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When Was the World Created?

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
November 27, 2021 12:01 am

When Was the World Created?

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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November 27, 2021 12:01 am

How old is the world in which we live? In answering this question, interpreters of Scripture don't always agree. Today, R.C. Sproul considers what the Bible teaches about creation.

Get R.C. Sproul's 'The Hard Sayings of the Bible' as a Digital Download for Your Gift of Any Amount: https://gift.renewingyourmind.org/1940/hard-sayings-bible

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Why draw a whole room is best because it is Christians for centuries trying to Romans eight because it gives us the gospel in one chapter talks about the doctrine of the Trinity, father, son and Holy Spirit deacon one time saying to me that this was in some way calling into question inspiration of all of Scripture and is in all of Scripture breaks and the greatest and I said well, just answer this question if you gratuitous to live dry read the first few chapters of Chronicles, which is a list of names are driving. Romans eight in the finances of Romans eight because it says everything that needs to be said about the gospel in one chapter. Romans eight a teaching series with Derek Thomas to learn more visit Lincoln era.org/teaching series today on Renewing Your Mind the age of the earth. Why is it such a hot topic of debate among Christians. What is at stake in many people's minds is the credibility and trustworthiness of sacred Scripture, there are those who believe that the authority of the Bible stands or falls with a young earth, and with a recent date of creation well before we get to that controversy is subject we probably need to take a few steps back before we look at the creation account.

We need to first establish what we believe about the Bible. When I went out on the street and talk to people I discovered there are plenty of opinions out there and I believe that a lot of different people can read it in a different way that I believe is the same family and and something as I let so you find a friend to be more activity you think it depends.

I think when people modified a couple times but the most important parts.

I think it's it's people have been some changes in getting the work that I still think it's the way the Bible I am skeptical of organized religions run by men are human say.

I think a lot of examples in history of people abusing that power and I think something is the word of God and really it's more just doing what they want and so I kind trying to be more open mind and yeah I think they there's a lot of possibilities out there, and I try to explore, you think the Bible is 100% accurate all the teachers.

Let's explore what Scripture has to say about creation currencies for free. Continue now with our study of the hard sayings take one up to date. This exceedingly controversial not only between the church and secular thinkers, but one that has become a major point of division among professing Christians and that has to do with whether the universe was created in 624 hour day's are we to believe that the world came into being in six literal days or is there another option in understanding the timeframe of creation and closely related to this is the question of how recent is the origin of the universe and the appearance of human life on this planet initially will will look at a text not in Genesis. But in Exodus, where we will look at Exodus 20 in the giving of the 10 Commandments, where in Exodus 20 verse eight we read this account. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God in it you shall do no work you nor your son or your daughter, nor your male servant, or your female servant, etc. in the salient versus verse 11 for in six day's the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day.

Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. Here we have the clear assertion that the universe was made in six days.

Now when we go back to the creation accounts in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2, we find the more detailed outworking of this work of creation in terms of the day's. For example, in verse three of chapter 1 of Genesis we read then God said, let there be light and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good.

And God divided the light from the darkness.

God called the light day and the darkness he called night so the evening and morning were the first day and in the rest of the account. We hear what takes place on the second day and on the third day in the fourth day and so so the question is what is meant by the reference to the word day in the Genesis account and I would say throughout the bulk of church history. It was normally understood.

Traditionally, that this verse in these verses of creation should be taken at face value, and as the literature seems to suggest that the work of creation was completed in six days or 624 hour period.

In the 16th century when the Copernican revolution took place in the telescope was invented and our horizon for understanding planetary motion and other aspects of astronomy.

There were those who began to challenge this concept of a literal six day creation. It's interesting that some of the finest Christian scholars of the 16th century including the magisterial reformers, Luther and Calvin both ridiculed the Copernican theory of heliocentric city, namely, that the sun is the center of our solar system rather than the earth and saw in this new view coming out of the scientific community and assault against the integrity of Scripture so wasn't this the Roman Catholic Church who condemned Galileo and his associates for this view but also the reformers took a very dim view on this question, however, though for the most part, Christians have made their peace with the idea of geocentric sitting namely that the earth is the center of the universe. There are few very few Christians who still argue for geocentric sitting though.

I got a letter just couple of weeks ago from a man who was very passionate in his defense of the Earth's actually being the center of the solar system and was rebuking me for capitulating to Copernicus and others, and saw in this a surrender of the authority of the Bible. Now, as I said within the Christian community there is a hotly contested debate regarding the age of the earth and the literal character of the six days of creation. The two are not exactly the same issue, but they are closely related to each other again part of the problem is if we see that the universe was created in six days and at the end of the six day Adam was created and then we follow the rest of the biblical history of the generations of Adam. It doesn't seem to suggest a time span of human history that goes back millions of years. It seems that in the science of archaeology and anthropology just about every six months. There's a new discovery of remains of older human ancestor, and it seems like the dawning of the advent of man goes back about a million years. Every time they take up a new skull fragment or something that's another question. By the way it always interests me that sometimes when they discover these fragments of one to serve a partial piece of the skull and are able to reconstruct the whole body from it that they will make distinctions between humans and humanoids or apes and they talk about this transitional character between the eighth and the human that they will frequently call humanoid that is human like, and I've always wondered why they don't call this transitional creature and a Polaroid which would not be nearly as provocative forth the discussion and is simply arbitrary to call it humanoid rather than a boy could be called either one why the selection but in any case. Because of this aspect of science added to this modern forms of dating the universe as we find it, including geological methods drawn in part from setting the stratification of the earth, and so on. Carbon-14 methods of dating and perhaps most importantly astrophysical methodologies that are used to date the earth and where this gets quite technical and somewhat fascinating is when triangulation emerged as a means of discerning location and distances of stars from this universe of ours and we take as a matter of law, and that the speed of light is 186,000 mi./s, and through modern ways of measuring distances and time and we find, for example, that the nearest star to planet Earth. Apart from the sun, which is 93 million miles away. The closest star in our solar system to planet Earth is considered 4 1/2 ly away, Lightyear refers to the time that it takes for the light from a distant planet to travel at the rate of 186,000 miles second Melanie put it another way. I've done this in other contexts. But let's do it. A fresh the earth as we know it is 25,000 miles in circumference go around the world in 80 days is no difficult feet today, but light can travel around the world. If it's moving in 186,000 miles a second over 7 1/2 times are about 7 1/2 times in one second. That's how fast light moves and how far can travel in one second seven times around the earth imagine something traveling that fast. How far to go in one minute, obviously 60 times that distance and then in one hour a day a week a year were saying here that this nearest star is so far away that the light traveling from it.

At this rate of 186,000 miles a second takes 4 1/2 years to get here and that's the closest star and were told that that's the closest star in our solar system in our galaxy and that there literally thousands of galaxies and multi-billions and trillions of stars out there and that we are receiving light today for more than one star, but from like that has originated millions of years ago so it's more this astrophysical type of dating than any other thing I think that leads modern scientists to believe that the universe is far older than a few thousand years ago was about 12 to 15 billion years to accommodate all of this movement of light and so on. Now, as I said the controversy over this is fierce. One fellow wrote a book from a Christian perspective in which he advanced the theory of the old age of the earth from an astrophysical position, Hugh Ross, and many are familiar with Prof. Ross's book and he asked me to read the manuscript and write an endorsement for I did a somewhat innocuous endorsement saying that it was a fascinating and interesting study of the question and I thought one that was valuable for Christians to read and be engaged in. I didn't agree with lot of things that were in that book, but I have never in my life received anything like the volume of mail in protest of an endorsement I've made of anything and I did for endorsing that book mainly prompted by the CRI. The creation research group in California who have argued so strenuously for a young earth. I saw fascinating film with the creation research, people put together once on Mount Saint Helens and one of the interesting phenomena that came out of that which was a cataclysmic catastrophic event in recent memory. When this volcanic eruption leveled so many thousands of acres of real estate, and so on, turned gigantic trees and the two specs. Scientists went in there afterwords and found something extremely interesting. They discovered a stratification of the earth's crust right around the base of the volcanic eruption that mirrored the stratification levels we find elsewhere in the world that we have assumed from the uniform appearing geological perspective have taken millions if not billions of years to produce and hear this film show that the same phenomenon could be produced in moments. In light of the catastrophic people and so you have that debate.

Even within the secular geological community over catastrophic geological formations versus uniformity Arianism and I don't regard myself as an expert in that field. A Harley didn't comment on it other than the say that the debate goes on and that even before Mount Saint Helens. People like a man Novella Koski of Princeton, the friend of Einstein challenge some of the assumptions of uniform during geology but were talking about the age of the earth were not dealing simply with issues of deductions from stratification of the earth is said to have the carbon-14 phenomena you have the astrophysical dating phenomenon and there are many different elements that would seem to argue an old earth.

Now, obviously, those who argue for young earth have answers to each one of the some of which are very carefully thought out in the early days of the debate. Some rather bizarre arguments were used to offset the evidence of fossils that would indicate a long period of time of decay and compression and so on. And I remember reading the theories 30 years ago that when God created the universe. The devil sprinkled fossils throughout the layers of the earth in order to fool people to direct them from believing in the trustworthiness of Scripture we just respond to that bizarre attempt that took place years ago.

The problem with that argument is it is a possibility hypothetically mean it's possible that when God created the universe, the devil came down and sprinkled these fossils to fool us.

But the problem with the argument is that it's a hypothetical argument that is incapable of being falsified.

It's the kind of argument that you say. I believe in poltergeists and somebody might say, but we've never had any scientific empirical verification of poltergeists and I responded by saying, well, there's a reason for that reason is the poltergeists never appear in the presence of scientists they have of building an allergy to scientists. How can you argue with an argument like that you can't falsified you can't verify it so that the argument is basically worthless and to say that Satan could have planted fossils when the Bible gives us no indication that they never did such a thing and we have no reason to believe that he did.

It's an argument that is basically worthless and so again, we pause in the middle of this and say what's the big deal what is driving this debate.

Why are people so concerned about it and again it goes back to the trustworthiness of Scripture.

When I first started teaching in college several years ago I was teaching and one Christian college in the classroom was so big it had to be held in the chapel in the Bible that I used to teach the Old Testament was the pulpit Bible and when I opened it up the first day of class to Genesis 11 at the top of the page of this Bible. It said Genesis and in big letters, 4004 BC high new course that that date was nowhere to be found in the text of holy Scripture. Why was it inscribed on the first page of this Bible well back in the 19th century, Archbishop Osher tried to calculate the day of creation by examining the genealogical tables that are found in the Bible that is the big attitude so-and-so begat so-and-so who begot so-and-so and allowing so many years for each generation. He approximated the date of creation just by tracking back through these genealogical tables and establish the hypothesis that the universe was created in 4004 BC not unfortunately a whole generation of people were persuaded that this was true and when Santa start saying that the earth was older than 6000 years. People thought a moral obligation to refute that allegation in order to defend that date, which date appears nowhere in sacred Scripture and because there is no date of creation is established in Scripture and every attempt to establish a date from Scripture is manifestly speculative.

Why do we spend all this energy trying to defend a particular date when the Bible doesn't give one that's it seems to me to be a fools errand. When you say Marcy Archbishop Osher could've been wrong, give or take a few thousand years still doesn't account for millions of years and this are well first of all, we don't understand the function of Hebrew genealogies that the Hebrew genealogies they could have gaps and gaps that are extensive and broad.

There's nothing in the Bible that tells us that they're giving us a complete history of the human race so it still a moot question, but again, back to the question of six day's I see that my time is escaping me and probably this debate is serious enough that I ought to defer the further examination of the day. Question and the structure of creation in six days until our next lecture. This happens to me frequently as I failed a budget my time appropriately for you bulimic quickly recapitulate here the again one of the major considerations is the question of the age of the earth again. What is at stake in many people's minds is the credibility and trustworthiness of sacred Scripture, there are those who believe the authority of the Bible stands or falls with a younger and with a recent creation and we will explore more on this topic next Saturday here at Renewing Your Mind. And we do hope you make plans to join us in Denver. Glad you could be with us today Emily Webb. This is one of those topics that causes division among believers we find very strong opinions on both sides of the debate.

I always appreciate Dr. Sproles approach when it comes to controversial topics like this and he has another warning about that force in just a few moments. I hope you'll stay with us each Saturday in the program.

We returned to Dr. Sproles series hard sayings of the Bible in 15 messages. He tackles topics like a what it means when we read in Exodus that God hardened Pharaoh's heart will gladly provide a digital download of the series when you contact us today with a donation of any amount to look at your ministries you can make your request online@renewingyourmind.org. Perhaps you teach a Sunday school class or lead a small group in your home. The lessons in the series are about 23 minutes each, making them very useful in a classroom setting and the topics RC covers are sure to result in some lively discussion.

So again request.

Hard sayings of the Bible when you go online to Renewing Your Mind.a word at all, before we go. Here's RC with a final thought for us as we look together at some of these controversial questions and difficult questions of the age of the earth.

For example, I think it's very important for us to realize that the debate as it rages within the church among Christians is not simply a debate that is carried on between people who believe the Bible and people who don't believe the Bible fell that's partly true. Many of those who attack the age of the earth and the order of creation, and all that are doing so because they are trying to attack the basic credibility of sacred Scripture, but my point is this, that those who are conservative and Orthodox in their view of Scripture. Those who hold persistently to the inspiration of the Bible to the infallibility of the Bible, and even to the inerrancy of the Bible are divided on this question because here it's not a question for them as to is the Bible true, but the question is what does the Bible actually teach and so as we continue to look together at some of these problems, let's try to keep that in mind, so that we can understand that this division is a division among people who have a high view of Scripture as we mentioned Dr. Sproles dive more deeply into this controversial topic next Saturday. We hope you'll join us for Renewing Your Mind


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