What about all the atheists who reject God and the bible because their secular intellect won't permit them to accept a religion that teaches a universe
less than 6,000 years old? If they really are hostile to God, could it be because of an interpretation of creation based on assumptions that shoehorns
13.5 billion years into less than 6,000 years?
No, because the atheist's rejection of God and salvation by Christ is a spiritual heart issue, not one concerning the believability of scientific
evidence. The question implies that a young earth creationist places a stumbling block in front of people who would otherwise be willing to believe
the gospel message. Thus, these are unbelievers who find the claims of Christianity to be true, but are turned away from Christianity upon hearing
that they must also believe in a straightforward understanding of the Genesis record and accept the absurd notion of a created universe that is just
6,000 years of age. The young earth creationist is insisting that a person must abandon the sound opinion of the mainstream secular, scientific
community when becoming a Christian, and so they keep the lost from salvation.
The problem with this objection against a young earth perspective is two-fold. First, it assumes that the belief of "billions of years" advocated by
secular scientists for the age of the universe is infallible and true. No one can honestly reject what learned men and women conclude about the age of
our world, because "evidence" is too overwhelming in favor of a universe billions of years old. Evidence, however, is neutral. It must be interpreted,
and how one interprets the evidence depends upon the presuppositions he or she places upon that evidence. Hence, the way in which a person perceives the
evidence depends upon the authority he willingly allows to inform his thinking. Will it be the infallible revelation of God's Holy Bible, or the opinions
of fallible, secular individuals who are hostile against God before they conclude anything concerning scientific evidence?
Then a second problem is that the question assumes these educated unbelievers will reject Christ if they have to believe in a young earth view of Genesis,
yet are willing to accept other unscientific tenets of Christian faith. In other words, these unbelievers are willing to believe the virgin birth of
Jesus, His miracles, His claims to deity, and His death and resurrection, but to ask them to believe the biblical teaching of a 6,000 year old earth
stretches their faith beyond its bounds. But, if these non-Christians are prepared to believe the unscientific notion of a man walking on water and
coming to life after being dead for three days as historical fact, why then do they reject the historicity of the Genesis creation narrative? That is
why, as I pointed out initially, the matter of belief in a young earth as the Bible teaches is not one of accepting a certain body of credible evidence,
but reflects the condition of one's spiritual heart as it submits to the authority of God's word pertaining to how and when God created.
Exploring the Apologetics of Hugh Ross and Progressive Creationism
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