Young Earth? Old Earth? Allow me to share a part of my journey on this subject. One day, I was talking with a good friend about the age of the earth. My friend believed that one of the Gap Theories was a reasonable possibility. According to this particular Gap Theory, a great expanse of time passed between the first two sentences of Genesis. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Then here, some Gap Theory proponents say that God created the angels, and after billions of years, the angels fell, bringing darkness and chaos on the earth.) “And the earth was without form and void.” That’s the story as some tell it, but I didn’t buy into it because that story usually claims that the geological layers are from that Gap Period. If that were true, then the account of Noah and the Flood is mainly fiction. If Noah and the Worldwide Flood are fictional, we couldn’t accept the Bible as true as it’s written.
I told my friend that I had researched the age of the earth carefully and found no evidence in either Scripture or scientific observation that points to billions of years of earth history; and furthermore, it seemed that the Gap Theory was an attempt to make Scripture agree with the consensus of the scientists. However, scientists base their consensus on circular reasoning, and the only reason the scientists have any agreement on this issue is they would lose their jobs if they didn’t agree. It’s a consensus through coercion. I continued to explain that the fall of Satan could have happened in one afternoon, as there is no reason to assume it would take a long time. Additionally, we don’t know anything about how time passes in the heavenly realm compared to earth time, and we already know that time is relative based on scientific observation.
I closed my argument by providing the absolute proof against billions of years in the Gap with a quote by Jesus. Jesus said, “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.” I demonstrated my point by holding out my arms and saying, “Consider a timeline with the beginning at my left hand and the present at my right hand. Adam and Eve are at the beginning (as I wiggled the fingers of my left hand). Now, stick in a Gap of billions of years over here (left hand fingers wiggle). Then the billions of years are the space between my hands, and Adam and Eve aren’t at the beginning but at the end (right hand fingers wiggle). Yet Jesus said they were at the beginning and not the end.”
Being Mr. Humble Pie Congeniality, I went on to say that billions of years could possibly exist somewhere since it’s possible there might be something I didn’t know. I was pretty proud that I was so open-minded on the subject and didn’t mind admitting I could be wrong to my gap-theory embracing friend.
THEN THE LIGHTS FLIPPED ON!
Then my friend shouted, “WAIT! NO, THEY COULDN’T! Billions of years could not exist between the first two sentences!”
Suddenly it hit me, too, and I had my own moment to “wake up and smell the coffee.” Since God created Adam and Eve in the beginning of creation, there is no possible place for deep time because the earth is only about six-thousand years old. It was a moment of surprise for both of us, and suddenly we began laughing. In an instant, the Holy Spirit turned my friend and I 180 degrees to see the truth in the same way. Though my friend and I were not coming from the same starting point, the Holy Spirit brought light to the matter with a finality neither of us could deny. Amazing how the Holy Spirit taught us both that day that there couldn’t be a billions-of-years-gap in the first verse of the Bible!
THE BIBLE IS GOD’S WORD WITHOUT ERROR.
Let me be clear. Trusting that any old-earth theology or theory (including the gap theory) could be true would require us to throw out the Bible’s accuracy. We can’t do that. We know the Bible is God’s Word without error because the Holy Spirit reveals this fact to us and speaks to us through His Written Word.
BUT DOESN’T DISTANT STARLIGHT PROVE BILLIONS OF YEARS?
Some people ask how God could get distant starlight to where we can see it without billions of years for it to travel. After all, since stars are billions of light-years away, simple math would say that starlight would take billions of years to get to the earth. Answering this conundrum, the fact that the earth is only a few thousand years old doesn’t mean billions of years could not have passed in the heavens. Several cosmologies that work better than the Big Bang Cosmology answer this distant-starlight problem. Humphreys’ Time Dilation Cosmology suggests that billions of years could have passed in the heavens while no time passed on the earth. You can read about that here. (https://www.icr.org/article/new-creationist-cosmology-no-time-at)
TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT THE JESUS’ STATEMENT ABOUT THE BEGINNING.
Let’s look more closely into Jesus’ statement about the beginning since it’s the most convincing proof of a young earth. Jesus’ statement makes old earth theologies impossible to believe without doing incredible mental gymnastics with Scripture. Given this Scripture, if anyone tries to say, as I had, deep time is possible in Genesis 1, they could use that same “logic” to reinterpret or add anything to any part of Scripture. There would be no limit to their imagination in creating their own Bible and their own “religion.” Here is Jesus’ statement recorded in two passages of Scripture.
But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. ~ Mark 10:6 King James Version
And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? ~ Matthew 19:4 King James Version
What follows is a diagram showing the two timelines I described to my friend using my arms and fingers. The first one shows the timeline defined in the Bible.
The second diagram shows the timeline defined by the Gap Theory. You may miss the thin red line at the far right end of the timeline. That line represents all the time from God creating Adam and Eve to the present day!
Jesus said that God made Adam and Eve at the beginning of creation. All old-earth arguments put Adam and Eve at the end of creation which conflicts with the words of Jesus Christ. That’s why I can now see that these theories are wrong. Why do billions of years inserted into the historical biblical text matter? Young-age-of-the-earth-doubts are a big deal because they are one of the main reasons (or excuses) why people turn from their faith and distrust the Bible. Let’s make no attempt to rewrite the Bible, nor to give unbelievers any reason to doubt the authenticity of Scripture!