Christians who accept millions of years of Earth history may be unaware of the inconsistency of their position. On one hand, they profess to believe the Bible, but on the other they fail to accept Genesis 1–2 as written. They might attempt to dismiss the issue by telling themselves it isn’t that serious. After all, can’t one accept the rest of the Bible as written yet reject the doctrine of a recent six-day creation? Unfortunately, accepting an old earth logically undermines the entire Bible.
If the world’s sedimentary rocks really are millions of years old, then the fossilized remains of plants and animals within those rocks are also millions of years old. These include the fossilized remains of thorny plants. This would imply that thorns were in the world long before the first humans. So, how can thorns be punishment for man’s sin as described in Genesis 3:18? And if the third chapter of Genesis is wrong about thorns, why would we trust the promise of the coming Savior in Genesis 3:15? And why should we believe its claim that death is the penalty for sin (Genesis 3:19)?
Because fossils are the remains of dead animals and plants, accepting deep time implies that animal death and suffering existed for millions of years before Adam’s sin. Yet God’s description of His original creation as “very good” (Genesis 1:31), the gracious character of God revealed in Scripture (Psalm 145:9), and the fact that God created people and animals originally as vegetarians (Genesis 1:29-30) all imply that the “groaning” now found in nature (Romans 8:20-22) was imposed on it only after Adam’s fall, not before.
Also, these fossils are found in water-deposited rocks all over the world. This would seem to be prima facie evidence for the Genesis Flood, but many Christians naively accept the uniformitarian claim that these rock layers formed slowly over millions of years. But if these water-deposited rocks are not from the Flood event, then it would be only logical to conclude that the Flood never really happened in the first place.
But this would imply that the global Flood described in Genesis 6–8 is at best a serious exaggeration of a mere local flood. Yet the apostle Peter affirmed the global nature of the Flood (2 Peter 2:5, 3:6). If Peter was wrong about this, then clearly his writings were not divinely inspired. Yet those same writings testify of the transfiguration and resurrection of Christ (2 Peter 1:16-18; 1 Peter 3:18). So was Peter wrong about those events too?
The millions-of-years view also impugns the testimony of Christ. The Lord Jesus Himself clearly believed in both a recent creation (Mark 10:6, 13:19; Luke 11:50-51) and the historicity of the Genesis Flood (Luke 17:26-27). If He was wrong about such things, then how can He be the Son of God?
The bad news is that compromise with old-earth ideas logically undermines the entire Bible. The good news is that there is no good reason to believe in an old earth! The earth is young, the Flood really did occur, and the scientific evidence is consistent with the claims of Scripture. Christians must, and can, stop uncritically accepting agenda-driven claims about Earth history made by secular scientists who deny the existence and revelation of God.
* Dr. Hebert is Research Associate at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Texas at Dallas.