Tag Archives: deep time

Paralyzed Christianity

Dearest hijas,

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I haven’t forgotten about you and this blog, mis hijas, but, you know the story. Perhaps this review of Dr. John K. Reed’s “Rocks Aren’t Clocks: A Critique of the Geological Timescale” has been a bit overdrawn, no? Okay, perhaps, so let’s sum this all up and move on, right?

How does this boil down to the warp and woof of “your” Christian living? How does the rubber meet the road here? Why, for God’s sake, does this have anything to do with anything?

I hope you know by now, mis hijas, that for the sake of God and His character, this does have monumental ramifications. You live in the 2nd decade of the 21st century. You’ll probably be around, God willing, until the 7th or 8th decade of this century long after your Momma and I are gone. We live in a time where many of your Christian friends, pastors, and leaders are paralyzed. Paralyzed by the fear of looking foolish in the eyes of the world. Paralyzed by prognostications of the secular elite on the nature of reality. Paralyzed by secular critics that claim Christianity (especially young-earth biblical Christianity) is opposed to science.

These Christians are paralyzed because they won’t believe their own Bibles. They won’t believe that their own Scriptures speaks authoritatively about a universal and worldwide Flood in the days of Noah that explains the rock layers and washes away the millions of years (Gen. 6-9). They won’t believe that a ‘day’ is a ‘day’ just like we know them today (Gen. 1, Ex.20:8-11). They are paralyzed by current scientific announcements and purported data that says the earth is millions and billions of years old, not realizing the bias of the scientists that make these claims and the eyewitness testimony of the God who was there and wrote it down for us. They are brainwashed to believe the idea that rocks, acting as the pages of nature’s history book, are superior to the history of the Bible.

Such a state are we in, mis hijas.

But remember this, as Dr. Reed points out:

…Christian compromise has proven completely ineffective in stopping the secular juggernaut. Two hundred years of retreat is enough. Perhaps in the 1800’s, such views were more understandable. Today, they only aid and abet a secular culture by weakening principled opposition–all for the fleeting flattery of ‘intellectual respectability’. Deep time is inseparable from evolution. And both are inseparable from naturalism.

There is a web of deceit woven all through the secular worldview. Man and woman, born in rebellion to God, seek to use their own reason and the logical powers of their mind, to explain the nature of reality autonomously; apart from God and His revelation. Their whole being ‘shouts’ to them that there is a God; and not just ‘a’ god, but ‘the’ God of which the Bible speaks, and yet they fight with all their might to push this away. Paul in Romans 1 is very clear on this.

So the question becomes, “If the true nature of reality, the true history of Earth and mankind, is presented in the Judeo-Christian Scriptures, especially in Genesis, why have so many Christians accepted and become paralyzed by secular history”?

Dr. Reed responds:

First, few realize they are compromising their worldview. Christianity was the default worldview of the West for so long that the possibility of a secular rival was unanticipated, especially a secular ‘scientific’ opponent rising out of Christianity’s own intellectual tradition. Second, the early secularists were smart. They claimed that there was no conflict with ‘true’ Christianity. The Bible was true as far as it went; it just didn’t talk about geologic time. Moses was ‘primitive’ and ‘unscientific,’ but he was still a nice guy. This scam worked, and the church was lulled into complacency. As time went by, young people were indoctrinated to not question prehistory and evolution.

However, the Bible, mis hijas, claims to be an accurate record and account of history, back to the beginning. It can’t find common ground with secular history that does not acknowledge God as Creator, all peoples on earth, past and present, from Adam and Eve, a worldwide and universal Flood in the days of Noah, and the incarnate Christ come to save us from our sin problem. Bank on it!

With love,
Dear ol’ Dad
Vaya con Dios, mis hijas

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Philosophical Foundations of the Geologic Timescale: Uniformitarianism

Dear hijas,
rocks-arent-clocks
From our last post in reviewing Dr. John Reed’s book “Rocks Aren’t Clocks: A Critique of the Geologic Timescale”, we saw that evolution is one of the foundations of the timescale. It is not the only one however. The concept of uniformitarianism that was promoted primarily by Charles Lyell in the 1830’s is also essential to the concept of deep time and the resulting timescale. Uniformitarianism used in its fullest sense means: a philosophy and method that allows science to become the arbiter of history. For Lyell, it was a mix of the methodological principle of uniformity (a principle which all scientists accept) with the gradualistic theory of history. This well-regulated past of imaginary vast eons, paved the way for Darwin and his evolutionary ideas, quite different from Biblical history, and contrary to the concepts of God creating and then overseeing the cosmos.

Reed says that “All three ideas–evolution, uniformitarianism, and deep time–are closely connected. Although many people today reject Lyell’s gradualism and are increasingly skeptical of evolution, the timescale and geologic history remain unscathed. But if all three are intertwined, the selective rejection of evolution and uniformitarianism, with no consequences for the timescale, seems schizophrenic.”

Reed then goes on to talk about James Hutton’s role in the idea of uniformitarianism. James Hutton, you remember, a Scottish natural philosopher and early geologist in the 1700’s, was called by some ‘The man who found time’. Reed says, “Hutton knew Genesis had to be discredited to make way for his deistic view of history. So he went straight for the jugular–there is nothing more basic to orthodox Christianity than ex nihilo creation and the end of the world at the final judgment; for the Bible begins with the famous words, ‘In the beginning’ and then moves immediately outside the ‘system of nature’ in the next words, ‘God created.'”
uniformitarianism
Remember mis hijas, uniformitarianism is not the same as uniformity, but the secularists like to equivocate here and make them say the same thing. They are not the same thing, however, and you shouldn’t confuse the two. ‘Uniformity’ is an essential axiom of science and is the idea that patterns in nature, or more frequently called ‘natural laws’ operate in the same predictable manner over space, time, and for the most part, scale. Because it is a statement about the nature of reality, it is a metaphysical assertion, justified only by Christian theology. ‘Uniformitarianism’, however, assumes that past causes will be natural ones like those observed in the present. This is not a scientific assertion, but a ‘philosophical’ one. Do you see the difference?

I pray that you do see the difference and that you will be able to share that difference with your friends and colleagues. Uniformity is at the heart of science, uniformitarianism is not.

With Love,
Dear ol’ Dad
Vaya con Dios mis hijas

The Philosophy Underlying Secular GeoHistory’s Timescale

Dear hijas,
It’s been a while since I’ve posted, and I still hope you’re reading when you have time. I want to pick up in Chapter 4 of Dr. John K. Reed’s book “Rocks Aren’t Clocks: A Critique of the Geological Timescale.”
rocks-arent-clocks

What I think we must understand in all this is that we are talking about two opposing worldviews: the Christian worldview versus the secularist worldview (naturalism). God sees men and women in either one of two camps: 1) in Adam, or 2) in Christ. We are either in Adam, unregenerate and dead in our sin and trespass, or under grace in Christ and regenerate to a new life in Him. The Christian worships and serves the Creator, the non-Christian worships and serves herself as the creature (Rom. 1:25). Those are the only two options, and you can’t be half in one and half in the other. It’s an either/or proposition.

When it comes then, to secular geohistory and its billion and millions of year timescale, we must seek to understand from a philosophical viewpoint what the foundations are upon which this timescale was built. If you’ve been reading my posts, you’ll remember that I’ve said that things started to change in this regard in the late 18th century with the Age of Enlightenment. The late 1700’s and early 1800’s are considered to be the start of this new field of geology and the development of its timescale. To our point then, Reed says,

…the timescale possesses a burden of bias stemming from hidden philosophical foundations…stratigraphers use science as a façade to mask philosophical commitments of the naturalistic worldview.

We must remember that naturalism presents itself, to those who can see through its scientific facade, as a religion. As a religion, there are philosophical underpinnings. So, what are the underpinnings or foundations of naturalism’s geologic timescale? Reed says “there at least three ideas closely tied to naturalism that form the foundation of the timescale”:

1) Evolution
2) Uniformitarianism
3) Deep Time

So, let’s take the first one in our list above: evolution. How is evolution an underpinning of the timescale? Reed explains,

The timescale is all about the sequential ordering of a chronology of the past. Arranging any group of objects in a specific order requires a key. This key must contain something in common with all the pieces to be able to unite them into a common group…What is the ‘key’ that allows sequential ordering of different rock layers? It’s not the kind of rock because most rock types are present in most eras. Limestone can be Proterzoic or Paleozoic. Its not the thickness of the formation or the thickness of the beds that make up the formation. In fact, it’s not any physical property. Instead, it is their age–an intangible span of time. What then is the key to assigning discrete time spans to particular formations? Consult any stratigraphic text, and you will see that it is evolution.

geologic timescale 1
It is the changes in fossils, from a progression of simple to complex inherent in evolution, that date strata. “In other words”, Reed says, “the key that allows geologists to assign one layer to one age and another layer to another age is the evolutionary stage of their respective fossil contents…Evolution is the clock by which the rocks are calibrated and arranged in the timescale”.

Reed concludes,

Thus, evolution is crucial to the timescale. How we understand the nature of evolution then affects how we see the timescale… Evolution and the timescale are thus linked by their mutual symbiotic dependence on naturalism. Evolution needs enough time for gradual transformative progress on the biological side, and the timescale is the key to its chronology. That symbiosis is cemented by a mutual antipathy to biblical history. A past without God must explain existence and diversity of life in both present and past. Evolution claims to do so, within the deep time provided by geologic history.

We’ll look at the other foundations in my next post.

With love I remain,
Dear ol’ Dad
Vaya con Dios mis hijas

Secular GeoHistory’s Hidden Fallacies: Part 2

Dear hijas,
rocks-arent-clocks

To continue in our discussion of secular geohistory’s hidden fallacies, and a review of Dr. John K. Reed’s ‘Rock’s Aren’t Clocks-A Critique of the Geologic Timescale’, we’ve already covered secular geohistory’s hidden fallacies 1 & 2 in a previous post. Remember Dr. Reed’s admonition “If Christians are to understand Earth history, they must first understand how it was taken by secular thinkers.”

The four hidden fallacies are:

1) An ignoring of the worldview conflict between Christianity and Naturalism.
2) An assumption of the reality of ‘prehistory’ and its pre-human billions and millions of years.
3) An assumption that natural history is science, and not history.
4) Seeing more ‘history’ in the rocks than is really there.

So, let’s now turn to Fallacy #3: assuming natural history is just science. This fallacy stems from naturalism’s theory of knowledge (its epistemology) which makes science the final and ultimate arbiter of truth. Scientists are convinced that their investigations of the past are by definition scientific endeavors. You’ve heard the expression, the ‘facts of science’? This fallacy and expression assumes that when science speaks, it’s speaking true truth; that its truth claims can’t be challenged because they’re proven by science. But wait a minute, how can science study unique, unobserved, unrepeatable past events of history? The answer is that it can’t. No scientist was there to record the events of the deep past, so what naturalism does to get around this inconsistency is to proffer the concept of ‘uniformitarianism’.

uniformitarianism

Uniformitarianism is remembered by its famous though imprecise statement: “the present is the key to the past.”

According to Reed, ‘uniformitarianism’ works like this:

It works like this. If events in the past were similar to those we observe in the present, then scientists can study present day events and processes, and extrapolate back in time, confident that the sameness predicated by uniformitarianism will make their extrapolations valid.

So, if we change the rules of the game, and couch unique, unobserved, and unrepeatable past events in the scientific term of ‘uniformitarianism’, we’ve effectively moved the goalposts of what used to be the realm of history alone and moved it over to the realm of science. Do you see how easily this was done? And yet this is exactly what has happened. Uniformitarianism, as a scientific term and concept, then becomes unassailable. What a neat trick. The smart Christian should know better however.

You see mis hijas, “Christianity rests upon the Bible. The Bible in turn rests upon confidence in history in general and in revealed history in particular. The fatuous cliché, ‘the Bible is not a textbook of science,’ merely distracts from the fact that it is the only reliable textbook of ancient history'” (John K. Reed, Peter Klevberg, Chris Bennett, Jerry Akridge, Carl R. Froede, Jr., and Thomas Lott, Creation Research Society Quarterly, Vol. 41, No. 3 – Dec. 2004).

So in essence, what we now have is a natural history, purportedly resting on the supposedly scientific concept of uniformitarianism, against a natural history revealed by God Himself in the pages of Scripture. The two views are diametrically opposed to one another, and can’t co-exist in the mind of the Christian. The secularist believes his version of natural history, resting upon an unwarranted conclusion that ‘the present is key to the past’, and the Christian believes the word of God Himself as revealed in Scripture concerning God’s eyewitness testimony of the events of natural history. The problem is that many of your friends, beloved pastors, and theologians are today accommodating the secularist version of natural history. It is truly a travesty. They ought instead to be reminded of Romans 3:4 (NASB):

Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written,
‘THAT THOU MIGHTEST BE JUSTIFIED IN THY WORDS, AND MIGHTEST PREVAIL WHEN THOU ART JUDGED.’

With love, I remain,
Dear ol’ Dad
Vaya con Dios mis hijas

From whence comes thy criticism?

Dear hijas,

It is often noted that those Christians who criticize the recent creation and young earth position (the orthodox position of the Church for 1800 years), vying instead for the secular version of earth history and it’s billions and millions of years, almost never offer their criticism from Scripture. The criticism usually comes from unwarranted belief in supposed secular interpretations of astronomical age, radiometric dating, tree-ring dating, varves, ice cores, and the like, ad absurdum.

But very rarely does a criticism come from the Scriptures and from a theological rendering of the Biblical text. The reason is that you can’t find theological support from Scripture for billions and millions of years. It just isn’t there. And if one’s final authority is not in Scripture, then where is it? Obviously in something other than Scripture (man’s autonomous ideas), which for the Christian poses a big problem; a big 2nd commandment problem; a big idolatry problem.

…for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God…(Ex. 20:5)

Few Christians today who accept an old earth and old cosmos understand this connection. They honor and accept autonomous secular man’s ideas of how old the earth and cosmos are, never investigating and understanding where these ideas came from and the impetus behind them in the first place, and in the same instance dishonor the God they say they have placed their trust in.

They get their knowledge and base their salvation on the words of Scripture in the Gospels concerning Christ’s death and resurrection and solution for their sin problem, yet on the other hand disbelieve and discount these same Scriptures in Genesis when it comes to Creation in six days and a young earth. It’s a sad and harmful intellectual schizophrenia.

Few realize they are dishonoring the Christ they say they love, for He Himself in His work of Creation was Holy, and pure, and blameless. Attributing to Christ the deaths of millions and millions of His very own created creatures, let alone the natural evils of killer earthquakes, asteroid bombardment, mega-tsunamis, disease, decay, and massive destruction against His very own work in Creation over billions and millions of years, and all before Adam sinned, is a charge against Christ that is nothing but unadulterated blasphemy.

We are told to “Love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind (Matt. 22:37), yet few realize what loving God with all your mind requires. It requires an evaluation of one’s intellectual thinking on any matter whatsoever and slicing and dicing it up against the words of God Himself in Scripture. Does it comport, or is there variance? If variance, what warrant is there for believing man’s ideas against the almighty and omnipotent Creator of the universe? Does the creature have warrant and justification for shaking his fist at God and saying to the Almighty he thinks he knows better; that the Almighty doesn’t really mean what He says He means? He does so to his own jeopardy and peril.

With love, I remain,
Dear ol’ Dad
Vaya con Dios mis hijas

Are Rocks Clocks? Support for millions and billions of years? Installment V

Dear hijas,

To get to the heart of where the idea of millions and billions came from and how secular elites “found” time, we must continue in our discussions of what transpired during the Enlightenment. It was during the 1700’s and early to mid 1800’s that our world in terms of Earth science and Natural History was shaped, molded, and transformed by the views of these early naturalists. Western culture began to drift away from its Christian roots. The science of geology was beginning in earnest, but it was only part of this cultural trend; the triumph of secular philosophy over theology was seen as well.

These years were coined “the Enlightenment”, as a result of secular man and especially the savants and naturalists in Europe, thinking they were “breaking free” of the bonds of religion that had bound them in intellectual prison for so long. They were now “enlightened thinkers”, not beholden to the restraints of some old book like the Bible, and free to discover the natural world without thought or care of its Creator. They had already rejected Biblical history, so it was no stretch to begin to “see” in the rocks and other processes of earth the vast eons of time that supposedly preceded man, and as I have mentioned previously this was well before the development of the geological timescale.

To refresh: deep time rests on the geologic timescale. The timescale rests on a belief that cannot be tested by science. In other words, the timescale is not a ‘proof’ of deep time; but rather an icon of secular history. And as an alternative secular history is in direct conflict with a Biblical history, it is important to understand and see its implications.

Dr. John Reed says it this way:

Despite secular propaganda, the most important issues tied to the myth of deep time are not questions of science. On the surface, they are questions of history. When we begin to dig deeper, we find the basic questions are those of philosophy and theology. As such, they are the legitimate concern of every human being, and are the basis for understanding the truth about history.

You see, all people are philosophers whether they realize it or not. We all ask the same big questions about the meaning of life, our origin, our standards, and our happiness. We want to know such things as what the future holds, and what happens after we die. We’re finite beings, so we don’t and can’t know everything, but we all ask the same big questions. And history is a big question. So realistically, being finite, we can’t and don’t know every detail, but we do need to understand the framework. Is that framework a secular history with millions and billions of years, life from non-life kicked up out of the pond scum by an indifferent and uncaring universe, or is it the framework of a Biblical history with God as Creator and man as created in His image with purpose and love?

The secular history developed during the Enlightenment, with its geological timescale and its millions and billions of years of vast prehistory, effectively decoupled us from God. A creator 4.5 billion years away has little to do with present-day life.

As Dr. Reed further states:

Did that prehistory really exist? Those that think so point to the geologic timescale; those who do not, point to Genesis. One is upheld by a claim to be God’s eyewitness account. The other is supported by the idea that rocks are clocks. Which side has the better case?

As always, I remain,
Dear ol’ Dad
Vaya con Dios mis hijas

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

Are Rocks Clocks? Support for Millions and Billions of Years? Installment Two

Dear hijas,

To continue in my review of geologist John K. Reed’s new book “Rocks Aren’t Clocks: A Critique of the Geologic Timescale” (Creation Book Publishers, Powder Springs, GA, 2013).

One of Dr. Reed’s key points is that the geologic timescale has played a key evangelistic role for the worldview of naturalism, the worldview antithetical to Biblical Christianity. He defines naturalism as ‘the secular worldview opposing Christianity in favor of materialism (matter is all there is), and its logical derivatives: evolution, uniformitarian geology, and deep time.”

The contrast is between Biblical history and secular history. This secular history is believed to be contained in the history of the rocks–the geologic timescale. This geologic history can be distinguished from Biblical history by the use of the term “prehistory”. For secularists, prehistory represents almost the entire past of the planet–billions of years that predate human civilization, Reed says, and the template of prehistory is the geologic timescale.

He defines the geologic timescale (you’ve seen the pictures in my previous posts and studied them in your geology classes), as a linear chronology following a number of distinct ages, through four grand eons–the Hadean, Archean, Proterozoic, and Phanerozoic. The Phanerozoic, which is the most well-known, contains the eras of Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic. Take a look at any old geology text you may have, and you’ll see these headings clearly delineated.

So, prehistory = the geologic timescale = deep time = old earth. These terms are all somewhat synonymous, and are inextricably linked. In another article (Journal of Creation, Vol27(3) 2013), Reed and Doyle say, “Since the late 18th century, many Christian academics and theologians have embraced an old earth, claiming that it is compatible with Christianity. Even conservative Christians have been swept along. They think deep time and Christianity are like Romeo and Juliet–lovers fated to be together. The process has become predictable; scientists advance the latest iteration of the old-earth paradigm using ‘scientific evidence’ and theologians follow meekly, generating new interpretations of Genesis to accommodate it.”

What’s wrong with the word “prehistory”, you might ask? Well, it embraces the secular worldview, doesn’t it. It’s an icon of naturalism. It’s a confirmation that Biblical history is false. Christians shouldn’t use it, especially as the secularists define it. Think about what it implies, and contrast it to the Biblical worldview of a recent and mature 6×24 Creation. The two are not compatible.

Reed continues in ‘Rocks Aren’t Clocks’ that ‘one of the first issues to address is to decide which branches of knowledge are legitimate sources of truth about the past.’ He argues that ‘natural history does not belong to any one discipline, but is a mixture of science, history, philosophy, and religion. Science provides a forensic analysis, history provides a meta-narrative, and worldviews provide the necessary context for meta-theories such as creation or evolution. In other words, as we try to understand the past, we cannot avoid issues outside science.’

So then, what are the consequences of this secular view of history, this prehistory and geologic timescale, the one of which is the template for the other? ‘Whether there was a vast prehistory in Earth’s past is a question well worth asking because the answer has significant consequences’, Reed says.

Stay tuned, for we’ll pick up our discussion of the consequences of secular geologic history in my next post.

With love, I remain,
Dear ol’ Dad
Vaya con Dios mis hijas

Deep Time: It’s ‘Discovery’, Promulgation, and Use Against the Biblical Worldview: Part 5

fuzzy clock Dear hijas, Why is this issue important? Am I making a mountain out of a mole hill? Is ‘deep time’ and it’s millions and billions of years that big a deal in the whole scheme of things, and does it really affect the gospel we preach to the unregenerate? Why can’t we just focus on the ‘simple’ gospel, and leave all this other stuff about millions and billions of years out of it? The reason, mis hijas, is that there is no such thing as the ‘simple’ gospel. Yes, you can boil it all down to ‘Jesus died on the Cross and was resurrected on the Third Day to save you from your sins and to bring you back into a right relationship with God’, but without the history of why she’s (the unregenerate) a sinner, or who God is as her Creator and her relationship to Him; without the history of an actual space-time Fall in an historical Adam and Eve and the Curse that resulted from this Fall into sin; without an answer to this sin problem in the person of Jesus Christ and His death as substitutionary and propitiatory satisfaction for her, the ‘simple’ gospel makes no sense. In other words, actual history is important. There has to be a back-story to how she got to be where she is today, and she needs to know this, intellectually, for her mind to grasp that she’s a sinner in need of saving. This only happens through the work of the Holy Spirit, but it is our responsibility and pleasure to be the means that the Holy Spirit uses to open up her mind. And we better have the history right, or the whole house of cards comes tumbling down.

So where do millions and billions of years come into this you ask? Why do long eons of time destroy this gospel back-story? John 1: 3 states:

All things came into being by Him; and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

Colossians 1:16-17 states,

For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on the earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

Who is the ‘Him’ these verses are talking about? Jesus the Christ, the 2nd person of the Trinity. Christ is revealed to us here as Creator. It is Christ who has brought all things into existence that have come into existence. He is the agent in Creation. work When we come to Christ’s work then,  we must consider not only His work on the Cross in redeeming us, but his work in Creation in bringing all of the great biodiversity of life and all things, both animate and inanimate into existence. This is where millions and billions of years destroys the gospel. The gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ. That good news encompasses the totality of who Jesus is; His goodness, love, and mercy. It encompasses the totality of His character; His justice, peace and righteousness. The question then becomes when one looks at the work of Christ in Creation, ‘How is His love, mercy, goodness, justice, peace and righteousness reflected in what He has made?

Consider the hurricane. Its destructive power can stretch across hundreds of miles, maiming and killing, uprooting and stripping everything in its path. There is some speculation in the current scientific community that a series of ‘hypercanes’ resulting from an impact by a large asteroid or comet contributed to the demise of the dinosaurs.

Consider the asteroid and large meteorite impacts evidenced upon the earth. A large impact called the Chicxulub crater on the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula and Gulf of Mexico is thought to have been the event that brought the demise of the dinosaurs. This impact is not the only one on earth in evidence from ages past.

Consider disease. Cancer, tumors, influenza, infectious necrotic hepatitis, malaria, Sudan ebolavirus, foot-and-mouth disease, and coccidia. Consider volcanoes. Not just the regular ones we see today, but the massive super-volcanoes the size that sit under Yellowstone National Park today and was thought to have erupted in the past.

Consider all manner of natural evil in the world today, and in the world of ages past and ask yourself this question, mis hijas: Do death, disease, destruction and decay represent the work of the Lord Jesus Christ in His act of creation? Do death, disease, decay and destruction on massive scales happening all over the globe tell us how Christ created through the biodiversity of life over eons and eons and finally arrived at man? Is the God of death and disease, decay and destruction the God we sing about in Church on Sunday? Is He the God we worship and hold up in wonder and awe, praising Him for His great works and altogether Otherness?

May it never be! But this is the God and Christ of millions and billions of years. The Christ of millions and billions of years is impugned with death, disease, decay and destruction all before Adam came on the scene and sinned. They become part and parcel to His Holy character. Do you see how this utterly destroys the gospel? It smashes completely the God of perfection and love and goodness and kindness, wherein no evil dwells. It robs Christ of His HOLY and RIGHTEOUS character, creating a world of wholeness, goodness, and completeness, and impugns Him with creating a world of suffering and pain, death and disease, and destruction in overwhelming abundance. This is certainly not the Christ we worship, is it?

With love I remain

Dear ol’ Dad

Vaya con Dios mis hijas

Deep Time: It’s “Discovery”, Promulgation, and Use Against the Biblical Worldview: Part 4

Dearest hijas,

The history of ‘deep time’ is a fascinating one to follow. What I mean by that, is that it’s fascinating to follow how many times the dates changed and their progression, and the infighting and grandstanding with the individuals involved and the dates they were trying to protect. We didn’t start out with a 13.8 billion year old universe and a 4.5 billion year old earth. We arrived there over the course of time and after a lot of fanagling and arm-twisting, and push-pull between the secular parties wishing to separate science from theology.

As I mentioned in my last post, the Greeks from the 3rd and 4th centuries BC, and even earlier perhaps with the Milesian school of Greek philosophy in the sixth century BC, had believed in long ages and had taught a theory of evolution long before Darwin. One can study the writings of Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximenes to see this. Evolutionary myths had also found their way into the religions, philosophies and mythology of countries from Egypt to China. Confucianism, Taoism, Hinduism and Buddhism all reflect an evolutionary cosmology as part of their story of origins. One might even begin to argue that the beginning of evolutionary cosmologies and long ages goes back to the Sumerian/Babylonian civilization that arose after the universal and worldwide judgment of God in the Flood of Noah and scattering of people groups at the Tower of Babel in the 3rd millennium BC.

We have to remember that the Hebrew people group have always believed in a recent creation and thousands, not millions and billions, of years for the age of the cosmos and earth. The Jewish calendar of today reflects this; 2013 in the Gregorian calendar is the year AM (Anno Mundi or year of the world) 5773 in the Jewish calendar. That is, according to the Jewish way of reckoning, it has been 5,773 years since ex nihilo creation by God of all that exists. The early Christian Church in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd centuries AD took this reckoning from the Jewish Scriptures and carried it forward. It comes from Genesis 1 and the Biblical chronologies found in Genesis 5, 10 & 11, 1 Chronicles 1, Matthew 1 and Luke 3.

When we come to the beginning of the Christian era we find a fascinating thing. Humans have for the most part, always tried to keep track of time, in an historical sense. Early Christian historians and chronologists were no exception. Eusebius of Caesarea (265-339 AD) was just such an historian and chronologist.

Eusebius

Eusebius was the bishop of Caesarea and a prolific writer. Writing in honor of Emperor Constantine around the time of the Council of Nicea, he put together a book that was a chronology of world history; combining as he did the histories of the Jews, Egyptians, Assyrians, Greeks and Romans. He used three sources: the Hebrew Bible, Flavius Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews, and Julius Africanus’ Chronologia. Africanus (160-240 AD), was considered the father of biblical chronology and may have borrowed from a brief chronology by Theophilus of Antioch (115-180 AD), 50 years earlier. In each historian; Josephus, Theophilus, Africanus, and Eusebius, the date for the age of the creation by God of all things was not yet 6000 years. This was carried forward by later chronologists: Isidore of Seville (560-636), Bede the Venerable (673-735), Joachim of Fiore (1135-1202). When we get to the 1500’s, Martin Luther’s chronology (Supputatio Annorum Mundi) had a creation date of 3961 B.C. A century after Luther, Archbishop of Armaugh, James Ussher calculated a creation date of 4004 B.C. in his Annals of the Old Testament. Ussher’s calculations were placed in the margins of the then very popular King James Bible. The great astronomer Johannes Kepler’s chronology and after him, Isaac Newton’s chronology all had a recent creation of the cosmos and earth, and all were not yet 6000 years to the date of their writings.

The point, mis hijas, is that the church, since its inception and through the ages with the writings of these historians and chronologists has always believed in an approximately 6000 year old date for the cosmos and earth. It wasn’t until the late 1700’s that this changed. ‘Deep time’ would be conceived once again in the birth of modern geology and men like James Hutton, William Playfair, and Charles Lyell. The church would then capitulate, trying to accommodate long ages to Biblical statements. This was disastrous, and we are where we are today with numerous compromise theories vying for market share in the minds of the Christian community. Very few churches, very few denominations, very, very few seminaries and theological institutions teach and believe what the church once believed through 18 centuries of its history. This to a complete shattering and undermining of the gospel we say we believe and preach to an unbelieving nation and world.

With love, I remain,

Dear ol’ Dad

Vaya con Dios mis hijas