You may be new to these threads, so rest assured that any real animosities were resolved long ago. Because of my father's recent final illness and death, I haven't poked around here much in more than two months. It's nothing more than fellow believers having an in-family conversation. We all agree that Genesis is the inspired word of God, but we differ in interpreting just a few passages.
Editor-Surveyor, GodGunGuts, and I all look forward to spending eternity together with Jesus. In spite of our differing beliefs about the age of the earth, those differences don't make us better or worse Christians. A number of us have already agreed to find one another in heaven if we never meet on earth. What joy we will be able to share throughout eternity!
If I find out in heaven that the earth really is 6,000 years old, then I'm not going to argue with God. Similarly, if the earth is 4.5 billion years old, my fellow young-earth believers are not going to argue with God either.
Editor-Surveyor, GodGunsGuts, and others have perfectly legitimate reasons to support a young-earth viewpoint. For example, they see the very real problem of some scientists belittling people of faith. They see militant atheism, especially on college campuses.
I agree with my friends on these things. I share their concern. We agree that some scientists are committed to a militant atheism. These scientists think that you can't be a real scientist unless you're an atheist. These scientists are dead wrong.
However, I come from a slightly different background and see other problems, too. My education and 25 years of work are in science. My first degree was from Baylor University and I have one year of formal, college-level background in Bible study as well a full year of Hebrew. All that means is that each of us have encountered different things in our education and careers that have shaped us.
Some of the things I have seen in college and in work gives me problems with the young-earth position. For example, I saw kids coming to college who were raised to believe that if you didn't believe in a young earth, you didn't believe in the Bible. When they encountered proof after proof that the earth and the universe are really billions of years old, some of them lost their faith. After all, if the earth isn't 6,000 years old, then the rest of the Bible may not be true either.
I have also had co-workers through the years who resisted Christianity because their science expertise had convinced them that the earth is very old and they couldn't reconcile that with some Christian teachers. I have had to work very hard to show my friends that all truth is God's truth and that there is no conflict between a literal belief in the Bible and science. When there appears to be a conflict, you have to (a) look and see whether the science is accurate; and (b) check and see whether your interpretation of the Bible is accurate.
Unlike Greek or English, Hebrew is a very narrow language and much of the meaning depends on context.
For example, look at how the Hebrew word eretz as used in the Bible. It can mean anything from the actual soil that you're standing upon, to a city, or to the entire planet. My young-earth friends interpret eretz to mean that Noah's flood covered the entire planet because that is a long-standing tradition. I and most others with science training see big problems with interpreting eretz to mean the entire planet and point out that the language of the Bible does not require us to believe that Noah's flood covered the entire planet.
We may disagree on a few things, but they are like a pinhead compared with the universe in comparison to what we have in common, which is a commitment to follow Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour and proclaim his name and his love to every living being.
Mike, you’re caught up in putting humanist ‘wisdom’ above God’s. I know that there’s no getting through to someone, once they get on that kick, even though God’s word says that man’s wisdom is foolishness. Its all based in pride.
I am very sorry to hear about the loss of your father. And while I don’think our differnces are trivial, I do believe you are a genuine believer who has a heart to please God. I hope all is well with you and yours, and I will be sure to say a prayer tonight for you and your family.
All the best—GGG
For example, look at how the Hebrew word eretz as used in the Bible. It can mean anything from the actual soil that you're standing upon, to a city, or to the entire planet. My young-earth friends interpret eretz to mean that Noah's flood covered the entire planet because that is a long-standing tradition. I and most others with science training see big problems with interpreting eretz to mean the entire planet and point out that the language of the Bible does not require us to believe that Noah's flood covered the entire planet. [excerpt]Second peter 2:5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth [person], a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;