Grey Thoughts
The Dawntreader and Young Earth
I occasionally check out Jeff's posts over at The Dawntreader as he often has some pretty good stuff. One of his latest posts is talking about a 'Thousands Not Billions' conference that the Institute of Creation Research (ICR) is holding. Read the whole post, but I thought I would highlight a few of his and his commentators points as they are worth reviewing.
Given that 44 percent of Americans, according to a recent CBS poll, believe that the earth was created 10,000 years ago
Actually the poll says that 44 percent believe that the Earth was created within the last 10,000 years. A subtle difference that several commentators start asking questions about.
I separate the age of the earth question from the evolution question. They are not the same question.
Indeed they are not the same question. Answers in Genesis (AIG) and ICR (and myself) would say that the current 'scientific' theories for the age of the earth and evolution depend on the same presuppositions and so it seems silly to argue against one and not the other. Of course, if you remove the billions of years, evolution becomes a clearer impossibility than it already is.
I strongly believe that Christians can agree to disagree on the age of the earth and should show liberty toward other Christians who hold different views on this particular question (and believe me, there are many different views).
I agree completely. That doesn't mean we can't disagree publicly about it, but any debate should be civil and gracious.
Should I go and live blog this conference?
I think anyone who is interesting in hearing all sides of the argument should go. I hope this means Jeff with go. The ICR team did some interesting science in this, including some impressively confirmed predictions, so it is definitely worth checking out.

Now onto the comments. The first comment by dopderbeck is one I have heard many times, and Jeff seems to agree with it, so I will post both of their comments together.
dopderbeck: Oh man, this is such a can of worms. IMHO, you shouldn't give AIG any publicity at all. They're not just wrong Biblically, theologically, and scientifically, they're also divisive in their actions and attitudes. I'm personally deeply pained by all the division and misunderstanding this question has caused.
Jeff: AiG is divisive. I agree that they have flawed theology -- linking the atonement of Christ to solar creation days, for example. And yes, I have received more vicious attacks from Christians than I have from non-Christians on this issue.
I just love the 'AIG is divisive' comment. What they are really saying is that "AIG disagree's with my position and tells me I am wrong all the time. Really, they should stop being divisive and instead agree with my position". As a side point, AIG links solar days to atonement by the exegesis of death occuring from the fall. (So billions of years of creatures dying is not compatible and Christ came to repair the effects of the fall). AIG do not say that you cannot be a christian or saved if you believe in long age beliefs.

Jeff has complained above that AIG has 'flawed theology' but his own theology hinges on a very poor understanding of the Hebrew word for day 'Yom'
In Biblical Hebrew, the word for day can literally mean a long but definite period of time -- like it sometimes means in English (e.g. "back in my day"). There is no rule that one long period of time needs to match another.
'Yom' can indeed mean a long period of time, yet the context of genesis 1 makes it very clear that it is refering to a 24 hour period in that chapter.

Jeff also makes some claims about the first couple of Genesis chronologies
I don't hold to Ussher's chronology of Sept 30, 4004 B.C. as the creation date because it has been proven to have flawed assumptions (like a contiguous geneology). So the 6,000 is out -- even for strident YEC'ers.

The 10,000 is in the ball park, however, for YEC'ers and day agers like myself. The Hebrew geneologies were not direct linkages like our modern day geneologies. There may be one or many generations between those names we see.
It is curious that Jeff refers to the 'proven' flawed assumption of a contiguous geneology, yet only says that there 'may be one or many generations between those names'. How is it proven? (I have dealt with this claim about the geneologies before) Obviously, 'proven' is too strong a word.

Taq weighs in a point about how ICR are charging $20 for this conference and Jeff seems to think he makes a valid point
Why a $16/$20 conference? Sounds like money to me. If you have scientific knowledge, why would you not immediately publish it widely online? I bet they have vids for sale too. And at the end of the vid, an appeal for more money, maybe for an edu-program. Tell me when I can see the scientific evidence that is supposed to convince the world, and in these dire times, when time is short. When Joe Atheist doesn't have to shell out $20 to watch a series of carefully designed lectures, and has the data to look at himself, (and myself for that matter...) Then I may change my tune. Until then I remind myself that John 3:16 doesn't say how old you must believe the earth to be in order to be saved. Interesting, but nothing I will latch onto, unless, as I say, the information becomes available gratis, for the purpose of spreading truth, not just making a buck.
Sooo, all those bibles that people sell for money, every single peer reviewed scientific journal, every time anyone charges anything they are obviously not about 'truth'. What an utter load of crap. Experiments, organisations, conferences and publications all cost money to run. Lots of money. I assume people like Taq would prefer organisations like ICR to simply go broke and not be able to do any research at all. It would be easier for all the secular scientists to publish their version of the 'truth' for free on-line because they get big grants from the government and universities, yet they don't. It is obvious that people like Taq are more interested in being a free loader than in looking for the truth.

I'll finish with one of Jeff's later comments
My take on my obnoxious YEC brothers and sisters is that they are passionate about defending God's word. I like that about them. I wish we all were as passionate. Now, are they uncharitable and divisive in attacking Christians? Absolutely. It drives me nuts. I have been fighting this particular battle for 15 years now.

I view the efforts of the YECers like Paul viewed the rival preachers in Philippians 1

The YEC'ers are persuasive to many people -- despite being misguided, and despite have bad attitudes and motives sometimes. Many YEC'ers are out there leading people to Christ -- even if their view of the age of the earth is wrong as far as I can tell.
But like you said, we dare not become what we hate! If you truly believe that Christians need to get "beyond all that", then you need to put it into practice and get beyond getting irritated by YEC'ers who major in the minors and are dogmatic about it. (btw, I am preaching to myself too ... not just you)
And YEC'ers would think the same of you too Jeff. Especially when you call them obnoxious and impinge their motives are you not also being divisive and attacking Christians? Aren't you also being dogmatic about it? If you think the innerancy of scripture is a minor issue (seeing as how you reinterpret the clear contextual meaning of day in genesis 1 in order to match it to materialistic science and any non-christian worth his salt can see this reintepretation - eigesis, not exegesis), then perhaps you should do a bit more digging before you point out specs in other peoples eyes. Keep digging Jeff, as I will. God bless.
You make good points -- like how obnoxious and divisive my comments were.

My comments were over the top and uncharitable.

God bless you as you defend Truth and engage culture.

I'll keep digging!


Heh. Both our comments are divisive and uncharitable in many ways.

The problem is the truth is divisive (and generally uncharitable)...I guess that is why Jesus said he came to bring a sword, not peace.

I reckon the real issue needs to be that we continue to treat each other with respect and grace, arguing in love as opposed to simply trying to prove we are right.

God Bless
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