It’s probably good to pronounce this right off the top: The debate over the actual age of Planet Earth will never end — and by “never,” I mean absolutely never.
A fascinating element has come into focus about whether the planet was created less than 10,000 years ago, which many folks believe is contained in Scripture. A group called “Young Earthers” believes the Bible quite literally.
They say the Book of Genesis lays it out there: God created the world in six days measured the way we humans do it and then rested on the seventh day. The Sabbath is part of God’s plan for those he created in his image, they say.
There you have it. End of debate, yes? Not even close.
An interesting article in the Tulsa (Okla.) World discusses this debate as it’s occurring in Oklahoma. According to The World: “While an ancient Earth is considered settled science in academic circles, it has been discussed and debated for decades in some evangelical churches and schools and in some conservative Christian colleges.”
Man, this is why I love the Bible so much. It can be interpreted by anyone who can take away whatever they wish.
I’m thinking The Almighty had this in mind when he instructed the men who wrote those holy words. God must have told them, “Write all those biblical books in such a way as to ensure that humankind never stops debating whether to take these words literally or put their own interpretation on what’s written — as long as they’re believers, of course.”
Bill “The Science Guy” Nye and Ken Ham, founder of Answers in Genesis, staged a debate in Tulsa a year ago about the creation of the universe. As The World reported: “At the heart of the debate is whether the biblical record demands a young Earth scenario, with creation 6,000 to 10,000 years ago in seven literal 24-hour days. ‘Old Earth”’evangelicals insist that the young Earth position is just one among many possible ways to interpret the biblical record. And evangelicals on both sides of the debate are concerned that the issue is becoming divisive. Some young Earthers insist that old Earthers cannot be true Bible-believing Christians.”
It’s the last sentence, the one about young Earthers doubting the faith of old Earthers that can be troubling as this debate rages on.
I’m simply inclined to ask: How can anyone question legitimately another person’s commitment to faith or belief?
Those who believe God created humans in his image — as I do — surely must know that he kept certain powers to himself. Only the Creator knows what’s in others’ hearts.
Let the debate continue — forever.