Are Rocks Clocks? Secular Geological History and Deep Time: Installment Three

Dear hijas,

What are the consequences of secular geologic history as seen in the geologic timescale and deep time? ‘The key’, Reed says (Rocks Aren’t Clocks; A Critique of the Geologic Timescale), ‘is in the effect geologic history has had on popular perceptions of the Bible.’ ‘Several centuries ago’, he continues, ‘even those who were not Christians saw the Bible as generally true and reliable in its history.’ This is sadly, no longer true. ‘The Bible has been discarded, and its history replaced by the strata’ (of the geologic column), ‘which many see as the pages of nature’s history book.’

There are two competing worldviews here, aren’t there? On one hand is the traditional Judeo-Christian worldview, with a 6×24 recent and mature creation of all that exists and man as an immortal being created in God’s image. On the other is deep time, life from non-life, a God who is either absent or, at best, makes cameo appearances, and man as simply the current stage of evolution. ‘The two histories are different in content, in method, and in meaning.’

‘This cultural chasm,’ Reed says, ‘cannot be underestimated.’ You see, mis hijas, most churches are content to exist with a form of intellectual schizophrenia; teaching biblical history back to Abraham and treating everything before him as myth or poetry. This is not only concerning, but downright falsity and heterodoxy.

‘We should look at the results of each view,’ Reed continues. ‘We often hear of people complaining about Christianity, but where would we be without it? It takes little examination of the alternatives to realize what a boon for mankind this Christianity has been. Christianity provided the basis for the rule of law, objective standards of right and wrong, science and technical advancement, education, a unique way of appreciating others as image-bearers of God, strong families to protect the individual from political tyranny, and a heritage of freedom and liberty.’

‘Secularism, on the other hand,’ Reed says, ‘encourages the human tendency to tyranny, oppression, conquest, war, and mass murder. One only need think of France in 1790, Russia in 1920, or China in 1960. Even where overt totalitarianism is opposed, there is still a creeping tyranny of bureaucracy and regulation. At best, secularism provides only for people’s material needs, leaving them spiritually impoverished.’ ‘Secularism simply cannot supply meaning to life in the way that Christianity has for two thousand years.’

When we understand that evolution did not appear in a vacuum, but that Darwin needed an historical setting for his biological tale, and understand that this prehistory is the geologic timescale (i.e., the rocks are keepers of the time), then we will finally see the nature of this problem as it truly is. Reed concludes this section by saying, ‘If secular prehistory describes the past, then Genesis is not true. If so, it cannot be considered God’s Word. If so, how can the rest of the Bible be trusted? That is why our culture is now thoroughly secular and why many Christians simply live with this uncomfortable inconsistency. But we cannot manage such a fundamental contradiction for very long. Therefore, we must face it. And the first step is to understand how we got here'(to this point in the first place).

As always, I remain,

Dear ol’ Dad

Vaya con Dios mis hijas

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