A few weeks ago we published an article giving you the answers to ten questions asked by Premier Radio in the UK to Young Earth Creationists. Now we’d like to ask the old earth advocates a few questions of our own. I suspect most old earth advocates will struggle to answer these questions while remaining faithful to the text of Scripture.
- Were Adam and Eve real people who lived in a real Garden of Eden and were they the first human?
This question will work best when wielded against theistic evolutionists. Even a few of them might answer affirmatively, but not many. Most will view Adam and Eve as a metaphor for sinful humanity. This ideas raises all sorts of Scriptural problems such as “Was Jesus descended from a metaphor?” and “Why does the Bible refer to Jesus as the last Adam if there was no first Adam?” Removing Adam and Eve from the realm of reality undermines the doctrine of original sin, as well as the concept of Christ being out kinsman redeemer.
2. What did the fall and the curse do?
This question will work well with both theistic evolutionists and old earth creationists. The reason this question matters is that it touches on the all important “death before sin” issue. If, as young earth creationists believe, the fall introduced death, suffering, disease, thorns and thistles into the world, then you can account for death, both of animals and man. It came after sin. Old earth creationists will accept that Adam’s sin caused human death, but not animal death. Theistic evolutionists often accept neither. But if you do not accept that the fall and the curse caused death, as well as thorns, thistles and disease, you have a problem. Fossil thorns and diseases have been found long before man supposedly arose. So what exactly did the fall and curse do?
3. Why is it that the vast majority, if not all of the church fathers believed in a recent creation and a global flood?
This question will work on both theistic evolutionists and old earth creationists because both pay at least lip service to the great theologians of the past. It’s very interesting that Old Earth Creationist organization Reasons to Believe has an article on their website that clearly states that NONE of the early church fathers taught long ages, or evolution. Now obviously just because the church fathers taught it does not make it so, but, that said, if the original intent of Scripture was to teach millions of years, and or evolution, how did they miss it?
4. When the Bible uses the Hebrew word yom (English=day) with a number, evening, or morning, or some combination of the three, why does it always mean a literal 24 hour day everywhere but Genesis?
In Genesis 1 a day with a numerical indicator is a frequent occurrence. Old earth advocates want these days to be long, undefined periods of time. Yet when we find it throughout the rest of the Old Testament, it always means a day of 24 hours. Using Scriptural context as the key, we would naturally deduce that Genesis also means a day of 24 hours. No one believes that Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for more than three days, or that Joshua and the Israelites marched around Jericho for millions of years. Why are we changing our hermeneutic for Genesis 1?
5. If Genesis does not describe a miraculous creation and later a global flood that wiped out all humanity, then why does 2 Peter 3:1-6 describe people denying a global flood and a literal creation event in the last days?
This is a pretty heavy argument. If God did not create in six literal days and later use a global flood to wipe out all but eight people along with all the air breathing, land dwelling animals, then why will one of the signs of the last days be people denying those things? If they were false, surely God would want people to deny them, not affirm them. But, if they are true, then God would want people to affirm them, and people refusing to do so would be a good sign of the last days coming.
6. Do you believe the Bible is infallible in all areas of which it speaks?
This one will quickly separate the sheep from the goats. Many theistic evolutionists will answer this question affirmatively but then turn around and claim that there are errors of science in the Bible. Some will openly say no. Most old earth creationists will say that it is infallible. In either case, follow up with asking why they can’t accept Genesis 1-11 as written. Almost invariably the answer will be “science”.
7. Do you believe that Adam and Eve were the parents of all humanity for all time?
This question will work better on theistic evolutionists, but some old earthers will be vulnerable to it as well. Theistic evolutionists will say no. When they do, point out that Genesis 3:20 calls Eve the mother of all living. Further, in Deuteronomy 32:8 when it discusses the nations of the world, it refers to them as the “sons of Adam”. Seems pretty clear that the nations of the world were all descended from Adam and Eve. Acts 17:26 confirms this, telling us all the nations are of one blood.
8. Why do you reject the evidence from genetics that tells us we are all descended from one man and one woman?
Genetics has been claimed to be a powerful tool for evolution. On closer examination however, we can trace our ancestry to just two people: Y chromosome Adam, and mitochondrial Eve. Dr. Nathaniel Jeanson has done extensive study on this issue and found that all living men trace their heritage to one man….not Adam, but Noah. All women trace their ancestry back to Eve, but through three very distinct linneages: the wives of Noah’s sons.
9. Why do you accept that the Big Bang is taught in the Bible when the order of the Big Bang vastly differs from what the Bible says?
This question will probably work best against old earth creationists but theistic evolutionists may be vulnerable to it as well. The Bible outlines that the earth was formed first, before the solar system and planet. The Big Bang says the solar system came first. The Bible says God formed earth from water. The Big Bang says it was a hot molten blob. The Bible says plants were made before sea life. The Big Bang of theistic evolution teaches the opposite. These few examples should show you that the Big Bang is not in the Bible.
10. Why do you not take Jesus at His Word?
This one will work with all forms of old earth compromises. In Matthew 19:4-5, Jesus is answering a question about divorce and he refers back to Genesis 1, both as the beginning and as literal history.
“And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?” Matthew 19:4-5
Verse five is a direct quote from Genesis 2:24 “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” It’s practically word for word, despite being said in two different languages (Hebrew and Greek). Jesus clearly viewed Genesis as historically accurate and foundational to marriage.
Hopefully this brief list has given you a starting point to challenge statements made by those who want to compromise the authority of the Bible to accommodate secular scientists. There are many more good questions that could be asked, but most of those are situational. These questions hopefully will work in most situations to gently challenge your friends and family to stand on the authority of the Bible from Genesis 1:1.
Do you know what’s going to happen when you die? Are you completely sure? If you aren’t, please read this or listen to this. You can know where you will spend eternity. If you have questions, please feel free to contact us, we’d love to talk to you.