Does the Issue of Young Earth vs Old Earth matter? Very often, when I speak with pastors or lay-leaders in a church about whether Genesis is real – containing real history or real events that occurred in real space and time – they respond by stating it doesn’t matter to the bigger picture. To them, there are many other ministry needs, or ministry interests, that consume their time.
Does it matter? Consider “the Seatbelt Analogy”
Ignoring seat belts, or claiming they aren’t important to the operation of a car doesn’t make them unimportant to the operation of the car. Refusing to acknowledge the importance of seat belts doesn’t make any subsequent crash less fatal.
In May, 2015, Dan Bewley, a science writer at Science is OK (Oklahoma science blog) posted the picture (edited for use in this blog post) and noted,
“Climate change is important to me. Helping promote a better understanding of evolution is important to me. But this is the most important story I have ever written. See that picture below? My wife and son were in that car when it was struck last week. My wife was wearing her seatbelt and my 9-year old son was in a booster seat.”
In spite of overwhelming evidence that seatbelt use increases survivability in an accident by nearly 50 percent, people still refuse to wear seatbelts. When used correctly, wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of fatal injury to front seat passenger car occupants by 45%, and risk of moderate-to-critical injury by 50%.
In the state of South Carolina, for 2016, there were 59 traffic fatalities in which seat belts were available to be used. Of those who died, 24 (40%) were not wearing seat belts.
Why? You can group all of the reasons under one statement: They don’t (or didn’t) think it matters.
The facts – seat belt use matters. Proper use of seat belts as they were designed to be used reduces injuries in an accident. Seat belts are important.
The facts – the events in Genesis can be placed in real history in a real space with real events. That matters. It matters to the proper use of the rest of Scripture.
You can see a full discussion of this in a video by Dr. Ronald Marks: