Friday, January 17, 2014

When the Stars align: Bill Nye the Science guy vs Ken Ham

Perhaps you know about the big news?  Bill Nye “The science guy” (who recently caught national attention, claiming that teaching creationism in schools hurts students) will debate Ken Ham (CEO & founder of the Creation Museum) at the Creation Museum.  The topic of the debate:  "Is creation a viable model of origins in today's modern scientific era?"  The tickets for the February 4th debate sold out, in just two minutes! You can watch it for free:

If you’re unfamiliar with the Creation Museum (it’s near Cincinnati) it’s similar to our region’s Grey Fossil museum; in fact, both museums begin their exhibit with a timeline.  There are differences though. The Creation Museum is much larger in scale and grandeur; our modest museum here is adjacent to an actual active dig.  And as you may have guessed, they promote two different views on our origins.  We have taken our children to both and I highly recommend visiting both museums.

Even though I’m deeply passionate about this topic, I can’t say I’m excited about the upcoming debate.  I think Bill Nye will embarrass believers by making short work of Ken Ham.  It’s not that I think Ham is wrong about God creating everything.  Neither do I disagree with Ham’s views that God sparked life -- literally creating man from the dust of the earth.  Nor do I disagree with a literal 24 hour, Seven Days of Creation.  I think Ham will lose ground on a field not worth fighting over, namly Ham’s dogmatic view on the age of the earth.  

With all of the evidence that our universe is 15 billion years old and our planet appears to be 4.5 billion years old, no one benefits from Ham arguing the case for a “young earth” that’s only 10,000 year old.  In fact, when we talk with non-believers about our origins, we instantly lose creditably if we squabble over the (insignificant) age of the universe.  The Bible isn’t written as a science textbook and our goal isn’t to give a date -- nowhere does the Bible reveal it, neither does the Bible suggest we should argue for the age of the universe.  

How do I personally try to collaborate the Biblical account of creation with the scientific evidence -- accounting for the fate of the dinosaurs and of a world that appears far older than the genealogy of Adam?  The best explanation is, there are eons elapsing between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2.  Read “in between” the lines; in Genesis 1:1 God created the heavens and the earth, but by verse 2, everything is literally broken, chaotic, and dark.  When God creates it is good, so what happened?  In between Gen 1:1 & 1:2, more than likely, is when satan rebelled and was exiled from heaven. This would explain the cataclysmic devastation that is described in Gen 1:2, and it would explain why the serpent is already in the Garden of Eden in Genesis chapter 3.   

Ham should focus on issues where faith & science align, topics where he and his staff are well versed.  Namely, that the earth and all forms of life display an uncanny trait, intelligent design.  Darwinism can’t account for life spontaneously appearing in a hostile universe or for intelligence/creativity/ration/reason/logic/communication all developing from the void of space.  Between the “Anthropic principle” (where the earth is uniquely stationed for life to thrive), the massive amount of information encoded in DNA (requiring an intelligent source), and the irreducible-complexity of cellular life that could not have evolved but had to be fully assembled for life to even exist in the first place (like a mousetrap, every simplistic piece must be in place before function is possible, remove just one component and it won’t work), we have solid, defensible reasons to believe in the Creator God of the Bible.   

If we are wise, we will not perpetuate a false dichotomy between science & faith.  Francis Bacon (1561-1626), the founder of our modern scientific method, was also a devout Christian.  Bacon and his contemporaries wanted to study God’s creation, to understand God better.  Our first modern scientists did not attempt to disprove God through science, they used science to point people towards God.  Isaac Newton, for example, wrote more books on Theology than he ever did on math and physics.

Francis Bacon has a great quote we would do well to memorize: “God has, in fact, written two books, not just one. Of course, we are all familiar with the first book he wrote, namely Scripture. But he has written a second book called creation.”  As the Apostle Paul wrote nearly 2,000 years ago, “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.  For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:19-20, ESV)

When it comes to the universe, science may well provide a “What,” but science can’t offer a “Why.”  The beginning question for all people, believers, agnostics or atheists alike is, “Why is there something rather than nothing?”  After all, what is it that we are trying to convince people of, dates on a calendar, or the reality of the God who created Time?  
Please SEE KEN HAM'S response:

Also, What you need to know before you watch the debate:

My post-debate thoughts:


Unknown said...

Personally, I find the 'Gap Theory' you explained to be the most reasonable of answers for a bible believer so I too have reservations when 'Christians' and 'Atheists' debate Creation and Evolution as if it's faith vs Science since they're not mutually exclusive concepts. In fact, the bible has revealed an astounding amount of scientific fact before the scientific world was forced to accept it.

So, Christians should stop trying to argue things that aren't biblically supported, and atheists should stop trying to say their 'theories' are proven to be face when they have a hundred logic gaps. When doing research I've always said that if you wear blinders and exercise a limited perspective, then it's no wonder you get the results you manipulated all the facts to attain!

Thanks again for the write up!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Craig Cottongim said...

Thank you.

Mary Bello said...

I did believe in evolution, but since I became a Christian I have radically changed my views. I believe that Ken Ham will run circles around Bill Nye. All of creation sings of the glory of God. I love that I believe I have a creator who not only created me, but knows the numbers of hairs on my head.

Barry Desborough said...

Scott said...

What is all this evidence you speak of for ancient earth? Carbon dating is flawed if that is the evidence you speak of. I too used to hold to the gap theory, but in a little different timing than you. I always thought we never knew how old Adam and Eve really were before the tempting in the garden, before they were mortal. Yet Ham's systematic, biblical approach made me think otherwise. I look forward to the debate and don't have any reservation that Ken Ham will be gifted with the Holy Spirit to defend our faith without embarrassment.

Barry Desborough said...

Scott, look at my link in my previous post. It in turn links to solid evidence of evolution and an ancient universe. It is creationism that ridicules belief in God, trying to tie belief in Him to false, untenable beliefs about the world.

RussandCarmen Westbrook said...

I can't disagree with you more strongly. The Scriptures are the foundation upon which we stand, and the issue of what has actually happened in history is the very heart of God's Covenant with us in Christ. That the Bible teaches that it has been 6000 or so years since creation took place matters.

Craig Cottongim said...

The Bible does not give a date for creation, nor does it command we defend any date for creation. Creation dating is a moot issue. I don't care how old the world is, my point is, arguing for a date of the earth is pointless, that subject will get us nowhere in reaching lost people, it is not a hill worth dying on. Who cares? The age of the earth is not proof of anything, and arguing for a young earth only alienates you and marginalises you. You can play the martyr or the champion of Truth all you want, but you'll never be affective. Paul on Mars hill tailored his speech to his Greek audience, and many Christians today need to learn a lesson on how to dialogue too.

And, carbon dating aside, the age of the universe is dated by cosmic microwave background. That science is well established.

I do not need to debate the age of the earth with anyone, I could care less about it. I want to reach people with the Good news of Jesus, and since the Bible is silent on this subject, it is not one worth arguing about.

Clinecrowd5 said...

and the Gap Theory people might find themselves embarrassed when Ken proves what the Bible says to be true.
Ken Ham will not make a fool of anyone! Bill, on the other hand, would not want to be in his shoes.

Ultimately, I would like to not only see Ken show Biblical Proof of Young Earth, but also strike a cord with Bill, forcing him to his knees, begging Christ to forgive him and please come into his life!

Unknown said...

I don't think you understand the 'Gap Theory' concept, it isn't denying the bible, in fact it is acknowledging that God has not told us everything, only enough for salvation. God said the creation and universe showed His invisible qualities, and astro physicists and the known laws of physics certainly establishes His immense undefinable age. I simply acknowledge God's grandeur and don't force Him into a small box which isn't biblical. The box is an interpretation others try to force everything else to fit into.

Craig Cottongim said...

There's no way to "prove" the age of the earth from the Bible, the Bible is silent on the age of the earth --so to say "when Ken proves what the Bible says is true" doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Instead of worrying about proving the age of rocks, we need to point people to the Rock of ages!

Greg said...

Craig, the reason the age of the Earth matters, is because people have left and ARE leaving the faith because of the differences in the age of the earth between what science and what the Bible does teach very plainly, as well as the teaching of evolution. If you have never heard science claim an ancient age of the Earth, I wager you would have never heard of a "gap theory", much less bought into it. The same is true for Christians who try to fit evolution into the Bible. People need to be able to believe what the Bible says. Once you start picking it apart, by saying things like there must be a huge amount of time between days 1 and 2, then you are simply chaging what the Bible plainly says. Once that ball starts rolling, where will it stop. And to be clear, Secular Science has an agenda, and a reason to "find" that the Earth is ancient. Every known "proof" that they have put forth can be explained away. Yet, there are MANY scientific examples that show that the Earth is MUCH younger than millions of years. Take the position of the moon and the amount of salt in the seas as two examples. To learn more, research it, or better yet, watch the debate, and maybe you will actually be the one embarassed by your lack of knowledge.

Craig Cottongim said...

Greg, proving the age of the earth doesn't prove a creator exist nor does it validate the Bible, and the Bible is silent on the age of the earth, and we have no instruction to argue the age of the earth. We need to stick to other cosmological topics in debating evolutionists, ones that are scientifically significant like the Anthropic principle.

daotherguy said...

Craig, You mention Issac Newton, but he seemed to think the Bible included the date of creation. Read his last book. Its not hard. Just arithmetic. And Francis Bacon would be interested in seeing the experimental data on evolution, if there was any.

No origins science can be "proven". It is simply which "Model" matches the evidence. Yes, a creationist is "handicapped" by their world view. The creation model must conform to scripture. And why not, the Bible is the Word.

Greg said...

You determine the age by the genealogies, which when estimated, and from Abraham to Adam give you approximately 2000 years, give or take, and most historians agree that Abraham lived about 200 BC, which is about 4000 years ago. Added together, it is 6000. I would even concede so much as 8000 - 10000, as the genealogies are not all precise. The point is, a lot of people believe the Earth is that age, based on the Bible, and have historically for Centuries. Not until science came along and erroneously claimed the Earth was much older, did anyone question a 7 literal day creation, or imagine an ancient earth age, as it would disagree with the Bible. S0 yeah, in a way, saying the Earth is much older, is like saying the Bible is wrong, which insinuates there is no God. That is the point of evolution as well. There is no difference.

Salvation issue? Probably not. Stumbling block for many? I think so.

Greg said...

Oops, I meant Abraham lived about 2,000 B.C.

Joanne Beange said...

“I do not need to debate the age of the earth with anyone, I could care less about it. I want to reach people with the Good news of Jesus, and since the Bible is silent on this subject, it is not one worth arguing about.”

Silent on the subject? I think not! Genesis 1:1 - God told us about something He did - He created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:2 - “and this is how I did it.” This is a common technique many writers use. There is no room for a supposed gap between the two - you are reading something between those verses that simply isn’t there and showing that you are guilty of doing the same thing you accuse Ken Ham and other YEC’s of doing.

God told us quite plainly that He created from the very beginning in 6 literal days. In fact He made it so clear that even a child can understand the concept. Then He gave us all the genealogies from Adam right up to the time of Christ. There is no room for millions of years in them, either. God did not tell us when the fall of satan took place - He is silent on that subject as well, so to suggest it comes between those two verses does both God and His word a great injustice.

You do not seem to understand that the evidence consists of facts that have to be interpreted and that interpretation depends on one’s world view. The earth only appears to be 4.5 billion years old because that is the way the facts have been interpreted. Some serious study of creationist literature will show credible support for a young earth as well.

I agree that the Bible isn’t written as a science text book, BUT whenever it mentions a scientific issue it is always correct. And it does give an approximate age - one doesn’t have to be a mathematician to figure it out. The Bible may not suggest that we specifically argue for the age of the universe but it does tell us many times to beware of being deceived. I do not argue with non-believers about the age of the earth but when the topic does come up, I do give a reasoned response for why I believe what I believe and I can back it up with science if necessary. But that is a last resort as I prefer to let the Word do its work without any interference from me. And I've yet to lose credibility with anyone I have witnessed to.

Let me ask you this. If we cannot take God at His word in the very opening verses of scripture, then just where do we start doing so? And who decides? Either the Word of God is trustworthy right from the very first verse or it is not.

I am not saying that belief in a literal creation is necessary for one to be saved and neither is Ken Ham. What I am saying is that inserting millions of years into scripture where millions of years is never spoken of, can be both a huge stumbling block in the way of someone accepting Christ or a hindrance to a believer’s spiritual growth.

Unfortunately, many ministers of the Word have caved in on this issue and it will come back to bite them.

Tim Anderson said...

Craig, I agree with you that the most important thing we can do is reach people with the good news of Jesus Christ. However, I have a few points to make.

1. Bible Credibility
You spoke in your blog about the Bible not being written as nor intended to be a science book. That certainly is true. However, since as faithful believers we accept the inerrancy and infallibility of Scripture, anytime it addresses a scientific topic or contains information that is considered scientific, it would, necessarily, be true. If Christians begin to doubt the trustworthiness of Genesis, then how can they expect nonbelievers to believe and trust the Gospel in the New Testament? Furthermore, it puts nonbelievers in the position of not knowing which parts of the Bible to believe and which parts to interpret as they choose. 

2. Gap Theory?
I see no Biblical or historical evidence for a gap theory, and I believe that the heavens and the earth were created on day one of creation week; but if there truly was an eons long gap between Genesis1:1 and 1:2, then only the empty space and the earth itself (the heavens and the earth) would be very old, since that is all that was created according to Genesis 1:1. Everything else...stars, planets, plants, animals, humans, etc, would still have been created during the six 24 hr days of creation around six thousand years ago. Thus, the gap theory still would not square with the idea of an old universe, only an old earth. Everything on the earth and everything in outer space would still be young. 

3. Creation/Evolution Debate is Current
You wrote about tailoring our speech towards a particular audience as Paul did with the Greeks. I agree that we should do that. Right now, Creation, Evolution and the age of the earth and the universe are very hot topics. Therefore, rather than avoid these topics, we should use them as springboards for the gospel. In order to do that, pastors need to equip their parishioners to be well versed in these subjects and ready and able to answer questions and defend the truth of God's Word as they speak about and live out the Good News.

4. Determining Creation Date is Possible
Though the Bible does not give a specific creation date, God included the information we need to determine the approximate date of creation using the Genesis genealogies and very specific birth/death information. Adding up the years from Adam to the present day comes to about six thousand years. The idea that there may have been gaps in the genealogies is not plausible if one actually studies the Genesis genealogies.

5. Conflicting Statements 
If you truly do not care about how old the earth is and think it is pointless to argue for a date of the earth, then I feel compelled to ask why you describe yourself as passionate about this topic and why you stated that the existence of cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB) proves an Old Earth? Clearly, it does matter to you. I agree with you that the days of creation were six literal 24 hour days, but I believe that an unbiased study of the evidence proves a young Earth.
6. Existence of CMB Does Not Prove the Old Earth View
Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation - electromagnetic radiation coming from all directions in space in the form of microwaves left over from initial creation -  does not prove that the universe is old, due to the uniformity of temperature over great distance throughout the universe. The reason some people believe that CMB proves an old universe is because it was old universe Big Bang theorists who predicted its existence before it was detected. However, the uniformity of temperature over great distance found in CMB actually supports a young earth. For a summary discussion, see this article:

Thanks for the thought provoking post, Craig. 

Greg said...

Wow, Johanne and Tim, very well said!! Tim, I especially like your point number 3. I think this and the evolution topic can and are great springboard topics to use towards non-believers. Once you present the scientific evidence against an ancient Earth and evolution, which they have never heard before, then their worldview is turned upside down. I have seen it happen personally, and Ray Comfort has done some similar things on his show.

But once you start trying to fit things into the Bible to make room for what secular science says, yet in doing so, you seem to really be stretching what the Bible actually says, I think you lose a substantial amount of persuasion, with believers and non-believers alike. A poll was done asking twenty-somethings, who had grown up in the church, yet had left their faith what were the reasons, and the age of the Earth was at or near the top. We need to stop trying to twist and conform God's Word to what the world is saying. As Tim pointed out, the Gap Theory makes no sense, and even kids see the problems. So when people like pastors say that is the explanation for an ancient age of the Earth, in regards to what the Bible says, it really reeks of dishonesty and desperation, which does far more harm than good.

shawn barr said...

Notice that the topic of the debate: "Is creationism a viable model of origins in today's modern scientific era." Although the age of the earth is a part of this topic, it is not the only factor being debated.

I've seen Ken debate in person, he is very articulate, knowledgeable, and gracious. It should be a good debate and I doubt that embarrassment to the cause of Christ or the creation position will be the outcome.

Doug Bess said...

We should take the Bible for what it says and not read into it the world's theories. If there was a gap then the Lord would have said so. We all need to take heed to Revelation 22:18-19

You responded to Craig and Carmen that you didn't care how old the earth is, and that you only want to reach others for Jesus. Well that should be the goal for all who proclaim to be Christians. But also important after a person receives Christ is that he or she needs to read the Bible for guidance in their lives. The Bible is reliable and tell us what we need to know and don't need to know. I take the Bible over science all the time because God was there from the beginning.

Unknown said...

Clearly the idea that the 'Gap Theory' is the one not reading anything new into the bible is lost on many people. The bible, and the Hebrew in Genesis, doesn't define the type of creation, nor does it explain the fall of Satan and the spiritual war that occurred before the garden. 'New earthers' hijacked the idea of Creation and are reading into the bible a lot of things that just aren't explained.

Concerning interpretations and reading things into the text that aren't there, do you keep the Sabbath like Christ or read into scripture that it was done away with? Do you do the food laws? Or do you read into Paul's writings and force modern 'Christian' interpretations upon the bible?

I think placing God in a box, where he never defined things, is a huge mistake and will make you look worst than foolish in the end as you are trying to argue God said something when He didn't.

Once again, this isn't the bible vs science people! This is someone's very very narrow interpretation of the bible debating a flawed subpar science.

Doug Bess said...

Unknown,you are the one putting God in a box saying that he could not create the heavens and earth in six literal days. God could have done it in a second if He wanted but He chose to do it the way he did. After all He gave us the 7 day week.

Unknown said...

I guess you still don't understand the box, not saying he can't, just saying he didn't say it in the original language and there are gaps He left to indicate it was a recreation. To say he had to do it your way, a way not really supported by physics and the original Biblical Hebrew is putting Him in a box. If you understand that then you'll be able to see that a Gap concept allows for the age of the earth, the universe, and the biblical narrative of creation, and it is simply acknowledging God did not give all the details of this universe's creation within a verse or two.

Unknown said...

If that still doesn't make sense, and you can't see scripture from another broader point of view then ok, the debate is moot when one side can't understand the other's perspective.

With that in mind, this topic, though important, is not one unto salvation and there are a lot more spiritually relevant topics that you and Modern Christianity should read into. The bible is supposed to be read 'here a little, there a little,' and it demands reading without preconceptions and previous man-formed ideas and conventions.

Doug Bess said...

Unknown, the last part of the last sentence on your 3:05 pm post is correct. That method is called hermeneutics.

I don't think we will agree so I will leave it at that. It's not a matter of what I think or what you think but it is what God's Word says.

CollAG said...

Tearing down a brother (Ken Ham) in Christ's work is exactly how the devil operates. That's sadder to read about than anything else...

Doug Bess said...

CollAG, I agree.

Unknown said...

There are many ways do defend against evolution, but in the end, young earthers will do more damage than anything else, no matter their good intentions. It Speaking definitively on aspects not stated in the bible can end up misleading and putting people off since they think that is what the bible teaches (which it isn't).

So it's not breaking down someone to say their views aren't supported by the bible and they've ventured into the realm of speculation.

Tim Anderson said...

I'm sure you would agree that there is no better stance to take against evolution than the Biblical stance since God's Word is active and sharper than a two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). It also says in 2 Corinthians 10:5 that we are to demolish arguments and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to obey Christ.

Interestingly, a straight forward reading of Genesis by non-believers generally leads them to believe that the Bible portrays a young earth. Even Richard Dawkins, the celebrity evolutionist Oxford professor, believes that (He referred to this in a video which I cannot locate at the moment). Though they wouldn't agree with a young earth view, at least they would say that it is consistent with what the Bible teaches. It's the old earth and theistic evolutionist worldviews that appear more foolish to them, since those views are inconsistent with what they read in the Bible. 

Therefore, the young earth biblical stance is the best and, I would argue, only viable Biblical stance to take. Not only because they read it that way, but because God said it that way!

My prayer is that Ken Ham will argue lovingly and persuasively, from the Bible and scientific observation, that the young earth Creation Model is a viable model of origins and, also, that he does, indeed, do a lot of damage to the Evolutionary Model, showing how it is not consistent with God's Word nor with observable science. In this case, damage is good; like a surgeon destroying and excising a cancerous tumor from a patient. Ken certainly has the Upper Hand in the historical science department since he has an eye witness testimony from Someone Who was there. :) 

My prayer, also, is that The Lord will draw Bill Nye and others to Himself and that they will come to the saving knowledge of our Lord through the truth of the Gospel and the kindness and love shown to them by His people. 

Tim Anderson said...

Just for clarification, I meant to say:
It's the theistic old earth and theistic evolutionist worldviews that appear more foolish to them, since those views are inconsistent with what they read in the Bible.

Unknown said...

1 Corinthians 1:20
Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

I don't take Richard Dawkins as an authority on biblical matters. That's a laughable concept, the denial of God blinds people, and will make the 'wise' foolish when it comes to God. They will have clever arguments but they are two dimensional. Step to a side and they are seen to be flat, their POV is just a slice of reality.

As for young earthers, inherently the issue falls down to whether or not God is a trickster. Is He one who makes the universe appear old by the constant and relatively definable nature of light, or is He true and His creation clearly states His qualities. The additional point to conclude with is that God does not create Tohu wa bohu it is there, and forcing 'the young earther's' narrow point of view on the biblical text conflicts with the bible more than it tries to resolve.

The attempt to argue for a young Earth is neither biblical, nor will it sway someone who sees some of the many contradictions the concept contains. Like evolution it's a greatly flawed theory that isn't biblical, or sound doctrine.

There was a beginning, there was chaos, and then God worked on His creation so it could support Humanity. As Craig said, the "Bible is silent on this subject," so it is dangerous to spout theory as gospel.

Benjamin Lotter said...

If you believe that God created everything that exists in 7 literal days... that He actually has that much power, then why on earth would you believe that billions of years are necessary?

Craig Cottongim said...

Benjamin, yes I believe in the 7 days of creation, and yes I believe the earth is billions of years old, but this doesn't mean "it was necessary" as if God had to have that much time (eons) to accomplish His will. God wasn't bound by time, or limited in acting by time. There's a difference between what I'm saying (I think there's a lot of time between Gen 1:1 & 1:2) and theistic evolution, which I reject personally but could care less if people sign off on, it matters zero to me. The age of rocks is insignificant in pointing people to the Rock of Ages!

Doug Bess said...

Craig, what proof do you have that there is a gap between Gen 1:1 and Gen 1:2? You keep saying I think there is but you can't prove that there is at least not to me. Carbon dating is inaccurate as you know. Just look at Mt. St. Helen's and all the inaccuracies in the carbon dating process that was done there only after a few days of the eruption.

You keep repeating that you want people saved and that is my heart too, but to say there is a gap and other misleading things that false teachers preach leaves a new Christian doubting the Word of God

Greg said...

Wow, Craig. Did you even read any of the posts between your last two posts other than the one right above? It seems like you have stubbornly made up your mind, and that's it. As Doug Bess, just pointed out, I don't believe there is any evidence for the "gap" between vs. 1 and 2. I would be interested in hearing it if there is any.

I think you have clearly bought into what the world says over what the word of God plainly says, which is that He created the Universe and everything in it in 6 literal 24 hour days, and then He rested on the 7th day. This creation week is referred to later as the model God gives us for a 6 day work week and a day of rest - the Sabbath. I don't know how much clearer that could be. It is the world that makes the case for an ancient earth, not God's word, and you are simply butying into that.

I would encourage you to do a search at,,, etc for any piece of evidence that you think proves an ancient earth, and see what non-secular, Christian scientists have discovered regarding that information. I hope it is eye-opening, and reinforces to you that we CAN believe what the Bible clearly says, and do not have to create theories that explain away what the Bible says, because the world says differently. And that is the whole point.

I have presented and evolution and ancient ages vs what the Bible says and science REALLY shows class multiple times to different groups. Many of them believed in one or both of these concepts previously, and were very relieved to see that they no longer had to. They were revlieved because it never felt right to them, but you know, "Science says so, so it MUST be true." Young people especially were relieved, because they are constantly being bombarded with these two secular concepts in school, and have no defense for them. It challenges their faith, and usually not in a good way. So, yeah, I think it is important to introduce people to the true age of rocks. You seem to be certain that evolution isn't possible, and disagrees with God's word (as am I). Would you not contend that it is important to get that truth out there? And yet that does not seem to be a salvation issue. I guess the only difference is you have made up your mind on the age issue, and will not be swayed. I think that is too bad for yourself, and your congregation. Please keep an open mind to this idea. REAL SCIENCE BACKS THIS UP! Look it up. Please, I beg you.
God Bless.

Doug Bess said...

Well said Craig. Romans 11:33 says Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways! NLT

Craig Cottongim said...

Thank you Doug. And yes Greg I did read the other posts, please keep in mind, I'm not trying to convince anyone else of my views on the gap theory. My goal isn't to convince anyone on my view of the age of the earth/universe. I simply shared my views out of integrity, not to change anyone's mind. My point is the age of the earth issue is insignificant. We will lose our audience before we even get started if we make that an issue.

Greg said...

Well Craig, I guess we will just have to agree to disagree then. And I could not disagree more. I will keep praying for your eyes to be opened (to my point of view of course :-) )

I guess I would just ask one more question though. If the age of the earth is insignificant, why have you adopted such a strong position that it is ancient, especially in the face of what so many Christians and non-Christians believe the Bible plainly says? That seems curious.

Craig Cottongim said...

Greg, you could be right about the age of the earth, but still rub people the wrong way. If you are right, save that for Sunday school. It is irrelevant why I went, in fact, from being a young earther to my present position. I did think like you did, but after several years of study, came to a different conclusion than you & Ken Ham. In the end, God will not say to you on judgment day, "Great job on trying to convince everyone of the chronological truths of the universe." He will ask about how well we loved and served mankind. He will ask if we fought the same battles Jesus fought.

Cosmologically, the precise age of the earth will not prove there is a God. Let's get people asking "why" there even is a "beginning" and "Who" caused it. We are splitting hairs over the dating issue, it really doesn't matter, but sadly we cut off secular people who have an opinion that differs than yours and therefore they will not give you the time of day to hear you out on the truths that have eternal consequences, like accepting Jesus.

Greg said...

Well I think you may have misunderstood me. I don't target secular people, and begin by telling them the Earth is young, and there is no evolution. Witnessing the love of God and the sacrifice of Christ of their sins is how anyone should go about that.

The issue of the age of the Earth leads some people AWAY from God, and that is why I think it's important. I completely agree that God will not ask that question you pointed out. But He may ask why I did not do everything I could to help keep someone in His fold. That's all I'm saying.

Anyway, interesting discussion. Thanks.

Craig Cottongim said...

Well said Greg, but keep in mind,the orginal reason we are even having this discussion now. Ken Ham isn't trying to convince Bill Nye to "stay in the fold..."

Doug Bess said...

If people have fully trusted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior then there is no reason why they should not trust the Bible for what it says and doesn't say about Creation and other matters. It looks to me like you are wanting people to be saved just to say they are saved. This is a false conversion according to Ray Comfort. There are many false converts churches today and this is what causes people to doubt the Word of God and try to read in something that is not there.

I am looking forward to the debate and I pray people watching or listening to it will come to be truly saved.

Greg said...

Craig, in regards to the main topic here, I think Ken will be wielding a double-edged sword.

Firstly in response to this video by Bill Nye which was highly publicized, and since then, Bill Nye has made multiple appearances on news shows preaching the same sermon.

He is basically attacking Christians for believing differently than what science says is fact, and I think it is a great thing to respond to that so that Christians are armed against attacks like his.

Secondly, I think the intent is also to provide factual information that most secularists have never heard, to at least open their minds to the idea that there may actually be evidence for a Creator. Again, I don't think that is typically the first step in witnessing, but when you may have a large audience of unbelievers watching, I really do not believe as you do that it would do harm.

Thanks again.

Joanne Beange said...

Greg - “A poll was done asking twenty-somethings, who had grown up in the church, yet had left their faith what were the reasons, and the age of the Earth was at or near the top. We need to stop trying to twist and conform God's Word to what the world is saying.”

Why was the age of the earth one of the reasons those young people left their faith? I would venture to say that it was because, as Ken Ham stated in reference to recent research “… churches and Christian homes were by and large not teaching children and young people how to defend the Christian faith.” They were being taught Sunday School stories without any connection to the real world so when public school taught them evolution as fact, it filled a void left by the home and Church. To twist God’s Word to what the world is saying is Eisegesis and that is not what creationists are doing. They are in fact using the method of exegesis which is explaining the world in light of the Word. And it does make much more sense.

Joanne Beange said...

Craig - You said: “In the end, God will not say to you on judgment day,"Great job on trying to convince everyone of the chronological truths of the universe." He will ask about how well we loved and served mankind. He will ask if we fought the same battles Jesus fought.”

I think this is a rather flippant statement with respect to the fact that you do not know the mind of God or what He will say. The one great battle that Jesus fought was for the truth, was it not? Did He not say that He was the Truth? So what He said in Gen 1:1 is just as important as what was said in Rev 22:21. Christ affirmed that all of scripture was about Him in John 5:39 “You search the scriptures…and it is these that bear witness of Me.” It all comes back to Christ.

You said: “I believe in the 7 days of creation & yes I believe the earth is billions of years old … God wasn't bound by time, or limited in acting by time.”

Ah the great compromise between young earth & millions of years-God isn’t bound by time. How often is that flawed reasoning used to bolster this belief. Just where did you get the idea of millions of years from in the first place? From Scripture or was the idea planted in your mind by a humanistic belief system with you trying to marry the two together? If the earth was millions of years old by the time creation week came about there are several implications that perhaps you have not considered.

*There must have been suffering & death around if the earth is millions of years old. Therefore death was not part of the curse, the judgement on man’s disobedience
*John 1:3 tells us Christ created everything “All things were made by Him & without Him nothing was made that was made.”
*Logically then, if all things were made by Christ, then He is the cause of death.
*Carrying this though further, ask why would He come to die for something He created in the first place? He came to fix what Adam broke. If it was already broken just what did Christ come to fix?
*There are those who say that the curse of death was only spiritual. If this is so why was a physical death necessary for a spiritual act?
* Ask yourself, where did cancer, tumours, chaos, etc. come from? Satan? Adam’s sin? believing in millions of years credits entropy in creation to God Himself which is an attack on the character of God.

Why is this all important in the first place? To paraphrase Pastor Don Landis:
“The strongest theological argument about a young earth & the truth of Genesis comes from understanding the truth of Christ at the cross & understanding the person, attributes & character of God. When it comes down to it Satan is not known as the anti-bible or as the anti-creator but he is the anti-christ. The spirit of the antic-christ is to add or subtract from the person of Christ. His goal of centuries, to destroy the truth about God & His work. Since this is our strongest argument it is the greatest focus of Satan’s attention. The ultimate goal is to get young people to believe a doctrine of creation that would allow things about Christ’s work & character that are not true. It is an attack on Christ.” He concludes with "Look at the cause & effect, the generation that will apply this kind of hermeneutic. Once the Old Testament is incorrectly interpreted there is an effect on the New Testament & eventually we can apply our views wherever we want on Scripture." And that lack of consistency is why young people walk away from their faith and the church.

Craig Cottongim said...

Joanne, as for the mind of God, we have some insight: “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ." (1 Corinthians 2:16, ESV) A

And as for what He will say on Judgment day, we do know: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:31-46, ESV)

Tom Scott said...

I disagree. I believe that Ken Ham will easily defeat Bill Nye. I also believe that the Earth is about 6,000 years old and don't see any evidence that demonstrates a billions of years old universe or Earth. All evidence, in fact, demonstrates a young universe. And it does matter. If you don't believe in the literal truth of Genesis then you are inclined to change the Bible wherever it suits you, which then becomes a salvation issue. After all, if you are not worshiping the God who said he did it in 6 days then you are not worshiping the God of the Bible.

If you think that there is a distant starlight problem for a young universe then think again. If all things were created in a local space and God stretch out the heavens as he indicates in Jeremiah 51:15 "He made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding." then the light from the created celestial objects was also stretched out across the entire universe. It fits the evidence and shows there is no problem with distant starlight. Radiometric dating methods all rest on unverifiable assumptions as well.

I think it is shameful that a pastor of any church would deny God's Word in favor of man's opinion based on misinterpreted evidence. I pray that you will come to accept all of God's Word. Jesus asserted Genesis was truth, why can't you?

Terry Vlug said...

Pastor, Could you explain your position in light of Hebrews 11:1-3

11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

Craig Cottongim said...

Terry, to save me from rambling on & on, what in particular about my understanding are you wanting to know, in light of Heb 11?

Craig Cottongim said...

Tom Scott, I do take the Bible literally. And, I do not read it to suit myself. YEC shut the doors to the Kingdom to thinking people, plain and simple. You can die on that hill all day long, good luck. The rest of Christendom will focus on reaching people. The Bible nowhere gives a date, nor a command to argue for a date. If you choose to be a champion of speculation, not an objective black and white issue, that's your choice. To say the world is 6,000 years old is misguided and inaccurate, but I don't care, because that issue will not lead people to Jesus. Please give me a book chapter and verse, not your attempt at math that adds up genealogies, no, I want a book chapter and verse that says the earth is 6,000 years old. I'm not the one "pushing" my view, I only share my view so people reading my blog know where I'm coming from as I share my opinion of the debate. Since you and all of the YEC are so convinced the Bible teaches this date, and science backs it up, it shouldn't be too hard to find a direct, clear, unambiguous passage of Scripture that gives us the exact date. I'd like the year, month and date, since this is so vital.

Terry Vlug said...

I had a couple things in mind. The 1st is that verse 3 seems as a commentary on how long it took to create the universe. It says it was created by the word of God, which I see no time inferred. It fills your time between Gen. 1:1 & 2. I don't see how you can create billions of years out of an instantaneous act if time even existed when He spoke it. I have another thought also, but I'd like to go back and forth with ideas rather than degrade the discussion.

Craig Cottongim said...

Terry, Heb 11:3 doesn't give a time, not of 7 days either. There's nothing to fill in, in between Gen 1:1 & 1:2, from Heb 11, Heb 11 is merely saying the tangible/material universe was spoken into existence out of nothing. I agree that's how it happened, God spoke creation into existence from no-thing.

icarus said...

Talking snakes, burning bushes, seas parting, fiery furnaces, fish swallowing men, virgin births, rising from the dead. You believe all that? Why? Because it says so in the Bible? You mean that book that says the earth was created in 6 days, and all the worlds species were preserved on an ark after a global flood? Oh, you believe some of that...what's that, not all if it? Ok, resurrection....gotta keep that. But rock ages don't matter. Ok, so if the age of rocks is correct, then there was death before sin according to fossils, so that means there was no original sin, so we don't need a, this Bible is very confusing. No wonder people think Christians are crazy. I'm glad there are people like Ken Ham that have devoted their lives to showing how science supports a straight forward reading of the Bible that actually makes sense to anyone with an open heart to listen. Your brand of compromise evangelism only works for those who have abandoned reason, or have never thought the implications through to their logical ends.

Terry Vlug said...

Ok, add to equation the order of creation by day and the description of water covering the earth. Geological evolution assumes it all happened at once, stars, space, planets, galaxies etc. and a lot of heat. Why would God mislead us so much and give the order of what He described creating on each of the 6 days? Completely different that what evolution believes and teaches. Now if you say that the Bible is not historical , then you undermine (in my opinion-humbly)
your stated purpose of reaching people. Why bother with other "unscientific myths". Now if that is your position, let's just agree to not agree. I don't want to do the out shout each other deal. I am trying to understand your thinking. I am going to quit for this evening, but would love to continue. Not necessarily on this issue, but more on reaching others for Christ. I can see that you are adamant on how you see it. I am too! But I am also adamant about reaching out to others as the church seems to have lost its way there. Perhaps we could not discuss on this forum. Let me know!

Unknown said...

This discussion is like chasing ones own tail, if you don't see the massive gaps in detail that God left in the original languages concerning creation and all its timing then, around and around the discussion will go. Like Craig said, making your outreach based on speculation is unwise.

Greg said...

Fact - The Bible says the Earth and everything in it was created in 6 days.

Fact - God based man's 6 day work week and 1 day of rest on the 6 days of creation and one day of God's rest.

Fact - References to the first few chapters as fact, not allegory, are made in multiple books of the NT, including by Jesus himself.

Fact - Until man created the idea of ancient ages, based on the mostly made up geologic column, using completely made up dates, people thought the earth was a few thousand years old, which the Bible indicates by doing a bit of simple math.

Fact - the Bible does NOT give a date the earth was created. It also does not clearly spell out multiple other things, and yet we take them as true. One example is the Trinity.

Fact - there is no evidence to support the Gap theory.

Fact - the Gap theory goes against what the Bible clearly says

Fact - every piece of evidence that ancient earthers point to for the age of the earth and universe, are based on assumptions, and almost every one has been shown to be incorrect. The rest are based on those unprovable assumptions.

Fact - there is a mass of scientific information that points to a young earth, from such as disciplines as Geology, Astronomy, Physics, Archaeology, Biolgy, and Mathematics.

Fact - You do not need to understand the age of the earth to be saved.

Fact - Many, many, many people have left their Christian fatih, and thus salvation, because of the confusion that has been stated multiple times above.

Fact - The truth of the age of the earth does matter for those people, whether it matters for you or not.

That last fact is the WHOLE POINT of this, which you cannot seem to get into your head, and have not addressed at all.

Unknown said...

Fact: Facts are not formed from speculation, Fact, the Earth was already in a state when God hovered over the waters.

Fact: The Roman Catholic theory of the Trinity as a way to explain Jesus's deity is no more fact than evolution, it's a theory with more pagan routes than Biblical ones.

Fact: Being so sure of your opinions that you call them facts leads to seeing even more dimly through the 'glass' of reality.

Fact: God created all things, but the original language DOES leave the concept of a recreation or revival as a possibility.

Fact: There is evidence for the Gap theory but of course it's a theory that reconciles biblical teaching with some of the clearly seen qualities of the stars and more.

Tell us, did God create a grand illusion in the skies so we'd think stars died and exploded while in reality He just created light 6,000-10,000 light years away jus so we could see a 'star' disappear? Does God's nature allow for such a grand lie? That type of creator sounds a little more like Satan. This and many other reasons (the flood? Was there a previous flood that the rainbow was needed to be a sign that a third wouldn't happen?) lead a thinking man to say "I don't know it all so I won't push my ideas as fact' because they're just ideas that might fill in the scriptural gaps.

Once again if you can't read the lexicons and Strongs #s and see the gaps that were left ...

Greg said...

Well, we agree on one thing. I am not a Trinitarian either, namely because the Bible does not support this idea, and in fact speaks the other way. That is why I included that.

Anyway, the earth being formless and empty and God hovering over it was all on day 1. Not a problem.

I am very interested in your point of the original language leaving open the possibility of a revival or re-creation. I would like to hear more on that.

Except for the opinion on the evidence for Gap Theory, I only called fact facts. No other opinion here. Re: Gap Theory, what I should have said was that there was no proof of a Gap Theory. The point being, why create a theory that cannot be proven, in order to explain what God did not say.

Regarding the appearance of stars, this article explains that way better than I can.
I do not think God is a trickster, but yes Satan is, and he is doing it quite well with Evolution and the Age of the Earth.

I don't catch your meaning with the rainbow. There was the first one mentioned, after the Ark came to rest, and it was meant to be a sign of a Covenant that God would never destroy the Earth with water again. Before the flood, it had never rained.

You still have not answered it you still think the age of the Earth is irrelevant for those that have left the faith because of it and similar issues.

Craig Cottongim said...

What everyone needs to consider before watching the debate:

Greg said...

LOL, you sure seem to be a negative, pessimistic person based on your blog link you just posted.

1. First, you do not need to be heavily credentialed to point out the falicies of evolution or the age of the Earth. Give me a break.

2. One side of this debate is obviously right, since there are only 2 known possibilities of the origin of the Earth. Assuming you believe the Bible, why in the world would you enter into a debate where the other side is saying the Bible isn't true, with an open mind? How do you expect this debate will create more division exactly? This is by no means the first debate of this type. Search youtube, and you will find dozens more. Typically the evolutionist debater and evolutionists in general are so disparaging to Creationists, that I don't see how any more division is possible. On the other hand, the hope and prayer here is that some who may have never heard the evidence for a creator, can be moved by that.

3. The stated topic is not narrow at all. Are you kidding me? The time allotted is not nearly enough time to cover - age of the earth, organic evolution, origin of life, big bang theory, etc. All of these "scientific" principles scream the Bible isn't true, and hopefully will all be addressed. They are all on topic, and trust me, they will run out time discussing these.

4. Of course both will declare themselves winners. What's your point? We should agree with the one who declares himself a winner? Do you not think people are able to think for themselves?

5. Duh. Also, don't let bloggers form your opinon for you.

Lastly, as is typical for someone who does not have a good answer, you have refused so far to answer the question you apparently are not able to answer. Does the age of the Earth matter to people who have left their faith because of it.

Joanne Beange said...

The debate between Nye and Ham will be interesting because it will concern two points of views. What Nye does not understand is that what happened in the past, before it could be observed & tested, is historical science.As such, any facts from that history, not being able to speak for themselves, need to be interpreted. Nye will present an interpretation of the facts from an evolutionary hypothesis coming out of his humanistic worldview. Ham will present using the same facts coming out of a literal, biblical worldview. The exhibits at the Creation Museum make this point time and again. For example if they consider fossils: Nye will discuss them as being millions of years old using the evolutionary interpretation of the evidence; Ham, will show how the processes of the Flood could have produced the same thing in a much shorter period of time. So who is right?

I believe the literal view taken by Ham and this is why:
I came out of a billions of years world view & probably would have jumped the faith ship had it not been for the book “The Genesis Flood.” This spurred me into research & I found out that there was another world out there, a biblical creationist world, that had an apologetic that matched what I read in Scripture with science to back it up. According to the Gap Theory God created a perfect earth, Satan fell, was banished to earth producing a cataclysmic devastation for millions of years, God wiped the slate clean with Satan’s Flood & He then started again. Some of the questions I faced were:
*Except for what Lucifer was like and what he became, none of the rest of the Gap theory is found in Scripture. Why should I believe it?
*How then does Ezekiel 28:13 where it states that before he fell, Lucifer was in the Garden, fit in with this theory?
*Why would God go through the whole creation process a second time? Did He not learn His lesson the first time?
*If millions of years of evolution in Satan’s fallen world included death, how could death be the result of the curse on Adam’s sin according to Gen.3 & Rom.5?
*As John attributed everything that was made to Christ, does that “everything” include death?
*If so would that not contradict His character? But is not one of Christ’s character trait’s the fact that He cannot contradict Himself?
*Why would He come & die for something He created in the first place?

These are only some of the questions I faced.

Now look at another perspective:
Gen.1:1-God’s opening statement was that He created the heavens & the earth.
Gen1:2-God then described how He followed through on His opening statement. “Thohu” used to describe the earth at this time, refers to empty places & undeveloped things. “Wabhohu” is also used to describe the earth, as empty or unfilled. Earth was first formless consisting of water with nothing living in it. It wasn’t until the 3rd day that God brought dry land out of that water & proceeded to furbish it. 2Pet. 3:5 attests to this fact. God told us what He did on each day & by the end of day 6 proclaimed that it was all “very good.”

In Gen.4 we have man’s fall. Between God’s “very good” & the beginning of ch4 is a undetermined period of time, probably not too long because no children of Adam & Eve are mentioned. They weren’t born until after the expulsion from the Garden. Lucifer was present in the Garden in his perfection & I believe it was during this time that he fell, making him in the right place for the temping of Adam & Eve. So we have God’s “very good,” Lucifer in the Garden, Lucifer’s fall, the temptation of man & man’s fall. I didn't have to read between the lines for any of this.

The fossil record, death of dinosaurs, etc. can all be explained through the process of Noah’s Flood which was a huge, geologically catastrophic event rearranging & changing forever the face of the earth. It all fits with the genealogies & a literal view of Scripture in both the Old & New Testaments & one does not have to add any humanistic interpretations to sort it out.

Joanne Beange said...

Craig - regarding your January 21 2014 at 3:12 PM respoonse to me:

Craig - I will concede that my interpretation of that judgement passage differs from yours. I will also state that neither the belief in a young earth nor the performance of good works is necessary for salvation. Our behaviour post-salvation should show fruit, that is a given. As such YEC’s do not make their young earth beliefs a hinge pin for salvation.

You asked "Please give me a book chapter and verse…" concerning the young age of the earth. I can’t but if I ask you the same question - give me a book, chapter & verse that states that the earth is millions of years old, could you? Neither of us can. So we have to ask what makes more sense in the clear teaching of Scripture? not a perceived interpretation of science, but ONLY Scripture. It’s not just an age issue but one of the trustworthiness of all of Scripture.

You ask me to “read between the lines” as God does not tell us exactly when Satan’s fall took place. If we can read between the lines here can we then legitimately read between the lines elsewhere in Scripture? Say whenever something doesn’t suit us?

You did not get the idea of millions of years from Scripture. You got it from a humanistic world-view & because it seems to explain history, like many others before, you are trying to combine that idea with what Genesis really says. Even Richard Dawkins sees the inconsistency of such an effort. He stated in 2011 “I think the evangelical Christians have really got it right, in a way, in seeing evolution as the enemy. Whereas, what shall we say, the more ‘sophisticated theologians’ are quite happy to live with evolution, I think they are deluded. I think that the evangelicals have got it right in that there really is a deep incompatibility between evolution and Christianity, and I realised that about the age of 16.”

Scripture tells us 2 Corinthians 6:14 “… what fellowship has light with darkness?” I know this is speaking of believers and unbelievers but it can also be applied in this instance. You cannot marry the light of Scripture with the darkness of the world. It is not a battle for the belief of a young earth but rather a battle for the authority of Scripture. That’s what Ken Ham and a multitude of others like him are all about.

Craig Cottongim said...

Joanne, first of all, the devil is revealed as a serpent in the Garden in Gen 3, not as a perfect angel. Also, Ezk 28:2 & :12 it is clear the being referred to in the Garden is the Prince/King of Tyre. Sorry.

Secondly, I never once have said I am an evolutionist. Quit trying to tie my beliefs to Darwinism.

Third, do some research in the Hebrew language. Gen 1:2 isn't simply an empty earth. It's in chaos.

Unknown said...

For those still open to the idea that the bible doesn't force us into a narrow inflexible perspective here's an article that explores the biblical gap of information:

We are introduced to the account of the creation of the earth in Genesis 1:1-2

: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep."
The original Hebrew wording, combined with a comparison to other passages of Scripture, has led some to conclude that a considerable time interval is indicated between these two verses. If such an interval is indeed intended, there is no discrepancy between the Bible record and scientific determinations that the earth is up to several billion years old. If, on the other hand, there is no such gap, then the earth itself must be only around 6,000 years old—which most scientists consider an impossibility.
Do other passages, as well as history, shed any light on this question?
Some scholars propose that Genesis 1:2
can or should be translated "Now the earth became without form, and void... " as opposed to the common rendering "The earth was without form, and void... " Others dismiss this idea entirely. They assume the original Hebrew word hayah must be translated "was" and then assume the earth was originally created in this disorderly way.
However, as can be seen from many Bible helps, both translations of the term are possible. Only the context of the chapter and book can determine which one is correct. Gleason Archer, professor of biblical languages, comments: "It should be noted in this connection that the verb was in Genesis 1:2
may quite possibly be rendered 'became' and be construed to mean: 'And the earth became formless and void.' Only a cosmic catastrophe could account for the introduction of chaotic confusion into the original perfection of God's creation. This interpretation certainly seems to be exegetically tenable..." ( A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, 1974, p. 184).
In a footnote Archer adds, "Properly speaking, this verb hayah never has the meaning of static being like the copular verb 'to be.' Its basic notion is that of becoming or emerging as such and such, or of coming into being... Sometimes a distinction is attempted along the following lines: hayah means 'become' only when it is followed by the preposition le ; otherwise there is no explicit idea of becoming. But this distinction will not stand up under analysis. In Gen[esis] 3:20 the proper rendering is: 'And Adam called the name of his wife Eve, because she became the mother of all living.' No le follows the verb in this case. So also in Gen[esis] 4:20: 'Jabal became the father of tent dwellers.' Therefore there can be no grammatical objection raised to translating Gen[esis] 1:2: 'And the earth became a wasteness and desolation'" (ibid.).

Unknown said...

Some scholars also argue against translating hayah "became" instead of "was" in Genesis 1:2
because they assume this interpretation came about only recently, after scientists determined the earth to be very old. Thus they consider this explanation a desperate attempt to reconcile the Genesis account with modern geology. The explanation that there existed an indefinite period between the initial beautiful creation described in Genesis 1:1
and the earth becoming waste and void in verse 2 has been called, sometimes disparagingly, "the gap theory." The idea was attributed to Thomas Chalmers in the 19th century and to Cyrus Scofield in the 20th.
Yet this interpretation that the earth "became" waste and void has been discussed for close to 2,000 years, as pointed out by the late Arthur Custance in his book Without Form and Void: A Study of the Meaning of Genesis 1:2
The earliest known recorded controversy on this point can be attributed to Jewish sages at the beginning of the second century. The Hebrew scholars who wrote the Targum of Onkelos, the earliest of the Aramaic paraphrases of the Old Testament, rendered Genesis 1:2
with an Aramaic expression Dr. Custance translates as "and the earth was laid waste" (1988, p. 15). The original language evidently led them to understand that something had occurred which had "laid waste" the earth, and they interpreted this as a destruction.
The early Catholic theologian Origen (186-254), in his commentary De Principiis, explains regarding Genesis 1:2
that the original earth had been "cast downwards" ( Ante-Nicene Fathers, 1917, p. 342).
In the Middle Ages the Flemish scholar Hugo St. Victor (1097-1141) wrote about Genesis 1:2
, "Perhaps enough has already been debated about these matters thus far, if we add only this, 'how long did the world remain in this disorder before the regular re-ordering...of it was taken in hand?' ( De Sacramentis Christianae Fidei, Book 1, part 1, chapter 6). Other medieval scholars, such as Dionysius Peavius and Pererius, also considered that there was an interval of time between Genesis 1:1
and 1:2.
According to The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, the Dutch scholar Simon Episcopius (1583-1643) taught that the earth had originally been created before the six days of creation described in Genesis (1952, Vol. 3, p. 302). This was roughly 200 years before geology embraced an ancient origin for the earth.
These numerous examples show us that the idea of an interval between Genesis 1:1
and 1:2 has a long history. Any claim that it is of only recent origin—that it was invented simply as a desperate attempt to reconcile the Genesis account with geology—is groundless.
Perhaps the best treatment on both sides of this question is given by Dr. Custance in his book. He states: "To me, this issue is important, and after studying the problem for some thirty years and after reading everything I could lay my hands on pro and con and after accumulating in my own library some 300 commentaries on Genesis, the earliest being dated 1670, I am persuaded that there is, on the basis of the evidence, far more reason to translate Gen 1:2
as 'But the earth had become a ruin and a desolation, etc.' than there is for any of the conventional translations in our modern versions" (p. 7).

Tor Hershman said...

Of course, since I have only watched the Network News (a.k.a. Religious Authority approved Skippy Goebbels) report, I don't have that much info. I will not watch the entire debate until I'm gettin' as much money and/or publicity as Nye & Ham got.

However, for Bill Nye to represent an Atheist POV...well.....I ain't viewed anything like that since Neville Chamberlin got back from Berlin.

You don't get on PBS without being Religious Authority approved, TOO!

jan zizka said...

In 1954, a few years before the re-emergence of Young Earth Flood geology eclipsed Gap creationism, influential evangelical theologian Bernard Ramm wrote in “The Christian View of Science and Scripture”.
The gap theory has become the standard interpretation throughout hyper-orthodoxy, appearing in an endless stream of books, booklets, Bible studies, and periodical articles.

You can know more about why Gap creationism is the correct interpretation of Genesis creation and why only on that basis we can correctly interpret the whole bible at my

or at
The site also includes many fulfilled bible prophecies and other truth abd reality which enhance our faith in God.

jan zizka said...

Young Earth creationism came only in about 1960 along with many other naive lies at that time.
While Gap Creationism was the original creation account taught for more than 2000 years ,the 2nd earliest documents being in Targum of onkelos in 2nd century BC,the earliest being the Torah genesis account by Moses at about 1400BC.

TO know more about gap creationism and fulfilled Bible prophecies which give credibility to Bible as God's word,please