Old Earth or Young Earth

Here’s why I am a “Young Earther”

Over the last 100 years, there’s been a debate among Christians about the nature of Genesis 1.  Some suggest that it provides space for evolutionary science.  Others suggest there is no space for an old earth in Genesis.

Those who hold to the old earth view from Genesis generally introduce a few of the following arguments.

  • Genesis 1 is poetry and is not meant to be taken literally. Much of the Bible cannot be interpreted literally.
  • In Genesis 1, God created animals and humans on the same day.  
  • In Genesis 2, there is no mention of the end of the seventh day; therefore, in human history, we are in a literal continuation of the day of rest.  Language in Hebrews 4 is used to strengthen this argument.
  • In 2 Peter 3:8 we are told a day is as a thousand years to God.
  • Science shows us the earth is old, therefore Genesis 1 is to be interpreted differently.

Those who don’t hold the old earth view from Genesis generally introduce the following arguments.

  • Poetic literature does not automatically equate with non-literal meaning.  Much of the Bible is written in poetry.  You can’t pick and choose which defines historical events and which does not.  
  • If a day is a thousand years, then the age of creation period is no longer than 6000 years + the years of human history. There is no precedence in scripture offering an unlimited amount of time when it comes to creation.
  • The nature of miracles is that God speeds up the process of nature.  Nature can look old but still be young.
  • A literal seven days of creation is attested outside Genesis 1 in the Old Testament, including the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:8-11) written by the finger of God (Deuteronomy 9:10), affirmed by Jesus as accurate (Matthew 5:17-19, John 5:45-47).
  • Jesus affirms a literal view of the Old Testament.  Therefore, Genesis 1 is literal. Adam (Matthew 19:4–5), Abel (Matthew 23:35, Luke 11:49-51), Noah (Matthew 24:37–39), Abraham (John 8:39–41, 56–58), Lot and Sodom and Gomorrah (Luke 17:28–32), Jonah (Matthew 12:39–41)
  • The Bible calls Jesus both God and the creator of the world. (Matthew 14:33; John 1:1-3; John 5:17-18; John 8:58; John 10:25-35; John 20:28; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Philippians 2:6; Colossians 1:15-20; Hebrews 1:2, 10-12; Hebrews 4:3; 2 Peter 3:3-13; Revelation 4:11) If Jesus is God who created the world and affirmed the six-day creation story as literal, can we hold to a different view?

Ultimately, our interpretation of Genesis 1 is based on how we interpret who Jesus is and how we interpret the Bible. 

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