Last night Bill Nye (“The Science Guy”) and Ken Ham, a leading proponent of young earth creationism, debated. In simplistic terms, it was creation vs. evolution: which one is the most viable explanation for human origins and the age of the universe. The debate has generated many responses, some serious and some full of snark (see: #creationdebate on Twitter). My point is not delve into the debate, defending any particular view.
What I want to do is examine a certain argument used by some Christians against holding a youth earth view, and see if it is a viable way of arguing. Christians who hold to an old earth view argue that the scientific evidence is overwhelming in favor of an old earth. Furthermore, some Christians view young earth creationism as “not science.”
— Christ and Pop Culture (@christandpc) February 4, 2014
In addition, some Christians who hold to an old earth would see the young earth position as being a barrier for contemporary people coming to faith in Christ.
I think, however, that a reliance on “scientific evidence” needs to be carefully nuanced for Christians, because all Christians—whether holding to a young earth or old earth position—depart from naturalistic scientific methodology. How? Because all Christians believe that Jesus rose bodily from the dead.
Yet, according to naturalistic science, 100% of the time, people do NOT come back from the dead bodily. I am not talking about someone who was “dead” for 45 minutes and then revived. The claim Christians make is that Jesus was dead for three days! And then, He came back to life. So uncritically adopting the “scientific evidence/consensus” regarding the miracles in the Bible is not a viable option for Christians.
So, in my view of the Christian faith, if Jesus actually rose bodily from the dead after three days, then it is as least plausible for any number of miraculous things to occur.
If Jesus rose from the dead bodily, then it’s not too much of a stretch for me to believe…
I don’t regularly talk about specific positions on creation or evolution, because that won’t bring you to a relationship with God. But just about everything in Christianity hinges on Jesus’ bodily resurrection, which is something that shatters the mold of the dominant view of science in the culture (1 Corinthians 15). And all Christians—no matter what their view is concerning the age of the earth—believe that mold-shattering truth.