Implied and often openly embraced with the long ages is the corollary accommodation of evolutionary development over those long ages. Naturalistic interpretations of present reality require billions of incomprehensible time periods to allow for evolutionary progression. Any age-long interpretation of the creation account in Genesis would necessarily permit an evolutionary scheme to fit easily within it. The age of the Earth issue must be resolved.
Why Must the Age of the Earth Issue Be Resolved?
One common thread runs among the alternatives to ex nihilo creation: Physical death is considered normal and part of God’s “good” creative acts. With the exception of the older Gap Theory, physical death is seen as a normal and regular part of the days of the creation week. The Gap Theory suggests that a pre-Adamic world was destroyed by God, leaving a record of that judgment in the rocks of the earth. All the various hybrid interpretations (including the Gap Theory) would view the fossil record as evidence of the death of enormous numbers of life forms prior to the creation of Adam and Eve.
This divergence is more far-reaching theologically than the suggestion that the “days” may be ages. Not only is the meaning of the word “death” in question, but the entire body of biblical data on the substitutionary atonement is impacted. Many of the textual terms surrounding the Fall, the Flood, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection, and the ultimate destruction of death and the elimination of the Curse, appear to become free-floating concepts when the anchor of the apparent meaning of death is removed.
“The Flood of Noah Could Not Have Been Global”
If one accepts the textual language of Genesis 6-9 as accurate, historical language meant to be taken at face value, then the scientific and geological implications are enormous. If all air-breathing life died, if all the high hills were covered and the waters increased for 150 days, requiring over one year to drain sufficiently for Noah and those with him in the Ark to disembark, then the Flood described would have left a worldwide record visible for all to see. Indeed, if such a visible record is demonstrable, then modern geology, and therefore long-age evolutionary interpretation of the fossil record, would be radically affected.
Thus, all old-age hybrid interpretations of the Genesis record must treat the biblical record of Noah’s Flood as some form of regional or local inundation that merely impacted the known world—primarily the Mesopotamian Valley in the Fertile Crescent region of ancient civilizations.
However, if the Flood was global, then the worldwide catastrophe would have laid down most of the sedimentary layers and the fossils they contain in one year—not over hundreds of millions of years.
Such a contrast and conflict cannot be resolved unless the biblical record is interpreted to meet the scientific criteria, or the science is interpreted to fit the biblical text. Evangelical scholarship cannot have it both ways. Either the biblical text is superior to naturalistic interpretations of geological data, or the naturalistic interpretation of geological data is superior to the biblical text.
Evolutionary Naturalism Opposes the Revealed Character of God
It is no academic secret that the main proponents of evolutionary naturalism and the associated sociological exponents of that philosophy are atheistic in theory if not in practice, such as modernism, post-modernism, and various forms of scientism—all of which are opposed to the idea of a Creator.
Such an evolutionary philosophy is in diametric opposition to the revealed text of Scripture. A god who would use the cruel, inefficient, wasteful, death-filled processes of the random, purposeless
mechanisms of naturalistic evolution, contrasts so radically with the God described in the pages of the Bible that one wonders how the two characters can ever be thought to be in harmony.
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