Creation Geology: The Key To Unraveling Earth History
(This is condensed from a talk given at the Apologetics Forum of Snohomish County. You can watch the entire presentation at Youtube.)
When I became a Christian, I found that I had to reevaluate my belief in evolution. And I found that information which would support a different view of Earth history had been left out of the discussion. I began to ask myself, why would they leave material out that could influence my view of the rocks and the earth? Over time, I began to piece things together and realized that when it comes to much of geology, we are not dealing with a science issue. Rather, we are dealing with a philosophical issue.
With this in mind, we need to come through the back door—so to speak—on this issue with kids and families. We want to educate these kids—getting them equipped with the right view of things, how to think about things. Additionally, we want them to learn how to reason through things and to look at the structure of the earth and apply the Biblical view of it. So, when it comes to creation geology, here’s the key to unraveling earth history.
Geology is the Key to Unraveling Earth History
Surprisingly, the age of the earth is one of the biggest division points in the church today. That is, the age of the earth and whether there was a global flood that laid down all the fossils. And this challenge comes directly from secular geology.
Most individuals think the biggest division is either biology or astronomy. But that’s not the case!And frankly, it’s a war about what God has said in Genesis.
The Timeline of Modern Geology’s Conflict with Dates and the Bible
Modern geology declares emphatically that the earth is 4.6 billion years old. But this was not always the case.
In the 1700’s, the cutting edge of evolutionary thinking about the age of the earth was set at—are you ready for this?—75,000 years old. Yes, you read that correctly as seventy-five thousand years old! And scientific experiments supposedly gave us this time frame.
By the early 1800’s, the age of the earth had become several hundred million years. And then some time during the early 20th century, scientists began discovering the properties of uranium. And they decided that we could measure the age of the earth by the decay of uranium. With this method, they came up with the age of one billion years old.
Finally, in the 1950’s, by measuring the radioactive decay in the elements in meteorites, the earth was declared to be 4.6 billion years old. And that’s where it sits today.
But the Bible declares the world to be about 6,000 years old. So clearly, there is a problem with one view or the other. Our job is to figure out how to deal with this difference.
The Influence of Modern Geology
Let’s take a look at modern geology. What do I mean by “modern geology”? The geologists of the 1600’s and the 1700’s taught the “old geology,” based on the Flood and the Creation of Genesis. It was the geology of the 1800’s that was referred to as the “new geology.” The new geology was based on the evolutionary view of science, which was gaining more and more acceptance.
The Two Parts of Geology
But isn’t science the search for truth? For facts? Yes, but we need to understand that there are two parts to geology.
The word geology means the study of the earth. It certainly involves science—the physical chemistry of the earth. That’s the science! All geologists agree on the makeup of rocks.
But once we start talking about the formation of rocks, suddenly we part ranks. When you talk about the formation of rocks, which nobody has seen, (with the exception of volcanic rocks, and some sedimentary rocks like concrete) you enter into the realm of philosophy and history. This is no longer science.
But most geology courses teach geology as a package deal. You get the science of the study, but it comes right alongside the belief system of how this all came to be. So it is an odd mix of science and belief. Ideally, students would learn geology as the study of the earth. And then they could sign up for a separate history/philosophy class. But that’s not how it goes, either for the entering college freshman, or the upperclassmen.
The result of this dual presentation is that it leads many Christians to question their faith.
Ideas Have Consequences—Even in Geology
Just a quick aside – Years ago, I used to have a college campus ministry at Indiana University. And I remember one young man, a believer, who was attending a Christian college not far away. He spent a semester at this Christian college. So, why then was he at Indiana University? He wanted to “get his faith sorted out.”
If that doesn’t make one pause, I don’t know what will. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to learn earth’s history in light of the Genesis Flood.
I spent almost every day with him for a semester. That’s about how long it took to get his faith straightened out—coming from being educated with a Christian view but with a secular explanation of earth history. Be assured that the combination of those two will destroy a person’s faith.
What Caused the Shift in Thinking About Earth History?
As we’ve learned, there was a shift in thinking between the 1600’s and 1800’s. But what caused it? Was it scientific discovery? No, it was really a period we call the Enlightenment.
Sadly, many students don’t learn about the Enlightenment—memorizing dates and names of people makes history seem so disconnected. But if students learn it through a Biblical lens, it comes to life! In this way, we see that individuals and events are connected—there’s really something massive going on behind all of this. Indeed, there’s a causal relationship.
Back to the Enlightenment . . . it was a time period in Western civilization during which ideas about God began to radically depart from the Scriptures. This is when Deism developed—a step between theism and atheism. In other words, a Deist believes that there’s probably a God, who probably existed and probably created the universe. But they believe that He’s probably uninvolved today, and irrelevant to understanding the history of the earth. Therefore, the Enlightenment basically gave permission to depart from a clear understanding of Scripture, and to carve a new understanding of the earth around us, a new geology.
More than that, it gave us a denial of general miracles like the virgin birth and the resurrection. Many of the heresies that came out during the 1800’s were due to evolutionary geology.
See the slippery slope? If God is away and not involved in His earth—they reasoned—then miracles simply do not exist. They reasoned that science must be able to explain everything – even these miracles.
Use Creation Geology as a Key for Equipping Children
This only just scratches the surface of this subject, but you can learn more by listening to the whole YouTube video: Creation Geology: The Key To Unraveling Earth History.
Parents and Grandparents, it begins with you. If this is an area that you struggle with, you need to take the time to get educated about the very real issues here, that will impact that faith of your children.