I’m not sure exactly when I first heard Hugh Ross explain his old earth view in a radio interview, but I vividly remember his humble attitude, his gentle appeal for unity in the body of Christ, and his powerful testimony of meeting God as he studied the heavens. After I listened to him describe the glorious dimensions of the universe, I couldn’t think that God had allowed light to paint a deceptive portrait of the age of stars and galaxies for us. I just couldn’t believe that God would make a very young universe appear to be very old. So I invented a very faulty origins position that made me comfortable with the speed of light.
From the time I heard Dr. Ross’s testimony until I studied creation in 2009, I lived in a doctrinal limbo, content to believe that even if the universe might be very old, the earth could still be just a few thousand years old. Somewhere during that period, I actually bought the book Dr. Ross talked about in the interview. But the issue wasn’t pressing, and the second edition of The Creator and the Cosmos sat on my bookshelf unread for over fifteen years.
It wasn’t until March of 2011 when I started listening addictively to I Didn’t Know That and Straight Thinking that I realized how I had completely misjudged RTB’s position on evolution, which I had assumed was a necessary component of Old Earth Creationism. Since it was immediately evident that RTB holds a high view of scripture and rejects evolution, I listened intently to everything the scholars had to say in the podcasts. I was far from ready to abandon the young earth view I had held for so long, but I added two more books by Hugh Ross to my collection. This time I read both within a week.
The Genesis Question is a careful integration of biblical study with scientific discovery. A Matter of Days provides an extensive examination of the age of the earth controversy. I recommend both books to anyone interested in an exhaustive study of creation. The Genesis Question has an appendix that lists 53 scientific discoveries that support a literal interpretation of Genesis 1-11. A Matter of Days has an appendix that lists every creation passage in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. (Two lists of creation scriptures can be found here and here on the RTB website, so you can easily pursue a creation study without buying either book. You will also find hundreds of publications and podcasts that explain scientific discoveries that support the Bible).
After reading those two books I acknowledged that the old earth position held by Reasons To Believe was thoroughly biblical, but I did not forsake my long-held belief. Instead, I reviewed materials from Vision Forum and Answers in Genesis, hoping to find a convincing rebuttal of the RTB position. It’s rather ironic that the first serious crack in my young earth foundation came as I listened to Dr. Jason Lisle explain why distant starlight is not a problem for YEC. But that’s the next leg of my journey out of the Young Earth Creationism camp and the subject of my next post.