The biblical doctrine of creation is foundational to our Christian faith. Questions about creation have an important bearing on our view of the Bible and, therefore, on our view of salvation and the reality of our personal salvation.

Because our eternal destiny hinges on the truth of God’s Word, we become very agitated in discussions about the nature of creation, especially when views of origins that seem to undermine the Bible are advanced. For example, the assertion that the earth might be several billion years old commonly provokes a negative emotional reaction. To many Christians, that assertion seems flatly to contradict the Bible. Moreover, it is often claimed that scientists cannot really know the age of the earth anyway.

Reconstructing The Past

Such skepticism raises an important question: How is it possible to know anything of the prehistoric past? Non-Christian geologists who have no interest in what the Bible says about the past seek to reconstruct the history of the earth by carefully examining evidence contained in rocks and other geological features. They interpret the evidence in terms of a principle of analogy with the present. They assume that the processes operative during the earth’s past were the same as, or closely analogous to, those operating at the present time, and were based on the same laws that govern the present behavior of nature. When we discover past effects that correspond exactly to effects we observe today, we conclude that the cause of the past effects is like the cause we now observe producing those same effects today.

For example, a geologist discovers gravel deposits, layered mudstones containing isolated pebbles, and grooved, polished bedrock surfaces. He interprets this as the result ...

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