C.R. Quarterly

Creation Research Society Quarterly

To the editor  
June 6th 2006

Clifford Lillo’s review of my book, The Age of the Universe: What Are the Biblical Limits? contrary to articles from other young earth reviewers, was fairminded and distortion free, However, I don’t see his arguments against the book’s thesis as convincing (CRSQ March, 2006, p227).

First, he notes that the arguments are not new. Actually, I am pleased that they are not, although my work was not derived from earlier writers but rather was derived from direct Biblical research. I deliberately avoided the commentators until after completion of the framework. Since then, readers have alerted me to similarities with several earlier writers, such as Jameison, Faussett and Brown, Halley, et. al.  I had not heard of the McClintock and DeLuc position, referenced by Mr. Lillo, until I read his book review. Evidently these sources treat the young biosphere view incompletely and only with brief references. The Age of the Universe, seeks to advocate a coherent model with every objection satisfactorily addressed. Ignoring previous work might be wrong procedure if pursuing a research paper on isotopes or geology but in the quest for the model of origins that would best reflect the intended witness of special and general revelation (e.g. Psalm 19) I wanted to carefully study the Book itself (with linguistic helps), scrutinizing assumptions and interpretations that creation scholars have made.

Second, Mr Lillo makes brief reference to Job 38 where God Himself declares that at the foundation and birth of the earth, “I made clouds its garment and thick darkness its diaper” (verse 9). Well, was there, or was there not such an enveloping cloud? It is called the “waters that were above the raquia” in Gen. 1:7. A “first day” is not possible while darkness prevails “on the surface of the ocean” and this changes everything. Determine how long darkness continued over the ocean surface and this will determine how old the earth is. Biblically, it could have been two weeks or two billion years. Like the heaven of stars in Gen. 1:1, the age of the planet is not defined.

The reviewer supports the traditional young earth view that the sun was “created” on day four “as stated in Genesis.” The point of my book it to challenge us to test that assumption and interpretation. It is true that God “did” the great lights and stars for signs, seasons, days and years on day four. This very loose verb can be translated dozens of ways (74 in KJV). God arranged, or established, or provided, or brought forth, or put in execution, or set in order, or produced, or performed, or did two great lights and the stars for signs and seasons on day four. He created them before day one. If the translation “made” is retained, then note that God “made” the dry land on day three by simply uncovering it (Cf. Jonah 1:9). On day four God completed the uncovering of the “cloud of thick darkness” to transparency.  I agree that the six literal days of Genesis, including day four, occurred less than 8000 years ago, but they reveal the creation of the biosphere only. The definitions for shamayim, eretz and yam are supplied for us with utter clarity as air, land and sea by God Himself within the six-day context of Genesis one and must be applied to Exodus 20:11.

Third, the reviewer acknowledges that “how Adam and the people of his time could see stars remains to be solved” but he takes refuge in “the success of the RATE project,” which he says will bolster their faith. Well, I attended the RATE II debut, November, 2005, without any sense of bolstered faith except with radiocarbon which, if verified, does indeed confirm a recent global flood of Genesis 7 (without accelerated decay).[1] From the young biosphere perspective, trusting in RATE II and gravitational time dilation may be “trusting on the staff of a broken reed, whereon, if (we creationists) lean it will go into our hand and pierce it” if / when RATE and time stretching during the six dzys are finally crushed by the hard facts (Isaiah 36:6).

Finally, the reviewer gave me a fair appraisal but he concludes (bolstered by his confidence in RATE II): “It is this writer’s opinion that Gray will continue to find himself in the minority.” In the short term, he is probably correct. I hear that at the Council of Biblical Inerrancy, only one scholar was supportive of the young earth model of origins. I am a biblical literalist (as Ken Ham or the late Henry Morris) except I don’t think Scripture justifies putting a date on Genesis 1:1. Yes, among creationists that is a minority viewpoint, however, truth is not determined by a show of hands (witness Copernicus, Luther, Bretz, Jeremiah, and a multitude throughout history). 

For the quest of wisdom and effectiveness in apologetics I ask readers to consider chapter one of my book on the web at ageoftheuniverse.com and proceed from there to the whole picture. This issue is worthy of a healthy, friendly, thorough debate.

– Gorman Gray
931 15th St., Washougal, WA
98671-1209 360-835-8361
morning7@juno.com
 

[1] The RATE conference report on radiocarbon14, (not involving accellerated decay) did, for sure, corroborate the Bible and recent flood geology but they neglected to mention at the conference that in explaining isotope ratios by accelerated decay, the heat generated, in the time frame suggested, calculates to vaporize the plutons and batholiths! “Solving” one problem appears to have generated a far worse problem. The RATE II book and Dr. DeYoung’s abridged version makes a brief reference to these (and other equally difficult problems) but most auditors would have the same reaction that Mr. Lillo had, namely, bolstered faith in a 6000 year old planet earth and universe. These theories may end as red herring distractions. Neither RATE II nor gravitational time dilation has been verified scientifically, certainly not biblically.

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