Responding to Skeptics
by Jonathan Silcox
Over at Premier Christianity, geologist and priest Michael Roberts provides 10 questions to ask a young earth creationist. Old earth creationists and evolutionists have been asking these same questions for decades, but it’s as if Roberts thinks he’s the first to come up with them. On the contrary, young earth creationists have answered these questions for as long as anyone has thought to ask them. I’ll link to a response by Creation Ministries International, and then provide my own, responding to what I think is Robert’s main contention.
At the heart of these ten questions is whether or not the Bible really addresses geology and the age of the earth, and if it really matters. Roberts (and other evolutionists) wants to convince us there’s a huge majority of educated people, including scientists, who believe in God, evolution, and an earth that’s 4.6 billion years old. In other words, he’s implying that most people don’t believe the Biblical account of creation should be taken literally, and neither should you.
It’s surprising how many people think this way, but it’s easily refuted. The number of people who believe the same thing is not proof that they’re right. 99 percent of the entire world population could be in agreement and still be wrong. Science is not up for a vote. Being in the majority may be comforting, but it’s not proof.
Further, Roberts would do well to realize that he’s in a precarious position. Does he realize that only 30 percent of all geologists believe in God? Therefore, does that prove God doesn’t exist? And why does he think the other 70 percent of scientists got it wrong? His position is not the majority position, so he must defend his position from both sides- young earth creationists and atheists.
Next, although Roberts thinks it’s folly to go against the “proven results of science”, he wants us to believe the age of the earth isn’t important to our faith because the Bible isn’t clear on the matter. What’s important, he says, is the Gospel message.
Firstly, if he really thought the age of the earth weren’t important, he wouldn’t have brought it up. But he does because he knows very well how important this topic is. But I’ll agree that the age of the earth isn’t the central issue in the Bible, and that the Gospel message is what’s most important. But those who dismiss the importance of what the Bible tells us about the age of the earth are missing the point. While no one needs to believe the earth is young (or old) in order to be a Christian, believing in an old earth undermines the Gospel message. If we believe the Gospel message is true, but the Bible’s claims about the physical world are wrong, then what does that tell us about the Gospel message? Doesn’t that bring the entire Bible into question? I think it does, and that’s why a correct understanding of the Bible’s claims is crucial. In fact, I’d suggest that the creation account is foundational to the Gospel message; not only does the creation account tell us why there’s sin, death, disease and suffering in the world, but why we need a savior.
Nonetheless, Roberts goal is to convince us that the Bible doesn’t tell us anything about the age of the earth, therefore the creation account shouldn’t be taken literally. To him, a literal interpretation would be in conflict with science. But I’d argue, as a young earth creationist, that there are no conflicts- if we follow the facts. But Roberts would rather have us change our interpretation of Genesis; I suggest we need to view the evidence within a Biblical worldview or framework…
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image credit: Simon Migaj