Dr. Jason Lisle cracked my young earth foundation

Young earth alternatives to the big bang

I started writing my sci-fi novel in 2009 believing that the earth is young. I never doubted the dimensions in the description of the universe I got from Alex Filippenko in his Introduction to Astronomy, but Jason Lisle’s DVD–Distant Starlight: Not a Problem for a Young Universe–had given me the impression that most astrophysicists just ignore any evidence that doesn’t fit a big bang scenario.  Three years ago when I listened to Dr. Lisle talking about Gravitational Time Dilation (GTD), Speed of Light Decay (CDK), and Anisotropic Synchrony Convention (ASC), I  believed that he offered legitimate alternatives to Big Bang Cosmology.

Although I know much more about outer space now than I did the first time I heard Dr. Lisle, I’m still not prepared to critique the science of an astrophysicist.  (You can find that here, here, and here if you are interested.)  And besides, Dr. Lisle’s science is not what cracked the foundation of my young earth view.

After weeks of using the resources of Reasons To Believe, I again watched Distant Starlight: Not a Problem for a Young Universe.  I immediately realized that Dr. Lisle does not  present Old Earth Creationism honestly because he never examines the scripture that supports it.  After listening to podcasts and reading books and articles from RTB, this omission seemed glaring to me because, in contrast, all Reason To Believe scholars take every opportunity to openly engage the arguments, discuss the evidence, and examine the biblical interpretation of YEC.  As a result, I have actually learned more about the history and development of Young Earth Creationism through RTB than through YEC resources.

In Distant Starlight, Dr.Lisle builds a case against evolution and a godless big bang theory, but he dismisses out of hand any alternative biblical interpretation.  He talks extensively about the science (that many of us will never understand completely), but he takes no time to evaluate the case for an old earth made directly from the word of God (that every believer can understand with the light of God’s Spirit).

Dr. Lisle states “The big bang cannot be harmonized with the Bible.  It doesn’t work.  They are mutually incompatible.  You can’t make them mix.”  Thanks to Reasons To Believe, I know that statement is simply false.  I don’t understand all the scientific data, but I have no problem understanding RTB’s literal interpretation of the creation account that can harmonize the big bang with the Bible.  I see how it does work. I see how the two are completely compatible.  I see how the big bang and the Bible can be made to mix quite easily.

Does that prove that the big bang is true?  No, it doesn’t.  But God calls us to test all things and hold fast to the good (1Thessalonians 5:21), and He promises to generously give us wisdom whenever we ask (James 1:5,6).   Like the Bereans, those of us who love the Lord and want to obey all He says are obligated to search His word and allow the Spirit to lead us in all truth rather than to blindly accept the teaching of men.

It was not science that first caused me to doubt the Young Earth position.  It was the failure of Young Earth leaders like Jason Lisle and Ken Ham to honestly discuss the scriptural case for an Old Earth.  I still wonder why people who love the Lord, honor His word, and trust His Spirit refuse to encourage all creationists to search the scriptures together regardless of what they believe about the age of the earth.

Because I know the Lord blesses us whenever we seek Him in His word, that’s what I’m inviting you to do with me in Grammas’ Guide to the Universe.

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9 thoughts on “Dr. Jason Lisle cracked my young earth foundation

  1. ?? You keep referring to the “Scriptures that support old Earth creationism,” but you conveniently fail to offer any such Scripture. Hugh Ross fails to offer any as well, and I am left wondering if that’s because there aren’t any.

    A high view of Scripture precludes a high view of man. People like Hugh Ross use Scripture, but men like Jason Lisle and Ken Ham are used by Scripture. There is a world of difference, and I pray that you see it.

    • Glenn,

      I should have been more explicit. If you will follow the link on “this statement is simply false” you will find the RTB article “Big Bang—The Bible Taught It First” which will provide the scriptural support for the point I made in this post. I’m sorry I didn’t make that clear, but I just assumed anyone interested in the subject would follow the link to find out why I made the claim.

      I consider it providential that your comment arrived at just this time. After months away from my blog, I am finally ready to begin posting again, and I have been praying that someone with a young earth perspective would engage in discussion that will glorify God. Perhaps that person is you.

      I do not understand what you are saying about either Hugh Ross or about Ken Ham and Jason Lisle. On the one hand you say Hugh fails to offer scripture (which leads me to believe you have not read his books). On the other hand you say he uses scripture. That is true, but I don’t think you mean it in the way I understand it, because it doesn’t sound like you are commending him for it, and I definitely am. Hugh’s books and articles are always filled with biblical support. In fact, it was during the RTB class “Creation and the Bible” that I finally saw from the scripture (not from the science) that God did not create the earth with a false appearance of age, but rather He made it so that sinful men could plainly see His invisible attributes through what He has made (Romans 1:18-21).

      I am simply baffled by your statement that “men like Jason Lisle and Ken Ham are used by Scripture.” I sincerely appreciate your prayer for my enlightenment, but it would be helpful if you could explain your meaning. And I pray that God will bless us both as we seek to please Him and strive to reach a better understanding of the Truth.

  2. It’s quite surprising to me that anyone, especially someone who was a YEC, would suddenly believe in an old Earth. I believe I am the YEC Christian God has sent to you to help you see the truth of God’s Word and not to fall for the lies of an old earth and presumably theistic evolution. Respond and we can engage in a discussion.

    • Tommy, I would be delighted to discuss the age of the earth with anyone who loves the Truth. But just to be clear: I did not suddenly start believing the earth is old. It was a three year process of constant meditation on the Word of God. I was not convinced by extra-biblical information. I was finally convinced by the word of God. Also, I do not embrace theistic evolution. Like you, I once presumed that old earth creationism and theistic evolution were the same thing, but they are not. I look forward to a conversation with you that will glorify the God we both love and serve.

      • Well, I’d like to be equally clear. I have been reading God’s Word cover to cover now for the past 4 years and there is absolutely nothing in there that suggests an old Earth. To think otherwise is to doubt God’s Holy Word. I consider anyone who believes in an old Earth to have abandoned God’s truth for their own opinions.

        Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
        in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
        Proverbs 3:5-6

      • I am sorry to hear that you have already come to the conclusion that I have abandoned God’s truth for my own opinion, because that makes further discussion rather pointless.

        Should I assume you are geocentric as well as young earth in your perspective? If not, please tell me what you have found in your reading of the Bible to suggest that Earth orbits around the Sun?

      • Why don’t tell me what you think in scripture indicates an old Earth and we’ll just get down to the issue of why you believe that. It would be far easier to discuss things on that basis then to go off on tangents.

      • I hope your request means that you have not already concluded that I have abandoned God’s truth. You can click here for the article I wrote in the Spring of 2011 while I was still leaning toward a young earth position. It shows the beginning stage of my journey to OEC. The final transition came in the fall during The Creation and the Bible class offered by Reasons to Believe.

        I don’t know if you have read my other posts on the age of the earth but I thank you for recalling my attention to the subject. I will have to reread what I have written so far because I don’t remember if I blogged about the scripture that finally convinced me to change my view. If I have not, I will devote a post to answering your comment;

      • I prefer not to read any lengthy blogs about your journey from YEC to OEC. Please just keep it simple and start with the single best scripture that you believe shows an old Earth and then we can go from there.

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