Scripture that Young Earth Creationists Must Avoid

earthThe elephant in the room that young earth creationists willfully avoid is that the creation of the planet earth is not within the week of days described in Genesis 1.  The earth is created during an unspecified period of time “in the beginning” (Gen1:1). The earth is present in its primordial state (Gen 1:2) before God declares “let their be light” which begins the creation week (Gen 1:4). The text is clear that the week did not ensue until after the declaration of light (Gen 1:5). So when was the earth created and how long did it take? Genesis does not say but the book of Job describes the process:

“Where were you at my laying the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you possess understanding. Who determined its measurement? Yes, you do know. Or who stretched the measuring line upon it? On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars were singing together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”(Job 38:4–7)

God is questioning Job and challenging him for his impertinence. He describes a process of measuring and building the earth but, even more, the morning stars (angels) are present singing. Angels are created beings (Nehemiah 9:6; Colossians 1:16; Psalm 148:5), who according to this passage were created before the earth.  At minimum, we can derive a significant period of time during which the angels were created and developed worship practices. After all, they are singing as the earth is made. This logic seems unassailable.

Thus, the facile practice of adding up the genealogies plus seven days is sorely mistaken. It is not consistent with the whole counsel of God and should be abandoned by thinking Christians, not on the basis of natural revelation (science) alone but on the basis of its inconsistency with divine relation (scripture).  Unfortunately, it has become a traditional stronghold that unnecessarily discredits the church’s outreach.

The Cosmic Conflict and the Age of the Universe

It seems to me that Bible supports the notion that there was age long before God created man in which the Angelic realm interacted with the triune God for a vast period of time culminating when 1/3 fell into a rebellious state. This idea coheres nicely with many verses that imply an Angelic fascination with man and a literal reading of Genesis in which the entire universe is created in verse one: “In the beginning God created the Heavens and the earth.” This opening declaration in verse 1 stands alone; Seven Hebrew words say it all. If you understand this verse you will have no trouble with any other verse in the Bible.

רֵאשִׁית reshit “the beginning”

The first word is Beresheeth, “In Beginning,” which yields the name of the book of Genesis in Hebrew. Hebrew scholar John Sailhamer contends in his book Genesis Unbound that:

The Hebrew word reshit which Moses used has a very specific sense in scripture. In the Bible the term always refers to an extended yet indeterminate duration of time – never a specific moment. It is a block of time which precedes an extended series of time periods. It is a time before time. The term does not refer to a point in time but to a period or duration of time which falls before a series of events. (Sailhamer, 38)

The Bible simply does not address the amount of time “in the beginning” in which the universe was created.  While we find some Answers in Genesis, we do not find them all, we need to consult the whole counsel of God. The multitude of events that necessarily lie somewhere “in the beginning” is a hermeneutically sound basis for adopting an Old Earth position. This video argues from the text of Genesis as well as appealing to the Angelic conflict which strongly suggests the preexistence of the universe to the “week” of Genesis 1.