Friday, September 14, 2007

The 2-D Discussion...Days

In the previous post we pointed out that denial of any physical death before Adam's fall permits YEC believers to preserve their concept of an earth just a few thousand years old. It is then easy for those believers to propose creation days of only 24 hours duration.

Hebrew "yom" (day) had three literal meanings in the ancient Hebrew language -- the daylight period (12 hours), the noon-to-noon period (24 hours), and a long, variable time period. Young earth Christians sincerely believe their 24- hour interpretation conforms to scripture. In many scriptural contexts they are correct. However, that interpretation is only one of three permissable interpretations of "yom." For the correct interpretation we must rely on other evidence. Old earth Christians recognize hundreds of reliable, independent scientific proofs to help them determine the creation timeline of our 13.7 billion-year-old cosmos and 4.5 billion-year-old planet Earth. Their interpretation of "yom" as a long period of time harmonizes with modern scientific discoveries.

When Christians interpret controversial questions such as those involving creation, they must make every effort to ensure their interpretations of scripture and science are correct. One cannot be wrong, and of course, both cannot be wrong. God's people are instructed to study in order to discover the truth of a matter (Prov.15:28, Rom. 12:2, I Thes. 5:21). Our truth search must be diligent.

Some Christians, myself included, might prefer to have more detailed scriptural accounts of creation events. In God's wisdom, we are given a rather brief account in Genesis. Why? Perhaps God is encouraging us to use the benefits of study and the power of the minds He has given us.