Young Earth Creationism
One of the challenges which confront the Christian church today is the issue of how to interpret the biblical creation account in light of what science says about origins and the age of the universe. Some believe that since the reigning scientific theories postulate a universe that is around 14 billion years old and an earth that is 4.5 billion years old, Christians need to have an understanding of Genesis that accommodates these figures.
On the other hand, many Christians hold to a view of creation that estimates the age of the world to be somewhere around 6 - 10,000 years old. They base this off of the straight forward reading of Genesis that presents us with a creation that took place in 6 days. Further, the text of Genesis indicates that this 6 day creation did not take place a long time ago or billions of years ago. Rather, it points to a recent creation by including several genealogical tables, complete with life spans connecting the figure of Abraham to the first man Adam. [See Genesis Ch. 5, 11]
The ‘young earth’ view was by far the most common understanding of Genesis in the church up until the 19th century when the theory of evolution began to take hold and theories about a much older universe arose. As scientists today point to different chronometers in astronomy and geology as indicating a very old universe, many Christians have felt compelled to adopt a position on origins that suits the ‘old earth’ view. The result is that the church is quite divided over the issue of origins and sadly does not speak with one voice to the creation event.
The Catholic Church, in fear of repeating the mistakes it made with Galileo, has made allowances for the millions of years asserted in various scientific text books, and has issued an official position on creation that accommodates the ‘old earth’ paradigm. Further, many evangelicals have developed several creation scenarios to fit the Genesis account into an ‘old earth’...