article here by claiming that it lies. Anyone familiar with Geochristian’s work will know that he has an excellent grasp of the issues here. He has a sincere,earnest, and well-informed faith and does not take criticizing the young-earth view lightly. In this short article he is not able to address every major concern or argument but he has addressed many of your points at other times.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I just want to say “amen” to Joel’s comments. Grahame’s assertions exemplify the kind of unnecessarily rigid dogmatism that is neither Biblically required not scientifically sound, and calling GeoChristian’s well reasoned arguments “lies” does nothing to help the case for YECism. Some of Grahame’s specific criticisms are do more to suggest his own limited knowlege than any hdeception on GeoCHristian’s part. For example, he says no modern YEC group he knows of pushes Adam out 10,000 years. First, Geochristian said “some YECs” not some YEC organizations. One can find many individual YECs today allowing 10,000 years or more. For example, YEC G. Aardsma who has done extensive BIblical and scientific research on dating, believes Creation took place over 20,000 years ago. YECs Kurt Wise and Robert Bowen indicate a range of 6,000 to 10,000 years in the following article:
    Even on the matter of organizations, GeoCHristian’s comment is fine. While many YEC groups have gravitated increasingly toward a 6,000 years date (especially AIG) many are not dogmatic on it, including ICR. Indeed, the late, Henry Morris, a long time president of ICR, and widely considered the “father” of _modern_ creationism, repeatedly allowed a Creation date of 10,000 ago or more. In recent years his son John and others at ICR have also allowed this. For example, while saying a likely date is closer to 6,000, JM acknowledged that it could be up to 15,000. in the following 1995 article:
    Of course, all of this does nothing to refute the abundant evidence that the Earth is about 4.6 billion years old. See:

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Joseph Palmer

    For 30 years I was a YEC. I was a missionary and a pastor. I studied Scripture and taught it all the time. When after studying geology and reading Daniel Wonderly I came to believe that the Earth and Universe was much older than the prima facia reading of Genesis, I was not shaken because I had so many reasons to believe that Scripture is the Word of God. I began looking for an exegetically good understanding of Genesis 1 which was consistent with Earth history. Eventually I came to believe, as Bernard Ramm did, in the Pictorial-Revelatory theory. While Ramm did not defend this view well, I think I can. I have presented a paper at the Far-west Region of the Evangelical Theological Society, and I have given out a short version of my paper to a hundred people. I’ve spoken to high school students, I’ve explained it to my students at Arizona Christian University, and I’m discussing it with faculty. The response has been a mixture of silence, murmuring, interest, and for one person a willingness to consider the Gospel. Most astute recipients of my ideas say nothing and ignore me. I suppose that my contention that I’ve explained how Genesis 1 is historically true is kind of like saying I know how to make a fusion reactor in my back yard. Would you like to read the 20 page version of my paper? I won’t be offended if you say no, but you are welcome. – Joe Palmer D.Min

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Grahame Gould — Do you take the same approach when a brother or sister in Christ disagrees with you about other doctrines, such as baptism, gifts of the holy Spirit, or election? I have my convictions about each of these, but I do not go around saying that those who disagree with me are liars.

    Answers in Genesis has solidified its position as 6000 years, and called the 10k YECs compromisers. This, of course, is throwing Henry Morris under the bus. I guess that is what you mean by me being out of date. I commonly run into YECs, contrary to AiG, who will say they believe Earth is 6-10k years old.

    “The major reason you seem to be an old earther is how ignorant you are of the Bible and of what YEC actually claims.” — I am pretty knowledgable about YEC claims, as I was once an ardent YEC, and have followed YEC literature for forty years now.

    In regards to Exodus 20:11, the creation pattern for the Sabbath stands whether the days of Genesis are 24-hour days as we understand them, or God’s days which are analogous to, but not necessarily the same as, our 24-hour days. It is significant that the creation days set the pattern not only for our seven-day week, but also for the sabbatical year and year of Jubilee.

    I do not value secular geology over Scripture. If you read your opening paragraph, you will know that I did not switch from being a YEC to an old-Earth Christian until I became convinced that Genesis does not require a young Earth. None of my arguments in my article involve reading science into the Bible. My position on science and Scripture is that all truth is God’s truth, whether revealed in God’s Word, or in God’s world. If there seems to be a conflict between what we understand from God’s Word and from God’s world, then either we do not understand the Word correct, we do not understand God’s world correctly, or both.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Tony Lee Ross Jr

    Notice Grahame doesn’t address the post itself but rather insults you. There is a difference between a child-like faith and a childish faith. Genesis should not be able to be understood by children, that’s not what the Bible is saying. A child-like faith is putting full trust in your savior, like a baby does his mother when she’s holding him. It is not being able to understand one of the most complex books in the world. Even adults, scholars, pastors etc. struggle with understanding the Bible. We all do. This is a scientist trying to understand. Instead of being iron sharpening iron by challenging his views with logic, reason, and scriptural-based argumentation you call them a liar and insinuate they’re dumber than a child. That’s uncalled for by any decent person and especially a Christian interacting with another Christian.


  7. Cameron

    Meanwhile, from his throne in Heaven, God the Father is chuckling at our incessant squabbling. Somehow, people have decided that winning an argument makes them right. Guess what? it doesn’t no matter how institutionalised the argument is, and how circularly logical the systematic and “Biblical” theology.

    I have been blessed with a mosaic of international experience, growing up and living in a number of different cultures, linguistic groups, and worldviews. I have studied Hebrew and Greek, both from Scriptural bases and apart from Scripture. I have studied Middle Eastern literature and philosophy, which are typified by mutivalence, and often mean many things at once. Deity itself is often referred to in such terms as to defy putting deity in a box. It is normative to swing backwards and forwards between singular and plural to refer to deity, often in the same sentence or paragraph, because we can’t reduce deity to human terms. This is true in and out of the Bible.

    Terms can be ephemeral and not mean what we think they do. In Spanish, to this day, when you say “todo el mundo” in everyday and official speech, you never mean “all of the world. You just mean, generally, “everybody”. For example, if you want to say, “Everyone knows that you can’t end a sentence with a preposition, you say, “Todo el mundo saben que no puede terminar una oración con una preposición.” “Todo el mundo”, or All the world”.

    It is amusing how selectively specific people are with only some parts of the Bible.

    God the Father is chuckling, but, like any good father, he knows that people sometimes just have to learn for themselves.

    At the final Resurrection, I doubt any of us will be un-sheepish at the naivete of our own suppositions.


  8. omega2xx

    Your post was far ro long to address each of your reasons, so let me offers some offer some thought you and your source have not considered.
    First all dating methods, except c 14 are based on some assumptions that make the dates older that what is suggested. Second, the Bible does not give the age of the universe, so it can’t be wrong. Third, the age of the universe is not important. Only how it came into being is important.
    We must decide if it is possible without an omnipotent Designer. Since this can’t be proved or disproved, we must accept by faith alone there is One or there is not One.
    Let me offer 2 events in the creation account you may not have considered.
    First, vegetation was created after the sun was created. Plant life can’t survive more than a few days with no sunlight and warm temperatures. Second, every time in the Bible “day” is use with a number, it ALWAYS indicates a 24 hour day as we know them today.
    Finally “after their kind” is proved thousands of times every day which gives some credibility to the rest of the creation account is reliable.
    Peace .


  9. GeoChristian, it’s not often I read an article about which I can say I agreed with every line. But this is one. I too am a former young-earthist. I appreciate your gracious posture and your obvious respect for and submission to God’s Word. I would like to point out that Moses (the author or editor of Genesis under the Spirit’s inspiration) not only says that with God a thousand years are like a day, or a even just a few hours, but he is also the one who recounts Jacob saying, “Your father’s blessings are greater than the blessings of the ancient mountains, than the bounty of the age-old hills.” Under a strict YEC timeline, Jacob was living a mere 2100 years or so after the creation of the world. That’s barely ancient. But it’s worse than that, because the YEC position is that the current topography was formed in the aftermath of the Noahic flood. This means that Jacob’s “ancient mountains” are, according to a YEC timeline, in the neighborhood of 450 years young, about half the lifespan of a man in antediluvian times! Anyway, God bless.


  10. Jan Slabbert

    Romans 8 does point to all of creation (animals and plants included) being subjected to futility and corruption because of the fall on Man, so your assertion nowhere in Scripture it is stated that animals were not created to live forever and thus is not proof for YEC, is not exactly entirely true.


  11. Paul Lucas

    “In regards to Exodus 20:11, the creation pattern for the Sabbath stands whether the days of Genesis are 24-hour days as we understand them, or God’s days which are analogous to, but not necessarily the same as, our 24-hour days. It is significant that the creation days set the pattern not only for our seven-day week, but also for the sabbatical year and year of Jubilee.”

    The six-and-one pattern is laid out in the other books of Moses but when it refers to a period longer than a normal calendar day, a different Hebrew word is used.

    In the same book, Exodus 20:11 says “If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he is to go free.” And “for six years you are to sow your fields and harvest your crops, but during the seventh year let the land lie fallow” (23:10). Leviticus also speaks of a Sabbath day on the first day of the seventh *month*.

    Look too at the clear meaning of “six days” elsewhere in Exodus (16:5, 16:22, 16:29, 20:9, 23:12, 24:16, 31:15, 31:17, 34:21, and 35:2). Six days means six ordinary days in each case. It means six ordinary days for at least half of the verse in Exodus 20:11 when it describes the Israelite working week.

    Now the OEC will contend that in one use, against the 12 other uses of “six days” (in Exodus) where ordinary days are meant, God uses “six days” to describe the creation week but means six long ages. Now, there’s a price of credulity to pay for that but I just don’t see the need.


  12. Dan Graber

    For what it’s worth, geologic uniformitarianism is described in 2 Pet 3 as looking at present processes and extrapolating those processes back in time, while at the same time mocking the idea of God creating earth completely covered with water and subsequently destroying the earth 1656 years later. Peter describes the generally accepted practice of old earth uniformitarian geology as mocking the word of God. Those that mock in this way are called mockers or scoffers regardless of their position in christ.


  13. Dan Graber – Thanks for your comment.

    Forensic science extrapolates present processes back in time. Is forensic science anti-biblical? Archeologists extrapolate present processes back in time. Is archeology anti-biblical?

    Uniformitarianism, understood correctly, is consistent with a Christian world view. God’s creation providentially operates by God’s laws that are understandable by humans made in God’s image. There is no biblical reason to doubt that these laws have been the same since God created the universe in Genesis 1:1. This understanding of how God’s creation works does not negate God’s sovereign intervention in his creation, such as the incarnation, miracles, and resurrection of Jesus; and other miracles recorded in the Bible. God will intervene again at the return of Christ.

    The common young-Earth interpretation of 2 Pet 3:3-7 goes beyond what the text itself says. The immediate concern for Peter is skepticism regarding the return of Christ: “Where is the promise of his coming?” People then and today mock Christian teachings with “Jesus couldn’t have performed miracles,” “Jesus couldn’t have rose from the dead,” and “Jesus isn’t coming back.” They reject these things because they are convinced that “all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” But Peter argues that God does indeed intervene in his creation, such as Noah’s flood (and I believe in a real Noah’s flood). Peter then assures his readers that God will certainly bring about Christ’s return.

    As a scientific principle, even YECs apply uniformitarian principles when they try to explain the rock and fossil record with things like catastrophic plate tectonics, accelerated nuclear decay, hydrodynamic sorting of fossils, or a post-flood ice age caused by warm oceans. They are taking the laws of today’s world, such as laws of fluid mechanics, nuclear chemistry, and thermodynamics, and applying them to the past. This isn’t a whole lot different than what is done in standard historical science, except that YECs think they need to apply these principles in order to understand a miraculous intervention of God in his creation.


Leave a Reply to Cameron Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s