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A Young Earth – What is the Issue?

Theistic Evolutionists and Old Earth Creationists will often use Scripture in their attempt to oppose the sort of views that creationists promote. For example, they will sometimes quote Daniel 7:9.

I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool. (emphasis added)

The suggestion implied by using this verse is that God could not be described as the Ancient of Days, if we believe in a Young Earth. The fallacy of the argument lies in the understanding of what is young or ancient. When I was a child in primary (elementary) school, a teacher aged 30 would have been ancient. Nowadays, a 30-year-old teacher at my children’s school appears very young to me! The perspective has changed.

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Young Earth Creationists are called Young Earth Creationists because they believe the Earth is only 6,000 years old. Now, suppose I take you to see Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England. Would you be impressed? Even creationists would accept that Stonehenge is more than 3,000 years old. Would you look at it and say “that’s young?” Of course not! You would say that it is ancient.

Young Earth Creationists believe the Earth is 6,000 years old. That is a long time ago. That’s very old. That’s ancient!

It’s not as ancient as 4.6 billion years, you might say. But the point is this: 4.6 billion years is not really best described as ancient. It is best described as inconceivable. Deep time is so vast that our heads cannot really comprehend it. That itself should tell us something important.

For these reasons, I do not like the label “Young Earth Creationist.” I do not believe the Earth is young. I believe it is very old. I believe it is ancient; as old as 6,000 years old.

But where do I get that figure? I get it from the Bible. There are some creationists who try to use dating methods to produce an age of about 10,000 years. Don’t get me wrong: True science is always consistent with the Bible. But science does not prove the Bible. We do not use science to interpret the Bible. If we do so, we are behaving exactly the same as the theistic evolutionist, merely using a different timescale. Instead, we use the Bible to interpret science, because we should use the Bible to influence our views on every subject.

So, instead of the term “Young Earth Creationist” I use the term Biblical Creationist. The YEC label refers to the relative age of the Earth—relative, that is, to an old evolutionary view. In other words, the definition of YEC only makes sense in the light of an evolutionary worldview. It is therefore a negative reaction to evolutionism, rather than a positive statement of what we believe and why we believe it. We do not believe in a world of about 10,000 years old or less, because we have found some science that appears to verify the Bible. We believe in a world of 6,000 years or so, because that’s what the Bible teaches, and we are confident that genuine scientific evidence, properly interpreted, is in line with that.

Material in this article has been taken from my ebook, The Biblical Age of the Earth. This ebook can be purchased from my website, Just Six Days.

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Written by Paul Taylor

Paul was a schoolteacher in the UK from 1983 to 2000, when he left teaching and set up an ICT training and web development business. He worked for Answers in Genesis (UK/Europe) from 2005 to 2011, until he moved to the United States to work for Creation Today. He and his wife are now the Directors of the Mount St. Helen’s Creation Information Center, at Silverlake, Washington.

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  1. The Lord reveals His creation time in the Ten Commandments.
    Interesting that He would do so in a format that is not open to interpretation.

    “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”
    (Exodus 20:8-11)

  2. It’s all about perspective, right?
    Seems like we all are products of our cultural conversation about the world around us. I guess you could say that all of us humans have one degree or another of misguided thinking. The real question is will we submit ourselves to the ‘renewing of our minds’ by the Word of God?
    I totally agree with you Paul. I resented the idea that I had to ‘qualify’ myself as a “young earth creationist’ just as much as I felt compelled by peers to qualify myself as a ‘creationist.’ Something about stereotypes that we tend to resent. Why not keep it simple and qualify ourselves as a ‘Biblicist?’ That’s one who fears God and His Word more than he fears (or bows) to men and men’s words. When any of us begin to really comprehend the history of earth-dating systems and truly grasp the enormity of the Genesis Deluge, everything falls into place in our thinking. It was no ordinary “flood.” That’s why it’s referred to uniquely in the Hebrew Bible Scriptures as “mabbuwl.” In the New Testament it’s “kataklysmos.” When I began to figure this out, I realized how absolutely warped was my modern education that had not fully respected the accuracy of the Holy Scriptures.

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