Noah’s Flood: The Eyeball Test

mars-viking-zoomIt is believed the landscape on Mars was formed by large-scale flooding that took place over much of the planet.  The more popular theories suggest much of the flooding was caused by volcanoes, trapped ice, or a meteor strike or some combination of all those things.

Taking a look at Mars now, there are features that appear as flood plains, and canyons which are often believed to have formed through these cataclysmic floods.  It’s hard to imagine now since the planet looks more like the desert planet Tatooine in the movie Star Wars.  Nevertheless, there has been a great deal of research into where the water came from, and where it went. These questions are difficult to answer, and theories abound, but we keep studying because as you can see, Mars shows plenty of evidence of massive flooding.

Slide58This is earth.  We call ourselves the water planet and we have many of the same features that Mars has, including massive flood plains and canyons, which many scientists also believe were caused by cataclysmic flooding. The Bible talks about a massive flood in fact.  It’s not hard to imagine now, since the planet is still covered by water to a large extent and looks nothing like Tatooine or Mars.  It is believed Noah’s flood involved volcanoestrapped water, a meteor or a combination of all three.  Nevertheless, research into Noah’s Flood is generally discouraged because of questions about where the water came from and where it went.  The questions can be somewhat difficult to answer, and theories do abound but as you can see, Earth (the water planet) shows no evidence of massive flooding… *sarcasm*

Pat Robertson Takes Old Earth Stance Again

Pat Robertson… wow, how many sentences on blogs have started with THAT name over the years?… anyway Pat Robertson recently made a few headlines again when he tried to explain his position on the age of the earth.  I don’t want to be too harsh on him, after all, he DID admit he might get lynched for saying this.  But it’s worth mentioning that the Christian world is split on the issue of the age of the earth.

Back in January, a poll by Lifeway Research found that while pastors overwhelmingly rejected evolution, they were split on the age of the earth.  This isn’t new.   In the early 1900’s, a dominant view with many Christians was that there was a “gap” of time between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, and during this gap the dinosaurs existed.  Although that particular view has fallen out of favor somewhat because of our understanding of how the Hebrew language works, there are plenty of Christians who believe the days in Genesis weren’t literally 24 days but more like ages of time, and others who find “gaps” in various ways that account for old earth.

Robertson has long been one of the old earth guys, along the same lines of Christian scientist Hugh Ross whose website, books, and articles have been at the forefront of the Christian old earth viewpoint.  Young earth creationists, with websites such as Answers in Genesis, Institute for Creation Research, and Creation Truth Foundation are just a few of the big ones that provide the theological and scientific evidence for a young earth.

As crazy as a young earth sounds, most people tend to be shocked at the evidence for it.  After all, we’ve been told our entire lives that the universe is 13.6 billion years old or more. (Depending on how old you are).  6,000-10,000 years just sounds weird to most of us.  Judging by Robertson citing Carbon 14 dating which is never, EVER used in dating the earth, and Pat’s struggle to bring up any actual proof, it sounds like he believes the earth is old because…. well that’s what everyone always says right?

I’m not making fun, we really ARE influenced by our preconceived world view.  It’s what makes things seem reasonable or stupid to us at the very mention of them.  So if you’ve grown up believing dinosaurs lived 60 million years ago, then someone saying they lived 6,000 years ago does sound pretty ridiculous, even if you’ve never personally dated a dinosaur bone.  Young Earth Creationists are likewise perceived as kooks, even though several notable scientists and academics and even some Mensa members are convinced the earth is much younger than advertised.

Typically, due in large part to this whole world view thing we all have, its easy to just assume the evidence is overwhelming that the earth is 4.6 billion years old and the universe is 13.6 billion.   But is it?  This type of thing is still debated publicly at universities and various forums, so obviously there are two sides the story.  Speaking for myself, it wasn’t until I looked at and studied the science of it, that I became a young earth guy.

Listening to Pat, it sounds like a world view thing because he quoted no real evidence.  He just mentioned a dating method that isn’t used for the earth at all, and the fact that dinosaur skeletons have been found.  That’s like saying the earth is old because the sky is blue.  Of course it looks blue, but why do you think it’s been around for 4.6 billion?  One doesn’t follow the other.  No matter if you think the earth is old or young, dinosaurs still existed.

Since the Bible doesn’t come out and give a number, Christians are generally all over the map on the age of the earth.  The only thing I’d really criticize Pat Robertson for is his dismissive tone in this video toward those who believe the earth is young.  They’ll lose their children he says.  Or maybe their children will become accomplished scientists who believe in a young earth?  Because someone should tell Pat, there are several of those people running around.  Maybe Pat can let Bill Nye guest host with him?

What Does the Universe Tell us About God?

Intelligent Design is a term used to describe a certain point of view of many scientists and academics who study the universe or some part of it.  Plus, it’s the point of view of many others who arrive at the same conclusion because of their religious beliefs.  Basically, it’s the idea that there are clues in our universe indicating that an intelligence is behind it all.

For you that may be God, and of course it is for me too. Without question.  Others like to go with the idea that aliens did it, and aliens put us here.  Intelligent aliens are more palatable to some than God.  As silly as that may sound to you or me, (understatement) don’t think for a second people aren’t willing to go there.  A few prominent people have suggested it, and one major movie was built around it.

-all because the evidence that points to an Intelligence behind the Design is substantial enough to convince a lot of people.

But let’s put God in the picture for a second, and take it a step beyond.  Besides just the remarkable facts of how our universe is constructed and how it came to be… what if we asked why?

In the Bible, Romans 1:20 said this about God and His creation:

“For His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse.”

Usually, we quote this verse and say the creation proves God exists, but really there’s more than that isn’t there?  It says that through His creation we can discover God’s “invisible attributes” and His “eternal power and divine nature.”

Which leaves us with the conclusion that not only would the creation argue for the existence of God, (and this is precisely what many believe Intelligent Design demonstrates) but the creation would give us clues ABOUT God.

So what are they? Continue reading “What Does the Universe Tell us About God?”

Did God Lie To Us?

There are two groups of Christians who believe that the universe was created by God.  The group that believes He did it in 6 actual days just a few thousand years ago, and the group that believes God did it billions of years ago.  Both groups often claim to interpret the Bible straightforwardly because the Bible never specifically says how old the earth is.  Thus it becomes a question over who has the proper interpretation.  An argument usually ensues over the Hebrew word “yom,” possible gaps of time, how long the seventh day actually lasted, and more.

I am currently a believer in a young earth.  Pretty crazy for a pastor I know, but it’s fun being radical and besides that, I just happen to think those models and theories work pretty well.  Yet if I (or you for that matter) want to hold to a young earth position, we’re going to be faced with a few thought-provoking theological questions.  Like this one:  Did God Lie to Us? Continue reading “Did God Lie To Us?”

Age of the Earth, Can the Bible be serious?

The Bible actually never says how old the earth is, but people do infer the age by adding up the genealogy lists which give the ages of various persons in a family line. There are several places in Genesis where it lists who was the father of who, and how long they lived, so adding those up, people arrive at an age of about 6,000 years.

It has been argued that traditionally Jewish genealogies have sometimes left people out and skipped a few generations here and there when making a list.

If that happened with the lists in the Bible, then one would expect the age of the earth to actually be a bit more, but still nowhere near the 4 1/2 billion mark that the scientifically establishment usually says. (I heard a rumor they are fixing to increase it again, this time to 6 billion)

Many Bible believers, and even some (not all) Hebrew scholars have argued that the word we translated “day” in the Genesis story referred to a time period that was longer than 24 hours. (The word can mean a portion of a day, basically a full day, or an indefinite period of time depending on how it’s used.) Here, it’s used in a way that is most easily just translated “day,” as in… a regular ol’ day.

Other’s have argued there’s a gap of time in there BEFORE the seven days of creation even start. Historically, they’ve argued that this is the time the dinosaurs lived, but the Hebrew language in those verses doesn’t really allow any gap between verse 1 and 2 for the dinosaurs to live in. Some argue that the earth was covered by water for eons, in between Genesis 1:2 and 3, but you can’t fit land dinosaurs in there.

So the plain meaning of the Bible, taking a day to be basically a regular day, is that the earth is a little more than 6,000 years old. Since there was evidently no sun until day four, I think you have give a little room for God to say what is meant by “evening and morning” on those days. I think Augustine said those were “God-defined days, not solar-defined days” and I agree. Was it 24 hours, or 19 hours, or 456 hours…?? Continue reading “Age of the Earth, Can the Bible be serious?”

Where Did All the Water Come From… Or Go? -Noah’s Flood Part III

The Bible says that “all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.” -Genesis 7:11-12 (ASV). So according to the Bible, it came from two places: From underneath the oceans and raining down from the sky for 40 days and 40 nights.

And if it came from underneath the oceans, was that in the form of water, or was it in the form of steam as volcanic eruptions took place along the earth’s crust sending huge plums of steam into the atmosphere where it cooled and then fell back to earth as rain?

It would be quite the cataclysm would it not? Continue reading “Where Did All the Water Come From… Or Go? -Noah’s Flood Part III”

Noah’s Flood, Examining Some Questions, Part II

In his book, “A Biblical Case for an Old Earth,” David Snoke claims that the story of Noah in the Bible refers to a localized flood, and not a global one. I enjoyed his book, but I disagree with Snoke on this. So just for fun, I thought I’d answer some of his objections to a world-wide flood.

In part one I dealt with gathering the animals, fitting them into the ark, and feeding the carnivorous ones! Here, I will deal with whether or not 8 people can feed that many creatures every day, the ventilation of the ark, and animals with special needs. Let’s start with whether or not it’s even possible for 8 people to practice their animal husbandry skills with that many critters… Continue reading “Noah’s Flood, Examining Some Questions, Part II”