In apologetics class this week, we discussed intelligent design versus Darwin’s theory of evolution which lead us to explore the variations between young earth and old earth creationism.
Old earth creationism is a variant of the creationist view of the origin of the universe and life on earth. It is currently the view of many Catholic and Protestant Christians, and is typically more compatible with mainstream scientific thought, on the issues of the age of the earth, than young earth creationism.
Advocates of an old earth hold that the six days referred to are not ordinary 24-hour days, but rather the Hebrew word for “day” (yom) can be interpreted in this context to mean a long period of time (thousands or millions of years) rather than a 24-hour day. The Genesis account is then interpreted as an account of a progressive creation, or sometimes a summary of life’s evolutionary history. This view is often called “Day-Age Creationism”.
There are a variety of ways in which the events in the creation account are interpreted. Some closely resemble the order of events purported by young earth creationism. In this view the first “day” God is said to have created light; on the second, the firmament of heaven; on the third, the separation between water and land, and the creation of plant life; on the fourth the sun, moon, and stars; on the fifth created marine life and birds; on the sixth land animals, and man and woman.
One important piece of the puzzle can be found in the very first paragraph of Genesis: “First God made heaven & earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:1-3)
What is clear in these verses is that “the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters“. What is unclear is for how long?
Agreeing with the theory that the earth is in deed billions of years old without proof is no simple task. Neither is believing the earth is only six thousand years young. When then can we find undeniable proof of our earth’s age?
To find an answer to that question, let us examine the meaning of the word “day”. The Hebrew word for “day” (yôma) has at least three distinct meanings throughout the Bible:
1. A 24 hour period (from sun down to sun down).
2. A 12 hour period (from sun up to sun down).
3. A long period of time with a definite beginning and end.
It is important to note the term “day” in Genesis is used before the creation of the sun or the moon, consequently, “day” in the first chapter of the book of Genesis cannot refer to an earthly day, because, according to this particular Day-Age interpretation, such a day does not yet exist.
Now that I’ve shown that the earth can in deed be billions of years old, the only question that remains is: Why did God create the earth then wait billions of years to create man?
Since God also created time, and considering He promises the gift of eternal life, what’s a few billions years compared to all eternity? I’m sure God was working on other things preparing old mother earth for mankind…
We thank you for your blessings in our lives
And for the challenges you lay before us
Which make us stronger in Faith
And drive us to seek eternal life with you in heaven.
Lord father we ask that you continue to look over us
Our friends and our families,
And pray you will provide answers to all those
Who question you, your son Jesus Christ and our own origin.
We pray you will inspire those in need
To walk in your footsteps and be more like you,
And ask you to continue putting us to work for you
Fulfilling our mission in this life so we can rejoice with you in the next.
God we love you and thank you for all that surrounds us!
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre