Wednesday, October 20, 2021

A New Testament argument against young earth creationism

The New Testament says, in multiple places, that the end of the world will come soon.

It’s been about two thousand years and the end of the world has not come.

If the world is only about 10,000 years old, then 2,000 years is about 20% of the age of the world. And that’s not soon. So, if the New Testament is right, the world must be rather more than 10,000 years old.

Indeed, we have this: the older we think the world to be, the easier it is to accept the New Testament teaching that the end of the world would come soon after apostolic times.

On standard scientific views, the 2000 years that we’ve had since the time of Jesus is about one percent of the time humans have been on earth, one two millionth of the age of the earth, and one seven millionth of the age of the universe. A blip.

5 comments:

Austin McCoy said...

Dr. Pruss,

What do you make of the New Testament scholarship that suggests the New Testament authors and early church, by "soon," meant they believed Christ would return perhaps sometime in their own lifetimes or in the lifetime of the succeeding generation of Christians?

Michael Birdwell said...

New Testament scholarship tends to overexaggerate their claims in public discourse, but their scholarly work has a lot less verbose claims.
A simple solution is to point to the concept of "live each day like Jesus is coming tomorrow", since we know full well that Jesus said he wouldn't be coming at a time when he is expected. Couple that with the inherent optimism of any Christian that Jesus is coming back soon that exists in every age and it isn't a big deal.

Arath55 said...

Dr. Pruss, this is unrelated but what’s your thoughts on fideism. Do you think it’s rational?

Unknown said...

"what’s your thoughts on fideism. Do you think it’s rational?"

Not Pruss, but why would a fideist worry about whether fideism is rational or not? If the idea (which I consider absurd) is that faith doesn't need *any* rational justification and can be legitimate even if it might even be (or seem) absurd to our reason, then presumably no fideist by definition should worry about whether it is rational or not.

Alexander R Pruss said...

Austin:

It wouldn't surprise me if many of them believed it. But the important question for me is: Did they teach it as doctrine, in Scripture or elsewhere?