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The Age of the Earth

The evolutionists seem to have a field day with the dating of the age of the earth and the universe. And uninformed laymen, as most of us are when it comes to matters “scientific,” would find it difficult to refute their arguments. Only by faith we believe that the worlds were framed by the Word of God—and that, too, in harmony with the account of Genesis. And although one may never supplant that faith with mere scientific proofs, there are those in the realm of science who present another viewpoint on the age of the earth. An interesting article was quoted in the Christian News of Nov. 20, 1978 from the “Christian Victory” magazine for July-August, 1978. I quote some interesting parts of it:

How old the earth? To this question the several hundred members of the Bible-Science Association and the Creation Research Society say “NO”. (No, it can not be billions of years old). The fact is that the earth cannot possibly be even 20,000 years old, and is more likely no more than 6,000 to 8,000 years old. This is a time period which fits in with Bible chronology. Of course, it does not fit in with the wild guesses of evolutionists. . . .

In his book, Biblical Cosmology and Modern Science, Dr. Henry Morris presents a formula on population growth. To achieve the present world population within 4,500, the approximate amount of time since the Flood, only 2.4 children per family would be required, and 43 years to a generation. 

To postulate earth’s population beginning one million years ago is ridiculous. The earth could not contain the people. One million years would require 28,600 generations, producing a population of 105000. Actually, not even 10100 people could be crammed into the entire known universe, certainly not the earth. . . . 

It has been determined that over 14,000,000 tons of meteoric dust settles to the surface of the earth each year. If the earth were five billion years old—as evolutionists claim—the entire globe would be covered with a layer of meteoric dust fifty-four feet deep. 

The space scientists worried about making a landing on the moon—they thought that it would be a soft landing, and treacherous, but we now know that the layer there is not 54 feet deep, but only one-eighth of an inch. 

The oceans would be expected to yield vast amounts of nickel, since nickel forms a major part of meteorites. Yet the actual amount of the element found in the sea water indicates an accumulation period of only a few thousand years, rather than millions and billions.

Another point is the decay of magnetism. There is now a scientific dating system which dates the earth as less than 15,000 years. Scientists have brought to light the fact that earth’s magnetism is decaying. . . . 

Robert L. Whitelaw, Professor of Nuclear and Mechanical engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, has pointed out that the Carbon-14 content of the atmosphere has not, as evolutionists assume, been constant over the centuries, but rather is building up. The rate of build-up is about 20 percent over its decay rate. It is calculated that the time during which Carbon-14 has been accumulating in the atmosphere in order to reach its present level has been less than 16,000 years. Professor Whitelaw, after calculating all factors involved, has arrived at the actual date of creation, which is about 7,000 years ago. 

The rock-dating methods which are most commonly used are the Uranium decay and the Potassium-Argon methods, but both of these have been proven faulty and unreliable in cases where the actual age of rock formations is known from history. In one case, lava rocks which were known to have been formed in 1800 and 1801 in Hukalai, Hawaii, show an age of 160 million years by the Potassium-Argon method. Science magazine, issue of Oct. 11, 1968, reports dates of 12 to 21 million years for volcanic rocks known to be less than 200 years old. There are numerous other reports showing the unreliability of the dating methods.

You can take the above for what it is worth. We continue to maintain the creation account on the basis of a living faith which holds to the testimony of the Word of God. Yet one is impressed that there are those who find that the evidences within the earth can also be used to support that Biblical account. How reliable these “proofs” are, I am in no position to show. But we ought not to think that worldly, unbelieving scientists have all the “scientific” answers. May we ever give glory to God Who made the heavens and the earth and all they contain in six days of creation! 

Incidentally, the same paper, Christian News, Jan. 8, 1979, presented a reprint of the editorial of Prof. H. C. Hoeksema on, “Preaching—The Instrument of Reformation.” Certainly, the editorial was appropriate—and obviously considered applicable and instructive to others as well as to us. 

On Women’s Voting “Rights”

The General Synod of the Reformed Churches, Liberated, in the Netherlands faced the question last year of the “right” of women voting at congregational meetings. There seemed to be strong support for this, but the proposal failed. There were those in favor of such a “right,” yet “advised that the churches were not ripe yet for such a step, and therefore should not take it.” TheClarion, Nov. 18, 1978, presents the report. As the matter came to the Synod in the Netherlands, there was consideration of the fact that noted Reformed men of the past supported the idea, that the Synod of Arnhem, 1930, made the decision “not to grant the right to vote in the church to the female members of the congregation.” The question had also been raised several times before at Synods of the “Liberated” Reformed Churches in the Netherlands. 

The proposal failed. But one must be somewhat surprised that such a proposal should arise or be seriously proposed. The same proposal both in the Reformed Churches of the Netherlands and the Christian Reformed Church here led to women serving in all the offices in the Netherlands and as deacons now in the CRC. There seems to be a close relationship between granting this “right” to women and the “right” of women to serve in the offices. Scripture must continue to be the infallible guide in all of this. 

Women in Office (Continued)

The arguments concerning women in office continue. In the Banner, official organ of the Christian Reformed Church, .there have appeared letters in “Voices” in which CRC congregations express dissatisfaction with the synodical decision concerning women deacons. These same letters insist that their congregations refuse to consider the decision settled or binding upon them. One such letter appeared in the Jan. 19, 1979 issue:

The consistory and congregation of the North Blendon Christian Reformed Church, Hudsonville, Michigan, have taken note of the decision of the Synod of 1978 allowing women to be ordained to the office of deacon. We herewith inform the Christian Reformed Church in North America that, since we believe this decision to be contrary to the Word of God,

I Tim. 2:12; Acts 6:3

our Confession (Belgic Confession, Art. 30) and the Church Order of the Christian Reformed Church (Art. 2, 3, and 47), therefore we do not and will not consider this decision of Synod settled and binding upon the conscience and practice of our congregation.

One can, first, sympathize with this rather anguished statement and the position this church expresses against the ordination of women as deacons. However, this congregation (and those who agree with their stand) face a rather serious dilemma: anarchy or anti-scriptural submission. That they can not agree with the Synodical decision is understandable. Yet to state publicly that they refuse to be bound by it is anarchy. Their own Church Order, Art. 30, states, “The decisions of the assemblies shall be, considered settled and binding, unless it is proved that they conflict with the Word of God or the Church Order.” Now this article can hardly mean that a synodical decision is binding unless one proves to himself or to his own satisfaction, that the decision is contrary to Scripture. He must prove this to the body against which he is aggrieved. If he fails to prove to them the point of his contention, he faces the alternative: submit to the decision and consider it binding—or leave that denomination. Does North Blendon consider the decision of such serious nature that they will follow that alternative? Or is it one more Synodical decision against which there are a flurry of objections which soon die down until another point of difficulty arises? At what point does one stand up for his convictions—and face the inevitable consequences? To “wash one’s hands of the matter” while remaining corporately united to a body is not only inconsistent but ultimately impossible. 

Battle of the Bible

Reformed (and Presbyterian) churches, even those considered once very sound, increasingly bring up again the question of the interpretation of “infallibility” of the Bible. The Presbyterian Journal, Jan. 17, 1979, reports concerning the Prosperity’ A.R.P. (Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church) of Charlotte, N.C. That congregation decided unanimously to withdraw from the A.R.P. denomination.

In a letter to members and friends of the congregation, the session cited as reasons for the withdrawal what it considers to be the ARP denomination’s growing carelessness with the doctrine of Biblical inerrancy and the local First Presbytery’s refusal to approve their call of a pastor. 

On the infallibility issue, the session asked rhetorically: “Is this a false warning? We do not think so, because the faculty of our denominational (Erskine) Seminary blatantly attributes error to the original manuscripts of the Bible, flatly contradicting the Westminster Confession of Faith. . . . Worse still, our Synod has not disciplined those false teachers, giving implied assent to these errors. We dare not be a part of such.” 

The session also charges that First Presbytery recently approved and installed a minister who “described

Genesis 1-11

as a ‘myth,'” while refusing to ordain Mr. Stephen Stout, the man they called to be their own pastor.

We are unacquainted with the history of the above. Yet the complaint sounds familiar. The growing opposition to the truth of the infallibility of Scripture is seen within even such churches which formerly held to that without compromise. How urgent, then, is the calling of the church of Christ to be stedfast and faithful—even to the end!