Evolutionists assert that Earth is billions of years old, so we expect some to try to interpret Scripture to accommodate an old earth. How might they do so?
Primarily by allegorizing the Creation myth and considering the days of Creation to be geologic ages, making each day as long as we like. The general pattern of a lifeless earth (Day 1), then plants (Day 3), followed by sea creatures (Day 5), land animals and finally Man (Day 6) seems to more or less follow evolutionary sequence. It’s called the Day-Age Theory.
Obvious problems include the fact that the planet itself is created before light (Day 1), Earth, light and plants (Days 1-3) all appear before the sun, moon and stars (Day 4), birds (Day 5) come before all land animals (Day 6), and God blessing the 7th Day to start an ongoing 7-day rest cycle based on Him completing Creation in 6 days. (Ex 20:11)
Further, Adam is said to be the very first man (1Co 15:45) and his life-span is stated explicitly (Ge 5:5), along with those of all the antediluvian patriarchs (8-30) in the lineage of Christ (Lk 3:36-38), placing Creation around 4000 BCE.
So, to be consistent, we can’t simply allegorize the Creation account in isolation, we end up corrupting the integrity of Scripture throughout; its authors evidently understood the Creation account literally: if they were mistaken, they weren’t inspired. If the Day-Age Theory had any real basis in scripture, it’s difficult to explain why it appeared so late in history, only in the last 200 years. The interpretation thus appears forced in order to accommodate recent, opposing scientific claims.
Another approach, the Gap-Theory, allows for a literal interpretation of the Creation account, yet postulates a large gap between the first two verses; between the creation of the planet (Ge 1:1) and it being found formless and void. (2) This view harmonizes nicely with most scripture while providing for any age of the earth we like. However, it’s also inconsistent with the Sabbath Command (Ex 20:11), and begs the question of whether an old planet with no light or atmosphere, no sun or moon or stars, or any life form whatever as we know it, helps much to square the Word with evolutionary claims. What’s the point then?
We all choose an authority for determining what’s true, and if we earnestly want to know the truth we should insist on having no contradictions in our world view, no inconsistencies. If we accept God’s Word as Truth, in it’s entirety (Ps 119:160), then we must try to interpret it consistently, and discount unverified scientific claims, such as evolution, which contradict it. (1Ti 6:20-21)
The parable of the Unjust Steward is challenging, putting it mildly. When Christ says, “Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.” (Lk 16:9), is He saying befriend the wealthy so when we fall on hard times they’ll be there to rescue us?
The mammon of unrighteousness would be material things this unrighteous world values, tools for good and evil. They aren’t ours(Ps 24:1), so we’re all stewards, and like the steward in the parable (Lk 16:1-2) we’ll all be accused of mismanagement (Jn 5:45) and held accountable. (Ro 14:11-12)
So, we all find ourselves in a similar crisis: we’re flawed in fundamental ways, our record shows this and judgment is coming; we should prepare to make the best of it using every means at our disposal. Pass or fail, the consequences will be eternal. (Ro 2:6-11) In this predicament, Christ is telling us, “make friends.” In other words, live such that when Judgment Day comes those testifying in the heavenly court will be on our side, welcoming us into Paradise.
Consider that everyone who has ever lived will be present at this final Day of Judgment, and those we’ve impacted through our lives will be testifying about us (Ja 5:4), agreeing with God in how they view us, being for or against us. (Mt 12:41-42) Our own works will also bear witness (Ja 5:3), our every act testifying in heavenly court. (Mt 12:36) There will be no deception or partiality; if we’ve walked in holiness before God even the wicked will be forced to agree. (1Pe 2:12)
So, the kinds of friends we should be thinking about here aren’t those who’d pay our bills when we’re unemployed, but those who’ll be receiving us into everlasting habitations, standing between us and our eternal home, inviting us in or barring our way. We must keep short accounts (Mt 5:25-26) and manage our affairs with an eternal perspective. (Col 4:5) As the unjust steward wisely navigated his crisis to secure his earthly comfort for a season (Lk 16:8), Christ is calling us to holy intensity (Mt 5:29-30), striving to secure our eternal welfare. (2Pe 1:10-11)
As we steward earthly resources we’re laying an eternal foundation (1Ti 6:17-19), so let’s make it solid, grounded firmly in the Rock of our salvation (Ps 95:1), to withstand the blasts of God’s penetrating inspection. (Mt 7:24-25)
This isn’t salvation by works; we’re saved by faith (Ep 2:8-9), but our works do reveal our faith. (Ja 2:18) We show what we believe by what we do, so when our actions don’t align with faith in Christ it’s a faith issue (Lk 6:46), a peril of sobering consequences. (Ro 8:13)
To find healing we examine ourselves(2Co 13:5), confess our faults to those who are praying for us (Ja 5:16), and root out the lies which bind us. (Jn 8:32) Living this way doesn’t produce salvation – it’s the life salvation produces. (Ep 2:10)
In seeking truth, we each have a way, a protocol or methodology, for evaluating whether an idea is true: we have chosen an authority, a standard by which we evaluate truth claims. We also have a motive for pursuing truth.
In the physical realm, truth is found through the accurate perception of Creation through our senses, which are our God-given authority. Rightly knowing scientific truth requires all our sensory experiences to align; no contradictions to a truth claim are tolerated.
Since our physical senses are designed to be relatively reliable and unbiased, if our minds and spirits are seeking physical truth we can collaborate with each other to validate this alignment. Our motive is clear: alignment with physical reality is extremely beneficial on every level. Once we perceive contradiction, if we’re sincere, we admit incomplete understanding and continue to explore.
However, in the spiritual/moral dimension we’re evidently on very different footing, not having a consistent, unbiased way to verify metaphysical reality. Like Creation, metaphysical reality is ultimately grounded in the divine Being: what He considers truth is true regardless. Yet, due to biases we hold deeply within our minds and spirits, each individual may discern any given metaphysical claim differently, so we’re unable to consistently verify spiritual truth merely through collaboration with each other’s broken perceptions.
Our inability to successfully collaborate here implies it is also an error to trust entirely in ourselves, presuming we have the capacity to accurately discern spiritual reality all on our own, that only we are unbiased and accurate in our perceptions, and no one else. We are not unbiased observers; we must trust God to reveal spiritual truth to us, and to reveal and heal our brokenness, our biased way of looking at reality. How might He do this?
God might speak to us directly in some way, which may seem reasonable in theory. Yet, when one experiences the myriad ways in which people claim God speaks to them, the impracticality is evident. God does speak to us at times, yet seducing spirits also consistently impersonate God and deceive many. (1Ti 4:1) This isn’t straightforward.
So, unless we’re so sure it’s the voice of God that we can’t even ask, “Who are you?”, which isn’t very often for most of us, we shouldn’t presume it’s God we’re hearing. We’re also commanded to test those who claim to have a word from God, because the reality is that they’re likely not hearing from God either. (1Jn 4:1) Yet, how do we go about such testing if we’re not to trust entirely in ourselves, nor in others, nor expect God to reveal truth directly to us as a rule?
There is only one other possibility: a written document containing God’s moral instructions in His own words. This is, in fact, His provision (2Ti 3:16-17), and He requires us to hide His Words in our heart(Ps 119:11) and meditate on them continually. (Ps 1:2) We’re to receive with meekness the engrafted word, through which He reveals metaphysical reality to us and delivers us from our ignorance and rebellion. (Ja 1:21)
For this to work as God designs, meeknessis essential: we must submit to His Word as truth (Jn 17:17), obey it and yield to it. (Ja 1:22) If our motive in pursuing spiritual truth is selfish, we will inevitably miss it. The proper motive is alignment with God, a single-minded intent to be in right relationship with Him.
In pursuing truth in the absence of unmistakable divine revelation, expose every truth claim to the entire Word of God and reject any claim which violates any text of scripture. When this troubles me, and God’s Word is rubbing me the wrong way, I turn around — repent. Otherwise, I’m back to trusting in myself as spiritual authority instead of God, where all roads lead to death. (Pr 14:12)
Hello. Pleased to meet you. Who are you? I do not know.
What do you mean, you “do not know?” I understood from your introduction and question that you would also like to know my name. I do not know it. Perhaps you really wanted to know who I am, yet asked my name instead. I am not my name. I am who I am by my identity, but I did not think this was the answer that you wanted. Please forgive me if I misjudged your question.
Nonsense! Tell me your name!
I do not know my name, but you may call me, “A.B. Leever.”
I may call you “A.B.,” but that is not your name? I do not understand. “A.B.” is the name that I am called by now, but that is only temporary. My real name is hidden in God. He has named me, but He has not told me my name yet.
You confound me, Sir! I would simply like to know who you are, I do not wish to be convoluted with all this mumbo jumbo!
My apologies, friend. May I ask you your name?
Hey! Why do you expect that I know my name when you do not know yours? Perhaps, as is the truth for the vast majority of human beings, the eternal God does not have a name for you. It is quite likely that your earthly name given you by your parents is the only name that you will ever know. Do you know that God has a new name for you?
Well, not for absolutely certain. What does it matter? It is a subject for another time, perhaps. How would you like to be called?
You may call me, “D.W.” A pleasure to meet you, D.W. And who are you?
I just told you, A.B. ! I am D.W.! Well, you are called D.W., but that is not who you are. What is your identity? What makes you, you, D.W.? Is it merely the name given you by your parents? Is it the type of work that you do? Is it the members of your family? Who are you?
Hmmm. I’ve never given this much thought I suppose. I work in the Church, mostly speaking, a bit of counseling, some administrative stuff. You know, typical minister type. Yes, I know. So you are primarily identified by your work?
Well, my work could change … that is not really who I am. I am also married and have three children, and I suppose I would still be a husband and a father even if I left the ministry. I suppose I could define my identity in my wife and children. Yes, I suppose you could. Is this the substance of who you are?
I am not sure. I guess, my wife could leave me and take the kids … she has threatened to a few times … Yet, for now anyway, I suppose these two things, my work and my family, describe what keeps me busy, mostly. Are you then drawing your identity from what you do?
This does not seem right either, come to think of it. Who am I? I am D.W. Jr., son of D.W. Senior who was a lawyer, who was the son of K.L. a great chemist, and his father was S.T., a famous college president. I could go on if you like. I have an awesome bloodline! So you are who you are because of your ancestry?
This still seems off. Some people are great regardless of their parents and background, and some are loosers even though they come from great families. Ancestry really doesn’t mean that much. Well, my congregation loves me and they’re always raving about my sermons. I am a great preacher and do a lot of good in the community. I am loved and respected all over town. I guess that makes me significant, doesn’t it?That makes me who I am! Great people are not always recognized for who they are, and some men are perceived as great because they do not let anyone know who they really are.
Jesus Christ was hated by his own people, was mocked by His own brothers and sisters, was misunderstood by His closest friends, was betrayed by a trusted disciple, and died homeless and alone… being quite largely rejected by the culture and world in which He lived. Doesn’t sound like he would measure up under your idea of greatness, yet I would say He is the most significant Person that ever lived.
Good point. Hmmm. What really does give me significance? What makes me what I am? I think that is a good question D.W. Who or what gives you identity, D.W.?
Well, God, I suppose. True enough. And what identity has he given to you D.W.?
I am not sure. How am I different from the next guy, as far as God is concerned? Must you be unique to have identity, D.W.?
Well, I suppose not. Who are you, A.B.? I am, essentially, a loved child of the eternal God, who is in love with Him.
I figured you would say something trite like that! Trite? How so?
It tells me nothing about you! I want to get to know you so I have asked who you are. I want to know something of your background, what you like, what you do not like, where you are headed, what you are about … You know? I see. And my response, this is not what you are after? It does not tell you who I am?
No, it really doesn’t. Well, it tells you what and who I love and why I am alive. I am alive both physically and spiritually to be in love with God, and to be actually loving Him in each moment of my existence. This is What and Who I love above all else, and What I will continue to love above all else. Loving Him and being loved by Him is the substance of what I am, it is what drives me inside, it is what motivates all that I think, do and say.
Loving Him does not give me significance, however. Nothing that I can be or do can create or add to my significance. There is only one self-significant Being and that is God. Only He can define and give significance. I have significance because He loves me. Nothing else makes me important or significant, not even my love for Him.
In the eyes of men this is not clear, for men esteem the straw as gold, and the dust as silver. A man thinks he is significant if other men admire him or love him, or if he has great wealth, and he thus takes the love of God as a thing of naught. Yet those things which are highly esteemed among men are abomination in the sight of God. To be admired and loved by sinful men, or to be wealthy, does not give one significance. Only the love of God can do this.
I do think that my statement to you, that I am a loved child of the eternal God and that I am in love with Him, I think that this is all that I can say to you about who I really am.
Well, then, “Loved child of the eternal God, who is in love with Him,” a pleasure to meet you! Likewise, D.W.
So then, “Loved child of the eternal God, who is in love with Him,” what do you do for a living? I pray.